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.
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.
- 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.