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Huawei Watch GT 2 first impressions: a worthy upgrade

Huawei launched its second-generation Watch GT 2 in India today with a starting price tag of Rs 14,990. The newest smartwatch comes as a successor to the Huawei Watch GT that was launched last year. The Huawei Watch GT featured impressive battery life as its USP, and with an assured battery life up to two weeks, the Watch GT 2 continues the legacy. Additionally, Huawei has added several new features which make the Watch GT 2 a worthy upgrade. I got the chance to play with the newest wearable at the launch event today and here’s what I make of it.

Speaking of the design first, Huawei is offering this year’s Watch GT 2 in two dial sizes – 42mm and 46mm, with 1.2- and 1.39-inch displays respectively. While the overall form factor of the watch is the same as its predecessor, Huawei has removed the raised bezels and instead opted for an edge-to-edge screen with considerably slimmer bezels all around. The watch is being offered in Fluoroelastomer, Leather and Metal straps featuring traditional clasp design which makes it easier to put on or take off. At just 9.4mm (42mm) and 10.7mm (46mm), the smartwatch is pretty slim as well.

As for the other elements, the Watch GT 2 retains the dual crowns of its predecessor, one each for previous/home and switching fitness modes. The Watch GT 2 also features a mic and speaker for taking calls easily through the watch. For charging, it uses a magnetic thimble just like its predecessor. The Watch GT 2 is also water-resistant up to 5ATM, which means it can survive under water up to 30 meters.

The Huawei Watch GT 2’s window to the world is an AMOLED panel measuring 1.2 inches (390 x 390 pixels) for the 42mm version and 1.39 inches (454 x 454 pixels) for the 46mm model. In my brief time with the smartwatch, the display was vibrant and punchy when it comes to colours. However, I couldn’t take the watch outdoors and thus cannot comment on the brightness level of the display. The touchscreen is also pretty smooth and using the gesture-based navigation on the Watch GT 2 was a delightful experience. Huawei has also equipped the Watch GT 2 with an always-on display, which is a first for the brand.

Coming to the navigation, the Watch GT 2 comes with the proprietary LiteOS from the brand. Unfortunately, there’s no app store so you can’t download any third-party apps. LiteOS does contribute to the impressive battery life of the watch, however. Speaking of which, the 42mm and 46mm models come with 215mAh and 455mAh batteries, respectively. Huawei claims that the Watch GT2 can offer up to two weeks of battery life for typical usage. The Watch GT 2 is cross-compatible with Android 4.4 or later and iOS 9.0 or later.

Coming to the core specifications, the Watch GT 2 marks the debut of Kirin A1 processor for wearables in India. The chipset is the first of its kind to support both Bluetooth 5.1 and 5.1 LE, and can be connected to phones as well as audio accessories like earphones. This allows you to use Bluetooth headphones to play music directly from the watch (there’s 2GB of onboard storage that lets you store about 500 songs), or even receive calls from a paired phone.

Coming to the tracking and fitness features, the Watch GT 2 comes with a total of eight outdoor sports and seven indoor sports tracking. These include sports tracking modes like running, walking, climbing, cycling, hiking trail running, and more. There is a TruSeen 3.5 feature, which is a more efficient and accurate real-time personal measurement of your heart rate. The feature makes use of intelligent AI heart rate algorithm, which monitors your heart rate 24/7, even when you are sleeping. There is also an efficient HUAWEI TruSleep 2.0 sleep monitoring feature, which can diagnose six common types of sleep issues and helps you sleep better.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 also comes with GPS and GLONASS satellite positioning, which helps in accurate and faster tracking of your location while trekking or running. A bevy of sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, optical heart-rate sensor, ambient light sensor, air pressure sensor and capacitive sensor are also on board.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 starts at Rs 14,990 for the 42mm variant and goes up to Rs 21,990 for the 46mm Titanium Grey (Metal) model. For its asking price, the Huawei Watch GT offers an impressive set of features including inbuilt GPS, good battery life and the ability to play music and receive calls via paired Bluetooth headphones.

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