India

Huawei Watch GT 2e review: A robust fitness partner

It can track everything!

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Apple Watch dominates the smartwatch market, but the price tag it carries is a little too steep. Dozens of alternatives are available, but nobody has been able to perfect the smartwatch game yet. The Huawei Watch GT 2e carries an affordable price tag and promises to offer more than ever.

But, before we get started with the review, it’s essential to understand the difference between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker. The Apple Watch can be a standalone device that’s capable of picking up calls, running various apps, and storing files on the go. A smartwatch doesn’t entirely rely on your connected phone and can get a lot of things done independently.

A fitness tracker, on the other hand, is focused on monitoring your physical activity. It may not have installable apps, may not function fully without a phone, and is supposed to act as a secondary gadget. With this difference clear, let’s find out if the Huawei Watch GT 2e is worth being your GadgetMatch!

It looks extremely premium

The has an athletic feel to it and the unibody design is confidence-inducing. Usually, Huawei GT watches have a professional look and don’t go along with sporty attire. Thankfully, the GT 2e brings a much-needed change and could make an ideal fit for younger people.

The strap is now seamlessly integrated into the top and bottom of the watch, making it a lot more comfortable to wear and provides a snug fit. The casing is made of stainless steel with two rectangular slanted buttons on the right edge. The buttons have a very favorable tactile response, and I’ve never accidentally pressed them. The short height ensures it doesn’t protrude too much, but can be found quickly in pitch-black darkness.

Wear it wherever you go!

We have the Mint Green review unit, and I’ve used it extensively for the last two weeks. It has a soft TPU band that’s dotted, and the central row becomes the buckle fixing point. The design automatically gives a very assuring fit that’s much-needed for outdoor activities like running, cycling, and swimming.

When you’re not working out, the watch transforms into a perfect board room ally that screams premium. The ergonomic fit also ensures you don’t get tired of wearing it throughout the day.

The case measures a whopping 47mm and this can be a problem for people with smaller hands. It isn’t precisely unisex and adds a considerable weight on your wrist.

A sharp display that’s sufficiently bright

I’ve used the previous generation Huawei Watch GT for months, and it had a very underwhelming display. Thankfully, the GT 2e gets a 1.39-inch AMOLED screen that’s sufficiently bright and responsive. The screen isn’t super bright, but enough to show you all the activity graphs and notifications under direct sunlight.

There’s also an option to have an always-on display, but it will drain your battery rather quickly. The screen is surrounded by a thicker bezel that adds to the premium look. However, I’d have preferred smaller outlines that emphasize the display, reduce the case size, and look futuristic.

It’s got all your workouts covered

The watch’s functionality has impressed me the most. While it’s on-paper offerings like heart rate tracking and oximeter are now standard, the Huawei Watch GT 2e goes after accuracy. It also has an onboard GPS for your runs.

Running, cycling, walking, swimming, and more are just a few standard workout modes that are pre-installed. When you get moving, the Watch GT 2e can automatically detect six types of workouts and start logging data. Additionally, the watch also supports parkour, skateboarding, dancing, and more. Basically, if you can do it, the watch can track it.

All the vital information about your workout is directly visible on the watch and can be seen on the app as well. Compared with the Apple Watch, details like the heart rate, distance, and calories burned were exactly the same. The workout algorithms are from Firstbeat, which is used by Garmin and a host of other sports brands.

All the information is synced with the Huawei Health app. The app works flawlessly, but a few workout modes like indoor running weren’t able to sync the data seamlessly. In the end, the workout session displayed varying data on the phone and the watch. I’d say this is a remote incident because I failed to replicate it and everything worked fine.

Staying safe in the times of Coronavirus

There’s an optical heart rate monitor and it’s backed up with a SpO2 sensor for blood oxygen reading. Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, SpO2 sensors are in high demand because it can be used to diagnose early symptoms of the respiratory disease. The watch has an accurate SpO2 sensor and this feature has often been a deal-breaker for many amid the pandemic.

Another feature I love is the stress measurement. While the reading isn’t as accurate as a heart rate scanner, it does give you a brief idea about your day. Lastly, it also has a barometer that can help you understand your altitude as well as gauge rainfall. The latter is possible only via manual calculations though.

