Huawei Watch 2 and Watch 2 Classic hands-on review

Huawei Watch 2 and Watch 2 Classic hands-on review: Alongside a pair of shiny new flagship phones, the P10 and P10 Plus, Huawei unveiled its first Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch at MWC 2017. We went hands-on with both the Huawei Watch 2 and its alter ego, the Huawei Watch 2 Classic.

Huawei Watch 2: Specs at a glance

Screen size 1.2-inches (circular)
Screen resolution 390×390
OS Android Wear 2.0
Processor 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon
Storage 2GB
Battery 420mAh
4G? Yes (not on Huawei Watch 2 Classic)
Extras IP68 certified, optical heart rate sensor, activity tracking, GPS, NFC, Android Pay

Huawei Watch 2: Hands-on review

As we’ve seen with the likes of Samsung’s latest Gear S3 smartwatches, the Classic appeals to lovers of more traditional timepieces, whilst the standard Huawei Watch 2 sports more ruggedised styling and serves as a more feature-packed alternative.

Both continue the trend set by the company’s original Android Wear offering with an attractive, fully circular Super AMOLED display, this time fractionally smaller at 1.2-inches, with a resolution of 390×390 pixels. Both are also IP68 certified.

In the case of the Classic, it’s surrounded by an etched stainless steel bezel set against a dark anodised stainless steel body with leather straps. The vanilla Huawei Watch 2 meanwhile, features a similar bezel, but swaps stainless steel for ceramic. The material change isn’t simply to up the premium factor either, as the standard Huawei Watch 2 packs a 4G cellular radio, the antennas of which would have suffered with stainless steal.

The Huawei Watch 2 also integrates NFC support, Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi, a speaker, an optical heart rate sensor and 2GB of user accessible storage for things like songs. Huawei’s even throwing in two months free Google Play Music for those who pick up the watch around launch. So far nothing too dramatic, but Huawei’s has been holding onto its latest wearable until it was ready to see the light of day rocking the newly launched Android Wear 2.0 OS.

That means Android Pay support, an improved UI over its predecessor, more customisable watch faces and downloadable apps without the need for a companion app running on your smartphone. Both variants of the watch also contain a 420mAh battery, which Huawei says will give the standard Watch 2 up to two days of use per charge, even with activity tracking and GPS usage, or up to three days for the cellular radio-free Watch 2 Classic.

Huawei’s also introducing a feature simply dubbed ‘watch mode’ which locks the user experience down to showing only the time and your step count, but in this state the company boasts battery life of up to 26 days. It’s a promising claim versus the majority of other smartwatches and their relatively short longevity, usually only handling a couple of days at a time, but we’ll want to test out such a bold boast before we hand Huawei their gold stars.

Huawei’s also placed a big focus on fitness with its second-generation smartwatch. The Watch 2 is capable of real-time workout guidance, stage guidance (warm up, intensify, cool down, etc.), speed guidance (speed up, slow down) and features heart-rate-too-high warnings, lap reminders and goal progress reminders. It also claims to be able to track a wealth of relevant metrics in its ‘training report’ feature; which covers VO2Max, training effect (whether training is improving your fitness), recovery time advice, calories, heart rate range, step frequency and speed.

Once we’ve received UK pricing and availability we’ll update this feature with all the details.