Update: Our Huawei Watch Ultimate review is now live – head there for our full testing.
Huawei has launched its new flagship, the Huawei Watch Ultimate, which shoots right at the top of the premium smartwatch range.
While many were expecting the Huawei Watch 4, the company has aimed bigger, with premium materials, a huge screen, and a focus on diving and outdoor activity. Sound familiar? Yes, there are more than a few crossovers with the Apple Watch Ultra here.
And one of those is price. The Huawei Watch Ultimate comes with a chunky €749 / £700 or €899 / £800 price tag, depending on the color you choose.
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- Price: €749 / £700 Black | €899 / £800 Blue.
- Diving: 10ATM water resistance and EN13319 rated, suitable for 110m dives
- Health: ECG and arterial stiffness data
- Workouts: Five-band GNSS
- Trekking: Expedition mode with back-to-start
- Screen: 1.5-inch LTPO AMOLED screen, the largest on a smartwatch.
- Battery: 530mAh battery capacity with quoted 14-day battery
Design and materials
Huawei has really pushed the boat out on materials, and is using a ‘liquid metal’ case. It sounds very Terminator 2, and is the material used in aircraft design because of its strength and lightweight properties. It's also used on top Swiss watches, so it's little wonder Huawei has chosen it here.
We’ve already been wearing the Ultimate for a few days, and we can confirm, it’s extremely light for the size of the watch.
The bezel is ceramic, another premium touch – and the metal strap is titanium.
The Ultimate comes in two colors: Expedition Black with a rubber strap and Voyage Blue (the one we've been using), with a titanium link band.
We already swapped for a rubber band (again, Huawei has gone for a premium rubber here not fluoroelastomer which it says is 30% lighter), which you get in the case.
In terms of the display, you get a 1.5-inch LTPO AMOLED screen, which Huawei says is the largest on a smartwatch. That has a 466 x 466 resolution, punching out at 1000 nit.
Inside is a 530mAh battery capacity, which Huawei says will work for 14 days on a single charge – although that will be with the juicy features turned off. Huawei predicts 8 days of heavy use, which is still excellent.
Of course, there still aren’t features such as wrist payments or a rich app store here – but there is ECG with arterial stiffness data.
Naturally, the same stress, SpO2, heart rate, and sleep tracking comes over from existing Huawei watches.
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Advanced sport features
All of Huawei’s fitness features are here, including the 140 sports profiles, with a special focus on running, with built-in fitness and training programs, the Running Ability Index, and recovery insights all packed in.
But the Watch Ultimate also goes big on adventure sports.
Diving takes most of the attention here, and the features list is pretty chunky.
First up, the Ultimate offers 10ATM, ISO 22810, and EN13319 water resistance standards, which enables the Ultimate to dive in excess of 100m and work for technical dives – compared to the recreational 40m of the Apple Watch Ultra.
And it certainly rivals the Ultra in terms of stats, with data on depth, ascent, decompression, oxygen pressure, ascent curves, hover timers and more.
Hiking and expeditions also get some new features too.
Multiband GPS means it should be plenty accurate, and the Expedition Mode enables you to add custom markers, and return the way you came if you need. However, there are no extended battery life stats, like Garmin’s expedition modes, and the focus is on accuracy as a safety feature.
You can customize battery modes, so if you want to override the standard settings the Ultimate will allow you to do that.
There are third-party integrations with Strava, Komoot (for turn-by-turn nav), and Runtastic.
And the built-in barometer offers bad weather warnings as well as sunrise/sunset and altitude data.
The Huawei Watch Ultimate certainly delivers on paper, with a spec sheet that will be the envy of Wear OS and mid-range smartwatch manufacturers.
For Android users, it represents a unique chance to get a supercharged, luxurious smartwatch – more naturally suited to sports than the Tag Heuer/Montblanc duo, and ‘smarter’ than a Garmin Epix.
Huawei hasn't held back with the price – and there's no 'budget Apple Watch Ultra' vibe here, as we've seen with the Amazfit T-Rex Ultra. The premium silver/blue version comes with an €899 / £800 price tag.
It goes toe-to-toe with the Ultra, as well as the Forerunner 965/Epix, which both offer AMOLED screens that offer serious Garmin sports tracking powers.
Huawei is standing up to be counted. Categorically stating that its diving, workout, GPS, and battery life – as well as those premium materials – deserve to be talked about in the highest terms.
We’re already working on our review – so stay tuned for our in-depth testing.
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