The wearables industry moves at a different pace to smartphones. Where we see annual (and sub-annual) updates of smartphone devices, sometimes we’ve gone longer between generations of wearables. That’s starting to change though, with Qualcomm bringing new wearable chipsets to market faster and companies bringing their own software and hardware to bear. Today, it’s Huawei’s turn to launch an updated watch with two new editions of the Watch GT – Elegant and Active – coming to Australia in late August.
Way back in the early days of wearables, Huawei made a big deal of its watches being designed by actual watchmakers, and it set a trend we’re happy to see continue – the new Watch GT models actually do look like proper watches or, as the press materials say, a “classic” wristwatch design.
The two varieties of watch differ by size and battery capacity, but otherwise have generally the same software features.
The Active is the larger model with a 46mm face, while the Elegant is 36g. The difference in size affords a significant difference in battery life, with the Active said to last two weeks of typical use on a single charge and one week for the Elegant. Both watches charge from a magnetic clip (called a “thimble”) rather than any kind of wireless technology.
They’re Bluetooth-only watches that connect to your phone, transport notifications and let you interact with them. We’ve seen this before (and likely will for a while more). They perform activity tracking including workout and sleep tracking and 24/7 heart rate monitoring, and can prompt you to get up and move if you haven’t done so in a while.
The first generation of the watch was given away for free to Aussies buying Huawei phones last year, and Chris enjoyed testing it.
If you’re buying a Huawei phone at the moment, you might well be receiving one of these new watches as a free gift. They will be available for the rest of us to purchase at $399 starting in late August, with Mobicity getting them first and other retailers to follow.
We’ve got a new Watch GT Active on the Ausdroid test bench and are looking forward to seeing how it stacks up against the Fossil Sport and Galaxy Watch Active.