​Huawei Mate Watch: Why it’s Samsung that Huawei needs to target

Enough with the Apple Watch clones...
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Huawei could be about to jump back into the premium smartwatch space, after it won the trademark for the Huawei Mate Watch.

Huawei Mate is the moniker for the company’s smartphone line, and eagle-eyed trademark spotters MyFixGuide noticed the application, which means a new line of smartwatches could be on the way.

Sadly there are no other details around what the Huawei Mate Watch may entail, but with the company launching smartwatches thick and fast, we’d assume it was about to introduce something new.

In the past the early Huawei Watch models ran Google’s Wear OS, but after the dispute in the US that saw the company banned from using the Android OS, its newest smartwatches have used its own Lite OS.

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The Huawei Watch 2 brought some style to the Wear OS market

It’s a move we can’t see the company regretting. While Wear OS has stagnated, Lite OS has enabled Huawei to offer 14 days of battery life, even with premium features.

While it’s not perfect, the Huawei Watch GT2e is one of the best Apple Watch alternatives out there, and one of the best options for Android users.

Thus, we can’t see Huawei taking future smartwatches back to the Wear OS platform.

And with the Huawei Watch GT2e firmly in the sports watch corner, perhaps something smarter and more premium would catch people’s imagination.

Emulate Samsung – not Apple

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The New GT2e has prioritised sport over style, perhaps the Mate Watch could change that

While we’ve seen budget smartwatches take aim at the Apple Watch and its strong feature set for health and fitness, few credible alternatives to the Samsung Galaxy Watch have emerged.

The first Huawei Watch GT (main picture) was certainly aimed at Samsung, but since then it's relentlessly become sportier.

The Galaxy Watch has stood the test of time, with a bold dress watch design that’s helped Samsung hold second spot in smartwatch market share.

As it seems that Samsung is preparing a Galaxy Watch 2, it would be interesting to see a brand go toe-to-toe with Samsung on style, while still maintaining that ruthless price point that’s made the likes of Amazfit and Huawei so successful.

We can’t move for budget Apple Watch clones right now, with the Oppo Watch, Realme Watch, Amazfit Bip S and even the excellent Amazfit GTS all easily mistaken for Apple’s market leading smartwatch.

But in the melee, it seems that the tried and tested round-faced smartwatch has gone a little out of vogue. And bringing a little bit of style back to smartwatches would be extremely welcome.

Of course, Huawei has always launched round smartwatches, but the Watch GT2e isn’t exactly something we show off with pride.

But add some premium materials and be aggressive on design – and maintain at least seven days of battery life, SpO2 and other health focussed features and a sub price point, the Huawei Mate Watch could be a rip-roaring success.

Of course, much of this depends on access to the US market.

Relations are still frosty, and while that doesn’t prevent retailers selling Huawei products, the company’s smartwatches are significantly more expensive, and harder to find, in the US than in Europe.

The Huawei Watch GT2 retails for nearly $300 at Walmart, despite being £139.99 in the UK.

But the Mate Watch is a chance to do something different.


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James Stables

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James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, and worked on Windows: The Official Magazine until becoming editor of What Laptop Magazine. As an editor of technology media titles, James launched Windows 8: The Official Magazine, and TechRadar's iPad magazine edition .tech.

After these launches, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies.

He has provided expert comments to a host of sources and has appeared on BBC News and Sky News to talk about smartwatch releases

James also appeared as an expert on Channel News Asia's documentary on wearable tech.

He has also spoken about wearables at a range of events, and hosts a monthly wearable technology event called Wearables London.

And James has also moderated wearable tech panels at Web Summit, IFA, and The Wearable Technology Show.


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