Huawei Watch GT 2 review

Is it a fitness tracker, is it a smartwatch? No, it is the new Huawei Watch GT 2! In this review, we check whether the balancing act actually works.

Sports watches usually look like their task, namely recording and evaluating sports activities. Manufacturers mainly use plastic and silicone wristbands for this purpose. That goes well with sweatpants, but it always looks inappropriate with a jacket in the evening. The first Huawei Watch GT already took a different approach and tried to be a fitness tracker, mostly used by men, in a watch case – quite successfully. The successor, the Huawei Watch GT 2, continues this approach and introduces some innovations that are supposed to make the watch even better. Is that enough to be a worthy successor?

Technical details

Size screen46mm / 42 mm
Size wrist14 – 21 cm / 13 – 20 cm / 13 – 19 cm
Size watch45,9 x 45,9 x 10,7 mm / 41,8 x 41,8 x 9,4 mm
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.1
Battery lifeUp to 14 days / up to 7 days
Supported systemsAndroid 4.4 (or later), iOS 9.0 (or later)
Water resistance5 ATM
DisplayAMOLED touchscreen
Sensors7 different sensors

Scope of delivery, design, setup

One thing you have to admit about the Huawei Watch GT 2: it is chic. In contrast to the predecessor, the attached, fake bezel is beveled at the display edges and the display glass as well as the panel virtually protrude without being constricted by a wall of frames. Thus, the display quality of the Huawei Watch GT 2 is even better than before despite the almost identical OLED screen. The overall design also looks more sophisticated. Thanks to the two mechanical control buttons on the right side, the Huawei Watch GT 2 is hardly distinguishable from a real chronometer at first glance in daylight.

Only in dark surroundings or upon closer inspection can the dial be recognized as a luminous display and the high-quality metal body as a mixture of metal upper side and plastic underside. At the latest when the Watch GT 2 is no longer on the wrist but in the hand, the difference to a normal watch becomes obvious. Because then the plastic underside with the embedded sensors for heart rate measurement can be seen.

By the way, the fake bezel is only available on the large 46-millimeter version, which is tested here. The 42-millimeter version, which is also available, does without it. In addition, the small version is also flatter (9.4 millimeters to 10.6 millimeters), so the large version of the Huawei Watch GT 2 offers longer battery runtimes, among other things.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 is available in different colors.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 is available in different colors.

The chic metal casing in black, brushed aluminum with chrome applications or gray looks high-quality and stable. The metallic version comes with a brown leather strap, and a silicone strap is also included. Further content of the delivery box is the charger, which magnetically docks and charges the watch in just 1.25 hours.

This works best with two-part straps like the ones included from Huawei; a full-length strap with a folding clasp makes the charging process slightly more difficult and the watch cannot then lie flat on the bedside table. However, that rarely happens anyway because of the strong battery, and the watch is also supposed to be worn at night and monitor and evaluate sleep. For this to work, the Huawei Watch GT 2 needs to be connected to a smartphone and Huawei’s Health app. The software is the linchpin – from connecting with the smartphone to evaluating the sports activities, everything happens here.


The Health app is mainly clearly structured and is divided into the sections Health, Training, Devices, and Account – corresponding tabs are at the bottom of the screen. The Health section presents a rough overview of steps, calories burned, the last workout, heart rate, sleep and weight. The latter can be linked to a compatible scale, for example from Huawei, Honor or Picooc, otherwise the kilos can also be entered manually.

The Training tab provides detailed information about the last workouts. Not only can connected devices be added or removed via the Devices tab, but users can also customize watchfaces and transfer music to the Huawei Watch GT 2. The watch has 2 GB of internal memory for this purpose. Users should take their time for the transfer to the watch memory – it is very slow despite Bluetooth 5.0.

At the time of testing, 25 watchfaces were available, and a recent update added the option to select a custom background image. However, additional information like the number of steps or the watch’s battery status still cannot be placed by the user, and the corresponding pre-placed displays are also not interactive. Thus, anyone who presses on it to then go directly to a corresponding submenu will be disappointed. The Account tab hides all sorts of information about the user, including achieved motivation medals, weekly and monthly reports and settings with access to the interval of heart rate and stress measurement.

The app is free of charge and features a lot of customization options.

The fact that workouts and sleep analyses are automatically synchronized was noticed positively in the test. However, the respective process sometimes takes 10 to 20 seconds – the user notices this, for example, when he wants to view his sleep data right after getting up.

