Here's My Hands-On Review of the Huawei Watch GT 2e

huawei watch gt 2e

The price is just right

Officially launched alongside the Huawei P40 series in March of this year, the brand new Huawei Watch GT 2e has finally arrived in the Philippines with a price tag that I think is just about right for what it offers both in terms of design and functionality. I actually have been planning on getting a smartwatch for myself for quite sometime now, I just couldn't get one simply because they are too pricey for me, at least the ones I considered getting. And then the Huawei Watch GT 2e launched and priced in the Philippines. 

For its Php6,990 price tag, I think it is a good deal for me. So I made sure to grab one and here it is. I actually wanted to buy one after the quarantine is over, but there's this free extra strap promo Huawei was offering for those who would buy until the end of May. The free strap comes in Lava Red, which is also one of the color selections the Watch is offered in. And since I preferred the Graphite Black one more than the rest of the options, I guess having an extra strap is not really a bad idea and it's free anyway, so why not?  When the package arrived, turns out, I loved the Lava Red in the flesh better than the black strap.

So it has been a month now since I got this Huawei Watch GT 2e and here I would like to share with you my personal experience with it and all the things I have learned so far having and using this smartwatch on a daily basis. Is it really worth it? We will see. 

Battery life is impressive

But I will say it right away though, this watch's most highlighted feature is its battery life that claims to last up to two weeks on a single charge, and I am happy to report that it does deliver that promise. So far, since unboxing this wearable, I have only charged it twice and as of writing it still has 50% battery life. Of course, battery life will vary depending on use and how active you are while wearing this device. But based on what I have read so far from the internet is it does really last longer than other same-powered and featured smartwatches around. So yeah, kudos to Huawei! 

What's in the box

huawei watch gt 2e

The Huawei Watch GT 2e, I would say, is packaged elegantly in a cube-shaped black box with gold accents showcasing the official name and front photo of the product inside. At the back of the box we can see key information about the watch such as the strap color (Graphite Black, Mint Green, or Lava Red), serial number, model number and more. 

Upon lifting the outer box (you can watch the quick unboxing video embedded at the end of this article), I am greeted by the watch itself in its cradle. Then taking the watch out together with its dedicated box inside, I encounter two more compartments inside holding the paperwork (user guide and warranty card) and the charging dock and cable which are both in white. As you can see in the photo above, the charging dock and cable now use USB Type-C which is now becoming more standard in the smartphone scene so looking to charge this device is not going be an issue in terms of cable wire compatibility. The package does not come with its own charging brick though, I guess that's pretty common for smartwatches. So to charge, you can simply connect it to your laptop, powerbank, or use your smartphone charger. 

huawei watch gt 2e hands on review

The specs and features

The Huawei Watch GT 2e sports a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with touchscreen functionality and 454 x 454 display resolution. It does not have rotating bezel in case you wonder. Its face is made of glass and is flat, there is slight curvature around the edge but not too much. There is no mention of a glass protection such as Gorilla Glass, sadly. It has a pretty huge glass face as it only comes in 46mm variant and knowing myself who is a bit clumsy most of the times, I am being extra more careful moving around while using this smartwatch to avoid damaging it or breaking the face. So far, everything still looks pristine. 

On the inside is a Kirin A1 processor which is super power efficient in achieving its up to 2-week battery life performance, thanks to its Bluetooth 5.1 and Bluetooth 5.1 low power certifications. Together with this wearable processor is 16MB RAM and 2GB non-expandable internal storage. 

On the software side of it, the Watch GT 2e is not powered by Android WearOS. Instead, Huawei opted for use of its very own smartwatch OS called Huawei Lite OS. I think it is a pretty nice, clean, and well optimized OS for the Watch. It would be much nicer though if it supported third-party heath and activity tracking apps. And while it has its own OS, the Watch GT 2e can definitely work both with Android and iOS smartphones. The device is compatible with smartphones running at least Android 4.4 or iOS 9.0 versions. One of my friends asked me if it can only be paired with Huawei smartphones, the good new is any phone with OS versions above can work with this device. Although set up wise, the experience is much better if you are using a Huawei smartphone, more on it below. 

The watch sports 5-ATM water resistance certification. This means, it is definitely okay to get this smartwatch wet whether its due to doing intense workout, getting caught in the rain, taking a shower or swimming in the pools or open waters. Deep or scuba diving not recommended at all.  

