Huawei Watch GT surprising autonomy
By Steve Lowry 2019-04-16 405 0
Although it has made less noise than these mobiles, it has several interesting features that have caused us to look at it and decide to analyze it in depth in this article. Its design and sobriety remember those of a traditional watch, which causes it to appear indicated to accompany us in our day to day. And Yes, we can use it this way without any problem, but if we stick to this scenario of use we will be disadvantaged 80% of its potential. And This smart watch has a very marked sporting vocation. And, a priori, attractive. I propose that we discover together why.
Huawei Watch GT: Technical Specifications
One of the first components that users usually notice when they talk about a new smartwatch is their screen, so it can be a good starting point for this analysis. The one that incorporates this Watch GT uses an AMOLED panel of 1.39 inches with a resolution of 454 x 454 points (is greater than that of some of its competitors) and a density of 326 dpi. It is Not a differentiating element because it is a screen similar to the one that incorporates many other intelligent clocks, so we will delve into it a little later.
If Miss a look at the specifications table (you have a few paragraphs below) realize that nothing in this model seems to get out of the usual tonic in the smart clocks that have reached the market during the last months. An interesting feature in which it is worthwhile to stop is that, unlike previous models of the Watch family, the logic of geo-positioning of this watch is able to access, in addition to the usual GPS and GLONASS networks, Galileo , which is the European satellite positioning programme.
But What makes this proposal really different is not its ability to resolve geolocation. The Two rupture elements of this smart watch are your microprocessor and your operating system. The First is an ARM Cortex M4 chip whose origin we do not know (apparently it has not been manufactured by HiSilicon, which is the division of Huawei specializing in the manufacture of semiconductors), but it has a very peculiar feature: it is not really a unique microprocessor, but two.
The SoC of this smart clock incorporates two well-differentiated process units. The one that executes the basic processes consumes very little, and the other one is more powerful and consumes more, but only works when it is strictly necessary.
To knit a SoC with these features designed to govern a smartwatch makes sense because its two units are not identical. One of them is responsible for the execution of the basic processes, has relatively little power and consumes very little. And the other unit is more ambitious and consumes more, but only comes into action when conditions of use require greater process capacity. Once we have on the table this information we can clearly intuit that this strategy of Huawei pursues that this intelligent clock offers us the most dilated autonomy possible. Later we will check whether this architecture really fulfills its role in a real-use scenario.
The other rupture element of this smartwatch is Lite OS, its operating system. The Chinese company has developed this software with the same goal it has pursued when choosing the SoC of this smart clock: increase autonomy as much as possible. The reduced capacity of both the main memory (16 MB) and the secondary storage system of this Watch GT (128 MB) allows us to form a fairly precise idea about how light this operating system should be in terms of complexity and the Moderate resources you must demand to run properly.
This a priori strategy looks good, but I think at this point I must anticipate that it is actually a two-sided coin. One of them, the kind, is that, indeed, this "lightness" contributes to dilate the autonomy of this smart watch. And the other, the less attractive, is that the combination of this SoC and this operating system puts in our hands a lower flexibility and performance to those offered by the latest versions of Wear OS and Tizen. Throughout this analysis we will find out if the price to pay for a notable autonomy compensates or not. And also in what use profile fits a smart watch better like this.
Its design is refined and elegant, but its vocation is decidedly sporty
The work that Huawei has done with this smartwatch in terms of design seems right to me. In The photographs that illustrate this article you can see that your box has a very refined classic style. In fact, it is more stylized than that of Watch 2 that the Chinese brand placed on the market last year. And its machining is impeccable, so in this section I have nothing to object to.
The Box combines three materials: ceramics, metal and plastic. The latter, which is clearly the most delicate, has only been used by Huawei at the base of the box, which is the part that remains in contact with our wrist, and therefore not remain exposed and is not prone to receive blows. On the other hand, as you can see in the next picture, we only have two interaction buttons with this smart clock, besides the touchscreen, of course. This Watch GT does not have a revolving crown like the one that incorporates, among others, Samsung's recent Galaxy Watch.
The Classic style So marked of the box of this watch and the presence of a leather strap invite us to think that this model is, above all, a general purpose smartwatch designed to accompany us during our journey. And Yes, as you anticipated in the first paragraphs of this analysis, we can use it to receive notifications of the apps that we have installed on our smartphone, among other tasks. In This field solves fairly well the basic functionality that users expect from a smart clock last batch, although it is conditioned by several important limitations in which we will deepen shortly.
However, before inquiring into your shortcomings it seems important to me to point out something that can help us to identify this smart watch as it really is: a proposal with a very marked sporting vocation. His appearance does not seem to reflect it, but it is enough to investigate a few minutes in his operating system to realize that much of his functions are directly associated with sports activity and health.
