A robust set of health and fitness tracking features and an impressive battery life go a long way in the Watch GT 4's favour. As does the choice of two sizes and five distinct styles. Broader Android and iOS support is a big plus and almost makes up for the few apps that aren't supported. There's a lot to like for a relatively modest price.
Huawei has done something clever with its new Watch GT 4 smartwatch. Unlike many Android makers who don’t, Huawei lets you sync the watch with an iPhone. It seems like a small thing, but it isn’t.
Very few iPhone owners are going to give up their smartphones for a watch – as would be the case with other Android manufacturers which only let their watch connect to their phones.
So one of Stuff‘s iPhone-owning triathletes was able to really test the stylish Watch GT4 – using it with their phone as they would with their Garmin 6S Sapphire.
Easy on the eyes
Huawei seems to know the market for ladies’ watches is as much focused on style as it is on functionality. One of the first things that catch the eye is the watch’s aesthetics. The smaller 41mm model has a slim pendant design, with a gold bezel and white leather strap. If you’d prefer something different it also comes in an all-black design with a black rubber strap or a light gold frame with a pale gold Milanese band.
Want something larger and ‘rugged’? The 46mm Watch GT 4 has a striking octagonal design and is available in the same all-black stainless steel case with black rubber strap, a silver stainless steel body and brown leather strap, or a slightly different silver stainless steel case with a few green flourishes to compliment the green woven composite strap.
The array of features on offer is tailored for both athletes and weekend hackers. We found it a valuable companion for those crazy people who push their limits in triathlons. The round 1.32in AMOLED display features a 466×466 resolution with a crisp 352ppi (pixels per inch) pixel density. This makes text and graphics clear and easy to read. The 46mm model bumps the screen size up to 1.43in with the same resolution and a slightly reduced 326ppi. You can customise the watch faces of both models with a range of options from classic to modern, digital or analogue.
A wrist-based picture of health
Downloading the Huawei Health App took three minutes on our iPhone. Once paired, it mirrored the phone’s notifications for calls, messages, and apps. It offers a few glanceable ‘service widgets’ for its health-tracking functions, productivity-focused tasks, and quick workout mode selection. Being able to control your music is useful for workouts.
The built-in GPS accurately records your outdoor activities, including running, cycling, and open-water swimming. The watch carries an IP68 rating and can withstand up to 50 metres underwater. If you plan to do a lot of swimming then it’s probably best to avoid the white or brown leather straps. We doubt they’re made of real leather but didn’t want to risk ruining the strap.
As a triathlete, you need a watch that can seamlessly transition between different sports modes. The Watch GT 4 allows you to monitor and track your performance in each discipline, giving you accurate insights into your pace, distance and heart rate. If running, swimming, or cycling aren’t your preferred method of self-torture, there are plenty of other sports modes supported, including Padel, as we discovered.
The SpO2 sensor gives insights into your blood oxygen levels, which can be crucial during high-intensity workouts. It is also useful for recovery periods.
Sleep and recovery are always important for athletes. Huawei has included its TruSleep 3.0 technology to record sleep patterns. Sleep Breathing Awareness also shows up in the Watch GT 4. It’ll look out for abnormalities in your breathing while you’re asleep. After showing you your sleep time, and habits, it also offers suggestions on how to improve your sleep quality.
The Watch GT 4’s battery life is impressive. Huawei reckons the 41mm model will last up to a week on a single charge with the 46mm variant extending that to two weeks. It does specify the usage conditions for those timeframes in the fingerprint and quotes a more modest 8-day and 4-day lifespan under ‘regular’ use for the 46mm and 41mm models respectively. If you’re fond of the Always-On Display, you can expect closer to 4 days and 2 days.
The only downside is the lack of support for some third-party apps, specifically Strava and Training Peaks, if you want to download programs from a coach. As they say “if it isn’t on Strava you didn’t do it”.
These are expected to be added in the near future.
Huawei Watch GT 4 verdict
The Huawei Watch GT 4 offers a great balance between style and substance. It has an elegant design, impressive health and fitness tracking features, and a (potentially) long battery life. These make it appealing for anyone looking for, either, a fashionable smartwatch to go with their active lifestyle, or for an athlete seeking a fashionable yet capable smartwatch.
Both 46mm and 41mm models come with a R7,000 price tag and are available from Huawei’s online store or physical shop from today, 06 October.