As for its tracking features, the watch is equipped to support 15 workout modes both indoor and outdoor. For outdoor that includes running, walking, climbing, hiking, trail running, cycling, open water swimming, and triathlon. For indoor, it's walking, running, cycling, pool swimming, free training, elliptical machine, and rowing machine. 

In addition to the 15 professional workout modes mentioned above, the watch also comes equipped with additional 85 custom workout modes making it a total of 100 workout modes to choose from. 

huawei watch gt 2e hands on review

And then of course there are the Heart Rate Monitor, Sleep Monitor, and this new SpO2. The SpO2 feature is used to track one's blood oxygen saturation level. 

The rest of the features are pretty typical of a smartwatch such as alarm, notifications, weather, music control and more. That includes an accompanying app called the Huawei Health which already pre-installed on Huawei smartphones. It is a must app on your smartphone as it gives you more options to control and setup the Watch GT 2e as well as more visual presentation of your overall heath status and progress. 

Design and Build

Upon realizing that I would like to get one for myself, I immediately decided that I would like to get the black variant aka Graphite Black. I mean, black is black and it seems to be the most perfect color on a gadget for any occasion and type of device, at least for me. Unfortunately, this color option is not available in the first week of pre-order, both Lazada and Shopee only had one in Lava Red. Knowing that the free strap only comes in Lava Red, it does not make sense for me to get one right away so I waited for another week, anyway the free strap promo back then was until the end of May. Thankfully, the available stocks on Lazada was updated and now included the Graphite Black after a week, and incidentally, Huawei was also running a promo at the time where I could take advantage of Php500 discount. So I placed my order and eagerly waited for its delivery. Third week of May, it arrived. 

huawei watch gt 2e hands on review

So there it was in a bubble wrap together with the free strap.

After taking all the photos and videos for the unboxing and for this post, I immediately tried using the Lava Red strap on it. And as I mentioned earlier, I found the this one more attractive than the black one. The Watch GT 2e features a sportier design as opposed to its predecessor, the Watch GT 2. The Lava Red, and I think the Mint Green version as well, is more appropriate strap colors for it. Perhaps if the Graphite Black wristband had the same perforated holes design like the other two, it would be more attracted too. But maybe that's intentional for those users who would still like it simple and yet elegant just like a traditional watch wristband. 

huawei watch gt 2e hands on review

Design is one of the big factors why I liked this Watch GT 2e. Apart from its younger and sportier looks that it expresses and embodies, I liked how the Huawei designed the transition between the watch body and the strap which makes the Watch Gt 2e wraps around one's wrist pretty nice. The bezel on the watch looks awesome too together with those minimalist markings around it, even though it does not rotate. Just an observation, the Mint Green variant of the Watch GT 2e does not have those markings around the bezel, I don't know why but I just noticed. 

The watch is quite big, and as mentioned, only comes in 46mm variant. For users with bigger wrists this is going to look great but for those with much slimmer arm, it's gonna be a little bit different. 

On the side of the watch are two square-shaped buttons, the upper one is used for navigation alongside the touchscreen functionality. The lower one or "down button" is customizable which means you can set it up to quickly launch a feature or function like Workout, Heart Rate, SpO2, Compass, Notifications, Weather, Stopwatch, Alarm, Timer, Flashlight, and even Music for song playback. 

huawei watch gt 2e hands on review
And speaking of the Music feature, yes, the Huawei Watch GT 2e has the ability to control the music playback on your connected smartphone. The watch can also be paired up with  Huawei FreeBuds 3 wireless earphones, I am not sure if other non-Huawei wireless earbuds is also compatible with the Watch GT 2e, but I think they are. I have the Freebuds 3 too so I was able to pair it up with the Watch GT 2e, this is useful as this setup can control both music on your smartphone and on the watch. Remember that the Watch GT 2e comes with 4GB of internal storage? About 2GB of those are free to use and that can store up to 500 songs in the watch. 

It does make sense to store music in the Watch GT 2e if you have a wireless earphones connected to it. Why? Because the watch does not come with built-in speaker like its predecessor.

huawei watch gt 2e hands on review

Having no built-in speaker and even microphone, this means users are unable to make and receive calls through the smartwatch. Though notifications like incoming calls, message alerts and many more from the connected smartphone are still going to show up on the watch depending on how you set them up through the Huawei Health app. 

