The Huawei Watch 2 represents a big, sporty departure from its more traditional-looking predecessor. In terms of specs, it compares favorably to the Apple Watch Series 2, though the two makers' approaches are quite different. Let's take a look at how their features and specs compare.
Note that for the sake of this comparison, we are considering two variations of the Huawei Watch 2: the Huawei Watch 2 base model and the Huawei Watch 2 Classic, which vary slightly in features and aesthetic. There are also two sizes of Apple Watch (42 mm and 38 mm) which are very similarly equipped.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
In many cases, there are no differences in the pair of options from each maker. In those instances, we've only included one image to be representative of both.
Both variants of the Huawei Watch 2 are the same size, which is considerably bulkier than the rectangular, contemporary-looking Apple Watches. Its round face is about 20-percent wider than that of the larger Apple Watch. The Huawei Watch is also considerably thicker – it will stick out about 17-percent further from your wrist.
Build (watch face)
The base model Huawei Watch 2 has a partially-plastic case with ceramic bezel and Gorilla Glass 3 display covering, while its more traditional-looking counterpart, the Watch 2 Classic, uses stainless steel.
The entry-level Apple Watch 2 models are built out of aluminum, with Ion-X glass on the front (similar to Gorilla Glass). For a premium, you can also upgrade to stainless steel or ceramic builds with a sapphire display.
Colors (watch face)
Color choices for the Huawei Watch 2 depend on the configuration. The Watch 2 Classic is only available in one dark metallic gray color, but the base model is available in orange (4G models only), gray (non 4G models) or black (both 4G and non 4G).
The aluminum build on the Apple Watch is available in four different metallic finishes. There are additional neutral and metallic options available if you upgrade to stainless or ceramic.
All of these watches have removable, interchangeable bands, so if you don't like the manufacturer's choice, you can always swap to something you like better.
The Huawei Watch 2 comes with a rubbery-plastic sport strap, while the Watch 2 Classic has a leather strap that's reinforced with a rubber-like material on the inside. With the Apple Watch Series 2, you can choose from a bevy of material and color options.
The round display on the Huawei Watch 2 packs in more overall area than the rectangular Apple Watches, despite the larger diagonal measurements of the latter.
Exact pixel counts vary, but all of these watches end up with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch.
Always-on display option
An always-on option is conspicuously absent from the Apple Watch – you'll have to wake the watch to see time and other key notifications.
The Apple Watch has a pressure-sensitive display, so you can navigate differently depending on how hard you tap the screen. This can be helpful when trying to navigate on such a small device.
Similarly, the Apple Watch also has a rotating "Digital Crown" – you can turn the crown to flip through your apps and content. Again, this adds a comfortable way to navigate through your watch, so you don't need to depend on taps or voice control.
The Huawei Watch's IP68 water resistance rating means it's safe from splashes and accidental dunks, but the Apple Watch is fully swim-proof to 50 meters. You can leave it on in the shower and the pool, and even use it as a fitness tracker during swimming workouts.
Standalone cellular option
Some models of the Huawei Watch 2 are available with 4G cellular connectivity, so you can use your watch completely independently of your phone. That's not an option with the Apple Watch.
Both watches are GPS-equipped.
Heart rate sensor
They also have heart rate sensors for your fitness tracking (or meditative) needs.
Both watches have NFC, the technology that enables mobile payments. The Apple Watch works with Apple Pay while the Huawei Watch is Android Pay-compatible.
Many factors go into overall smartwatch battery life. It's tough to say which watch has longer life overall without conducting controlled side-by-side tests.
The Huawei Watch 2 can be paired with both Androids and iPhones. Apple Watches can only be used with iPhones.
The Huawei Watch 2 runs Android Wear 2.0, which was just released earlier this month. It has a few perks which help it untether from your phone, such as an on-board version of the Google Play Store. The Apple Watch runs watchOS 3.
The Huawei Watch 2 is expected to hit several markets starting next month. The Apple Watch Series 2 was released last September.
The Apple Watch Series 2 starts at US$369, but if you opt for build upgrades the price can go much higher. Huawei has yet to confirm US pricing of its second-generation smartwatch.
If you want some indication of the Huawei Watch 2's cost, the European price tags are €329 for the Watch 2, €379 for its LTE variant and €399 for the Classic. That's about US$345, $400 and $420, respectively, though international prices are very rarely direct conversions based on the exchange rate.
Correction: The original version of this comparison omitted ceramic from the Huawei Watch 2 (standard) build materials. We regret the error.View gallery - 20 images