Hello again Hofo friends!
I'm coming to you today with my review of the Huawei watch. Howard asked me (since I use Android Wear daily) if I wanted to give my thoughts and feeling on the Huawei watch. I jumped at the chance to give it a test drive.
I want to preface this review by letting you know that I use my Moto 360 V2 daily. I am a "watch guy" in that I always wear a watch vs strapping on an Android Wear watch just because. This review isn't about "should you wear a watch or not", that's for you to decide.
With that said let's get started. As they say; "Time's a wasting!"
I used the Huawei watch with my Nexus 6P for the whole review.
The biggest issue for me is battery life. I've been using Android Wear since my original Motorola 360 V1. I always wanted to just be able to use an Android Wear watch worry free. The 360 V1 only afforded me a full day if
I turned off tilt to wake and the ambient screen. That was fine for then, but I wouldn't put up with that now after experiencing the battery life that the 360 V2 affords.
So, with that in mind I was curious if 300 mAh battery with an OLED screen in the Huawei watch would last as long as the 400 mAh LCD Screen'd 360 V2.
I'm pleased to say that in my usage I was able to get a full day easily. My usage consists of taking the watch off the charger at 11AM and usually returning it to the charger at around 2AM. I leave the screen on ambient and use the tilt to wake. The brightness setting that I ended up just leaving the watch on was 1.
As typical for my usage, the watch didn't just sit on my wrist. I got all my notifications coming in from BookFace to Tweeter and the other various messenger apps I use. Google now kept telling me the weather every few hours oddly, and Shoppers Drug Mart kept telling me to load up my card for some deals. Truth be told I could probably eliminate at least half of those notifications but with the Android Wear offerings of today I really don't have to micro manage the battery life anymore like I did on the 360 V1.
The good thing is that the battery life graph has made a return to Android Wear so I can share some usage stats with you. I don't know when they reintroduced it, but i'm glad it's back.
Just like every other watch except the Motorola 360 and the Fossil Q Founder which use wireless charging (I believe they're both QI) the Huawei watch uses a cradle with pogo pins. I'll admit it's not very intuitive at all. Maybe I'm lazy because I got used to dropping my 360 onto the provided dock but even the design of Huawei's charging cradle seems like it works better if you're left handed.
I had read online on various other reviews that the charging cradle and pogo pins it uses caused issues for some when they would place it on the dock askew. It would still magnetically click, but ultimately the pins wouldn't engage leaving the watch without charging. I was mindful of this going in and ultimately I just ended up holding the watch from each strap and and hovering it over the cradle until the cradle jumped up and made a connection. The Cradle is magnetic as well which is a nice touch. I found that I would have to watch and make sure the charging indicator displayed before I'd leave it there for fear of it not charging.
Aesthetic and Feel
The Huawei watch is very well built. My initial impression even when opening the box was that of quality. They seem to want to target the luxury watch market with quality packaging to give you that high end feel. The actual watch that I tested is the black on black with leather strap.
For your reference it's this watch here
although I have no idea where you can actually purchase it. The google play store has the silver on mlianese loop and the black on black metal band so boh!
The watch uses standard 18mm straps and the stock strap even supports quick release. However, the band flares out to 20mm after the lugs so if you want a replacement strap you'll need to find an 18mm strap that also flares out after the lugs. I found this very odd comparing it to my 360 V2 which is a standard 22mm strap straight through.
Full circular display
Let's discuss the display. The Huawei watch was one of the first if I recall to come out swinging and state it had a full circular display. I remember thinking to myself "man, that just makes sense. a full circle, imagine that."
In all honesty I can tell you now after using the Huawei watch vs the 360, who cares.
Don't get me wrong. It's a gorgeous display. It's OLED so it looks markedly better and more colour rich then the 360. It has more Pixels too coming in at 400x400 vs the Motorola at 360x320.
The Huawei watch doesn't have that "flat tire" that has drawn the ire of so many reviewers all over the internet. Originally I was also one of the flat tire haters but put up with it "just because." Let me tell you though, I will gladly go back to the Motorola 360 and the flat tire any day. Why? simple. I got so sick of trying to micro manage the display's brightness I just gave up and left it on 1. 1 out of 5. 5 was way to bright in any situation other then playing volleyball with your top gun squadron on the beach, and 1 was too dim outside in direct sunlight.
I just said to hell with it. left it on 1 and shaded it with my hand if I had to. Not the best scenario, but whatever.