We did not like the absence of an automatic workout detection; an automatic pause function is hidden in the workout settings and is deactivated ex works. If you also want to listen to music during training while using the Huawei Watch GT 2, you have to activate it before starting the training session and should also use headphones with a control option. This is because you cannot access the music control afterwards without ending the workout.

Everyday life

Even though the 46-millimeter version of the Huawei Watch GT 2 seems quite bulky at first glance, it should not only look decent on average men’s wrists, but is comfortable to wear despite the relatively high weight of around 70 grams. The silicone strap is preferable for sporty activities, since a leather strap usually shows the first signs of wear after a few weeks of more or less sweaty activity.

In addition, the material becomes increasingly unhygienic in the long run. The silicone wristband, on the other hand, is easy to wash off. Fortunately, there is no reason why the wristband cannot be replaced with one from a third-party manufacturer. Huawei uses the 22-millimeter standard for wristbands for the Watch GT 2, so replacements are easy to find.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 cuts a very good figure when worn as an everyday watch, but users will have to live with some limitations. Apart from the chic looks, the display is a positive feature. It is round and measures 1.39 inches in diameter with a resolution of 454 × 454 pixels. This results in a display sharpness of 326 pixels per inch and can confidently be called sharp. Due to the use of an OLED screen, the panel scores with deepest blacks and vivid colors.

The backsite of the smartwatch measures the pulse of its user.

Furthermore, the viewing angle independence is excellent, which reinforces the impression of a real watch face. This impression is supported by so-called 3D glass, which looks quite impressive overall. The Huawei Watch GT 2 also has an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the display brightness if desired. This minimizes the glare effect in very dark surroundings and enables basic readability even in sunshine – even though the latter works better with a shady hand.

The display on the great screen also scores with the presentation of the individual areas. The operation is very simple: By swiping sideways, the user switches through five additional, fixed functions. They include pulse display, stress level, weather, music control for the first time and daily goals. All data is accompanied by small animations – sometimes a heart pulsates, then stylized clouds move across the small display, or the song title scrolls through the picture. Of course, something also moves on the only 25 watchfaces at the time of testing, mostly the second hand. Overall, this looks very vivid and pleasing.

However, those who want Wi-Fi or NFC will be disappointed – neither is available. That is a pity, because the watch simply looks great and almost every current smartwatch has these features today. In return, owners of the Watch GT 2 can make calls directly via the watch up to a distance of several dozen meters from the smartphone thanks to the built-in microphone and speaker. That works surprisingly well since the speaker is surprisingly loud for its tiny size. What is unlikely to be used in most cases becomes useful when the smartphone is still in the bedroom while you are making a coffee in the kitchen.

Unfortunately, the operation of the watch is not completely smooth. Slight stutters can be seen again and again, and the frame rate seems to be around 20 frames per second in total. It is not a big deal that the new Kirin A1, which powers the Watch GT 2, stutters, but it detracts from the good impression it otherwise makes.

The fairly thin case of the smartwatch is part of its design choices.

Huawei could obviously also use some help with the implementation of the always-on display. The user of the watch has to decide whether he wants a completely deactivated display that is fully activated during the typical “look at the watch” gesture – or whether he wants to see a permanent time display that is reduced to save power and requires a button press to activate it.

A combination of the two methods is not possible for some invisible reason. Another drawback and an indication that Huawei sees the GT 2 more as a fitness tracker than a smartwatch: There are no freely installable apps. Despite the built-in GPS with Glonass support, real navigation is not possible without a smartphone. By the way, while the upper button always leads back to the main watch face, the lower button can be freely assigned.


Unfortunately, not everything works as well as making calls on the Huawei Watch GT 2. Notifications can be received and the source – for example Whatsapp or Skype – is displayed correctly, but it is not possible to reply. Even if several messages are received, they cannot be read individually. Instead, you only get the message that X messages were received via service Y and are unread.

At least different umlauts (for our non-english readers) are displayed correctly, but the watch does not show emojis. We also had to prohibit Google Maps from forwarding messages to the Watch GT 2 during the test period, since updated route information for the way to or from work arrived every few minutes. Incidentally, the watch acknowledges incoming messages either with a sound or alternatively with a vibration that can be adjusted in intensity.


Big Brother is watching you – even while you sleep. At least that’s what sourpusses might say about the Huawei Watch GT 2’s sleep tracking. The rest will probably be happy that the Health app provides tips for better and healthier sleep in combination with the watch, which is also worn at night. It not only examines the duration of sleep, but also differentiates between deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep, and breathing quality.

