[UPDATE 18/10/18: Huawei Watch GT pricing added]
Huawei announced their new flagship family of Mate 20 phones during their a recent Huawei Mobile event in London. While the phones are all the talk, two other accessories also made the spotlight. The company announced the Huawei Watch GT, and Band 3 Pro smart wearables, complete with 20-day battery life and more.
When it comes to smart wear, Huawei has remained fairly low key. The company prefers to keep to themselves about the smart wear they release because the products usually act as ‘expansions’ to their phones. This time, however, their smart wear devices deserve a spotlight of their own.
The Huawei Watch GT is the company’s latest smartwatch. It is not an Android Wear OS watch either. Instead, Huawei’s new premium smartwatch runs on Huawei’s own LightOS, the same operating system on its various fitness trackers. This means that the Watch GT can make use of the usual fitness offerings from all Huawei fitness trackers and expand on it with faster speeds, more functionality, and — best of all — better battery life.
In fact, Huawei’s LightOS is so light on the battery that the company claims its watch can run for two weeks-on-end; all on a single full charge and with normal use. Two weeks! If users do not use any fitness tracking features, the watch can live for up to 30 days. The company states that the Huawei Watch GT uses an “innovative smart power-saving algorithm that enables it to dynamically switch between performance and efficiency modes”. The way it does this is by determining, via machine learning, the habits of the wearer and what apps they are running at any given time. Huawei also states that the power-efficiency comes from its dual-core architecture, that lets the user enjoy “the best of both worlds” – a simultaneously powerful and highly efficient smartwatch.
The machine learning in the Huawei Watch GT also goes one step further by addressing the needs of its active users. Huawei says that it “also supports all-around sports activity tracking”. They accomplished this by working with professional sports organisations to enable tracking for a range of sports. These include “indoor exercises, outdoor running, mountain climbing, cycling, and open water swimming. The watch also supports fitness coaching features in real-time. There is no word on what third-party Huawei contracted for this service, however. It is fully waterproof to ensure active fitness and health tracking across any sport.
Furthermore, the Huawei Watch GT can also read real-time health data. It can analyse the heart rate of its users with “scientific methods” that lets users exercise more safely and healthily too. Unfortunately for some, the watch only comes in one size, with a 1.4-inch circular AMOLED display. The Watch GT also comes in two variants: the Watch GT Sport, which caters for sports enthusiasts, features a neat silicone strap, and sleek design; and Watch GT Classic, a more elegant design with silver bezels and what looks like a leather band. The Watch GT is set to retail with a starting price of R6 000, pretty expensive, but possibly worth it?
The second device announced by Huawei is the Huawei Band 3 Pro – the upgrade to its previous fitness tracking band, designed to compete directly with the Fitbit Charge 3.
The Band 3 Pro comes complete with built-in GPS, multimode swim tracking that recognises different laps, a fancy sleep tracking feature, and even relaxation training. As with the Watch GT, the Band 3 Pro also features an epic 20-day battery life – unless you use the built-in GPS. If you do, the battery is reduced to roughly seven days on a single charge; which is still very impressive.
The Huawei Band 3 Pro features the same form factor as the Band 2. This means that it has a 0.95-inch AMOLED touchscreen 2.5D display and a metal frame that makes it feel like a premium device. The Band 3 Pro also features two infrared sensors and artificial intelligence that delivers “precise heart rate readings”. I assume it uses the same machine learning and AI featured in the Watch GT. The Band 3 Pro is also a proper fitness tracking in that it can handle water depths of up to 50 meters, which makes it perfect for people who like to swim a lot, ski, or even surf.
Local South Africa pricing for the Band 3 Pro was not available at the time of this article going live.
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