In fact, the lower button is used exclusively to start up one of the many sports routines that this watch proposes (you can see this menu in the next picture). The exercises are similar to those we can find in other smartwatches with a sporting spirit (running with a guide, an outdoor race, running indoors, walking, etc.), but, given that I have a very close relative with specific training in activities Physical and sporting I thought it was a good idea to ask what you think of the training routines that this Watch GT proposes.
When I returned the watch, after using it to do sport with some intensity for a couple of days, I confirmed that their routines in general are well raised. Obviously, they are generic exercises, and, as such, they may not adapt to the specific needs that a particular athlete can have. Still, my family member assured me that they are well enough designed to help anyone fight a sedentary routine, maintain a proper physical shape and lead a healthy lifestyle. At the end of the day is what we all look for when we do with a measuring bracelet or a sports watch.
Inevitably When we enter this terrain we stumble upon a somewhat "bipolar" feature of the version of this watch that I have had the opportunity to analyze, to describe it in a way as accurate as possible. His Leather Strap encourages us to take it to work, to use it during an appointment or in any other context in which we would use a general purpose watch, but also raises some questions. Will it Withstand the rigors of intense physical activity? What About exposure to our sweat?
Although I have tried it intensely for a whole month is not a long enough time to check if the belt deteriorates faster than the typical plastic straps or silicone sports watches, but it seems reasonable to think that That must be it. One point on your behalf in this field is that this GT Watch uses a standard 22 mm anchor, so the strap can be easily replaced by a similar one, or by either of the many plastic, stainless steel or silicone models that we can find both in L As watchmaking as in the on-line shops. In fact, Huawei itself also sells this model with a silicone strap, which is more appropriate for exercising with it.
Its marked sports vocation is also emphasized by the sealing of the box and its capacity to withstand a maximum pressure of 5 atmospheres, always according to Huawei. Yes, we can swim with him, take a shower, and even dive. I have not used it for this last activity, but I have showered daily with it placed on my wrist, and, until now, expose it to direct contact with the water has not posed any problem. The Belt does not seem to have resented, but I feel that wetting it so often will shorten its useful life sensibly.
The Strap of this smartwatch uses a standard 22 mm anchor, so it can be easily replaced by a plastic, stainless steel or silicone model.
A note that is not too important but that has caught my attention, and that, as the curiosity is, I think it's a good idea to share with you, is that Huawei indicates wrong in the specifications of this smartwatch the depth to which we can submit. According to the Chinese brand we can immerse ourselves with it at a maximum depth of 50 meters, but in fact, if it withstands an absolute pressure of 5 atmospheres we should not immerse ourselves beyond the first 40 meters.
Every 10 meters of depth increase the hydrostatic pressure in an atmosphere, but we also have to count the average atmospheric pressure at sea level, which is also an atmosphere due to the weight exerted by the air on us, so We will reach the absolute pressure of 5 atmospheres when we submerge at 40 meters of depth, and not at 50 meters. At this last depth the absolute pressure will be 6 atmospheres, and the clock box might not survive in these conditions, although this should only concern you if you are expert divers and decided to use it during your dives.
I propose that we go now with which is certainly one of the most interesting features of this Watch GT: Your heart rate measurement sensor. Many other smart and sporting watches have this feature, so a priori doesn't seem like a characteristic that can make a difference. However, the technology that has knitted Huawei to get the measurement done accurately deserves that we dedicate some lines.
The TruSeen 3.0 technology, which is the name that receives the third iteration of the Huawei heart rate sensor, aims to reduce the distance that separates the measurement that are performed by the pulse of the chest tape, which are usually more accurate , of the pulse, traditionally more imprecise. Unlike Huawei's own Watch 2, which has three LED emitters, this Watch GT incorporates a heart rate measurement sensor that uses four LED emitters for one purpose: Gather more information about our pulse.
The data collected by the LED emitters and the smart clock receiver diodes are processed in real time by an algorithm that aspires to accurately account for our heart rate. To Find out if this technology is reliable or unreliable I compared the measurement that carries out the clock with which I offer an electronic blood pressure monitor that carries out the reading through a cuff that is placed in the arm, at the height of the biceps , and that, according to OMRON, which is the manufacturer of this device, offers a very high precision because it manages to perform the measurement throughout the arm's perimeter.
This blood pressure monitor is not a professional heart rate reading device, but it is presumed to be a higher precision than that offered in principle, more rudimentary solutions, such as chest bands or wrist pulse. And, oddly enough, the reading sensor built into the Watch GT has come out quite well from my tests.
