Huawei has constantly delivered attractive and affordable smartwatches in recent years. The company is trying its best to grab a piece of the smartwatch market in India, which has been steadily growing bigger, as we see more and more affordable and capable smartwatches make their way to the country. The market is still very much in the hands of brands like Fossil and Apple, but Huawei is making a bid to improve its position in 2020 after launching the Huawei Watch GT 2 (review) and now the Watch GT 2e.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 offered a classy and professional look along with some appealing smart features at Rs 14,990, making it much more affordable than the Apple Watch. The company followed it up with the Watch GT 2e, which is not a successor as much as it is a sportier cousin. The Watch GT 2e gets pretty much the same features and functionality as the Watch GT 2, but with a different design aimed at a more youthful audience that’s on the move, fitness-wise.
With a starting price of Rs 11,990, the Huawei Watch GT 2e makes for a great smartwatch thanks to its stunning display, long battery life and enough smart features to keep you satisfied.
Design and comfort
The design of the Huawei Watch GT 2e is slightly different as compared to its predecessor. The circular dial with a tachymeter is completely covered by glass, which means the bezel is not raised. It’s a more seamless and aesthetic look compared to the Watch GT 2. The body comes in black stainless steel or regular stainless steel options, while the straps come in Graphite Black, Icy White, Mint Green, and Lava Red colours.
The unit we received was the Black Stainless Steel variant with Lava Red straps. You can purchase additional straps separately. The Lava Red and Mint Green straps are the only ones that come with perforations, which we quite liked. The holes all around the straps makes them more breathable by allowing more air to flow through. It prevents sweat buildup under the straps that can otherwise make wearing a watch uncomfortable in summers.
There are two buttons on the side of the watch. The top button brings up the menu while the one on the bottom takes you to your workouts. The Watch GT 2e comes in a single 46mm variant unlike the Watch GT 2 which is offered in 46mm and 42mm sizes. The 46mm size makes it quite big, and may not be ideal for users with small wrists. There’s no speaker or microphone, which means you won’t be able to take calls via the watch, if that was something you were looking forward to. You can, however, accept and ignore calls from its screen.
Speaking of comfort, the Huawei Watch GT 2e is quite lightweight despite its large size and is easy to have around your wrists throughout the day and while sleeping – the latter is important if you want to track your sleep pattern.
The Huawei Watch GT 2e sports a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with a 454×454 resolution. It’s a touchscreen display that is fairly large and easy to navigate on the screen without your fingering covering a lot of content. The smartwatch delivers a stunning display with rich and vivid colours, excellent brightness levels and viewing angles. It’s a vibrant display that you’ll love to look at every chance you get, especially thanks to some eye-catching watch faces like Comic and Graphiti. You get a bunch of traditional analogue and digital watch faces as well and tons more that can be downloaded via the Huawei Health app.
Connectivity, fitness tracking, and performance
Speaking of Huawei Health, you need to install the app on your Android or iOS device to pair the watch with the phone and enjoy all the features though the app. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. We were unable to pair the device with an Android phone since the Huawei Health app needed to be updated using the Huawei App Gallery instead of the Play Store. The only way to work around this was to download the App Gallery APK to update the Huawei Health app. As per some reports, Huawei fixed the issue last month, but we still weren’t able to use the Huawei Health app on Android.
The Huawei Health app for iOS worked just fine after pairing the watch with the iPhone. The app provides a comprehensive data on your daily activity, exercise history, heart rate, sleep tracking, and so on. The app lets you enable notifications, continuous heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, set alarms and install software updates on the watch.
The Huawei Watch GT 2e is powered by the Kirin A1 chipset much like the Watch GT 2 and Honor Magic Watch 2. It also runs on LiteOS, which allows the company to avoid the issue with Google that Huawei phones are currently dealing with. LiteOS is not as densely populated with features as Google’s WearOS or Apple’s watchOS. You do miss some features like the ability to respond to notifications and download third-party apps, which may or may not be a deal breaker for you.
While we did miss the ability to quickly respond to notifications, we didn’t miss much else. LiteOS gives you pretty much everything you need from a smartwatch such as sleep tracking, a dedicated music app to play stored songs, and plenty of workout modes. If you’re someone looking for a basic smartwatch with just enough features to go about your day, the Watch GT 2e will not disappoint.
The UI is simple and easy to use since there aren’t too many features packed. You can long press on the screen to change watch faces. Swipe left to see your real-time heart rate, weather, music controls, and daily activity. Press the top button on the side to bring up the menu, which includes workouts, sleep, breathing exercises, alarm, flashlights, and more. You can pull down the quick action menu by swiping down on the watch face, while swiping up will show you recent notifications. Browsing through the UI felt fairly smooth and we rarely encountered any lags or stutters.
The Huawei Watch GT 2e comes preloaded with 15 workout modes, 13 running courses and it can support up to 100 workout activities via the app. The smartwatch is equipped with features like Always On display, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, 5 ATM water resistance, 4GB RAM, gyroscope, accelerometer, among other things. A new update also brings the SpO2 (blood oxygen level) feature to the Watch GT 2e, which is quite useful in the time of COVID-19. You shouldn’t take the feature as being absolutely accurate at determining your blood oxygen level, but it does give you an idea if your levels are good.
Due to the coronavirus lockdown, we couldn’t try out a lot of the workout exercises such as outdoor cycling or pool swim. We did use the watch everyday for outdoor walks and running and found the distance, heart rate tracking etc to be mostly accurate when compared to our Apple Watch Series 3. The inbuilt GPS can track your route and give you a visual representation of it on the Huawei Health app.
The Huawei Watch GT 2e claims to deliver 14 days of battery life on a single charge under ideal settings, provided you’re a light user. We were able to get around 10 days of battery life with features like Always On display, sleep tracking, and continuous heart rate monitoring disabled, and the brightness set on Auto. But with these features disabled, you may not get the best experience with the smartwatch.
We also tested the Watch GT 2e with all of the above mentioned features constantly enabled and were able to get close to 5-6 days of battery life on a single charge, which is still extremely solid for a smartwatch. In comparison, the Apple Watch lasts about two days on a single charge. Fully charging the Watch GT 2e takes roughly 85 minutes. Overall, we were quite satisfied with the Watch GT 2e’s battery life.
The few misses with the Huawei Watch GT 2e can be ignored given its pricing. The inability to respond to messages, take calls via the watch and download third-party apps may disappoint some buyers. Some rivals to the Watch GT 2e include the Amazfit GTS and Honor Watch Magic Watch 2 (review), although the latter offers mainly the same features but with a classier look and feel.
The Huawei Watch GT 2e is a solid smartwatch for its sub-Rs 15,000 price tag. The smartphone offers a gorgeous AMOLED display and colourful silicone watch straps for those looking for a sporty look. The smartwatch is loaded with features that are just enough to get you through your day and night with plenty of workout modes, attractive watch faces, sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring and so on. To top it off, it also comes with excellent battery life.
Editor’s rating: 4 / 5
- Stunning AMOLED display
- Solid battery life
- Sleep tracking and attractive watch faces
- Only available in 46mm size
- Lacks third-party app support
- No speaker and microphone