Thousands of watch faces to choose from

Huawei has finally opened up its operating system, letting developers make new watch faces. Download anyone you like and install it. If that’s not enough, choose a picture from your library and make it your watch face!

Instead of relying on WearOS, Huawei has moved away and switched to proprietary LiteOS. The system is closed off entirely and there isn’t much you can do about it. There are no third-party apps that can be installed later, so you’re stuck with what comes pre-installed. The lack of apps basically makes this a fitness tracker and cannot be counted as a definite contender in the smartwatch race.

There are no external microphones or speakers to provide calling functionality. Even though it has an in-built GPS, the lack of apps means that you’ll only use it during workouts. Lack of NFC also means there’s no option for contactless payments or any future scope.

Limited notifications on the go!

In-line with every other fitness tracker with a large display, the Huawei Watch GT 2e can show you app notifications from your phone. The vibration is strong enough, and this feature comes in very handy during meetings or driving. Just one look at the watch, and you’re all caught up! However, you can’t reply to a text from the watch, and this makes the notifications tab a very lonely place.

The watch has 2GB onboard storage, but there’s no support for third-party streaming apps like Spotify or Apple Music. So, you’ll have to essentially sync all music files manually to the watch. As annoying as it sounds, the watch cannot be used to control your phone’s music, a minor feature that’s found on an entry-level gadget like Xiaomi’s Mi Band.

Best-in-class battery

One thing that’ll make you seriously consider the Huawei Watch GT 2e is its battery. Huawei claims you can go up to two weeks on a single charge. I’ve managed to use the watch for eight days in one go. My usage included auto-brightness, email and Slack notifications, 30-minute daily run, full-time HR scanning, and SpO2 scanning every three-four hours.

The battery can be a game-changing feature because only a few wearables can boast such figures. The Apple Watch practically needs a charge every day, and this can be painstaking in the long run. If you’re always on the go and spend more time outdoors, there’s no doubt this watch is designed for you.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re looking for a full-fledged smartwatch, this isn’t for you. There are no apps, and the watch has a limited scope of functionality. But, if you’re looking for a fitness tracker that looks premium and doubles up as a watch, the Huawei Watch GT 2e is made for you!

With a price tag of INR 11,990 (US$ 163), the Watch GT 2e delivers a lot more than visible. The low price covers dozens of workouts, provides SpO2 tracking and in-built GPS. Whether it’s outdoor or indoors, the watch is designed for athletes. The insane battery life is unmatchable and gives a unique edge of its own.

If you’re looking for a direct competitor, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and Garmin Venu are top contenders!

India

Redmi Note 10 with Snapdragon 678, 48MP camera now official

Continuing the legacy

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Alongside the Redmi Note 10 Pro series, Xiaomi also unveiled the Redmi Note 10 — the classic. The family has given Xiaomi the number one spot in India for the last few years. Despite competition from Samsung, realme, and many others, the “Redmi Note” craze is only rising.

The Redmi Note 10 follows the same EVOL design language we’ve seen in the other beefed-up options. It retains a Gorilla Glass 3 body that’s IP52 rated for protection against dust and water ingress. It also gets stereo speakers, an IR blaster, and the infamous headphone jack. Even the fingerprint scanner is mounted on the side.

The front sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED Full HD+ display with 1100 nits of peak brightness and a 180Hz touch sampling rate. The front camera is housed in a punch-hole cut-out.

Powering the Redmi Note 10 is a Snapdragon 678 processor with 8x Kryo 460 cores clocked up to 2.2GHz. It’s coupled along with Adreno 612 graphics chipset and up to 6GB RAM.

The back has a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel Sony IMX582 sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a 2-megapixel portrait camera. The front has a 13-megapixel camera for selfies.

The phone is backed by a 5000mAh battery that supports 33W fast charging. The charger is provided in-box. Xiaomi also boasts that the phone is comparatively thinner and lighter than its predecessor.

The base variant with 4GB+64GB configuration goes for INR 11,999, while the 6GB+128GB option goes for INR 13,999. The sale starts on March 16 via Mi.com, Amazon.in, Mi Home and Mi Studio stores. It’ll be available in Frost White, Aqua Green, and Shadow Black color options.

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India

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max launches with Snapdragon 732G, 108MP camera

The price is unbelievable!

