You could be forgiven for not being aware that Huawei had a product reveal yesterday. The event was primarily for the international market, though devices like the new Watch Ultimate are bound to make it this side of the world eventually.
When it arrives, it’ll be a desirable wearable — if only because of its build quality. The Chinese brand has gone upmarket with the Ultimate’s design, meaning it’ll have more in common with luxury wristwear than the smartwatch it actually is.
Is this Watch Ultimate?
For starters, Huawei’s new tech is built using a zirconium alloy (which is marketed under the name Liquidmetal in some places). Its usage isn’t that unusual in horology circles but the company claims that this is the first time that it’s appearing in a smartwatch. Expect a substantial amount of strength without the weight you might anticipate from something with this sort of construction. The design is more typically seen in a dedicated dive watch, so it’s strange to see it here in a smartwatch.
Diving really is what it’s intended for. The Watch Ultimate is rated for 100-metre depths but you’ll want the black option for that since it comes with the rubber band (and a second, longer one so you can strap it over your wetsuit). The silver and blue edition has a titanium alloy band.
There are, of course, smarts built in. The face is a 1.5in 466 x 466 AMOLED panel, capable of up to 1,000 nits of brightness. It’s topped by sapphire crystal glass, so you’ll have a tough time making the Watch Ultimate look less attractive than when it came out of the box. Huawei claims at least 24 hours of battery but it also reckons that it’ll last up to fourteen days on a charge. That’s not outlandish. We’ve seen the company’s wearables pull this stunt off before.
The device will track sleep, movement, heart rate, SpO2, and all the other bits and pieces you’d expect from a Huawei wearable. There’s also a new Expedition mode that seems designed for hiking (and competing with the Apple Watch Ultra). The only catch(s)? It’s running the company’s own HarmonyOS 3.0 and it will only launch in Bluetooth editions. There’s no eSIM support planned for any of these at this point. It launches internationally next month, but it may be some time before it shows its face in South Africa.