Huawei has attracted many unfavourable headlines in the UK of late because of security fears. Yet despite these concerns, GB’s government allowed the Chinese company to play a significant role in building the country’s 5G network. But let’s keep politics out of this, and focus on the brand’s next-generation smartwatch and its potential tri benefits.
Let’s start with the good – the display. We tested the 46mm version – 42mm is also available – which featured a 1.39in AMOLED screen with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels and is beautifully clear on the fly. Just note that the mooted two-week battery time means the screen sleeps unless activated by time lapse, touchscreen or the two buttons. You can deactivate this feature, which cuts battery length by half and is worth it, but it then retreats to a standard analogue or digital watch face rather than the one you’ve chosen.
The GPS is also impressive, supporting both GPS and GLONASS satellite-positioning systems. This gives you the usuals of current speed, average speed, distance… which you can analyse in detail post-training via the Huawei Health app. This is pretty good for a general overview but, understandably, nowhere near as comprehensive as something like Garmin Connect. Mind you, the virtual pacer function is a neat one, showing you, via a cute graphic, whether you’re ahead or behind your target speed.
Unfortunately, the wrist-based heart-rate measurer is a big letdown. It uses Huawei’s TruSeen 3.0 tech that’s the typical combination of light sensors and algorithms. Sadly, one or both of them are way off as our exercising HR regularly hit 20bpm over what it actually was. We hoped the tech might ‘bed in’. It didn’t. Which then meant the VO2 max predictor was out. Sadly, we couldn’t test its swim HR claims but, based on its dryland readings, we predict inaccuracy.