Huawei has been busy revealing a bevvy of software and hardware as part of HDC 2020 – its annual developer conference – currently being held in China. Somewhere in between announcing EMUI 11 and its new FreeBuds Pro, the company also pulled the wraps off its new flagship smartwatch: the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro.
As the name suggests, the Pro still operates within many of the same parameters as last year’s Watch GT 2 and this year’s GT 2e; with traits like a circular 1.39in AMOLED display, 4GB of internal storage and Bluetooth 5.1 support, to name a few. However, it elevates Huawei’s wearable offerings by using more premium materials than any smartwatch we’ve ever seen from the company before.
It’s no secret that Huawei’s smartphones are struggling outside of China, tainted by the effects of the US government’s entity list and their inability to feature GMS (Google Mobile Services). While we’re still expecting the Huawei Mate 40 Series to officially break cover in the coming weeks, in the short-term at least, it makes sense for Huawei to lean on some of its other product categories to entice customers and wearables perhaps make the most sense.
Unencumbered by the legal limitations of what it can do with Android, Huawei’s smartwatches run the company’s own LiteOS, which can communicate with both Android phones from multiple manufacturers, not to mention iOS devices too.
Related: Huawei’s HarmonyOS is coming to smartphones in 2021
The €329/€349 Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro takes the solid foundation of its predecessors and ups the ante in the design department; with the potential to draw the attention of premium smartwatch lovers who would otherwise be tempted by the likes of the latest Apple Watch Edition or Hublot’s Big Bang e.
As found on these luxury rivals, the GT 2 Pro incorporates both titanium (for the casing) and ceramic (on the back) into its design, as well as protecting the display with what Huawei describes as ‘sapphire glass’ (it’s unclear how hard this actually is but press materials allude to it falling somewhere between 7 and 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. Diamond is a 10).
As such, the GT 2 Pro is not only a lightweight smartwatch (its 46mm casing weighs 52 grams, without a strap) but it’s potentially harder-wearing than any luxury alternative out there.
Similarly to the recently-launched Honor Watch GS Pro, it also supports Route Back GPS wayfinding (so you can retrace your steps if you get lost while hiking with GPS support), support for over 100+ workout types, an enhanced TruSeen 4.0+ heart rate monitor with SpO2 detection, 5ATM water resistance and up to two weeks battery life under regular use.
While Huawei has generally taken an “if it ain’t broke” approach to the GT 2 Pro’s internals, small improvements where it counts and a compelling design might be enough to cast Huawei in a more positive light in consumers’ eyes and help detract from the current challenges the company is facing as a whole.
The FreeBuds Pro, FreeLace Pro, new MateBook X and Watch Fit (notice no phones there) arrived alongside the GT 2 Pro and all serve to highlight where Huawei is hoping to pull your attention, for the time being, at least.
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