The Huawei Watch 2 Sport 4G is not a new watch but as there are still few options on the market which can beat it, and CES yielded very little, and Google doesn’t seem in a hurry to release a branded watch, as far as I can see, so here is the review for 2019.
Let me set this up. I purchased this from Amazon UK and had it shipped to NZ. I got it on a pre-Christmas sale but the price is currently still low enough to make it well worth it. The LTE model is not available in the US from what I can tell. The LTE/4G bands are compatible with the UK, AU, NZ (and many more countries too – US?). So if you are thinking of getting the Huawei Watch 2 Sport LTE model for use in Australia and New Zealand then you can know with confidence that it works. For this model anyway.
I am fairly committed to the Apple ecosystem so making a choice between this and an Apple Watch was interesting. How much was I going to sacrifice for using an Android Watch with an Apple iPhone? I’ll explain more in a minute.
Here was my wearable criteria
- Have a wrist-based heart monitor
- Built-in GPS – and ideally Glonass as well.
- Not be too big for my rather skinny wrists
- Be light and comfortable for long periods of use
- Have an acceptable battery life
- Have an Altimeter
- Sleep monitoring
- Offline music capabilities (play music on my runs without my phone)
- Phone free phone calls (leave the phone at home)
- V02 Max measuring would be a bonus
- NFC with Google Pay or similar (still waiting for Westpac to add Google Pay – weaners)
- Was run on Google Wear OS, not Tizen, as I wanted to ensure upgrades as long as possible and believed Google was about to invest more time and effort in Wear OS (ended up True)
- Navigation e.g. Google Maps
There was only one most important element the Huawei Watch 2 Sport could not deliver and that was being waterproof. It is water resistant but not waterproof. Some sites imply it is waterproof, and it can handle some water but I wouldn’t go swimming in it, personally speaking. It’s IP68 rated which is, according to Wikipedia as below.
IP68 is “dust resistant” and can be “immersed in 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes”Wikipedia
Smart Watches I compared…
Sports/Running watches with Music capabilities
I read extensive reviews on all but you can read them all too if you like. 😊
- Vivoactive 3 Music
- Amazfit Stratos
- Fitbit Ionic
- Polar M600
- Samsung Galaxy Watch
- Apple iWatch 3
- LG Watch Sport
- Garmin Forerunner 645
- Samsung Gear Sport
- Motorola Moto 360 Sport
- Huawei Watch 2 Sport
- Fossil Sport
Smart Watches with Music (wearables)
Why not the Apple iWatch?
- The Apple iWatch 4 is really expensive. The iWatch 4 was about $600 (or 400%) more expensive than the Huawei Watch 2 Sport
- The Apple iWatch 3 was still cool enough but if I was paying that much I wanted to have phone free calling. In NZ there is no support for nano-SIM yet so that meant I couldn’t leave my phone at home and just take my watch. Sad.
- Ugly factor. I just think it’s unnatural to have a square watch. I am a bit of a watch fan so having a square watch, even a useful one, just didn’t sit well with me.
So after nights and nights of
The ultimate goal here was 1: Be able to walk out of the house and not need my phone, but still be contactable if really needed and 2: Look at my phone less during the day.
So now I had made the decision on the Huawei Watch 2
Sport 4G, let’s get on with the R eview…
Let’s get the Pro’s and Con’s out of the way.
- No rotating bezel
- Not waterproof
- No phone-free GPS navigation for iPhone users
- Huawei Health app syncs to the phone but if you move phones you seem to lose all your data. Sad.
- Battery is pretty good (sucked at first but a little less use and avoiding extra apps + some updates from Google and it’s good for a day at least.)
- Feature rich, as you can see from the first list
- Allows trips out without the phone. #winning
- Looks pretty good. Not too rugged and not too sleek
- GPS is solid
- Huawei Health is a great app overall
- When the battery is super low it goes in to watch-only mode. This only tracks steps and tells the time but it can last for up to 2-3 weeks on average which is great
- It’s tougher than it looks. The ceramic bezel is incredibly strong and I’ve given it a good hard workout so far.
It’s easy to expect too much from a watch in early 2019 when things just haven’t moved on as fast as they could have. Once I adjusted my expectations on the HW2 I realised that it was going to do almost everything I wanted. Look good, allow me to go out without my phone and stop me look at my phone in micro-moments all day. Now with a quick glance, I can get insights to my day without being as rude or distracted.
The screen is not as big as some of the other models and some
Google assistant is slow but I think even Apple only got that right with the iPhone 4. It takes a fair bit of processor power. It works, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a fluid as it could be.
The Huawei apps are really good and you still get Wear OS and Google Fit (including Fit Breathe which is pretty cool for quick meditation and breathing exercises).
iPhone users don’t get the same rich experience as Android but considering the biggest benefits of the watch phone connection are notifications, you get the big bits.
The main thing I didn’t expect with the watch is that I haven’t used, or wanted to install and extra apps except for a couple of watch faces, Uber (which I haven’t used yet) and Spotify (although I ended up using Google Music and it’s fine). I did a list of the apps I was going to install as soon as I got it but never really got far through it. Either because I didn’t want to slow the processor down anymore, they didn’t work as I expected or because I just realised I liked the watch as it was, and what it offered.
The phone call quality on this is really quite surprising. I was out buying something at the store when my phone went flat and I needed to phone home to get some advice on the purchase. I called from my watch and had a very good two-way call. The dual microphones and speaker on this watch are ahead of their time considering it’s not a 2019 build. Very happy with the quality and experience – you wouldn’t know I was calling from a phone and I could hear the other people clear as a bell.
Fitness has been one of the biggest successes of this watch for me. I find that I WANT to run and train because of all the rich data it gives me
Playing music on the go, either online or downloading music to the phone via Google Play Music has been excellent. As soon as I turn on my headphones the watch pairs very quickly and I’m straight
One gotcha was my anticipation of using Spotify on the watch. It does work but only as a controller for the app on your iPhone/Android phone. It turns out only Google Play Music allows you to download music to the phone. I just got a stack of my music and uploaded it to Play Music and then downloaded a few albums, rather than stream them. Google Play music allows about 50,000 songs for free so it’s a great set up.
2: Google Maps on Wear OS and iPhone
If you have an iPhone then the Google Maps app doesn’t allow you to navigate on your watch. You can use Google Maps on the watch to search locations and then send them to your phone but you can’t navigate on the phone. My understanding is this isn’t the same for Android users (perhaps you still need the phone though?).
Can you use the same phone number on the iPhone and Watch?
Different countries have different mobile setups so check with your local telecommunications company. Most won’t let you share a phone number on the phone and watch, that’s how it is in little old NZ too.
My set up is:
- The microSIM I have in the watch is able to share the same data plan as I have on my phone
- On the
iPhoneit’s very easy to set it up for call forwarding to the phone number on the watch sim card
This allows me to leave the house and receive phones calls, send text messages (not iMessages) which
I purchased a couple of extra chargers. One I leave in the car and one in the office just in case I get caught out. So far, 2 months, I’ve only used the office charger twice.
– Desk charger like
This hasn’t taken the normal path of a review but hopefully, it’s given more than you need to make a sound decision. Until the iWatch is cheap, or the Wear OS software becomes lag-free, or the processing chip in the Wear OS wearable devices is fast enough to handle some serious speed, this is a great choice of watch. It’s not free of quirks but it’s a solid performer and at the
Overall, I recommend this watch. 👍
Huawei Watch 2 Sport LTE Gallery
Any comments or questions, drop them below. Happy to help answer anything if I can.