While the smartwatch market is still dominated by a few prominent players, Huawei is well and truly giving these brands a run for their money when it comes to its range of watches. Whether you’re looking for a cheap and simple watch, or a day-to-day device packed with features, Huawei pretty much has you covered.
Part way through the year, Huawei launched a range of new smartwatches with different customers in mind. The Watch Fit 2 has its clear position in the market as an affordable device that doesn’t skimp on the necessary features, but suits the average user looking for a watch to keep up with their daily needs. Read on to find out how the Huawei Watch Fit 2 measures up in this hands-on review.
How we tested the Huawei Watch Fit 2 smartwatch
I used the Huawei Watch Fit 2 (Active Edition) over the course of several months with a range of different uses — from average full day use and activity-intense days through to exercise tracking only. I monitored the watch for its tracking of my health vitals and workouts, along with battery performance, all integrated with the Huawei Health app on my phone.
Huawei Watch Fit 2 (Active Edition) features and specs
- $299 AUD RRP (Active Edition)
- 1.74 inch AMOLED display
- Midnight Black, Sakura Pink, Isle Blue colourways
- Polymer front and rear case with silicone straps
- Weighs 26g without strap
- 10-day typical usage/7-day heavy usage battery life
- Heart rate, SpO2, sleep, step and calorie burn monitoring
- Works with the Huawei Health app (Android and iOS)
- 97 workout modes with built-in fitness coach
- Built-in microphone and speaker
- 5 ATM water-resistant (up to 50m, best for shallow water activities such as swimming)
- Goal measuring via Healthy Living Shamrock
- USB charger included (no power point plug)
|Huawei Watch Fit 2 Pros||Huawei Watch Fit 2 Cons|
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Design, appearance and wearability
- Simple and inoffensive design
- Good size even for smaller wrists
Huawei has reserved the smartwatch-parading-as-analogue watch design for its more expensive watches (such as the Huawei GT 3 and GT 3 Pro), so with the Watch Fit 2, you’ll find that more typical square-face smartwatch style. If you find you prefer the square style for the functionality benefits, then you’ll most likely be happy with the design.
You can pick up the Watch Fit 2 in two styles — Active Edition and Classic Edition, both with a 1.74-inch AMOLED screen. The Active Edition is the more basic of the two, with polymer casing and a silicone strap, with your choice between Midnight Black, Sakura Pink and Isle Blue colourways, and weighs approximately 26g (strap excluded).
The Classic Edition features aluminium casing on the front and polymer on the back, with a leather strap and is only available in a Moon White colourway, and weighs approximately 30g (without strap). Other strap colours and styles for the Classic version, are currently not available in Australia.
I was supplied the black Active Edition, and found it to be a reasonably nice-looking (although basic) watch. The size and shape wasn’t too uncomfortable wearing for a whole day, and it didn’t get in the way when exercising, particularly when doing yoga where you need that wrist flexibility.
I’m not personally a fan of silicone straps for watches, and I did find this strap to be a little uncomfortable at times and prone to leaving dents on my skin after long wearing, and my wrist did get a bit sweaty during exercise. However, silicone clearly has its advantages as an easy-to-clean material. This will be useful for anyone who participates in activities (sports, exercise, work, etc) where things can get a bit dirty.
The default screen design comes with the option to change the colours with a simple tap, which is great if you like to change the colour to suit your mood or clothes. You can also change the design of the watch face if you prefer, using either the watch or the Huawei Health app to change the watch face.
Ultimately the design of the Watch Fit 2 is fairly simple and safe for a smartwatch. If you’re looking for a watch for its functions rather than as a daily accessory, you’ll find it does the trick. It’s also relatively comfortable to wear and doesn’t get in the way when exercising. It’s not a watch that’s designed as a fashion statement, but as a more practical and useful smartwatch for anyone who wants something simple.
Performance, battery and functionality
- Great battery life and quick charging
- Some GPS connectivity issues
For a device at this cheaper price point, you can expect a watch with more simplified features. That being said, Huawei does pack in a fair bit of value to the Watch Fit 2.
Huawei has kept the watch simple relying on touch screen, gestures and a button mounted on the right side of the watch face. The side button takes you to the menu, while gestures on the home screen will take you to shortcuts, such as your settings, media controls, and heart rate monitoring.
Navigating through the watch is easy and the screen seemed rather responsive to touch on most occasions. It is also fairly responsive to movement, with a simple lift and tilt of my wrist, enough to activate the screen to show the time.
Its connectivity with the Huawei Health app was fairly quick and seamless (such as changing the watch face in the app), however I did have a few issues with it connecting to my phone, mostly GPS connectivity for both exercise tracking and weather. I would get some error messages when it struggled to connect, and it could take a while to connect when using the outdoor walk exercise mode — unfortunately there is no way to start the exercise without GPS, so it was sometimes a frustrating long wait. I would sometimes have to open to app on my phone to try to get the watch to connect.
I found this to be mostly an issue when the watch had been idle for a long time (or had been switched off). The ‘find my phone’ feature also struggled to connect if the watch and app hadn’t been connected for a while, which defeats the purpose of finding your phone if it’s not connected. If you’re not going to use the watch everyday, you might want to make sure the watch has properly connected to your phone.
Battery life and charging
Battery and charging is something Huawei has done a fantastic job with — a factor I also noted with the Huawei GT 3 watch. Clearly Huawei has mastered the battery life and fast charging with its watches. I found that I could easily get through a full day with minimal battery drain — I lost around 6% of battery from around 6:30am to 4:30pm (10 hours in total), with 2% of the battery draining with an hour of workout tracking. While a longer day of use (around 14 hours) drained 8% of battery (from around 8am through to 10pm), with most of its battery drain (around 5%) coming from an hour of using the outdoor walk exercise mode with GPS tracking.
When you are low on battery, even a few minutes of charge is enough to get you a decent amount of battery for an exercise session. Just 10 minutes of charge gives you around 25% battery, while you can get from 0% to 100% battery in just an hour of charging. The charger was a little frustrating to use at times, as it’s prone to slipping off the phone depending on positioning, so ensure that you have it secured and stable before walking away from your charging watch.
Overall, the performance was great — I found it to be an easy watch to use and navigate with minimal issues. For the price point, I definitely felt that Huawei has packed in a lot of value for money with the Watch Fit 2. Its battery and charging make it stand out for whole day usage with minimal charging, and being able to get a decent battery boost with a few minutes of charge is great when you’re short of time and need a top-up. Bar some occasional GPS connectivity issues, you’ll be pretty pleased with the overall performance of the Watch Fit 2.
Features, health and exercise tracking
- Sleep tracking rather good overall but prone to some glitches
- Built-in fitness coach a great and genuinely useful feature
As a watch for everyday use, you’ll find a range of useful features, along with exercise tracking, to cover your basic smartwatch needs. However, one thing to note is that the Watch Fit 2 Active Edition doesn’t support NFC payments.
The Watch Fit 2 has some of the same useful features that I found in the Huawei GT 3 — the water drain function and the ‘find my phone’ feature. I did find that the overall connectivity issues I had with the watch and my phone impacted this feature — although this was mostly noticeable if the watch had been idle or switched off for long periods, and I hadn’t used the app for a while. Keeping the watch active and connected with the app on a daily basis might eliminate these connectivity issues, but it’s something to think about if you tend to only use your watch on certain occasions, such as for exercise.
Like the GT 3, you can also store and play music from the watch if you don’t want to rely on another music player. There is good news for iPhone users: during my use of the watch, an update was installed which enabled media control compatibility between Huawei watches and iPhones, so you are now able to control your music from your iPhone on your Huawei Watch Fit 2. I find this perhaps one of the most useful features of a smartwatch, so this significantly broadens the market for Huawei.
Health and vitals tracking
You’ll find all the basics and must-have tracking features included with the Watch Fit 2 — steps, calories, heart rate, stress, sleep and blood oxygen saturation (some of these features need to be started in the app rather than on the watch). However, it is missing some of the extra environmental features that you’ll get with more expensive devices like the GT 3, such as air pressure and altitude.
The tracking and measurement of these health and vitals functions tend to be fairly accurate overall, but I did find there were some occasional hiccups, but not enough to be much of an issue.
I find Huawei’s sleep tracking — which includes instances of waking up and napping in the tracking — to be fairly accurate. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of using a watch to track my sleep, but when I did, the watch wasn’t particularly uncomfortable, I just made sure the strap wasn’t too tight. I went through a patch of sleep troubles, so I used the sleep tracking to measure my sleep over a couple of weeks. I found it seemed to match up to how I felt I had slept for the night, and the overall quality of sleep.
However, sleep tracking wasn’t without faults, with one instance of it tracking that I had had a nap for several minutes, when I had actually been watching a movie. To track your sleep, you are required to control this in the app by selecting when you have gone to bed and when you have woken, and you’ll also need to manually turn on ‘do not disturb’ to keep the watch face dark and notifications off. In the future, I’d like to see Huawei’s sleep tracking rely less on the app to use the feature.
Other measurements and tracking seemed fairly accurate. Step count was reasonably accurate, although it did tend to measure step counts a little higher than what you actually take (and would contradict with my phone’s step tracking at times). I also had troubles with it measuring my blood oxygen saturation, with a couple of instances where, despite doing as instructed and keeping still with the watch face up, it wouldn’t take the measurement. It sometimes took a couple of goes to get this to work.
However, these basic features give you the sort of information and tracking you would want and expect from a phone at the price, and it’s an overall decent performance.
For a watch at this price point, Huawei has packed in a huge range of exercise modes and features. You’ll get 97 workout modes such as outdoor walk, strength, core training, indoor run, pool swim, yoga and more. While you’ll only have a set amount of workouts in your main workout menu, you can add, delete and move your preferred exercise modes in this menu for quick access to your favourites.
Exercise tracking was fairly accurate, although at times the information on calories burned didn’t quite align when compared to other devices. I did have a fair few issues getting GPS to connect on outdoor walks, and also had a couple instances of the workout tracking not being very accurate after the watch had been turned off or idle for long periods. It measured the workout zone during yoga workouts to be much higher than they were, and while the watch’s workout was incorrect, this information appeared correct in the app (my heart rate was still recorded correctly).
In addition to the workout modes, there is also a built-in fitness coach. This fitness coach is essentially a guide and appears as an option before and after initiating certain workouts (indoor cycling has this mode, while yoga doesn’t), and demonstrates warmup and cool down stretches you can do. It previews the demonstrated exercises (such as stretches and gentle movements) and then the watch will count down and vibrate to let you know its starting. You’ll then do your exercise for the allotted time length (such as 20 seconds) and then it will indicate with a vibration that the exercise is done and you can look at the watch to preview the next one. It’s worth noting that you don’t have to do these warm ups or cool downs to use the workout mode.
Not only does the fitness coach step in before and after workouts to ensure you’re looking after your body, but when you’ve been sitting or idle for too long, you’ll get a notice (vibration) about it and a suggestion to start a quick workout (with stretches and light movements). This is a great feature for anyone who spends a lot of time at a desk and wants to add more activity into their day. These fitness coach workouts are also counted as an exercise in your workout logs.
I found the fitness coach workouts really useful, not just for moving around when I’ve been at the desk too long, but also for running through some good stretches before and after exercise. If you often neglect the warm up and cool down and tend to exercise on your own, this could be a great way of prompting you to look after your body.
It’s easy to tell that Huawei has put effort into what users will want from the Watch Fit 2. Exercise and sports watches don’t have to be for the most serious athletes, and anyone can benefit from workout monitoring. If these are features you’re interested in, but you don’t want to shell out big bucks for a smartwatch from another brand, these features offer enough for anyone looking for a simple and affordable watch with good workout tracking.
Should I buy the Huawei Watch Fit 2?
Huawei has packed in a lot to like about the Watch Fit 2. I personally have found myself contemplating buying a smartwatch for myself, just with the basic functions such as notification alerts, media controls and exercise monitoring, but have found myself turned off by the price points offered by the bigger brands. Often when buying a smartwatch, people might be tempted to just buy the same brand as their smartphone, or to pick up one of the bigger known brands because it must be good. However, Huawei could challenge this.
Price doesn’t have to be a barrier to experiencing what a smartwatch has to offer. Whether you choose the Active or Classic style, you’re still getting a quality smartwatch for the $299 or $349 price point. These cheaper prices do mean a compromise on a couple of things, such as appearance and materials, but the Watch Fit 2 still does the job and is a great option for anyone after the basics.
There is a lot to like about what Huawei does with the Watch Fit 2, and what you get for the price is definitely a big draw card. While it’s not a perfect device and struggled with connectivity and tracking issues from time to time, these few issues never detracted from the overall solid performance of a great watch.
|Consider the Huawei Watch Fit 2 if||Don’t consider the Huawei Watch Fit 2 if|
|You want an affordable smartwatch that still carries the basics with great exercise and health features.||You want a nicer looking watch for the day-to-day or want more serious exercise features.|
Product used for review/testing was a free sample provided by Huawei.