Huawei Watch 2 Review: Time for something different

Bulkier than the original

At first glance, it looks utilitarian rather than a fashion piece. Compared to Samsung Gear S3, the Huawei Watch 2 feels less premium especially the rubber strap that comes bundled with the watch. Most people might think that the shiny glossy bezel is plastic but it’s actually made of ceramic for better durability.

Naturally, you would expect this thick bezel to be rotatable but it gets a fixed design purely for aesthetics. With a 1.2” AMOLED display, having a rotating bezel on the Watch 2 would have made scrolling so much better than swiping.

The display is crisp thanks to its rather high 390×390 pixels resolution and its always-on display is still quite visible in sunny outdoor conditions. The Huawei Watch 2 runs on a current Android Wear 2.0 which is improved to support standalone apps. Powering the device is a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor with 768MB RAM and it comes with 4GB of internal storage.

All day battery life

In normal use when it’s paired via Bluetooth, the Watch 2 battery can last a full day on a single charge. On some occasions, it can even stretch up to 1 day and a half depending on how many notifications you receive. However, things start to get trickier when you use it standalone.

The Watch 2 supports both WiFi and 4G LTE connectivity but both won’t be active unless the watch has disconnected from your phone. Once it loses Bluetooth connectivity, the watch will attempt to connect to WiFi before switching on 4G LTE to regain connectivity. The nano-SIM slot is tucked underneath the lower part of the watch which can be removed without any tools.

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Do note that staying connected mostly on WiFi and 4G would significantly shorten its battery life to about 12-15 hours on a full charge. If you’re going off for a couple of hours without your phone, it should still hold up for a full day of use.

To charge the Huawei Watch 2, it comes with a magnetic charger that hooks onto the back of the watch. Although it isn’t as sexy as Moto 360 and Samsung Gear S3’s charging dock, it still gets the job done without any fuss. Charging times are quite linear with a 15-minute charge giving 25% and a full charge can be completed in one hour.


Alexander Wong