In the evaluation, users can then see whether the sleep was restful, and a click on any problems detected opens tips for remedying or improving the problem. Pulse and stress levels are measured in the smart default setting depending on the activity, and the watch warns in case of particularly high or – outside of sports activities probably rather – particularly low levels. The sleep time detection worked very well and roughly matched the times we went to bed and got up in the test.

The modern look of the Huawei Watch GT 2 is one of its greatest assets.


Speaking of training: The Huawei Watch GT 2 differentiates between 15 different sports, such as running, cycling, swimming, mountain hiking or triathlon. The heart rate monitor, pedometer, GPS and barometer help determine the right values. In addition, the gadget offers 13 running plans from beginner to professional, which are intended to increase the user’s leadership ability.

In addition to medals for certain successes, the so-called intelligent companion can also be activated as a motivational aid, which is nothing more than an imaginary time previously set by the user, which can be beaten on further runs. This is reminiscent of racing games on the computer, where a ghost car is displayed on the track, showing previously driven own times or those of rivals.

As in the game, the watch also provides information about whether the intelligent companion is faster or slower than the current time via Bluetooth connected headphones – but unfortunately only in English at the moment. Users should be careful during swimming activities. Huawei specifies a water resistance of 5 ATM, but that is usually only enough for normal swimming on the surface. Deeper diving or jumping into water could still damage the watch. However, this is not a problem when bathing, in a heavy rain shower or in the shower, i.e. away from extreme sports.

In everyday use, we were convinced by the pedometer and heart rate measurement, which were also suitable compared to other fitness trackers. However, the heart rate always seemed to be indicated with a slight delay during sports activities. Thus, it happened during a mountain hike that the tester could already hear the pulse in his inner ear, which indicates stronger load.

However, a glance at the watch in the smart continuous heart rate mode only indicated a rate of around 100. A minute later, however, after the tester could regenerate briefly, the watch showed a pulse of around 130. Switching the continuous measurement from smart to real-time could solve the problem, but it costs battery power. This setting can be found in the Health app under Devices, a tap on the watch and then Continuous heart rate measurement further down. The collected data can currently only be linked with Google Fit and MyFitnessPal.

You can buy the smartwatch as a 42 or 46 mm version.

Battery life

The battery life is the unique selling point of the Huawei Watch GT 2. The manufacturer talks about runtimes of up to 14 days for the 46-millimeter version – that is unlikely to be achieved in reality. However, the real runtime is not far from that either. In the test, the GT 2 lasted a good 5 days with continuous pulse tracking and always-on display, and even a week was possible at times.

The week was easily surpassed with a motion-controlled display and moderate use, but 1.5 weeks were the rule. A smartwatch with WearOS or an Apple Watch is far away from such rates, and even Samsung’s Galaxy Watch does not come close. The watch is charged via a magnetic charging base, which takes up to 1.25 hours and is thus quite fast.


In terms of price, the Huawei Watch GT 2 starts at 199 Euros (~$240) at the time of testing, for which the 42-millimeter variant is available. The 46-millimeter version tested here starts at 226€ (~$272) for the black and silver version, and the gray Elite version starts at 279 Euros (~$336).


  • lots of different sensors
  • great heart frequency monitoring
  • water proof
  • long battery life
  • brings own mp3-player


  • no voice activation
  • can’t use 3rd party apps
  • no NFC
  • notifications and messaging not great


The question posed at the beginning whether the Huawei Watch GT 2 is a smartwatch or rather a fitness tracker can be answered clearly: Both and neither. It lacks a few features for both, but still masters both disciplines more or less well. Ultimately, it depends on the use of a prospective buyer. Particularly ambitious hobby and even more so professional athletes who regularly want to push their line to the limit should rather reach for other products. After all, they either need better water resistance, automatic training recognition or perhaps even measurement of the oxygen level in the blood.

Those who expect the Huawei Watch GT 2 to be the full scope of a smartwatch, with which they can not only read dedicated individual messages, but also answer them via voice, fast access or even micro onscreen keyboard, are just as wrong here as someone who wants to expand the watch via apps. Paying with the GT 2 is also not possible due to the lack of NFC.

Once again, the GT 2 is not a complete smartwatch, but rather a fitness tracker for home use in the guise of a stylish wristwatch that is aimed at occasional athletes. However, they will not only be rewarded with a pretty appearance, but also with a great display, nice presentation of the features and an outstanding battery life.

Images source: Amazon Shop Page


Author: Smartwatch Fans

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *