Huawei Watch GT2 Pro review: Impressive but at a cost

Titanium and ceramic makes for a premium smartwatch
Huawei Watch GT2 Pro
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The Huawei Watch GT2 Pro offers a strong fitness and sports feature set, but puts high quality materials front-and-center.

The GT2 Pro boasts a titanium case with sapphire glass and a ceramic back, giving it a premium finish that we’re not used to seeing from the budget end of the market.

It joins the Oppo Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Fitbit Sense and forthcoming Apple Watch Series 6 as part of a bumper season of upcoming smartwatches for the end of 2020.

It's confirmed to cost £299 in the UK. US pricing hasn't been released because of the ongoing trade issues, but the Huawei Watch GT2e ended up much cheaper in the US after an initial delay to retailers.

Here's our full review.

Update: This article originally covered the launch and our first impressions of the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro. It's been updated with our full testing.

Huawei Watch GT2 Pro in brief

Huawei Watch GT2 Pro side view titanium

  • Joins the Huawei Watch GT2 and Watch GT2e by adding more premium materials, with a titanium case and ceramic back.
  • 47mm oversized case with a bright 454 x 454 AMOLED display
  • New golf and skiing tracking modes
  • A new focus on outdoor tracking with weather system tracking and tide tides, as well as back-to-start navigation
  • It will be on sale for £299.99

Huawei Watch GT2 Pro: Design

Huawei Watch GT2 Pro thickness

Ceramic and titanium are staples of the high-end Swiss watch market and have filtered down onto Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy smartwatches.

However the titanium Samsung is £450 and ceramic Apple Watch costs more than £1000.

We’ve been wearing the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro extensively, and it’s certainly a step up in terms of quality over the GT2e and rivals from Amazfit and even Fossil.

It’s a good looking device and feels premium on the wrist. In terms of design it’s certainly more vanilla than the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, and some classier watch faces wouldn’t go amiss.

The front is dominated by the 454 x 454 AMOLED touchscreen display, although sadly it's not an always-on screen.

It’s a generous 1.39-inch display inside a 47mm case, which does feel oversized on the wrist. While all smartwatches are personal choices, it doesn’t feel very unisex.

As it has so many sports-focused features, Huawei puts two hot-swappable bands in the box – a leather strap and a silicone version for workouts and swimming.

It’s so obvious that this would be a good idea – to marry the design and features with two appropriate band options – it’s something we wished Samsung had thought of.

People we've shown the watch to have been impressed by the build and feel. It's certainly a big step up in quality – and it does have the features to back it up.

There are a fair few watch faces to choose from, but we struggled to find any that matched the class of the build. Something we think Huawei could certainly work on.

Smartwatch features

Huawei Watch GT2 Pro showing notification

So what does the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro actually do?

It's a pretty feature-rich smartwatch, but with some omissions from what you'll find on the Apple Watch or other mainstream rivals.

It will display notifications from your smartphone, and if you have an Android phone, let you take calls from the wrist. The Huawei Watch GT2 Pro has a pretty loud built-in speaker, and it will also show call records, too.

It's a fitness tracker with an emphasis on sleep monitoring, has GPS and packs support for over 100 sports. It boasts a heart rate monitor too with SpO2 tracking.

It will also play stored music, and act as a controller for music played on your smartphone. However, you can't offline sync Spotify or other services.

There's also no contactless payments service on the watch, nor a voice assistant. We feel that the Celia voice assistant could be added at some point given the microphone and speaker – but that's not here yet. That means that the Apple Watch, Wear OS watches and Fitbit all lead Huawei with assistant and payment features.

Fitness tracking

Huawei Watch GT2 Pro goes official – here’s our first impressions

As a fitness tracker, the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro uses something highly comparable to the Apple Watch rings to keep tabs on steps, active minutes and standing time.

You can swipe left on the home screen to access your goal progress, and it’s tracked within the app. From there, you can see trends over time for steps and medium-high intensity activity, as well as distance, calories and flights climbed.

It’s not especially motivating or insightful, and is actually quite a bland implementation of tracking, compared with the PAI score on Amazfit, or the detail you get from Apple and Fitbit.

When you're inside the app, everything from the color of the menus in the app to the sparseness of the screens feels a little undercooked. It's not a particularly compelling experience.

We liked the Weekly Fitness Report, which puts a summary of your activity onto one screen, showing trends and compares it to the previous week. It’s sent via the Messages section of the Huawei Health Mate app, and we actually missed this at first. However, it's worth checking out.

The Huawei Health Mate app will also award you some extremely Apple Watch-esque medals, for achievements like hitting 10,000 steps and hitting streaks of activity.

There is a fitness tracking watch face that lets you see all the stats on the homescreen, which does at least put activity front-and-center.

Sleep tracking

Huawei Watch GT2 Pro goes official – here’s our first impressions

Sleep tracking on the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro is a lot better than the rest of the fitness tracking experience.

It features Huawei TruSleep, which analyses sleep stages and will offer 200+ personalized insights into sleep data, and tries to add real world improvements to what is often difficult data to understand. And it does a good job.

You get a breakdown of sleep stages every night, with deep, REM and light sleep tracked – and a single sleep score too.

We wore the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro to sleep alongside Fitbit Charge 4, Fitbit Sense and the Withings Sleep Analyzer (over the course of a few weeks).

And it stacked up well. Generally, deep and light sleep stages measured up to other devices, and sleep scores were generally in the same ballpark too.

