With the Huawei Watch GT 2e, the Chinese manufacturer Huawei launched a sports version of its previous model of connected watch. A variation that also wants to be more accessible in terms of pricing, with a slightly modified design and a few fewer functions.
But what is this Huawei Watch GT 2e worth in use? This is what we will see in this test.
Huawei Watch GT 2E Data Sheet :
Classic Design, Tailored For Sport :
After the Huawei Watch GT 2 launched last fall, followed by the Honor Magic Watch 2 which included perfectly identical characteristics, the Chinese group has decided to launch a new version of its latest connected watch, the Huawei Watch GT 2e.
Behind this name hides in fact a smartwatch at a slightly more affordable price, even more, geared towards sport and with a few cuts in functionality and design.
The design, let’s talk about it since the Huawei Watch GT 2e has a much-tapered appearance than the classic Watch GT 2. Huawei wanted to give it a more sporty appearance and this is reflected in particular by the integration not of a leather strap, but of a silicone strap.
Note, however, it remains removable. And can be replaced by another bracelet. It has four colors: black, white, green, and red. Note also that to mark the sporty aspect of its watch, Huawei has also chosen to pierce its bracelet in several places. A good way to let the skin breathe.
On the watch side itself, only one size is available, with a case with a diameter of 46 mm. Exit therefore the format 42 mm, more oriented towards women, which was proposed on the Huawei Watch GT 2 and the Honor Magic Watch 2.
Too bad as the 46 mm model can be massive once hung on the wrist. All around the screen, to which we will return later, Huawei has integrated a fixed bezel to indicate the minutes with the markings 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 around the dial. Anesthetic way to recall the design of classic watches even if, in fact, the digital clocks built into the watch already indicate the time, sometimes in digital.
On the right side of the box, we will find two buttons allowing us to navigate in the interface to select an application or launch an activity tracking. A system taken from the brand’s previous watches.
This time the buttons are rectangular and the click is a little more discreet to the touch when the button is pressed. Nothing dramatic but we would have appreciated a little more frank support.
Note also one of the main differences from previous Huawei and Honor watches: the Huawei Watch GT 2e has no microphone or speaker on the edge. You will therefore not be able to use it to make voice calls or listen to music from your wrist.
In terms of materials, Huawei has integrated plastic and metal on its new connected watch, for a weight of 43 grams without counting the bracelet. In use, after two weeks of use, I easily forgot that I was wearing it and it turned out to be very comfortable. Note also that the watch is certified 5 ATM, which allows it to be waterproof up to 50 meters deep.
A Light Screen With Many Dial Selections :
For the Huawei Watch GT 2e screen, there is a slab similar to that of the other watches of the Chinese group. This is a round screen 1.39 inch in diameter, displaying 454 x 454 pixels, or 462 pixels per inch, and using an OLED panel.
In other words, these are therefore exactly the same display characteristics as on the Huawei Watch GT 2 in 46 mm format. In terms of brightness, the Huawei watch offers five levels, in addition to the automatic mode. Enough to comfortably read the screen even in direct sunlight. We can, however, blame him for a slightly high level in the dark when we turn his wrist when falling asleep and the watch screen will then light up. Fortunately, you can turn off the screen manually by covering it with the palm of your hand. In addition, the Oled technology used makes it possible to display a black background in menus or on dials with pixels that remain perfectly black.
Note also that the Huawei Watch GT 2e incorporates an always-on mode which will simply display a slightly more simplistic dial, to be defined manually, if you do not want to simply have a black screen hanging on the wrist. Note, however, that Huawei specifies that the autonomy of its watch is then halved when this “watch dial” is activated.
As long as we talk about the dials, Huawei has installed by default twelve dials on its connected watch. Note that one of them, the “net” dial, can be personalized to display certain activity tracks and not others. Three other dials, “neon”, “circuits” and “graffiti” are considered energy-intensive by Huawei because of the colors used in addition to the black of the background. You can also download more from the Huawei Health app, which we’ll come back to later. What leaves the choice of customization to the user.
Truly Focused On Sport :
For navigation in the interface and the features offered by the Watch GT 2e, here too Huawei is not reinventing the wheel and is satisfied with what was already offered on its previous watches. There is therefore a navigation system similar to the touch screen.
So, when you slide your finger to the left or right, you will be able to access certain data such as heart rate, stress level, weather, music player, and activity tracking. By sliding your finger down, you will access the quick parameters with the do not disturb mode, the time display, the “find my phone” function which will make it ring, the alarm setting, or the advanced settings. By sliding your finger upwards, you will find the latest notifications received.
To go a little further in the experience, you can press the upper side button. It is he who will allow you to access all the functions of the watch, whether it is a training mode, activity history, heart rate monitoring, SpO2, stress, sleep, display of compass or barometer, stopwatch, or flashlight. In short, you understand, here we are entitled to features that are primarily designed for sport and physical activity. This is a criticism that was already made of previous Huawei smartwatches and which persists with this Watch GT 2e: it is designed for sport and is not used for much else.
