Smartwatches

Huawei Watch hands-on: The most fashionable Android Wear watch yet

Huawei Watch hands-on: The mos...
The circular screen features a 400 x 400 resolution over 1.4-inches
The circular screen features a 400 x 400 resolution over 1.4-inches
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The watch has a crown button at the two o'clock position
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The watch has a crown button at the two o'clock position
Pairing either band type with the silver case makes for a seriously good looking wearable
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Pairing either band type with the silver case makes for a seriously good looking wearable
The metal strap has more weight to it (in a good way) than Android Wear competitors
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The metal strap has more weight to it (in a good way) than Android Wear competitors
The strap pictured features a deployment buckle, wherein the clasp is all but invisible when closed
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The strap pictured features a deployment buckle, wherein the clasp is all but invisible when closed
The circular screen features a 400 x 400 resolution over 1.4-inches
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The circular screen features a 400 x 400 resolution over 1.4-inches
Huawei's watch is the one of the most convincingly luxury smartwatches out there
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Huawei's watch is the one of the most convincingly luxury smartwatches out there
The device runs on Android Wear, powered by a Snapdragon 400 processor
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The device runs on Android Wear, powered by a Snapdragon 400 processor
The leather band might just be the most luxurious feeling smartwatch strap we've tried so far
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The leather band might just be the most luxurious feeling smartwatch strap we've tried so far
We tried out both the silver and black steel cases, as well as metal and leather straps
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We tried out both the silver and black steel cases, as well as metal and leather straps
The black finish looks notably less premium than the silver option
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The black finish looks notably less premium than the silver option
The darker body is reminiscent of last year's LG G Watch R
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The darker body is reminiscent of last year's LG G Watch R

Earlier this week, we finally got pricing and release details on the Huawei Watch. It's priced a little higher than some of its competition, but does its high-end build make it worth the extra cash? Gizmag went hands-on with the wearable at IFA 2015 in Berlin.

If you look at the Huawei Watch's spec sheet, you'll notice that it's not doing much that its competitors aren't, with the same Snapdragon 400 chip and 512 GB RAM you'll find in numerous other Android Wear watches. That isn't what makes the Huawei Watch special. Instead it's about providing users with a premium, luxurious build, one that could be mistaken for a high-end traditional watch.

The watch has a crown button at the two o'clock position
The watch has a crown button at the two o'clock position

We tried out both the silver and black steel cases, as well as steel and leather straps. We found the silver body to look notably higher-end than the darker case, which has subtle dial markings reminiscent of last year's LG G Watch R.

Pairing leather or steel band with the silver case makes for a ridiculously good-looking wearable. Like the LG Watch Urbane, it has a fully round display and like the Moto 360 a minimal bezel with chamfered edges. Many smartwatch-makers have put an emphasis on fashion, but Huawei's is the most convincing of the bunch so far. If you're shopping for a damn good-looking smartwatch, all hail Huawei.

The leather band might just be the most luxurious feeling smartwatch strap we've tried so far, and the metal link band has more weight to it (in a good way) than Android Wear competitors like the Asus ZenWatch 2 and second generation Moto 360.

The metal strap has more weight to it (in a good way) than Android Wear competitors
The metal strap has more weight to it (in a good way) than Android Wear competitors

The band pictured above also has a deployment buckle, where the clasp is practically invisible when closed. It's something you'll routinely find on non-smart luxury timepieces, and adds an extra touch of class here.

One technical area where the wearable sits at the top of the Android Wear field is its display. The circular screen has a 400 x 400 resolution over 1.4-inches. That equates to a respectable 286 pixels per inch, making Google's wearable OS look sharper than ever. For some context, the Apple Watch's display comes out to roughly 326 PPI, while the new Gear S2's is 302 PPI, so Huawei's still trails a bit behind its biggest non-Android Wear rivals.

Given the higher price point of the watch (depending on configuration, it ships for between US$350 and $800), it won't be for everyone. But as long as you don't mind your wearable dollars going towards higher-end design and build quality, rather than extra functionality, the Huawei Watch delivers.

The Huawei Watch is up for pre-order now (on Huawei's US store, the Google Store and Amazon), and is set to ship to US customers on September 17.

For more on the smartwatches unveiled at IFA, you can check out Gizmag's hands-ons with the Samsung Gear S2, new Moto 360 and Asus ZenWatch 2.

Product page: Huawei

1 comment
Nicolas Zart
So far, it's the only wearable I would wear. It looks elegant and not trying to be too different. It gets my vote.