In fact, during the 80% of the time the readings of the clock and the blood pressure monitor were in perfect harmony, and during the remaining 20% the difference oscillated in the range of 2 to 5 pulsations, which is an acceptable variation. That is Why I think it is right to conclude this section By stating that the heart rate measurement sensor of this smartwatch is reasonably accurate.
The Huawei Health app, which is what we have to install on our smartphone to manage this smart watch and get the most out of it, clearly delves into its vocation of sport complement. This tool is available for iOS and Android, and we can not only use it to update the clock firmware and manage notifications, but also to plan our physical activity. In fact, it incorporates training plans that behave as an extension of what we can find in the smartwatch itself.
The information that this app offers us about our physical condition and our performance is even more complete than the one the watch collects. Consultándola we can know quite accurately the time during which we have carried out some kind of physical activity that involves displacements during a whole day, our average daily steps, how close or far we were left of our Objective of daily activity and other statistics that can be useful if we want to know precisely the extent of our physical activity.
Like other quantizing devices, this smart watch also incorporates a sleep monitor that accounts for the time we spend on rest and records our heart rate to offer us tips that, in theory, can help Have a more resounding and healthy sleep. According To Huawei The algorithm they have developed uses the data collected by the clock sensors to identify the characteristics of our dream and offer us personalized tips. Apparently the Chinese company has developed this technology with the collaboration of researchers from the School of Medicine at Harvard University. It Sounds good, so maybe these tips can be useful to people who suffer some type of sleep disorder.
So far we have investigated especially in the use scenario in which this watch feels more comfortable, which is the derivative of the quantification of our physical activity and the planning of training programs. But If we leave these features aside this Watch GT is clearly more limited than other smart watches from both Huawei and the competition itself. If, for example, we compared its connectivity with that of the Watch 2 of the Chinese brand we will check that its possibilities are much reduced because it lacks WiFi and NFC, with all that this implies. Nor does it have a nano-SIM card slot, so LTE connectivity is discarded.
Another toll that we are interested in considering is the small margin of interaction that we have once we receive a notification. From the clock we can read the apps that we have enabled, but we can not perform any other action. We can Not respond to messages from WhatsApp or Telegram. We can't get calls on the clock Either. Much less To do (although we can hang). And, as your operating system is not Wear OS, we also have at our disposal the Google applications store. In essence this proposal obliges us to be satisfied with the tools it incorporates, so its functionality is clearly limited.
At this point it is clear that this smartwatch has been conceived as an extension of our mobile phone, to which it complements and to which it needs to render to the maximum, and not as an autonomous device. These limitations are largely imposed by the SoC and the operating system chosen by Huawei for this watch, but these components are also responsible for which is certainly the most striking quality of this Watch GT. I propose that you deepen on it in the next heading.
Two tricks to measure yourself with your competitors: your screen and your autonomy
The experience that gives us the AMOLED panel of this smart watch if we stick to its features is great. A device with the functionality of this Watch GT does not require large displays in terms of image quality to prove convincing, but its luminosity and the absence of reflections on the screen are crucial when we use in spaces with lots of light Environmental.
In This field this watch convinces because its luminosity is enough so that we can see the screen effortlessly even if the light directly affects it. And, in addition, it hardly suffers from reflexes. On the other hand its density of dots per inch is high (326 dpi), so the design of the spheres looks great. Let's Choose the one we choose. The saturation with which the AMOLED panel restores the colors and the depth of the black contribute to that aesthetic finish so attractive, but this is a quality that this watch shares with other models that also bet on the OLED technology. And they are not few.
The latest version of the firmware available for this watch incorporates 11 spheres with a quite different style (classic, Minimalist, sport, explorer, weather-inspired, etc.), but perhaps in the future Huawei surprise us by adding some Additional designs. It Would Be desirable.
And Finally, the time has come for us to talk about the characteristic of this smart clock that for many users can make a difference: their autonomy. If my memory does not betray me this is the first time that I have found that the number of autonomy announced by a consumer electronics manufacturer scrupulously reflects the actual capacity of the device.
During My tests the autonomy of this smartwatch has been dilated for 13 full days (Huawei talks about two weeks), with the monitoring of the heart rate activated constantly and at least an hour of daily physical activity. I haven't even turned it off at night. And during some of them, that not all, I have left it put to activate the sleep monitor. In These conditions a real autonomy of 13 days is quite spectacular. But this is not all.
If we empty the battery completely It will take less than two hours (one hour and 47 minutes during my tests) to have It charged back to 100%. However, it is preferable neither to download it completely or to load it to 100%. At least on a regular basis. Like any other device with lithium-ion battery the ideal if you want to maximize its useful life is to keep it, as far as possible, with a load level that oscillates between 40% and 80%.
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