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Best bang for the buck: HUAWEI Watch GT 2

You might be wondering why I’m writing about a smartwatch released back in 2019, but hear me out before judging. I just want to help you with my personal experience as purchasing such a device can be a big financial decision and you definitely do not want to be disappointed after the fact. This article might help with some insight even if in the end you disagree with me.

Design

There are basically 2 versions of this watch with multiple color and strap variations. The 46mm looks sporty and to tell the truth not my favorite version except for the Classic edition with the silver housing and brown leather strap. The black version can be made more appealing with some nice straps, the orange one looks especially cool.

The 42mm version is aimed at the ladies and is quite a bit smaller on the wrist. The design is also more streamlined, I really like the look. Bought a Sport edition with the gold housing and white strap for a relative and she is very satisfied with the look and feel of it. I’ll soon upgrade it with a leather strap and it will be comfy in hot weather too.

The hardware

I think the most important component of a smartwatch besides the sensors is the screen and the GT 2 is pretty good in that department. The 42mm sports a 390x390px screen while the 46mm has a 454x454px screen. Both are AMOLED, so the viewing angles are great and if you choose a relatively dark watch face, the battery will last even longer.

The screen resolution is especially impressive considering that Samsung smartwatches sported a 360x360px resolution with the Tizen operating system and 450x450px for the Watch 4 with Wear OS. The GT 2 has a slightly larger resolution for half the price.

Functionality, apps

With the latest update, the GT 2 finally became a real smartwatch, not just a glorified smart band as some people like to call it. I disagreed with that sentiment even before the update, but now you can install 3rd party apps on the watch. This functionality was only available on the GT 2 Pro, but now all GT 2 versions have it. (At least I hope so as I’m not sure about the 42mm)

Unfortunately, there are only a few apps available, and the popular ones I use on Wear OS and Android like Spotify and Strava are sorely missing. Maybe now that the GT 2, GT 3 and Watch 3 lines all have access to apps, developers will be more interested in porting their apps to the HUAWEI ecosystem.

Still, the GT 2 works very well as a smartwatch. I can control any music service or podcast on my phone from the watch interface and by using the Health Sync app on the phone I can sync my exercise data to Strava. I can even see Google maps navigation info on the watch with a 3rd party app, but only arrows and not the full map as on Wear OS.

The companion app on the phone, HUAWEI Health is actually great, I like it way more than Mi Fit or Samsung Health. All the data I need is there and the recorded exercises can be turned into a fun video that can be shared with friends or on social media.

Just to clarify, the watch is not perfect for me as It lacks the ability to reply to messages. For that functionality, you need either the HUAWEI Watch 3 (that is still limited to only some apps) or a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. There are some messaging apps available and in the future, there might be some more options, but if you choose the GT 2, don’t expect more than reading messages on the watch screen.

Battery is king

The best thing about HUAWEI smartwatches is their battery life. They can last up to 14 days with a single charge and with 2 hours of exercise tracking daily the GT 2 didn’t need charging for at least 7-8 days with my use case. This is an amazing feat considering that you need to charge both the Apple iWatch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 daily.

Price

The GT 2 is really affordable, costing less than half of the current flagship generation of HUAWEI smartwatches. My personal opinion is that the GT 3 or the Watch 3 do not offer enough extra functionality to justify the price difference and if you really need a powerful smartwatch you should choose the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 anyway with its single-day battery 😛

In closing

All in all, the GT 2 is a really good choice if you need a general-purpose smartwatch. With its great design, really nice screen, and long-lasting battery nothing beats it at its price range.