Huawei Watch 2 Review: Great All-Rounder

The Huawei Watch 2 is a likable all-rounder that does most things great and has only a few minor flaws. But does it deserve a place among the best Android smartwatches? Let’s find out!

Pros:

  • Updated to Wear OS
  • Up to 25-day battery life
  • Excellent connectivity options
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Optional 4G

Cons:

  • Non-rotating bezel
  • Minor performance issues

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Design

With its sleek metal case and a selection of beautiful watch faces, the original Huawei Watch clearly targeted the urban crowd. The Huawei Watch 2 looks best when matched with a pair of running shoes, but it still feels at home in the city.

Huawei actually offers the Watch 2 in two versions—Sport and Classic—but there are just a few minor differences between them. The Sport version comes with a silicone strap that feels somewhat cheap but is water-resistant, hypoallergic, and comfortable. The Classic version has a faux leather strap that doesn’t like water too much.

The one thing you can only experience in person is how light and comfortable the smartwatch is. At 48.9 x 45 x 12.6 mm, the watch doesn’t disappear even on larger wrists, but its weight of just 57 grams makes it easy to forget that you actually have it on your hand.

Display

Both versions have the same 1.2-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 390 x 390 pixels and vivid colors. We were especially impressed by the display’s ability to preserve its contrast under direct sunlight, which is something you’ll appreciate when running intervals on the beach or swimming in the sea.

The Sport version of the Huawei Watch 2 has a bezel marked with 5-minute increments, while the Classic version is marked with 10-minute increments. Unfortunately, the bezel doesn’t rotate, so you can’t use it to time things with an analog watch face, and, more importantly, you can’t use it to control the watch itself.

Taps and swipes are the primary input methods of the Huawei Watch 2, but there are also two hardware buttons on the right side. The upper button opens the app drawer or Google Assistant, and the bottom button can be customized to perform a variety of different functions. By default, it starts workouts.

Performance

Inside the Huawei Watch 2 is the Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset with 768MB of RAM. The Snapdragon Wear 2100 isn’t exactly the latest smartwatch chipset out there, and it shows—but not as much as you might expect.

Generally, the Huawei Watch 2 is responsive and reliable, but it does have its moments when it feels sluggish and last year. The good news is that the smartwatch was updated from Android Wear 2 to a more recent version of Wear OS, which helped smooth things out a bit.

The Huawei Watch 2 has 4 GB of internal storage space, allowing you to download several apps directly to the smartwatch and still have enough space left for an album or two to entertain you during your workouts.

When it comes to connectivity, the Huawei Watch 2 features a built-in GPS sensor, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth, and there’s even a version with 4G, but you can get it only in the UK. We had absolutely no issues with neither Wi-Fi nor Bluetooth signal strength.

Features

Being one of the sportier smartwatches on the market, it’s only natural that the Huawei Watch 2 is a fantastic workout companion, featuring live GPS mapping, heart rate monitoring, real-time guidance, workout data reporting, and offline music playback.

With a single press of the bottom physical button, you can start the workout app instantly and view a real-time map of your favorite route on the high-resolution display. As you work out, the Huawei Watch 2 calculates your VO2max and collects a plethora of useful information to help you improve your fitness level.

When you receive a notification, you can use Smart Reply to select from several contextual responses or swipe up to move to the next notification. You can also respond with an emoji or put together a custom response by writing each letter with your finger.

Because the Huawei Watch 2 has an NFC chip, you can use it to make contactless payments with Android Pay. With the smartwatch on your wrist, there’s no need to enter your PIN—you can simply place it close to the payment terminal and walk away with your coffee.

But when you remove the smartwatch from your wrist, it automatically enters into a locked mode and asks for your PIN during the next purchase. Google implemented this feature to protect Wear OS users from theft, and we’re glad they did.

Battery Life

The Huawei Watch 2 doesn’t have a massive battery life (it lasts just over a day on a charge), but it does have one trick up its sleeve: a special watch mode that activates automatically when the battery charge level is low.

In this mode, all non-essential functionality is turned off, leaving you with just an analog watch face. In this mode, the Huawei Watch 2 can last up to 25 days, so you can be sure that you’ll never end up with a dead smartwatch on your wrist around lunchtime just because you forgot to charge it the day before.

Speaking of charging, the Huawei Watch 2 comes with a magnetic charging clasp. The clasp needs to be aligned with the pogo pins on the rear of the smartwatch, and the 420 mAh battery takes just around one hour to charge.

Verdict

The Huawei Watch 2 may not be flawless, but it’s certainly worth its price. From its extensive connectivity options to its long battery life, this smartwatch just keeps on giving and stops momentarily only push its older chipset too much.