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.
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!
Moto G 5G launches in India with Snapdragon 750G, affordable price
Now you just have to wait for a 5G telco
The Moto G series played a very crucial role in cultivating India’s affordable smartphone segment in 2013. Since then, the brand has taken a step back and prefers to go at its own pace than compete with aggressive brands like Xiaomi and realme. The Moto G 5G is an important phone because it aims to bring 5G connectivity without the high price tag.
The Moto G 5G is being touted as the first affordable smartphone to come with 5G compatibility in India. It’s expected to lock horns with the OnePlus Nord because of similar pricing and specifications. It’s interesting to note that 5G isn’t commercially available in the country, and we don’t expect it to roll out before the end of 2021.
However, 5G is just one part of the phone. It sports a 6.7-inch Full HD+ display with a punch-hole cut-out. Under the hood is an octa-core Snapdragon 750G processor with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, which can be expanded via a microSD card.
The rear is a triple camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary lens, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel macro lens. On the front is a 16-megapixel shooter for selfies.
Backing these internals is a 5000mAh battery with 20W TurboPower fast charging technology. The company claims it can provide 10 hours of power in just 15 minutes. The phone is also IP52 certified to endure splash resistance.
The Moto G 5G is priced at INR 20,999 (US$ 285) for the single 6GB+128GB option. It’ll be available in Frosted Silver and Volcanic Grey color options, while the sale starts from December 7 via Flipkart.
From zero to export, here’s how India ramped up PPE making
US and China are its biggest trade partners
With a 1.3 billion population, India is a highly dense country. The imposition of a sudden lockdown meant critical equipment like PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), masks, and other medical equipment were in low supply. Due to the global outbreak, imports were also difficult to find since the demand was too high.
The initial cases of Coronavirus were detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in November 2019. While the outbreak was limited initially, it gradually spread across China, followed by other countries, and reached a critical stage in March.
Many countries implemented a strict lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. While these curfews helped reduce the spread of the virus, it also handicapped industries because the normal flow of goods and production was adversely affected. Adding to this, developing countries were worse hit because their healthcare system is weak and under-equipped.
India rising to the occasion
However, India was able to find a home-grown solution. The country went on to start exporting Coronavirus goods within a few months. California-based financing company Drip Capital released a detailed report that gives us an insight into India’s production response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The report considered 14 categories of medical-related products that were shipped between January and July of 2020. The data is directly compiled from India’s Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). These categories include textiles, disinfectants, test kits, soap, rubber, gloves, footwear, and other medical equipment.
In a nutshell, the industry clocked a growth of US$ 150 million when compared to the same period last year. The country was in a lockdown state for almost two months. PPE demand among medical workers, contact tracers, and other essential workers was extremely high. The textile category alone contributed to the growth of US$ 40 million, followed by test kits at US$ 26 million, disinfectants at US$ 28 million, and soap at US$ 12 million.
PPE production in full swing
What’s even more interesting is, India had zero domestic manufacturing capacity for PPEs in January. A few restrictions were placed on exports in January due to a shortage of inventory, and a complete ban was placed in March. The government released massive tenders to encourage domestic production, and the country was making 700,000 to 800,000 PPE kits a day by June.
Once domestic demand was fulfilled, the government opened up exports, and a milestone was reached in October when India delivered 1.8 million N95 masks to the US. The effect is quite easily visible as the country exported goods worth US$ 539 million in the first seven months of 2020.
In comparison, India exported goods worth US$ 532 million in the whole of 2019. Hence it’s safe to assume this year’s exports shall be almost twice that of last year.
70 percent of all exported goods originated from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. On the other hand, India’s top trade partners were spread across the globe. The US single-handedly imported goods worth US$ 98 million, followed by China at US$ 37 million, Germany at US$ 30 million, and the Netherlands at US$ 22 million.
Indian goods were in high demand in smaller countries like the UAE, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. A natural edge that Indian goods have is their pricing. Being a developing economy with a substantial population engaged in agriculture and textile, PPE was a perfect commodity that helped grow small scale industries.
vivo Y1s launches with Helio P35, 13-megapixel camera
Another silent launch by vivo
vivo has been silently launching new phones this year, and it has managed to grab a significant chunk of the market. Today the brand launched the vivo Y1s in India, a market where affordable phones have maximum demand.
The vivo Y1s will be going up against the Redmi 9A, Realme C11, and Realme C3. Alongside, Vivo V20 Pro is teased to launch in India soon. The company has confirmed that the phone will launch in the country but hasn’t given an exact date.
Coming back to the vivo Y1s, it sports a 6.2-inch HD+ LCD with a water-drop notch. Powering the phone is a MediaTek Helio P35 MT6765 SoC paired with 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. There’s also a microSD card slot for storage expansion.
On the rear is a 13-megapixel camera, while the front comes with a 5-megapixel selfie snapper. The phone has added software features like beauty mode, portrait mode, and slo-mo.
Backing these internals is a 4000mAh battery, but fast charging details haven’t been revealed. The phone has been listed on vivo’s website, but the pricing still isn’t official. However, Mahesh Telecom, a Mumbai-based retailer, confirmed Gadgtes360 that the phone would cost INR 7,990 (US$ 110).
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