Huawei Watch Review

Huawei Watch Review

Huawei Watch

$299.99
Huawei Watch
6.5

Overall Rating

7/10

    Pros

    • Beautiful design, a smartwatch that looks like a classy, elegant watch of yore
    • A great looking cocktail party or special event watch
    • Gorgeous display, currently only one better in the world
    • Sapphire crystal glass cover is a big hit with customers

    Cons

    • Not a watch for everyday use -- due to a number of sub-optimal features and too many ‘fails on function’
    • Battery life is disappointing, even by limited smartwatch standards
    • Vibration mechanism is simultaneously too loud and a physically ineffective UX element
    • Poor industrial design, engineering, bill of materials, and manufacturing quality of the stainless steel hyperlink band
    • Poor industrial design and engineering of the charger
    • Customer service and support is extraordinarily awful

    OVERVIEW & RATING

    The Huawei Watch is the pleasingly graceful, ultimately sophisticated, and tuxedo worthy high fashion statement smartwatch that you can wear several times a month to the most elegant special events, cocktail parties, and classy corporate retreats.

    It will definitely come in handy as a splashy and attractively distracting accompaniment to any necessary dress up dinner evening on the town that makes up for the occasional egregious, yet ultimately forgivable mistake with your spouse, fiancée, or significant other.

    And if you’re the type of sophisticate or top shelf tech professional who enjoys a dresser drawer that is chock full of at least a handful of various styles of watch for almost every occasion, then you should definitely consider acquiring a Huawei Watch for your drop dead hotty nights on the town and to impress your in-laws and cousins at the next family holiday dinner.

    Just don’t expect this high fashion statement to adroitly execute with consistent panache the highly functional smartwatch features and benefits that are so easily and methodically performed by the likes of the Apple Watch, the Samsung Gear S2, the Moto 360, the Garmin Forerunner 235, the Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, the Pebble, and the many Android Wear smartwatches out there and the ones that are confidently steaming down the train tracks right now.

    Indeed, the Huawei Watch is a definitive high-end fashion statement “shot across the bow” of the entire global smartwatch industry. True that! Its high fashion design is likely only matched or exceeded by the LG Watch Urbane, and on its best Clark Gable in the Big Apple type day, the Olio Model One might be a competitor to the Huawei Watch in the “luxury looks” department.

    Huawei Watch Review

    Indicative of this confident fashion winner is the fact that Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., the Chinese multinational parent of this product, was emboldened to call this a “watch” instead of a “smartwatch” – because it is truly differentiated from almost all other smartwatches on the market by its looks. It’s Cinderella dressed to the nines in true ‘stunning from across the ballroom looks’ that are more like an elegant watch of the past, but with a good, though certainly not commanding dose of the smarts demanded by today’s teeming masses.

    If you can’t catch the sparkle eye of the unattainable bells of the ball and the spring formal queens across the room by accidentally letting this watch slip out of its suit sleeve, then you need to rethink your shoes, your tie, and
    your cologne.

    Which reminds me — if you’re aged 16, 17, or 18 and you are nervously anticipating asking the gal of your high school dreams to the spring formal dance — you should seriously consider walking into your dad’s office (not his bedroom) and confront him like the man he knows you are becoming. Let him know you need to impress ‘the girl of your dreams’ when you ask her to ‘the dance of the year.’ Tell dad that you need a little something extra, a little extra wow factor to put you over the top and get dreamy Diana or tantalizing Trudy or down to earth Ann or sexy Sonya to say yes.

    Just remind dad, “Hey dad, remember that nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach when you were getting up the courage to ask your first girl to the high school dance? Well, dad, I gotta do that next week. If you could help me out a bit and spruce me up with a Huawei Watch, I’m pretty certain that’ll give me the extra boost of sophisticated confidence that I need to ‘get to yes’ and win the day.”

    Dad’s like that kind of talk, all you high school Fred Astaires and Michael Jacksons.

    Back on topic, though — unfortunately, Huawei apparently invested an unwisely asymmetric amount of capital, time, and effort on the product’s industrial design and not enough on the internal hardware and technical components, and all important software execution. The prototypical features and benefits expected by today’s very sophisticated stable of smartwatch customers around the world are just not up to par, sorry to say.

    As such, the Huawei Watch earns a 6.0 rating instead of a 7.5. Now, if the internal hardware component integration and software execution were way above the smartwatch industry average and matched its own exceedingly solid and sexy industrial design spiced and laced with superlative fashion sense and a world class display, it would earn a 9.5. Alas, such is not the case. Too bad. Maybe the next generation will kick it up a notch or two or three.

