Huawei Watch Fit hands on: The skinny Apple Watch

0
62


The Huawei Watch Fit looks like what you’d get if you threw a Huawei Band 4 Pro and a Huawei Watch GT 2 into an Apple Watch blender. It’s arguably a more fashion-forward wearable than a traditional fitness tracker or standard smartwatch, but it still packs enough smarts to fit in the “Huawei Watch” line rather than the “Huawei Band” family. Let’s take a closer look.

Read more: The best fitness trackers

Huawei Watch Fit design

Huawei Watch Fit profile on wrist with button

The Huawei Watch Fit will instantly appeal to those who like Huawei’s smartwatch offerings but aren’t into the bulkiness of them. I’m a fan of a chunky watch personally, but the diminutive appeal of the Huawei Watch Fit is not lost on me. Beyond the eye-catching Cantaloupe Orange you see here, the Watch Fit also comes in Sakura Pink, Graphite Black, and Mint Green.

The diminutive appeal of the Huawei Watch Fit is not lost on me.

I’m less enamored by the unoriginal styling. It may lack creativity but will presumably appeal to a larger market than a truly unique approach would have. There’s a simple silicone strap, a single button on the right-hand side, and a proprietary magnetic pogo pin integrated into the USB charging cable, so be careful you don’t lose or break it if you buy a Huawei Watch Fit.

Huawei Watch Fit pogo pin charger

The ever-so-slightly curved 1.64-inch OLED screen does a good job of fitting in all the same information a circular smartwatch does, but it does feel a little bit cramped. This is particularly noticeable on the screens that display heart rate or stress levels.

The Watch Fit display offers a 456×280-pixel resolution (326ppi). You’ve got around a dozen pre-loaded watch faces to choose from, some of which are customizable, and you can download more via the Huawei Health app. There are six always-on watch faces available out of the box but using these will roughly halve the battery life in my experience.

See also: The best smartwatches currently available

Lite OS, Kirin A1, 10-day battery

Huawei Watch Fit language setup screen

The Huawei Watch Fit runs Lite OS, the same wearable operating system you’ll find on other devices in the Huawei Watch family. The Lite OS UI has been slightly rejigged to fit the rectangular screen and looks good. I prefer it compared to the UI found on the much more cramped Huawei Band devices.

Powered by the Kirin A1 chipset, the Huawei Watch Fit feels, in my short time with it so far, to be more fluid and responsive than the Watch GT 2, which still feels janky at times.

Huawei promises ten days of battery life from the A1 and Lite OS paired with the 180mAh battery in the Watch Fit. In my experience with multiple other Huawei Watches, I have no reason to doubt this claim is likely to be true.

What’s the software like on the Huawei Watch Fit?

Huawei Watch Fit activity fashboard

The software experience will be very similar to anyone that’s used a Huawei Watch before. Swiping through the horizontal screens reveals heart rate, stress levels, weather, music playback (side-loaded through the Huawei Health app), and an activity dashboard.

The activity dashboard covers steps walked, minutes of tracked activity, and daily active hours in a simple progress-meter style. Some other watch faces can cram a bunch of this information onto the main screen if that’s more your thing. More detailed activity information can be accessed in Huawei Health.

The same OS and software you’re used to from Huawei Watches — albeit in slightly more cramped form thanks to the narrower display.

Pressing the single button on the side wakes the screen and takes you back to the home screen when you’re in a menu or app. Pressing it while on the home screen brings up the app picker with ready access to sleep info, SpO2 monitoring, breathing exercises, timers, alarms, and so on. Swiping from the left-hand side of the screen serves as your “back” button.

Huawei Watch Fit quick settings

Swiping up from the bottom edge brings up your list of notifications, which you can customize in the Huawei Health app. You can see two notifications at a time; tapping one opens the notification full-screen, displaying six lines of text which you can scroll through to continue reading. These are read-only, however, there is no reply functionality here.

Swiping down from the top of the home screen brings up “quick settings” shortcuts. These include a settings menu shortcut, do not disturb toggle, “show time” toggle, find my phone, and an alarm shortcut. You’ll also find your battery indicator here, along with a Bluetooth indicator and the date if it’s not already displayed on your watch face.

The Settings menu, accessed by swiping down from the top of the home screen or via the app picker, is a pretty lean affair. You can change display settings like screen timeout or choose a new watch face, adjust the haptics, set do not disturb profiles, and disable auto-detect workouts. At first vibrate, the default haptics here are quite strong.

Activity and fitness tracking

Huawei Watch Fit heart rate sensor and pogo pins

The Huawei Watch Fit tracks 96 different activities, including auto-tracking of walking, running, elliptical, and rowing. The Watch Fit will regularly remind you to get up and stretch when you’ve been inactive for too long – a feature I have finally overcome the urge to just ignore.

Other (manually activated) fitness tracking modes include indoor and outdoor running and cycling, hiking, running courses, indoor and open water swimming, and a lot more (just tap the “+Add” button at the bottom of the list to add other activities like yoga, HIIT, boxing, strength training, ballet, and martial arts to your quick access list).

Huawei Watch Fit strap

The Huawei Watch Fit has GPS for more accurate fitness tracking, which also means you don’t have to take your phone along on a run. It’s super light too, at just 34 grams (21 grams without the strap). If you need a little extra coaching, there are a dozen animated fitness courses to guide you through some simple exercises.

I’ve found Huawei’s fitness tracking to be pretty good across the Watch series.

The Watch Fit is water-resistant to 5ATM, meaning you can safely take it in the pool. I’ve had some bad luck in the past with some smartwatches’ ability to accurately track laps swam, so I’ll be interested to see if the Watch Fit fares any better. In general, though, I’ve found Huawei’s fitness tracking to be pretty good across the Watch series.

The ecosystem question

Huawei Watch Fit display updating

One thing that will be a deal-breaker for some is the lack of third-party app support. If you’re firmly embedded in the Strava ecosystem, for example, the Watch Fit is not for you. On other Huawei Watches I’ve used, you can data share with Google Fit, however, I couldn’t see that option in the Watch Fit’s settings.

The Watch Fit pairs to your Android phone or iPhone via BT5.0/Bluetooth LE and has 4GB of storage. Some basic features are not available if paired to an iPhone and other more advanced ones like remote shutter only work when paired to a Huawei device.

For me personally, I’m pretty well entrenched with Huawei Health already and enjoy its simplicity combined with the excellent battery life you can get from Lite OS, so I like what I see. Lite OS is not everyone’s cup of tea though so be aware of its limitations before deciding to buy a Huawei Watch Fit.

For the price of this neat little package, especially if on-watch tracking is your main concern, I have to say this smartwatch feels like a steal. We’ll dive into the fitness tracking accuracy, battery life, and other unexpected bits in our full Huawei Watch Fit review, so stay tuned for that.

For now, the Huawei Watch Fit is available in the United Arab Emirates for 399AED (~80GBP/90EUR/Rs. 7,900) with other markets to be announced.

Further reading: Check out our Huawei GT2e review



Source link