You read correctly, we are reviewing the Huawei Watch Fit and not the recently launched Watch Fit 2. Older siblings will understand. Now that there’s a newer model, Mom has less to spend on you. But does the price drop make Huawei’s earlier sports watch a must-have to get you on track toward that summer body?
Slick, subtle, simple
The lightweight Huawei Watch Fit is probably one of the more subtle smartwatches out there with that 1.64in AMOLED display in a 21g body. The fully touch 256 x 280-pixel display looks crisp and at certain angles like it covers the entire watch face. It takes close inspection to see the pixels and bezel. Barring the straps and the screen, the body is made entirely of plastic which should explain its weight. The only protrusions are one side button, which takes you to the menu, and a small rear bump where you’ll find the sensor. The indentations on the back are two magnetic points for charging and, at the narrow edges, watch strap clips. A screwdriver is necessary to remove the clips and replacement straps can be bought for R190.
The interface is easy on the eye and easy to navigate. Swiping the screen to either side gives you quick access to, your heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep score, weather, and your activity goals. The heart rate monitor came in handy when we first received the watch at the Huawei wearables launch. We realised the following morning that all we had to do to start the workout was press the button to open the menu. Your workouts and records are found there along with some other handy apps like the remote shutter and find phone. Apps like the timer, torch, and do not disturb are found in the pulldown menu. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The interface is prone to a few lags. Not a major issue but we’ve double pressed start for our timer which extended our workout time.
From zero to hero
There aren’t many workouts supported at first glance but they should cover most options. Running, cycling and swimming will handle most workouts like football, water polo, or a triathlon. Jump rope, Elliptical, and Rowing round out the rest and you can track general calories and heart rate with the “Other” feature. The preset running courses offer basic walk/run courses for beginners, long slow runs for experienced runners, and HIIT for more focus on power. These make exercise very accessible and engaging at different levels.
The Huawei Watch Fit’s Health Clover is a fun feature for a more holistic approach to health. The three leaves of the clover measure your steps, your sleep, and your mood. Steps and sleep are pretty intuitive and don’t take much conscious effort. Just set goals, strap the watch on your wrist, and fill your leaves. Conscious effort is required for the “mood” leaf though. To fill it you need to perform the breathing exercises you can find in the menu. While a one-minute breathing session won’t necessarily immediately improve your mood, it is a healthy habit that the clover can help you build.
The activity goals measure your movement by calories, exercise by minutes active, and hours spent standing. When you check your app you’ll find a detailed breakdown of your steps, distance travelled, and your climb if you went hiking. Beyond that, you also have achievement medals for reaching different milestones with special medals for completing various campaigns offered in the app. This offers fun ways to work out with friends, provided all your friends have Huawei watches.
The Huawei Health App is not only how you get the most out of the watch, but it’s necessary to activate the device. That wasn’t an issue for us since our Huawei Mate 50 had the app preinstalled. If you don’t have a Huawei smartphone you’ll have a few more hoops to jump through. Make sure that you have the Huawei App Gallery downloaded and that you download the Health App from there. Don’t skip getting a Huawei ID or you may search for the watch and never find it. The location feature rather relies on it.
The power of value
The Huawei Watch Fit’s battery promises up to ten days of battery life, which is not what we experienced. We only got to about five days out of it with normal use which was two or three logged workouts that used GPS and “Always on display” turned off. That’s not too bad when you can switch on power-saving mode to stretch your charge, but you don’t get that here. Getting from 0 to 100% charge doesn’t take you longer than 50 minutes if you connect it to Huawei’s 66w charging brick. Make sure you leave the watch face down when you charge it otherwise the charger may disconnect. That’s less than ideal.
It’s worth considering if it’s still worth buying the Huawei Watch Fit since its successor just launched. The Huawei Watch Fit 2 is currently on special on the Huawei website at R2 600 (usually R3 500). The main differences at a glance are a larger screen, Bluetooth calling, and app downloads. Our major concern is battery life since there’s no mention of an improved battery to support these new features. The Watch Fit is available for as low as R1 650 (in pink) and we believe that saving the R950 on the older model offers you the best value. Your own needs obviously vary — if you’re not after on-wrist calls, spending less money may be the path forward for you.
Huawei Watch Fit verdict
The Huawei Watch Fit is an easy watch to recommend to someone just starting their fitness journey. It’s lightweight with a crisp AMOLED screen and a design that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. It has engaging fitness features that track your health and activity in a fun and colourful way. Huawei’s Health App is a good companion that expands on all the watch’s tracking. We would have appreciated some more battery life or a power-saving mode but five days off a one-hour charge is hard to complain about. If you’re thinking of getting the Watch Fit 2, we’d consider pocketing the R950 saving and getting another pair of straps for this one instead.