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.
Magazines finally come to Apple News
Apple’s newest subscription service
You’ll finally be able to get Vogue on your phone monthly. 💃🏽
Apple’s last event saw no hardware. Instead, the tech giant showcased a number of new services. One such service brings 300 magazines to their platform.
— Apple News (@AppleNews) March 25, 2019
Apple News+ brings reading magazines to a whole new level. With live covers formatted for whatever device you’re using, magazines will now be an even more immersive experience.
Intuitive navigation, dynamic layouts, and interesting titles are all big selling points of Apple’s newest addition to their news subscription service.
Aside from that, though, Apple touts privacy and security — a recurring theme in this year’s event. Apple News+ creates a tailored experience for each user but all this personalization happens on your device. This means the company doesn’t know what you read, and neither will advertisers.
The new service costs US$ 9.99 per month for access to all this content. Plus, you can share your subscription with family. Starting today, you can get Apple News+ in the US and Canada by downloading an update. The service will come to Europe and UK in fall 2019.
How to use your selfie camera for better photos
The front-facing camera is all you’ll ever need
When someone says “selfie,” most people think of photos similar to this:
And while there’s nothing wrong with photos like these, I’m here to tell you that pictures with your smartphone’s front-facing cameras can be way better. No, really.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to get picturesque selfie shots that are Instagram-worthy.
First off, you’ll need a smartphone with a powerful selfie cam. Gone are the days when front shooters were considered secondary cameras. Brands have now recognized the importance of selfie shooters and they’re now putting in even better ones — thank heavens! The weapon of choice for this activity was the Honor 10 Lite with a 24-megapixel camera equipped with AI.
The next step is finding a great spot. Find a way to mount your phone — whether it be with a phone tripod, or entails propping it up on a wall or your coffee mug (like I did). What’s important is that your phone is on a stable place. Now you can fix your framing!
The camera timer is the most commonly used feature for these photos. All you need to do is turn it on and pose.
My favorite selfie feature would be the Palm Gesture. Simply raise up your palm when you’re ready. This saves you the trouble of having to physically tap the shutter button over and over. On the Honor 10 Lite, there’s also the Smile Shutter feature which triggers the shutter every time you smile, and the Volume Control feature which triggers the shutter when you say “Cheese,” or when your voice reaches a certain decibel.
What I love about shooting with the selfie cam is the fact that it shows me what my photo looks like before I hit the shutter. This means I can move around and make sure none of my body parts are cut out. I can also make sure I’m not shooting an unflattering angle and adjust accordingly. Here are just some samples I shot with the Honor 10 Lite:
This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Honor.
Nike’s new booth is an Instagramable fitness challenge
Just do it
Nike’s newest booth, located in Bonifacio High Street, Metro Manila, has been turning heads.
The place features a bunch of colorful decors which include, of all things, giant donuts.
Nike’s new Epic React Flyknit 2 is also on display…
As well as a lot of other photogenic props.
It’s the perfect spot for a good athleisurewear #OOTD!
But, that’s not all the spot is good for.
The booth is home to Nike’s Go More, Get More trialing program. Basically, you get to try the new Flyknits and earn points while doing so.
Those points convert to prizes and digital rewards from Nike!
Doesn’t that sound fun? Like Nike goes, Just do it!
The Go More, Get More program will run from March 19 to April 19 and it will be open to the public Mondays and Wednesdays from 4pm to 10pm; Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 2pm and 4pm to 10pm.
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