Android Wear 2.0

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June 10, 2017

I recently sold my FitBit Charge 2 and upgraded to a Huawei Watch 2. I wanted to go back to a proper smartwatch, the FitBit just wasn’t cutting it for me after being used to a full-featured device like the Apple Watch.

A stock photo of the Huawei Watch 2 on a white background showing a sport watch face


I’ve been using Android for a few months now, so I needed to find a nice alternative running Android Wear. While I was at it, I decided I wasn’t just going to look for the closest match, but try to be a bit more clear about what my requirements are.

I was pretty happy with the overall Apple Watch experience, but I also didn’t like some aspects of it. So, my new watch had to be something that:

  • runs the latest version of Android Wear (and will hopefully receive updates)
  • has the longest possible battery life without being too bulky
  • is a proper sports watch. Not just IP67 or IP68 certified, but also rugged, featuring a recessed screen and easily readable under bright sunlight.
  • uses a standard or standards-compatible band system (there’s a whole exciting world of great sports and casual bands out there)
  • can work without a tethered phone. I always bring my phone with me on the trails, but I’d love to be able to leave it at home during runs.

First impressions

  • feels more like a rugged sports-watch with smart features, not a fragile computer on my wrist
  • great use of gestures and huge tap areas
  • much more proactive UX compared to watchOS
  • always-on OLED display is ❤️, feels retro-futuristic. It looks cool in an old G-Shock kind of way! One of those things you have to see to believe, appears like paper and preserves color surprisingly well with zero backlight.
  • Google Assistant is fast ⚡️⚡️⚡️.
  • battery life is good enough for sleep tracking, but nothing too spectacular
  • some apps are still buggy. I still can’t properly launch Todoist and Messenger.

I’ll update this post with more detailed observations and possibly a full review.