Lifestyle

How the Huawei Watch GT made me believe in smartwatches

Even though it’s not that smart

Photos by: Patty Medina

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I have a confession to make: I’m not really into smartwatches. As much as I enjoy taking the hottest phones and laptops with me everywhere I go, I prefer wearing a traditional watch around my wrist, or at most, a hybrid smartwatch.

Full-fledged smartwatches are more cumbersome than convenient for me. Not only would I have to charge it daily, but I’d also need to set it up like an actual smartphone. I already have multiple devices to take care of at any given time.

That’s where Huawei’s latest smartwatch comes in. While it isn’t the usual hybrid I’d gladly pair with my phone, it does offer some compromise — ones that make me forget I’m even wearing a smarter-than-average watch.

Honestly, the main reason I even considered accepting the Huawei Watch GT and reviewing it is because of its battery life. With a promise of two-week endurance on a single charge and greater focus on daily health, I took the plunge.

Yes, the battery endurance is legit. Charging it to full, which takes a little over one and a half hours using its portable dock, is enough to make it last for 15 whole days, and that’s with the heart rate sensor always on!

This has to be the Watch GT’s greatest strength; it’ll tell you your heart rate any time you look at its face, and the simple interface is easier to understand than your typical Android. Huawei has done a good job of optimizing its proprietary operating system for common folk’s use.

And yet, that’s also one of the device’s initial weaknesses. You have to learn something new all over again. It’s not like jumping from one Wear OS to another or an older Apple Watch to a newer one. The interface is simple, but totally different.

Fortunately, there are only two physical buttons to worry about: The top enters the options menu and acts as an alternate back/wake-up switch, while the other offers the selection of available exercises.

We have modes for running, climbing, hiking, cycling, and swimming. Some of these require the watch’s GPS to be turned on, which consumes more battery power. If none of these fit the workout you’re about to embark on, there’s an option for “Other.” I used this while playing basketball and lifting weights at the gym.

Aside from those two, I tried outdoor running and open swimming, both of which needed GPS. Once I start the workout, the watch provides vital info such as pace and distance, on top of the usual heart rate and total time. Once you check your connected phone, it’ll show a more comprehensive summary complete with the mapping of your every location.

I must say, the tracking is quite accurate. I get a graph of my heart rate and speed for every minute of the routine, plus a precise map of what I covered. The Huawei Health app is what keeps all the records, and divides the intensities into warm-up, fat-burning, aerobic, anaerobic, and extreme.

All this data gets synced with every pairing between the Watch GT and Health app. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way to save the data online and view it on other devices. I managed to integrate Google Fit with Huawei Health, but could never transfer any fitness info.

I doubt this would be a problem for most users, but for techies like myself who go from one device to another, it would be perfect to have cloud access. The watch does hold some data so I can at least look back at some previous workouts after moving to another phone.

While on the topic of downsides, I also experienced several annoyances like sudden disconnections to my phone and the raise-to-wake function not always working, but a couple of software patches solved these issues to an extent. I also don’t like how notifications show up twice or not at all; this prevents the Watch GT from being a reliable assistant.

But, in essence, it seems to serve a different purpose altogether — not simply as a virtual companion. Because it’s so light, it acts like a fitness band while working out. And when you’re done exercising and need to head to a meeting or night out, it remains classy enough to pair with any casual or even semi-formal attire.

Like other smartwatches, you may change the watch face any time to match your outfit. Same applies to the watchband — no proprietary standards here, so swap to your heart’s content. This flexibility may be the primary reason why anyone would consider the Huawei Watch GT in the first place.

At the same time, it’s not that intelligent, feeling more like a fitness watch than a smartwatch most of the time. I was thoroughly impressed by the feature set when I first wore it, and yet, it left me wanting more as time went on.

For one, I’d love to be able to install more apps. Customization would make it, well, smarter. In addition, this wearable would benefit greatly from Qi wireless charging. Imagine charging on any compatible charger at home or in a cafe, or better yet, on your Mate 20 Pro’s back! Huawei missed a golden opportunity here.

These setbacks keep a good smartwatch from being great, especially when the market has reached a point wherein there are so many awesome choices now.

An alternative would be the Galaxy Watch of Samsung. It also has its own interface and focuses more on being a business-fitness watch. The differences are in the shorter battery life — limited to a couple of days depending on use — and ability to install additional apps from Samsung’s own app store.

Of course, you could also consider the Apple Watch Series 4. However, even though it targets health tracking and looks way better than previous generations, it’s really best for those who already use an iPhone. That Apple ecosystem in unmatched in the tech realm.

If you’ve made it this far and are still interested, the Huawei Watch GT starts at EUR 199 for the Sport version and costs EUR 249 for the Classic, which is the model you see here. In this case, style definitely comes at a price.

Lifestyle

The Pirate Bay just launched its own streaming service

Yes, it’s free

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Image source: Disney

Without a doubt, the streaming wars have begun. Especially after the introduction of Disney Plus, audiences are now struggling to find the perfect mix of price and content. Which streaming services should you sign up for, so you maximize all entertainment options while minimizing price?

However, as entertainment companies come up with more streaming services, prices are inevitably going up. That said, a former entertainment king is getting a lot more tempting again — piracy.

Before Netflix’s current dominance, audiences already resorted to torrenting and bootleg streaming. Now, rising prices will likely push audiences back to the entertainment model.