This is all the more evident with two observations. On the one hand, the lower side button, which will allow you to trigger the monitoring of sports training. On the other hand, the impossibility of installing applications other than those already available on the watch. Certainly, you can store music on the watch thanks to the 4 GB of internal storage, including 2 reserved for music, but it will especially be there for your workouts if you use a Bluetooth headset connected directly to the Watch GT 2e. While activity tracking is widely promoted, other functions have no place on LiteOS, Huawei’s watch system.
It’s quite noticeable even in the management of notifications. If it is possible to set the Huawei Health app to send notifications from the smartphone to the watch – be it calls, text messages, calendar events, or notifications from other applications – it is impossible to interact with them. You cannot, for example, reply to an SMS directly from your watch, even with emojis or recommended sentences, but simply consult it. Nor is it possible to take a phone call, but simply decline it, especially since, as we have seen, the Watch GT 2e does not benefit from a speaker or microphone.
A Complete Application… But That Requires HUAWEI MOBILE SERVICES :
Like all Huawei watches, the Watch GT 2e requires the Huawei Health app on a smartphone. The application is present on the Google Play Store, but unfortunately, this will not be enough if you want to associate the watch with a smartphone that is neither of the Huawei or Honor brand.
In order to be able to take advantage of the watch, you will need to install Huawei Mobile Services and, to do this, you will, therefore, need to install Huawei’s application store, the App Gallery, on your smartphone. This is the only way to be able to install an updated version of Huawei Health and HMS. If we have been accustomed for some time to requiring the installation of one application, or even two, this is the first time that I have to install three applications on my smartphone to test a simply connected watch. An experience that can be a real obstacle for some users.
Once the application is finally installed, it allows you to manage your activity fairly finely, but also to have access to certain settings of the Huawei Watch GT 2e watch. The Health tab will thus indicate at a glance the number of steps taken during the day as well as your duration of the activity. You will also see your heart rate, sleep time, or weight. This is also where you will find the tracking of your training sessions with the distance covered, the pace and the duration, as well as the course layout.
The Devices tab will allow you to manage the settings of the Huawei watch. This is where you can transfer music from your smartphone to your watch via Bluetooth. This is also where you can add sundials. This is where you will finally be able to access certain settings such as the alarm or the activation of the watch screen by raising your wrist or notifications from applications. On this last point, we appreciate the possibility of managing notifications by the application. So you can give access to WhatsApp without receiving pop-up notifications from a mobile game that remembers you daily since you dropped it six months ago.
Overall, even if the Huawei Health application is well designed and we appreciate the simplicity of the interface, both to see the balance of activities and for the settings of the watch, too bad the installation is as laborious. We would have appreciated that Huawei could directly offer its application and HMS without the additional need to install the manufacturer’s application store. Especially since it will be necessary to update Huawei Health as the application evolves.
Precise Activity Tracking Through GPS :
As we have seen, the Watch GT 2e is a watch cut specifically for sports activities. As such, it, therefore, incorporates the functionality already integrated by the brand’s previous watches.
We discussed it previously, the connected watch is equipped with a button specially dedicated to training monitoring. Once the user presses this key, he will have the choice between outdoor running, indoor running, outdoor walking, indoor walking, outdoor cycling, indoor cycling, indoor swimming, outdoor swimming, alpine hiking, hiking, trail running, triathlon, elliptical trainer, rower, or other. It is also possible to add a hundred other activities such as a stepper, yoga, Crossfit, boxing or Latin dance.
When launching the activity, the Huawei watch also offers you to configure certain settings such as a time or distance target, a voice reminder each time you exceed a certain distance or when your SpO2 becomes too low, or an intelligent companion. The latter will simply determine, depending on the pace chosen in the course of a race, whether your performance is good, average, or poor. Remember to adjust it before training, because seeing the word “poor” displayed by default on your watch can be a bit discouraging.
Besides these manually activated workouts on the watch, the Huawei Watch GT 2e is also capable of detecting when you are doing physical activity and suggesting that you record the workout. At least in theory. In practice, I have repeatedly walked 40 minutes to get to the newsroom, and half the time it took 20 minutes for the watch to offer me the recording. On the other hand, she is much quicker to ask me if the training is over, in case I forgot to pause it.
Among other frustrations, the GPS is not the least. To test the watch – and get back into shape – I went running several times outdoors. I launched an activity tracking application on the Motorola Edge that I was testing, using the RunKeeper application, and on the Huawei Watch GT 2e. A means of being able to measure the reliability of the measurements of the watch, in particular on its GPS. And if the smartphone was quick to be detected by the GPS, it sometimes had to wait a minute before this was the case on the watch. This experience was all the more frustrating since I sometimes set off without validating the race, simply thinking that the recording would start as soon as the GPS signal received.
