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Tue, 16 Oct 2018 09:30:00 -0400

Huawei Watch GT hands-on: Big battery promises and yet another OS

Looks like smartwatches aren't going away anytime soon, and may actually be coming back to haunt our wrists. With companies like Google, Samsung, Apple and Qualcomm all launching new devices (or at least some software and hardware updates), interest in the category is clearly on the rise again.

Huawei is joining the fray with the Watch GT, a familiar-looking smartwatch that, for some inexplicable reason, relies on a proprietary operating system instead of Wear OS. The company is making bold claims about the Watch GT's 30-day battery life while emphasizing the device's sports-tracking prowess. Given how much we liked Huawei's previous watches, I was excited by its latest attempt. But based on my time with an early unit, I'm not sure the new smartwatch will stand out in this year's crowded wearables space.

For one thing, the Watch GT just looks kind of generic. Its stainless steel case and ceramic bezel feel nice, but both its color options (black face with black strap or silver face with brown leather band) are underwhelming. Huawei said it used a classic design here, and the aesthetic certainly is very familiar. This watch looks nearly identical to the older Huawei Watch and very similar to the Gear S3 Frontier, except with two crowns instead of the two rectangular buttons on Samsung's device. Just know that at a chunky 10.6mm thick, this feels better suited for bigger wrists.

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