Setting it up with a smartphone

Now let's talk about the setting up process of connecting the Huawei Watch GT 2e to your smartphone. If you already own a Huawei smartphone, the process is a lot easier and faster because all the apps that you need are already pre-installed in the device. For non-Huawei smartphones, you will be required to download two more apps in addition to the Huawei Health - the Huawei AppGallery and the HMS Core (Huawei Mobile Services) in order to successfully pair the watch with your phone and take full advantage of the watch and app features.  

huawei watch gt 2e hands on review

huawei watch gt 2e hands on review

And oh, you will also need to create your HUAWEI ID if you don't have one yet. 

You can download the AppGallery from Huawei's website. And then once downloaded, you go ahead and download the Huawei Mobile Services or HMS Core from the AppGallery. To download, just search HMS Core, if you type the whole name, you won't find it. After everything is setup and downloaded, you can now open your Huawei Health app and start pairing up through Bluetooth. 

Actually, the process of setting up is very easy and fast, there is just additional steps for non-Huawei smartphone users but still everything is smooth and straightforward. 

The Huawei Health app

huawei watch gt 2e hands on review

This is how the Huawei Health app looks like both on Huawei and other Android smartphones. Since I had the chance to try the new Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G this month, I took the opportunity to also setup the watch with this phone. So yes, I can confirm that the features inside the app is pretty much the same regardless of Android smartphone brand you are using. What about on iOS device? Based on what I have read so far, the experience is very different and a lot of features have been removed from the iOS version of the app. I don't have an iPhone though, so I cannot confirm. 

The watch faces

Another feature that I liked about the Huawei Watch GT 2e is the selection of more than a hundred of watch faces within the app. 

Having the ability to change watch faces from time to time is a great feature to have on a smartwatch as it allows users to set the mood of the day. It also allows them to set the looks of their smartwatch depending on the occasion. Plus, you know we take a look at our watches multiple times a day so seeing the same design, no matter how good looking it is, sometimes we get bored with it. So yes, it is a cool feature. 

The only downside though, is that since the watch does not support third party apps, at least at the moment, I can't download and use watch faces from others like for example from Facer (recommended by our friend from DavaoGeekHub). Facer has tons and tons of amazing free and paid watch faces ranging from all types of designs from professional down to geek ones. I would really love if that option will be enabled in the future. 

huawei watch gt 2e hands on review

Final thoughts

It is worth mentioning that the Huawei Watch GT 2e has a very vibrant, bright and responsive display. It's an AMOLED panel that's why. In terms of brightness, it has five levels of it that I can manually select depending on the lighting condition of the environment I am in. But I always set it to automatic to save on the battery and effort in manually switching or adjusting it. I also liked the materials used for the straps. They don't irritate the skin and are comfortable to wear even at night when sleeping. The vibration for alarm is strong enough to wake me up as well as so subtle for getting my attention whenever a notification comes in.

I think the Huawei Watch GT 2e is one of the most "sulit" smartwatches you we can find around both in terms of the functionalities that it offers and the design that it sports. Of course there are better options out there from the competition but they are priced quite steeper for many of us most especially for those users who would like to try a full-fledged smartwatch for the very first time and on a tight budget at the same time, like myself. 

For its asking price of just Php6,990, I would say this is a good deal already for a high-end watch like this. If you can get it for a discounted price like I did (and this happens quite often on the Lazada and Shoppe online stores of Huawei) that would be much better. Plus it works with Android smartphones of any brands, and not exclusive to Huawei phones only. So yeah, if you are planning on getting a smartwatch that offers value for your money, you should consider the Huawei Watch GT 2e on your list. 

Huawei Watch GT 2e specs:

  • 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen display
  • 454 x 454 resolution
  • Kirin A1
  • 16MB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage
  • Compatible with Android 4.4 and iOS 9.0 and later versions
  • Lava Red, Graphite Black, Mint Green
  • Sensors:
    Optical Heart Rate
    Ambient Light
  • Made of metal and plastic
  • 5 ATM Water-Resistant (up to 50M underwater)
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • 46mm
  • Huawei Lite OS
  • 455mAh battery
  • Php6,990
The Huawei Watch GT 2e is currently available at Huawei concept stores, authorized retailers as well as on Lazada and Shopee for only Php6,990. 

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