And after all, without a sleep lab it’s impossible to say what’s accurate. We can only look for big differences between data sets, and our known experiences.

However, although there’s an SpO2 sensor on board the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro, it doesn’t put it to use for sleep monitoring, so the most useful aspect of blood oxygen tracking is missed.

Stress tracking

Like the Fitbit Sense, the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro will track daily stress. However, it doesn’t use the same electrodermal sensors you’ll find on Fitbit Sense, and instead focuses on stress signals via heart rate, like you’ll find on Garmin devices.

It gives you a daily stress score out of 100. It’s a slightly abstract number, although it does offer insights into what’s the normal range.

Reassuringly, the scores are calibrated by a questionnaire completed on your smartphone, and then stats are tracked daily.

All of our daily scores were within the ‘normal’ range, and we didn’t really glean any useful or actionable data from it in the weeks of testing.

However, stress is something that can creep up over time, and we like that Huawei lets you monitor your stress levels over months. There is a guided breathing programme on the Pro 2 itself, but it’s not the full suite of mindfulness and meditations you’ll find in the Fitbit app, for example.

Sports tracking

Huawei Watch GT2 Pro goes official – here’s our first impressions

The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro will track over 100 activities, so there’s no problem in tagging activities properly.

A lot of the focus has been placed on running, and like the Huawei Watch GT2e, it offers a good experience during and after an outdoor run.

First, there are a bunch of guided workouts you can follow – including training plans, interval sessions and recovery.

The built-in GPS locks on quickly, and the large, high definition screen shows off stats nicely. It’s easy to get a decent overview of your running data, and you can cycle through screens.

Huawei Watch GT2 Pro mid-run data

After a run things get even better.

The Huawei Health Mate app displays lots of data about your run, with cadence, pace, altitude, and your route all accessible (see below).

You can also see average speed, stride length, steps, elevation gain and calories.

And there are the Firstbeat data points on aerobic/anaerobic training effect, VO2 Max and recovery time. However, you can't see these on the watch itself, like you can on Garmin devices.

However, we did find some of the data a little off. Our VO2 Max was way too high, and totally out of kilter with the same features on our Garmin.

We tested a range of devices against a lab VO2 max test back in 2017, and found the Garmin to be the best. What’s more, we’re fairly in tune with our fitness level and this was way off.

Huawei Watch GT2 Pro goes official – here’s our first impressions

Other modes like yoga are fairly basic tracking of heart rate, calories and time.

We also tried out Driving Range mode, which could be of interest to golfers. Skiing and Driving Range tracking were added for the Watch GT2 Pro, presumably to give it that upscale feel.

It worked nicely, but focuses directly on swing tempo – which is quite a technical stat. And like the SpO2, heart rate and stress features, the data seemed good, but you were very much left to apply that without too much explanation.

Heart rate and SpO2

Huawei Watch GT2 Pro showing SPO2 app

The Huawei Watch GT2 Pro features the company’s new TruSeen 4.0+ heart rate sensor, which works akin to Fitbit’s PurePulse 2.0, using machine learning algorithms to offer more accurate HR.

All-day heart rate tracking is a big part of the fitness tracking features, as well as during activity. And we found it accurate – up to a point.

Low and high peaks of heart rate data matched other devices, although curiously it did average resting heart rate to be higher than most rival devices. That's not a major deal if data is consistent, as you're looking for changes over time.

When it comes to working out, the Wahoo chest strap, the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro produced the same average heart rate and max HR data, across a steady 7km run. As such we’d have no hesitation in trusting the data.

Of course, the sensor isn’t infallible. The sensor will struggle to keep up in a HIIT class when your heart rate rises and falls quickly.

Huawei health data - spo2, resting HR

If you’re looking for accurate tracking of this kind of activity, you’ll need a device that supports a chest strap.

However, if you’re looking for a budget smartwatch that can do a good job of doubling for running and sports tracking, the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro.

Blood oxygen is delivered by doing a spot check via the SpO2 app on the watch itself. Our testing didn't throw up any rogue results, and everything is tracked in the Huawei app. Each result is plotted so you can see variations. However, as we mentioned this is 100% manual and not performed during sleep, so the usefulness is a lot more limited than devices that track blood oxygen during sleep.

Battery life

The Huawei Watch GT2 Pro is stated to last 14 days on a single charge, however, we did find less in our testing.

We gauged a drop of around 12% with normal use per day, so around nine days of battery life.

This was with most of the features turned on in the settings, including Huawei TruSleep, continuous heart rate monitoring and automatic stress test, so you could feasibly get close to 14 days if you’re willing to sacrifice these aspects.

The Huawei Watch GT2 Pro charges on a magnetic plate, and does feature Qi wireless charging.

We did find charging to be a little slow, with a full charge taking around three hours.


Huawei Watch GT2 Pro
By Huawei
There's no doubt the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro is a superbly made, premium smartwatch, building on the solid fitness and health features of its predecessors. However, we loved the Huawei Watch GT2e as a budget device, so offering this experience at double the price is harder to recommend. But the build, screen, battery life and run tracking are undeniably impressive, so as long as you're not leaning on the app too hard, it's a good wrist companion.

Hit
  • Lovely premium build
  • Strong feature set
  • Two strap options in the box
Miss
  • Data squiffy in places
  • SpO2 and stress not hugely useful
  • Double the price of GT2e