You simply don't have to worry about this with the 360 / Fossil watches. Sure, the flat tire is ugly, i'll give you that, but when you lift your watch up in the middle of Deadpool to see the time and it blasts your retinas into submission until you see those little twinkley stars you'll start to realize that the flat tires purpose is indeed needed.
Would you use a phone without an ambient sensor? I wouldn't. More importantly, those that use Android Wear as an actual watch replacement can attest to this fact; You end up looking at your watch more then you do your phone. That's the point. So I'll take the flat tire and ambient sensor any day.
Maybe these manufacturers will get smart and build the ambient light sensor into the push button. Nah, i'm giving them to much credit.
At the time of writing this the Huawei watch was on:
Android Wear: 126.96.36.1995535
Google Play Services: 8.4.89 (2428711-534)
Android OS: 5.1.1
the 6.0 Marshmallow update is apparently coming. My 360 V2 had already received the 6.0 update even before I got the Huawei watch on Feb 12th.
The Huawei watch works fine with just the Android Wear app. You don't have to download an additional Huawei app similar to how the Moto 360 makes you grab Moto connect. With that being said I have 0 use and 0 interest in my heart rate or how many steps the watch think I took so if you need that kind of info I can't help you there. Perhaps someone who has the Huawei watch and uses those features can comment. I'd love to hear your experiences.
The Huawei watch comes with a metric ton of watch faces. There are so many. In this case though I have to say it's quantity over quality for my tastes. Unlike the Motorola 360 which allows you to further customize the stock watch faces by adding or removing complications for example, the Huawei has 0 customize-ability options on the stock watch faces. Needless to say you can always download watch faces from Google Play and customize until the cows come home.
I have a strange bug with the Huawei watch and Google Messenger for SMS which never went away and is still happening.
At this point in time most people know that you can basically say "OK GOOGLE" then tell your watch to do something like send a SMS, Email or set a reminder etc.
In my case I would say "OK GOOGLE, Send a text to Howard" and it would work no issues. the Google prompt would pop up and I would dictate my text. More often then not it would be correct, or correct enough that the person knew what i was saying. The bug though is that I could never reply organically to the messages after.
So as an example I send a text to Howard, he replies. I pull up the notification on my watch and read Howard's text and then I press "reply" to dictate my reply to him and nothing would happen. The Green check mark would animate as if it had sent my reply but it never took down my dictation. The bug and problem is that it would never actually flip over to the dictation mode where I would dictate my response. It just kept animating the green check mark every time I hit reply. I could never reply, which defeats the purpose. I kept hitting it wondering if it was sending Howard blank SMS but nothing. Just sat there bouncing up and animating every time I'd hit it.
I could go back to the home screen and say "OK GOOGLE, send Howard an SMS" and do it that way but that was an additional step you just shouldn't have to take. I don't know if it's because the 6P is on 6.0 and the watch is on 5.1.1 (which I seriously doubt) but it would never work.
I got curious so I re-enabled hangouts (I disable the app, can't stand it.) I set hangouts to handle SMS. After that it worked fine. 0 issues. I could reply no problem. So maybe the issue is messenger running on 5.1.1, because it runs with no issues on 6.0 when i'm using the 360.
I even deleted the 360 from my phone, factory reset the Huawei watch and tried it all again. Still no go. Just could not reply to an SMS. Very odd indeed.
Originally when I reviewed the Motorola 360 V2
I wanted to try out the Huawei watch to compare how its OLED screen and 300 mAh batter would fare against the LCD screen and 400 mAh battery of the Moto.
I can now saw that they are both very comparable. Ultimately the Motorola will last longer but it's not by a huge margin. I'll still be charging these watches nightly to make sure I get a full day out of them.
I can say with confidence however that as well built and as nice as the screen is on the Huawei watch my vote goes to the Motorola 360 V2. Why? It has the ambient light sensor, it uses 22mm watch straps vs 18mm straps and I prefer the lugs on the Motorola. They look more "watch-ish" I prefer the way the Motorola uses QI for charging and has a nice desktop stand to double as a bed side clock and I prefer the watch faces and ability to customize the stock faces on the Motorola.
At the end of the day this is a classic case of "the grass is greener" and I had the most luscious green lawn out there this whole time! (for my needs anyway)
Am I saying the Huawei watch isn't a good watch? No, not at all. What I am saying though is that for my preference and what I want in a watch, the Motorola 360 V2 is simply better. Let alone it's already on 6.0 Marshmallow and the Huawei watch is still waiting for it.