Android Wear Smartwatch season is upon us. The usual suspects – Samsung, LG, and Motorola – are ready to share their wares, but one company is unexpectedly drawing huge amounts of interest for their upcoming offering: Huawei.
Here is everything you need to know about the Huawei Watch.
Price & Availability
The Huawei Watch is now available for pre-order and the first units will begin shipping on September 17th. The price ranges from $349 to $799 and availability depends on the model.
Read More: Where to buy the Huawei Watch
The price points may dictate which design you buy, but they all look pretty outstanding.
There are two differentiating elements between the 6 options above: Watch Style and Band Style. The Watch Style is the actual encasing of the watch face and the Band Style is the bracelet that goes around your wrist.
There are 3 Watch Styles:
- Stainless Steel
- Black Stainless Steel
There are 3 Band Styles:
- Leather (shown twice below)
- Link bracelet
- Mesh bracelet
However there are NOT nine combinations.
Huawei has chosen to limit the combinations based on their unique styling and pairings to help keep a consistently premium look and feel. Did they succeed? If not, you’ll be able to swap it out for a strap you procure yourself elsewhere.
Read More: Huawei Watch First Impressions
In keeping with traditional wristwatch design, the Huawei Watch has a round face and body, standard lugs and a 42mm diameter. Improving on classic design, the physical crown is in the 2 o’clock position on the watch body, making it ergonomic and easy to use on either wrist.
The Huawei Watch runs an Android-based operating system (Android Wear 1.3) so it goes without saying that it is compatible with Android devices. However, you must have a a device running Android 4.3 or later. Side note: if your phone is that old, you should be spending your money on a new Android Phone instead of Android Wear.
What’s more interesting here is that the Huawei Watch supports iOS. Similar to Android, you’ll need a relatively up-to-date version of the OS, in this case iOS 8.2 or later.
Yes, that’s right… the Huawei Watch works with iPhones.
Read More: Android Wear adds iOS Support
In addition to the Huawei Watch working with iPhones the company is boasting about a few other interesting features.
- Always-on watch face will constantly show the time by dimming the screen automatically and adjusting it from color to black-and-white while not being used. This allows for both great functionality and battery life.
- Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to set up your Huawei Watch to connect directly to a wireless network so that your phone can access notifications, e-mails, text messages, and other alerts without having to be tethered to your phone. Walk around your own house freely! Freedom!
- Bluetooth 4.1 LE lets you leave your phone behind and still take music with you while you walk, run, cycle, or bike!
Sounds neat! However, these features aren’t unique to the Huawei Watch. These are new features added by Google’s Android Wear team and they’ll be compatible with virtually all the new Android Wear watches from the likes of Samsung, Motorola, and LG.
That doesn’t diminish the value of these features, it simply gives you less ammo when comparing Android Wear devices head-to-head. Case and point: last year’s Moto 360 already has interactive watch faces (animated images above).
Manufacturers are treating smartwatches like jewelry, and rightfully so, but smartwatches wouldn’t be “smart” without a screen. One could argue that the display is more important to a smartwatch than it is to a phone or TV, because of how preciously important each Pixel is.
The Huawei Watch display is:
- 1.4-inch full circle
- AMOLED display
- 400×400 pixels
- 286 pixels per inch
- Made of 2-layer sapphire crystal
- Scratch resistant
Overall the display is great, offering a large screen-to-bezel ratio and responsive input. Small complaints on visibility in sunny settings and smudge-magnet screen, but the impact is minor and these issues are apparent in almost all smart watches.
The Huawei Watch has a 300 mAh battery that the company says will last two days with regular use.
Not bad considering Gen 1 smartwatches required daily charging, but what makes the Huawei Watch battery situation more bearable is that it can go from 0% to 80% battery life after only 45 minutes of charging. Leave it plugged in for an additional 30 minutes and it’ll hit 100 (real quick).
It’s also worth noting that the magnetic dock is completely painless. The magnetic function causes the watch to cling to the charger in just the right place, ensuring that needing to tediously line things up isn’t an issue.
How long the Huawei Watch will last when put through our “regular” paces is another story altogether… and one we’ll bring you in the coming days.
Extremely limited space usually leads to a meager list of specifications. Huawei seems to have done quite well, stuffing a lot of goodness into a relatively tiny frame:
- 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Processor
- 4GB ROM
- 512MB RAM
- Bluetooth 4.1 LE
- PPG (Heart Rate Sensor)
- Built-in microphone
Read more: Full Huawei Watch Specs
We’ve come to consider many of these sensors as default inclusions with standard performance across the board, but Huawei is making some bold claims with their heart rate monitor, saying it is “the world’s most advanced heart-rate detecting sensor.”
Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe we’ll test it ourselves. Maybe’s aside, Huawei has put together an incredibly solid effort with the Huawei Watch and you couldn’t fault them for trying to squeeze all the PR juice out of the product as possible.
Huawei Watch Forums
If you’re looking for Huawei Watch discussion, advice, help, suggestions, pre-buying assistance, troubleshooting, or anything similar, you should know that the absolute best place to go is the Huawei Watch Forums over on AndroidForums.com.
If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments, including topics you’d like to see addressed in our full review!