Once again I’ve tentatively decided to check out the Smart brigade – those ‘wearables’ (I hate that word!) that you see lots of folk sporting on their wrists today.
Looked at two, though I’ll really only talk a bit about the one I show here – The Huawei GT 2 (42mm). And surprisingly, being no lover of this so called smart revolution – I like it.
This model is from Huawei, certainly more mainstream, being the World’s 3rd largest producer of Cell Phones and at under £150. It’s actually quite a decent construction and well made and with a conventional strap (not integrated, which is a huge plus). It also comes with two straps – the one shown is a black soft silicon and very comfortable and the other a tan leather one. Both come with quick release spring bars, so changing straps for any conventional watch strap is easy.
This watch with it’s Kirin A1 Self-developed Chip, shows the time, very clearly on it’s 1.2 inch AMOLED colour screen, is coupled with a 3D glass screen. It has good resolution 454 x 454, PPI 326 – and it is VERY clear. The watch face is easy to swipe, with an accurate touch response, unlike some. As I said, it shows the time and the previous image shows my daily beater (Time, Day, Date) one I like for every day and the following images show the other main time related options –
Now I’m not a Smart Watch person – far from it. I am also NOT a fitness fanatic – certainly not at my age. Well OK, I was in a gymnastics team once upon a time and travelled the world, but we’re talking in the 1960’s!
I say this, as I cannot vouch for the usefulness or quality of any fitness functions, workouts and the like. I can however, check out the Alarm, time functions, Blood Pressure measurements, Sleep monitoring, Weather, World time etc etc. plus the build quality, the screen display, how easy it is to read and use. And that’s about it. But it should give some idea –
Oh! and I almost forgot the App, for your phone, which is essential to any of them.
And lastly, for me at any rate, it has to work with an iPhone (can’t get to grips with that Android stuff at all). This model works with either though, so covers everything.
The graphics on this watch are really quite good and easily readable.
The watch is a sensible size too at 42 mm diameter (some so called Smart watches are just too big and thick ) and will fit smaller wrists just fine and it is really thin at just about 9 mm. The case is stainless steel and it sports 2 x side buttons. Top right button is the menu function button and the scroll/swipe menu system is intuitive and as said, quite clear. Charging is via a small magnetic unit – sit the watch on it and any USB socket will do. Takes about 2 hours to fully charge and the watch can run for around 4 or 5 days, depending on activities.
There are 8 Time displays (as shown here) and these can be viewed with a turn of the wrist or displayed permanently in certain circumstances.
There is a scrolling menu (top right button) and you can select Weather, Fitness modes, Workouts (15), GPS enabled, Activity, Sleep data, Stress, Rower, Breathing exercises, Music, Air Pressure, Notifications, Stopwatch, Timer, Alarm, Flashlight, Find my Phone, and Settings.
So it has a comprehensive activities list, though most rivals do also.
When I checked this function set against some other smart watches, the clarity, set up and user intuitiveness of this stood up well and better than many.
I did look at one, which has a lot of marketing around it, from e-Watch which can be got from silly offers up to maybe £59.00 and whilst it looked OK, there were certain things straight off that didn’t do it for me. First the strap was integrated (in other words, you can’t change it, if it’s damaged for example) and it was VERY awkward to actually fit to your wrist – I mean what’s wrong with a simple buckle?
Also, it charged using a USB to mini USB cable which connected to the side of the watch with a small rubber covered mini USB socket. It’s only a matter of time when the little rubber cover breaks off and you have a socket open to the elements.
The Apps or functions on the cheaper eWatch were basically as all the others, walking steps, sleep patterns, Blood Pressure monitor, Running, calculator, even can take pictures via your phone and so on, and on. But personally I found most of these to be clunky (is that a word?) and the phone App, I found difficult to set up and/or pair with my old iPhone. Also the choice of watch faces didn’t impress.
The Huawei Heath App I found synchronised fine with my watch and whilst it may not be super, duper, seems to manage the functions pretty well. For me with the few functions I use (mostly Blood Pressure at my age) it is very good. By the way, the watch buzzes when I’ve been sitting too long doing nothing, and reminds me by way of a small graphic, to get off my butt and do some exercise! And that’s a good thing.
So, this is my one and only Smart Watch and it should be interesting to see how it gets on with me – it does what I want, I can read it and understand it. It works fine with my old iPhone 5. I understand it gets notifications from my iPhone (I’ve seen them!) and it maybe can remotely operate my iPhone if I could figure that out too. But as I’m not into messaging, or Facebook or Twitter of any of the many Social Media sites around – Hell I don’t even read texts? This little watch seems to be OK.
However, time will tell and let’s hope I’ve made a “Smart” choice and so far (early days) I’m happy.
I have some images of the App showing the Sleep Monitor – on my old iPhone 5.
I did note, however, that the latest Apple Watch series 5 had the same awkward strap arrangement as the budget eWatch. The fact that the tail of the strap has to be pushed under the existing strap, in other words, forced under the existing strap and against the wrist, is really, really awkward. And when you consider any Smart Watch with Health functions has to be really snug against the wrist for those functions to operate correctly, it certainly doesn’t seem “Smart” to me!
If someone finds it easy, then good luck to them, but life’s too short for me to fiddle around with it every time I take it off then on after charging.
Update – Well maybe I spoke too soon regarding my first Smart watch – – I noticed that the Sleep monitoring function doesn’t work – period. And that’s really annoying, because unlike a watch and certainly a wind up or automatic conventional non-smart watch – it is usually fixable.
But a common problem with many of this new breed of “smart” devices – they are made a long way away and have little or no infrastructure regarding aftersales or servicing. So, it might as well be chucked in the trash. Or send it back to China, maybe get a new module or a new watch, or perhaps never hear about it again, whatever- – factor in the time wasted and the inevitable cost – and there you are – a load of angst I can do without. However, now what was a relatively inexpensive Smart watch – ain’t so Smart after all.