Case in point, infamous torrenting website The Pirate Bay has launched a streaming prototype — called BayStream — on its own site. Currently, users can access the service when they search for torrents. In the below search on The Mandalorian, for example, some torrents have a green play button. Clicking on the play button will direct users to a YouTube-like website where they can play the respective torrent without downloading it.

 

Unfortunately, the service doesn’t come with an instruction manual. However, upon further testing, the button automatically appears whenever a torrent has a hundred or more seeds, regardless of age. Sadly, the file’s availability on BayStream is an unknown. Some, despite having more than 100 seeds, are absent from the service. If anything, the top-seeded torrents are likelier to play on the site.

Additionally, users can also upload their own files on the service (up to 20GB). Presumably, uploading users can share their own files with others using the service.

The Pirate Bay has not officially announced the service. However, some reports say that the service is still in beta testing. Regardless, BayStream is an interesting addition to today’s overcrowded streaming market.

SEE ALSO: Netflix might limit password sharing between users

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Gaming

League of Legends launches an apparel line with Louis Vuitton

Costs up to US$ 5,650

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Image source: Louis Vuitton

How far will you go for League of Legends loot? Most gamers usually settle for in-game loot — cosmetic goodies to outfit your favorite characters. Some, however, buy into real-world merch — shirts, hoodies, stickers. Of course, both types of merchandise are legitimate ways to support the game. Regardless, there is always a way to go overboard.

Here’s your new way to splurge on the latest League of Legends merch! The iconic MOBA game has recently partnered up with luxury lifestyle brand Louis Vuitton. The newfound partnership has spawned a small line of League of Legends-themed apparel. As you might expect, the Louis Vuitton x League of Legends collection costs an arm and a leg.

For starters, the collection offers a minimalist black shirt with League of Legends character Qiyana. This particular item will cost you US$ 670. Again, this is just for starters. A similar t-shirt dress with the same character will cost you US$ 2,010.

Going towards the opposite side of the affordability spectrum, the collection also offers a hooded parka with blue and white accents for US$ 4,450. The most expensive item in the collection, a shimmering leather biker jacket, will cost US$ 5,650.

Outside of clothes, the partnership also has a set of accessories for sale. A Qiyana keychain/bag charm will cost US$ 515. A gold and white bucket hat will cost US$ 730. Finally, Louis Vuitton is offering a similarly designed Tambour Horizon smartwatch for US$ 3,050.

Before this extravagant partnership, both League of Legends and Louis Vuitton have partnered with complementary brands in the past. For one, Riot Games has recently partnered with OPPO for gaming content. Likewise, the luxury brand recently melded technology and lifestyle through AMOLED-paneled bags.

SEE ALSO: AMD announces faster 12-core Ryzen chips

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Features

How to incorporate “Classic Blue” in your daily life

It doesn’t have to look sad and boring

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Pantone has just announced Classic Blue as the Color of the Year 2020. After two bold colors (Ultra Violet and Living Coral) from the past two years, Pantone is starting a new decade with a color we’re all familiar with.

My initial reaction was disgust; this color reminded me of the boring days I spent working within office cubicles. Moreover, it’s a depressing color to look at, hence the reason why we use the idiom “feeling blue” to express our sadness. But Classic Blue isn’t all bad since it’s a color that represents trust, security, and stability — something we badly need in the year to come.

To fully embrace the new color of the year, here are ways to incorporate Classic Blue in your everyday life.

Go for an all-blue ensemble

Debenhams Royal Blue Diamond Straight Fit Trousers, Burberry BE4286F Sunglasses, Mango Man Slim Fit Cotton Chambray Shirt, adidas performance Runfalcon Shoes, OnePlus 7T Glacier Blue, Mango Pleated Ruffle Dress, Kimberley Faux Stone Drop Earring, Swarovski Impulsep: Bracelet Slake Mont/Oth M, Agnes B Classique Logo Crossbody Bag, NOSE Print Platform Sandals

Just because it’s “Classic Blue,” it doesn’t mean you only have to stick with one hue. I’m sure there are a lot of blue pieces in your wardrobe. Now’s the time to pull out that navy or washed-out denim jacket and/or jeans. If you don’t have any blue pieces, it’s time to re-evaluate your life. Shop pieces of clothing, footwear, and other accessories in different shades of blue. There are blue smartphones, too, so don’t forget to use them. For instance, Try using a OnePlus 7T in Glacier Blue to rock your Classic Blue #OOTD.

Cover the neutrals in classic blue

Uniq Lino AirPods Case, 40mm Delft Blue Sport Band for Apple Watch, Mujjo Leather Wallet Case for iPhone 11 Pro in Monaco Blue

If you’re a basic person who enjoys using Apple’s minimalist products, try sprucing it up with blue accessories. Dress your AirPods case, change your watch strap, and use a leather wallet case — all in this beautiful, classic blue.

Dress all your essentials in blue

American Tourister Ellen Spinner Luggage, DAVIDOFF Cool Water Intense Man Eau de Parfum 125ml, ASUS VivoBook S15 in Cobalt Blue, Sony WH-X900BN, Maserati GT Eco Solar Drive Chronograph Watch, Mossimo Men’s Wallets, Samsonite Red Crotel Backpack, Cortefiel Geometric Print Socks, Hydro Flask 32 oz. Tumbler

Don’t just stop at wearing and dressing up your accessories in blue. Make all your life essentials and everyday items come in this color! I know, I know. It’s overwhelming to use the same color in everything. To prevent yourself from looking like a sad person, pair these blue essentials with complementary colors such as earth tones ranging from brown and khaki to warmer colors like a vibrant red and orange.

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