Once the recording has been made, we can however note the good accuracy of the course layout. Although the watch sometimes found it difficult to spot me in narrow streets, it never imagined me crossing entire buildings as was the case with the first generation of Huawei Watch GT watches. The activity tracking available on the application allows you to have a detailed overview of your pace kilometer by kilometer, but also to see at a glance your heart rate or the altitude climbed or descended with each moment.
Overall, with the notable exception of the finicky GPS when launching a training session, we are therefore entitled to a particularly complete smartwatch for sports activities. We also appreciate that the data can be shared with other services like Google Fit and MyFitnessPal. Unfortunately, this is not the case with other applications like Strava, RunKeeper or Runtastic.
Excellent Autonomy Of A Week :
The Huawei Watch GT 2e is equipped with a 455 mAh battery. For a year and a half, autonomy has truly been the strong point of Huawei watches under LiteOS and the Watch GT 2e is no exception to the rule. Indeed, the Chinese manufacturer announces an autonomy of up to 14 days with a use considered as “standard”, without however specifying this use.
In my case, I was able to use the watch without charging it for a little over seven days before it ran out of battery. During this period, I had only activated call and text notifications and I did not configure a watch face. However, I kept the continuous heart rate measurement and I had the opportunity to do three running sessions outside, for 45 minutes, with GPS activated. Stress analysis was also enabled by default.
So certainly, we are far from 14 days announced by Huawei, for which it would probably not be necessary to activate the GPS or the heart rate sensor, but it is still a performance. Today, there are still very few connected watches offering autonomy that can exceed three days. In this little game there, even if we do not reach two weeks, the Watch GT 2e is still two to three times better than most of the watches on the market, whether they are those of Apple, from Samsung, or watches with Google’s Wear OS system.
For recharging, Huawei provides a magnetic base on which we will place the watch while connecting it to a USB-C charger. Unfortunately, if the manufacturer does provide a USB cable with its Watch GT 2e, it does not offer a charging unit. You will have to use the one on your smartphone or connect the watch directly to a computer. To test the recharge, I connected the watch to an 18 W charger, a fairly common power now on smartphones. Starting at a charge of 1%, it took 1h 27 before the Huawei Watch GT 2e recovered its entire battery. Rather correct result.
5.1 BLUETOOTH, But Nn Voice Calls :
As we have seen, the Huawei Watch GT 2e does not allow you to make voice calls directly from your wrist. A feature that will not really miss as the sound quality was poor on the Watch GT 2 and the Honor Magic Watch 2.
The watch however uses Bluetooth 5.1 for the wireless connection with the smartphone, but also to connect to a Bluetooth headset or earphones. A particularly simple configuration, since it is done directly in the settings of the Watch GT 2e, takes only a few seconds, and works with any headset or earphones, and not only Huawei models.
The watch also benefits from Huawei’s Kirin A1 chip, already present on FreeBuds 3 earphones, which is supposed to significantly improve sound quality as well as energy management and the range of Bluetooth even if, in fact, it is hard to tell the difference. with a connected watch that would not have one.
HUAWEI WATCH GT 2E Price And Availability :
At this price, the Huawei Watch GT 2e faces the Honor Magic Watch 2, launched at 223 dollars and which can now be found around 168 dollars. The Huawei Watch GT 2 classic is also available at a similar price, around 180$. Finally, for a little more expensive, we can find the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, around 223$.
The Huawei Watch GT 2e may well be presented as a classic connected watch, but it is undoubtedly thought for sporting use. This already transpires from its rather slender design with its pierced bracelet, but this is also the case in its functionality.
Huawei’s watch, with its application, will allow you to record all your training sessions with a lot of precise data. Heart rate, GPS tracking, SpO2, barometer, absolutely nothing is missing from this watch for use in the activity tracking. The monstrous autonomy of the watch, of more than a week, will allow you to easily forget it on your wrist without recharging it every night.
This does not mean, however, that it is faultless. Indeed, outside of sport, the Huawei Watch GT 2e is quite limited. Unable to install third-party applications, also unable to reply to messages. You will also need to install three separate applications on your smartphone to be able to take advantage of it, which immediately makes it less accessible.
Overall, we are therefore entitled here to a very good connected watch, provided that we have a sporting use. Especially with an introductory price of fewer than 160 euros, it is currently one of the best offers on the market.
GOOD POINTS :
The excellent autonomy of a week.
The accessible price.
The many functions for sport.
Precise GPS tracking during training.
The neat design.
NEGATIVE POINTS :
The obligation to install Huawei App Gallery.
GPS detection is a bit long.
Automatic activity detection, too random.
Lack of features outside of sport.
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