    Rating of the Huawei Watch
    •    6.5 on a 1 to 10 scale (10 = best)
    ✘ Poor customer service/support drops the rating 1 full point

    Still, the Huawei Watch is a good horse to place some bets for ‘place’ or ‘show’ in the smartwatch derby. It likely will not win the smartwatch war, but it will make the smartwatch war techie vets look darn good at their 10th to 50th year service reunions in the future.

    DESIGN

    The Huawei smartwatch is the almost perfect marriage of the design elegance necessitated by the watch industry’s surprisingly rapid and increasingly global conversion to the smartwatch space with the luxurious look of a high-class watch of yesteryear.

    Huawei Smartwatch ReviewThe rather universal marketplace appreciation for this product’s stunning AMOLED display – with its 35.5+ mm diameter of luxury real estate along with the smartwatch industry’s second highest pixel density, at 400 x 400 and 286ppi — is truly the central feature and benefit of this high fashion product. Only the LG Watch Urbane’s 348ppi (with 480 x 480 pixel parameters) surpasses the resolution and clarity of this sexy and satisfying watch display.

    Just for good measure, note that the Huawei Watch presents some 36 percent larger screen real estate than even the ample Samsung Gear S2 display. It’s not Trump level real estate, but it’s exciting nonetheless for those of us who are visually addicted screen-ophiles.

    The 2 o’clock position of the watch button on this comfortably traditional circular watch form is quite elegant and it seems to exemplify just the right ergonomic design-point for a prototype luxury smartwatch of the future, as opposed to the 3 o’clock facing position of the digital crown of the smoothly rectangular-ish Apple Watch and other smartwatches of both circular and rectangular styles.

    Six (6) models of the Huawei Watch are available: Black Leather, Steel Link Bracelet, Stainless Steel Mesh, Black-plated Link Bracelet, Alligator-pressed Brown Leather, and Rose Gold-plated Link Bracelet.

    HARDWARE

    The case of the Huawei Watch is 316L stainless steel, one of the most coveted and durable stainless steels for the world consumer market.

    Perhaps more importantly, this supremely solid and confident housing is covered with a sapphire crystal glass façade that is a forerunner for the future of the entire smartwatch industry.

    Ultimately, most smartwatches of the future are likely to use the compellingly attractive benefits of the scratch resistance of sapphire crystal glass technology, especially as it becomes, at first a luxury customer desired and then, later, a widely demanded feature of most smartwatches over the next several decades.

    The watch employs Qualcomm’s 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor. Every current model of the Huawei Watch has 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage.

    Its internal organs consist of a gyroscope and an accelerometer. It has a vibration motor that apparently is way too loud and does not hit the functional ‘vibrate the wrist’ sweet spot in the manner to which smart device customers around the world expect.

    It also contains a heart rate monitor (HRM) that seems to also be a functional disappointment to way too many customers.

    In addition, it offers WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy. However, it offers no GPS capability. The watch uses a magnetic charging cradle that offers a day and a half of essential battery life to its nursing child, though the cradle is getting rather comprehensively razzed in regards to its nettlesome pin arrangement, a cradle industrial design that many customers find annoying when they attempt to park their watch at the end of its daily service for a boost that will take it through the next day.

    SOFTWARE

    The Huawei Watch utilizes the Android Wear operating system and it has advertised functional compatibility with iOS, in limited, though eventually disappointing measure, as well as compatibility with Android devices.

    It supports Google Now voice commands, but many customers report the microphone is rather humble. So don’t count on this feature to be the reason you buy this watch.

    As far as customer feedback is concerned, the skilled engineering execution of the software stack and features of the Huawei Watch leave something to be desired. Many customers are experiencing too many annoying glitches, even to the point when the watch eventually converts the user into a frustrated customer who then decides to use it as a paperweight.

    Battlefront # 1: User Experience (UX)

    Unless Huawei derives a stunningly superlative technical UX advance, it’s not going to win the UX battlefront of the smartwatch war.

    In the digital crown v bezel UX battlefront, Huawei is not really a player, since their implementation is not centered on either experience, but more so on the user’s finger interaction with both the touchscreen display and the selection button that resides at a classically elegant 2 o’clock position.

    Battlefront # 2: Mobile Payments

    The Huawei Watch does not yet integrate NFC (Near Field Communications) technology that is central to the now and to the 2016 through 2020 future rollout of the massive growth in the mobile payments industry all over the world.