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After a long wait, Xiaomi has finally unveiled the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max in India today, alongside the Redmi Note 10. Together called the Redmi Note 10 series, it plays a critical role for the company since it’s one of the most awaited launches of the year.

The phone features a new design language that’s called EVOL by the company. It consists of a back panel with a dual-tone premium matte frosted glass back, which is a first for the Note series. It has an IP52 rating coupled with rubberized ports ensures protection against dust and water ingress.

On the front is a 6.7-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display with 1200 nits of peak brightness, 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR10 support. The front is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 while the back consists of toughened glass.

Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 732G processor with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB UFS 2.2 storage. The processor is made on an 8nm process and designed on Kryo 470 architecture, which clocks up to 2.3GHz. Xiaomi claims the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max offers 15 percent faster graphics performance than the predecessor.

The back consists of a quad-camera setup that includes a 108-megapixel primary camera. The Samsung HM2 sensor is the thinnest ever designed and leverages 9-in-1 pixel binning technology to capture maximum details in low-light. Complimenting the primary sensor is an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel portrait lens.

Xiaomi’s MIUI brings in a few extra features, namely Night mode 2.0, VLOG mode, Dual video, Pro Video mode, Magic Clone, and Long exposure mode. For selfies, a 16-megapixel camera is located on the front.

Backing these internals is a 5020mAh battery with 33W fast charging. Xiaomi has provided a 33W charging brick with the phone and it can charge from 0 to 59 percent in just 30 minutes. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max ships with MIUI 12 based on Android 11 out-of-the-box. For authentication, a fingerprint sensor is located on the side.

The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max starts with the 6GB+64GB option at INR 18,999 (US$ 260), followed by 6GB+128GB for INR 19,999 (US$ 275), and lastly, the 8GB+128GB for INR 21,999 (US$ 302). It’ll be available across Mi.com, Amazon.in, Mi Home and Mi Studio stores starting March 18, 2021. Color options include Dark Night, Vintage Bronze, and Glacial Blue.

The Redmi Note 10 Pro

It gets everything from the elder sibling, except for the camera setup. Instead, it sports a 64-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL GW3 primary sensor.

The 6GB+64GB option costs INR 15,999 (US$ 220), 6GB+128GB costs INR 16,999 (US$ 233), and the 8GB+128GB options will go for INR 18,999 (US$ 261). It’ll be available across Mi.com, Amazon.in, Mi Home and Mi Studio stores starting March 17, 2021. Color options include Frost White, Aqua Green and Shadow Black.

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India

realme shows off the realme 8’s 108MP camera

It has a lot of “firsts”

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The race for megapixels is on and realme in no mood of missing out. The phone maker has showed-off its 108-megapixel camera setup, which will be found on the upcoming realme 8 Pro.

The massive sensor not only produces a sharper image, but also brings the world’s first tilt-shift time-lapse video, starry time-lapse video, and new portrait filters. realme is confident the camera will be able to outmatch the competition. Currently, Xiaomi’s Mi 10i and Mi 10T series have a 108-megapixel camera, but the two sensors are different.

realme has opted for Samsung’s HM2 sensor for the primary camera and it features a larger sensor with a size of 1/1.52″. The larger pixel size ensures better image quality and it supports 9-in-1 pixel binning technology. The brand has shown off a few images that were clicked with the sensor.

For zooming, it supports 3x in-sensor zoom, which processes a 12-megapixel image in the end. Essentially, the sensor will compress the image but retain details that are necessary for the picture. In turn, the algorithm improves accuracy, colors, as well as contrast.

A Starry Mode is also showed-off and it can shoot a video timelapse, using a time-lapse video algorithm based on starry photos. The camera clicks 30 pictures in 480 seconds and compiles that into a one-second video.

There’s also a tilt-shift mode that’ll let you adjust the shape, angle, position, and size of the bokeh effect. Along with this, there are three portrait filters — Neon Portrait, Dynamic Bokeh Portrait, and AI Color Portrait.

The company hasn’t announced the launch date of the realme 8 series. But we know it’ll be coming first to India in March 2021. Finally, realme has reiterated that its “realme number series” naming format for smartphones shall continue focusing on camera-centric innovations.

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