Huawei Watch hands-on (part 2)


Boy it’s pretty crazy what 5 months can do to a product! Back during Mobile World Congress 2015 in March, we first got our chance to check out the Huawei Watch – the company’s Android Wear offering. Prior to its unveiling, the leaks and rendered shots made us drool with anticipation. Sadly, though, we weren’t quite as sold on it when we finally got our hands on one.

For us, the smartwatch was really hyped up to be a premium looking and made thing, potentially eclipsing the designs of some of its rivals. However, as we began to play around with it at the over-crowded booths during its event, it felt more like a cheap knock off than anything else – you know, the kind of ‘fake’ stuff you’d find someone selling quickly at a street corner. To its defense, though, pre-production units tend to go through several changes before they're ready for a final run.

Thankfully, our second time checking out the Huawei Watch is greeted with a stark difference. Out of everything, it now feels like a premium made smartwatch. This time, we managed to get up close and personal with all the various styling options that will be available. From the chic-looking style of the rose gold-plated stainless steel unit, to the standard stainless steel chassis one, the Huawei Watch exudes the timeless design of a traditional timepiece – and that’s a very good thing!

The 1.4-inch 400 x 400 AMOLED circular display looks incredible too, just because there’s no discoloration to how it produces that distinctive black color. That’s naturally a characteristic of AMOLED, one that makes it easy on the eyes under dim conditions. While we were checking out indoors with moderate lighting around, we’re really curious to see how it handles outdoor visibility – where sunlight can sometimes prove to be too much. Boasting a pixel density count of 286 ppi, it’s undoubtedly one of the most detailed displays around.

In terms of the software experience, it’s still running the same Android Wear experience that’s been around. Naturally, Huawei’s partnerships with Jawbone allows it to leverage the Jawbone UP app experience to carefully and meticulously monitor our activity. Aside from that, the experience here is very much like any other thing running Android Wear. Well, it’ll be intriguing to see what new stuff they’ll add in once the next version of Android Wear is announced.

After this most recent experience, the Huawei Watch is indeed going to be one of the prized darlings to watch out in the Android Wear space. The design is remarkably graceful and elegant, as opposed to the futuristic and industrial designs that most folks are reaching for. Pricing, though, is going to vary depending on which model you end up picking.

With an MSRP of $349 for the base model, a stainless steel body with a black leather band, it’s right there with all of the other offerings. If you have an itch from something unique, the black DLC-coated stainless steel model with a black-plated link bracelet band, will cost a bit more at $399. Now, if you prefer to live in excess, you can really boast about it by picking up the $800 rose gold-plated stainless steel body with a rose gold-plated link bracelet.

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