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!
Samsung Galaxy F22 goes official with 48MP camera, 6000mAh battery
Also gets an AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate
The affordable segment has been a very competitive price segment for the last few years, and its demand is never-ending in the developing markets. Samsung has launched the Galaxy F22 in India, and its unique selling point is a massive battery, quad cameras, and an AMOLED display.
It has a signature Samsung design that we’ve seen on a lot of other F-branded phones. While the looks are conventional, it aims to cover up by offering as many features as possible. Despite intense competition from players like Xiaomi, realme, and vivo, Samsung has managed to hold onto its fort, unbudged.
On the front is a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen with HD+ resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate, and a waterdrop notch. The Galaxy F22 is powered by a MediaTek Helio G80 SoC with up to 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. There’s a microSD card slot for storage expansion.
The rear sports a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front features a 13-megapixel selfie camera.
Backing these internals is a 6000mAh battery with 25W fast charging. Although the charging brick included with the phone is rated for 15W only, so you’ll have to buy a faster charger adapter separately. The fingerprint scanner is located on the side for authentication. It ships with Android 11-based One UI 3.1 out-of-the-box.
The Samsung Galaxy F22 is priced at INR 12,499 (US$ 167) for the 64GB+4GB storage and INR 14,499 (US$ 195) for the 128GB+6GB option. It’ll be available in Denim Blue and Denim Black color options, and sales start from July 13. Online sale partner includes Flipkart and Samsung’s in-house online website.
Mi Watch Revolve Active is a premium fitness tracker with 14 days battery
Has more than 100 workout modes
The Mi Watch Revolve was launched last year, and it sits in a comfortable spot — not too expensive, but loaded. Now, the brand’s expanding its offering and bringing in a much more fitness-oriented product dubbed the Mi Watch Revolve Active.
As the name suggests, the watch is designed to keep you outdoors as much as possible. Or in the new normal, as active and fit as possible. It has a far more sturdy build and continues the premium design language.
It has a 1.4-inch AMOLED display with an always-on display, eliminating the need to touch the screen just to view the time or other essential details. In addition, the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and weighs just 32 grams.
The fitness front comes equipped with LifeQ Health algorithm, which analyzes more than 30 key data points like blood oxygen, stress, heart rate, sleep quality, energy levels, calories burned, and more. All these data points are leveraged to process your lifestyle, fitness regime, and overall performance.
Together, these data points deliver more accurate blood oxygen levels (SpO2), sleep cycles, real-time heart rate, stress levels, body’s oxygen consumption (Vo2 Max), and calories burned. In addition, more than 117 workout modes are supported, including triathlons, swimming, HIIT, Boxing, Water sports, and Yoga.
GPS tracking features an Airoha GPS chip that supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BDS navigation systems. Simple operations will be far simpler when you summon Alexa, as the watch supports the voice assistant for reminders, alarms, and other instructions.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active is water-resistant up to 50 meters and comes pre-installed with basic apps like alarm, timer, stopwatch, weather, find my phone, flashlight. It connects to the phone via Xiaomi’s Wear App and has a mini-store for watch faces, which has more than 100 options right now.
Lastly, Xiaomi says the watch can deliver up to 14 days of battery life on a single charge. If you toggle the long battery mode, it can stretch up to 22 days. While these numbers may seem inflated, Xiaomi has an irrefutable history of delivering solid numbers in the real world.
Price and availability:
The Mi Watch Revolve Active is priced at INR 9,999, and sales start from June 25. It’ll be up for purchase via Amazon, Mi.com, and other partner stores. It comes in Beige, Black, and Navy Blue watch case options, with six strap color options, including Black, Blue, Green, White, and Purple.
Mi 11 Lite launches with Snapdragon 732G, triple-rear cameras
The lightest phone to launch in 2021 so far
The second wave of Coronavirus has eased in India, and the country is gradually opening up. A few brands decided to avoid any new launches amid the raging pandemic, creating a vacuum in an otherwise fast-paced industry. Thankfully, Xiaomi has returned with a new offering, and it’s called the Mi 11 Lite.
The Mi 11 series is designed to offer a more premium experience without making a huge dent in your pocket. It follows the same design language as the Mi 11X but is far more thinner and light. At just 6.8mm thickness and 157g weight, it’s touted to be the lightest phone of 2021 so far.
On the front, its got a 6.5-inch AMOLED screen with Full HD+ resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. In addition, to make the phone lighter, Xiaomi incorporated a “flat flexible OLED” and a redesigned circuit board that is 35 percent smaller than conventional ones.
Powering the Mi 11 Lite is a Snapdragon 732G processor with up to 8GB RAM and expandable storage. A side-mounted physical fingerprint scanner is included for authentication, and there are dual speakers with Hi-Res Audio support.
The rear sports a triple camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 5-megapixel telephoto sensor. There’s a 16-megapixel selfie camera that is housed in a punch-hole cut-out. The software supports AI Beautify, Night mode, Time burst, and much more.
Backing these internals is a 4250mAh battery with 33W fast charging. The brand claims the battery has an endurance rating of more than 100 hours, and the compatible fast charger is bundled along. The Mi 11 Lite is IP53-certified for minor dust and water splashes.
The Mi 11 Lite is priced at INR 21,999 (US$ 300) for the 6GB+128GB option and INR 23,999 (US$ 325) for 8GB+256GB. It’s available in three color options — Jazz Blue, Tuscany Coral, and Vinyl Black. Pre-orders start from June 25, and the sale starts from June 28 via Flipkart, Mi.com, and partner physical stores.
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