    So don’t expect your Huawei Watch to make good on your current attempts to reward a hard working employee or partner or customer, colleague, friend or family member with an Android Pay type transaction. Attempt that and it might as well just be a canceled transaction and a disappointed retailer or recipient.

    On the mobile payments battlefront, Huawei is well advised to ensure that their nexgen version of this fashion statement offers their customers the ability to make mobile payments at all the sophisticated events and evenings where this eye-catcher takes center stage on the wrist runway competition.

    Battlefront # 3: Untethered Calls

    The Huawei Watch offers not 3G WiFi capability. So you got no untethered cell phone calling capability such as on the Samsung Gear S2 with 3G.

    Since Huawei’s corporate founder and chief executive grew up in the world of telecommunications infrastructure equipment, the idea of Huawei advancing nicely in the battlefront # 3 arena of untethered phone calls seems like a sort of no brainer. However, it would not seem terribly rational to bet the farm on Huawei eventually winning this battlespace.

    Battlefront # 4: Apps

    Aside from the many obvious Android apps available on this Android playing field watch, too many customers complained about the lack of great native apps for this product. A whole lot of other customers are not happy with its lack of smooth app integration and methodical performance. Unless Huawei hires a fancy truckload of new software talent in the near future, they risk falling further behind in the race for superior smartwatch software driven features and benefits for the global marketplace.

    Battlefront # 5: Battery Life

    Depending on your use, especially depending on how you use the display, the battery life on this watch is anywhere from a good 12 to 14 hours to perhaps a day and a half at most.

    If Huawei sticks with the very solid all 316L stainless steel housing, which presents some otherwise lingering nexgen dimensional and weight constraints relative to shoving a lot of battery power in this little gem, then it seems unlikely that Huawei’s nexgen Watch will win battlefront # 5.

    Battlefront # 6: Waterproof Wearables

    The IP67 rating of the Huawei Watch means that it is nowhere close to the 5 ATM water resistant rating of the Garmin Forerunner 235 sports oriented smartwatch. Then again, come to think of it, how many rainstorms are there in an elegant ballroom where this fashion statement shines.

    Don’t look for Huawei to take a market leading approach to waterproof luxury smartwatches.

    Battlefront # 7: NexGen Form & Function. The victor in battlefront # 7 will be a leading hardware and software integrator of nexgen display techs, advanced materials, and user experience (UX) systems that enable a new form-function change to the playing field, as well as ultra-low energy chipsets, nexgen battery techs that last a week or two before recharge, untethered wireless call capabilities, self-sustainable application ecosystems, seamless & secure mobile payments systems, and 5 ATM or better waterproof technology integration.

    Unfortunately for Huawei, they are a true leader in none of these areas.

    Based on their corporate history, they are an industry leader in only one partial aspect of just one of these aforementioned areas, the wireless communications infrastructure aspect of untethered calls, as this is a feature of Huawei’s respectful history in China as well as the background of its founder and President.

    CONCLUSION: The Battlefront Assessment of the Huawei Smartwatch

    Let’s cut to the chase. Based largely on one factor alone, Huawei’s ability to win the global smartwatch war is in grave doubt. Unless a major turnaround effort is launched in the area of the most customer complaints about this product – that of abysmally poor and offensive customer service and support – then Huawei is not a great thoroughbred bet to win the Triple Digital Crown of the global smartwatch race, . . . competition, war — whatever your you want to call it.

    Indeed, the plethora of customer complaints percolating on the Internet about Huawei’s rather pathetic customer service and support does not bode well for Huawei’s long term ability to win the day in this important and profitable industry unless and until their executives realize that there is more to a full featured and attractively beneficial product than the form and function.

    Great customer service and reliable, trustworthy support of your customer base, especially in the more historically mature and developed markets, helps to win over customer mindshare and heartshare.

    With all due respect, word to the wise and best of luck, Zhengfei xiānshēng, founder and President of Huawei. You’re off to a great start.

    Empower and resource your Huawei executive team to expeditiously fix the issues so vigorously identified by your existing customers – and with a special and durable attention to Huawei’s customer service and support — and you’ll offer the global market a really fine smartwatch that will last the discriminating buyer of fine goods for a good long time of luxurious evenings, satisfying outings and special events, and perhaps even leave a special digital age heirloom to hand down to the children of the post social media generation.

    Until then, the Huawei Watch — though a sparkling and elegant winner on several nights on the town each month — is not likely the eventual winner of the global smartwatch war, but it’s a really fine looking piece of digital, stainless steel, and sapphire glass decoration for your wrist.


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