As I mostly rely on apps on my phone to monitor my workouts, I was excited to be able to try out some wearable tech, the Huawei Watch 2 – the second generation of fitness watch from China-based Huawei.
During a demonstration at the Huawei Watch 2 launch party, the watch looked neat and almost dainty on the rep’s wrist. However when I took it home to try for myself, I was surprised by how chunky it felt – it’s definitely on a par with some of its big-named rivals in that respect. However in saying that, I also found it very comfortable and not too heavy with a sweat-proof silicon strap.
Setting up and syncing it to my phone was uncomplicated, and after that the first thing to do was choose my watch face, settling on probably the most basic, easy-to-read option with a step counter as the main feature. Interestingly I later discovered that my colleague had also chosen exactly the same display. The device is predominantly touch-screen operated, but there’s also two menu buttons and inbuilt voice recognition for those who prefer verbal commands.
Huawei have aimed to create a personal assistant experience with this watch, and it certainly does that as access to your handset via Bluetooth allows the watch to receive text alerts, calls and diary notifications. But the most useful features for runners are without doubt the built-in GPS, wrist-based heart monitor and music.
Being able to leave your phone at home while you workout is liberating, but the in-built GPS means you can still stay connected: tracking your route and taking calls and messages if you need to. You can also download and stream songs, and even access your playlists – all you need is some wireless headphones to enjoy music while you move.
The continuous heart-rate monitor works in the background, tracking your heart while you workout and rest, and this data along with everything else picked up by the daily tracker which will be recorded in the activity monitor app so you can track your fitness – but you can also hook it up to your own apps, such as Strava, if you prefer.
If you’d like a more detailed breakdown of your daily activity, you can choose an exercise from the Fit Workout menu to tailor your workout. Here it’s worth noting that the watch is not waterproof – so be sure to leave it at home if you’re taking on any triathlons.
Overall the Huawei Watch 2 is a good choice for runners who appreciate a do-it-all piece of wearable kit. We’d like to see a bit more fashionable variety when it comes to personalisation from the strap and screen display – though we suspect men will love it just the way it is.
Huawei Watch 2 is available now at selected high-street retailers, from £329. Find out more here.