The Huawei Watch 2 officially arrived at Huawei's MWC 2017 press conference. Well, actually there's two smartwatches: the Watch 2 and Watch 2 Classic. There's also a swanky Porsche Design edition too, if that's the sort of thing that rocks your boat.
The pair of Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches are bringing Huawei's fitness A-game to LG and Samsung's recent efforts. Both pack GPS, an optical heart rate monitor and NFC for Android Pay and the main Watch 2 also supports 4G for standalone smartwatching.
Here's what you need to know about the Watch 2 and the differences between the options.
Huawei Watch 2: Design
Aside from the 4G, one of the only real differences between the two models is the materials. The Huawei Watch 2 Classic is touted as the dress watch for businessmen and women so it comes in stainless steel. It comes with neat straps, which are leather on the outside with a rubbery, sweat-friendly finish on the inside.
Both are pretty big and chunky at 12.6mm thick but pretty light considering at 57g (the lightest 4G smartwatch, we're told). The Watch 2 takes 20mm watch straps, the Classic 22mm.
The regular Huawei Watch 2 meanwhile is made from ceramic (which also helps with connectivity) and comes with straightforward sporty silicon straps. It will be available in three colours: black, speckled grey and a Nixon The Mission-esque orange whereas the Classic is only available in grey. Both are rated IP68 for waterproofing (so 30 minutes in 1m of water) and dustproofing.
As for the Porsche Design Huawei Watch 2, it looks very similar to the main model apart from some branding around the bezel and a leather strap with red stitching detail.
Huawei Watch 2: Screen
Both models feature diver-style bezels around a 1.2-inch, 390 x 390, AMOLED display to give them a bit of character. (That's 326 ppi pixel fans). Plus there's two buttons on the left hand edge to add to the touchscreen controls.
Both watch models are a 42mm watch face so nothing for those looking for something a little smaller here. The display is coated in Gorilla Glass 3 too for extra protection. Huawei did a good job on the first-gen Watch screen and we've not seen anything otherwise to suggest this won't be a lovely display.
Huawei Watch 2: Features
First up, these two newbies run Android Wear 2.0 so expect the new UI and standalone apps on the 4G model. As ever, it works with both Android phones and iPhones and there's Wi-Fi support if you don't have the 4G version. With NFC onboard, you can use your Huawei Watch 2 to pay for stuff with the Android Pay app which is an upgrade from the original.
This is certainly a sportier watch too. Huawei has been talking up its own fitness suite, which uses both GPS and GLONASS to track your run route. The sporty smartwatch tracks a whole bunch of run and workout metrics: distance, speed, heart rate & HRV, steps, calories and gait. It also measures VO2 Max after runs to give you advice on recovery time and training effects via a virtual coach. Huawei says that you'll also be able to use the watch with third party running and fitness apps.
Essential reading: Everything you need to know about Android Wear 2.0
When you're going for a run, there's quick start modes of 'fat-burning run' and 'cardio run' with guidance on whether to pick up the pace or slow down to stay in or move across zones.
With heart rate, there's continuous heart rate for workouts and in the app you can see a graph of the last six hours. The watch also takes your resting heart rate which you can see alongside steps, time spent in medium and high intensity exercises and the number of times you stand up after sitting down. That's all in Huawei's Daily Tracking app.
Of course a big draw is that the Watch 2 also comes in a 4G flavour, with a nano-SIM slot nestled between the lugs, to take advantage of standalone Wear 2.0 apps. There's also an eSIM model though it doesn't look like the 4G version is coming to the US. (You can't get the Watch 2 Classic with 4G). You can make calls over LTE and dual mics aim to get rid of any background noise.
Huawei Watch 2: Battery life & hardware
As for battery, Huawei says the 420mAh battery will last two days on the 4G Watch 2 and three days on the non 4G Watch 2, and the Watch 2 Classic. It will last an impressive seven hours with both continuous heart rate and GPS enabled and charges via a cradle.
There's also a nifty Watch Mode which should mean you never look at a dead screen again - switch this on with 10% to go and you'll get 40 hours of being able to view the time and see your step count. In fact if you just select this mode it will last 25 days on one charge like a hybrid. Not bad.
The do-it-all watches are running Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor with 768MB of RAM. They have 4GB of storage for music with Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi plus there's a built-in speaker.
Looking for a smartwatch? Read these
- Baselworld 2017 previewThe glitzy watch show is just around the corner
- LG Watch Sport reviewA superb model to show off the new Android Wear 2.0
- Android Wear 2.0 reviewGoogle takes another run-up at its smartwatch platform
- Why I'm not ditching my sports watchThere are still a few things smartwatch makers need to get right before I do
Huawei Watch 2: Price and release date
The Huawei Watch 2 is going on sale first in a bunch of European countries in March - Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Germany - plus China. In April it's coming to the US, UK, Australia, Japan, South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand, India and the rest of Europe. Poor Malaysia has to wait till May.
As for prices, it's firmly in the premium category as before. So it's €329 for the non 4G Huawei Watch 2, €379 for the 4G Watch 2 and €399 for the stainless steel Watch 2 Classic. We'll update with US and UK prices when we have them. There's no price or release date details at all for the Porsche Design model just yet, though it will no doubt be more expensive than the Classic.
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