From the incredible amount of virtual workout classes to pizzas with cauliflower crusts turning a guilty pleasure into a (more or less) guilt-free treat, it comes as no surprise that today’s world is a lot more health conscious. If anything, the UAE’s 30-day Dubai Fitness Challenge is testament to that.
Hence, the rise in popularity of smartwatches – keeping track of every step taken, calorie burned and heartbeat. Oh, and giving you the time, no less. These days, smartwatches offer bundles of functionality purposes, making them more than just a neat accessory for your smartphone.
With the release of the latest Huawei Watch GT 2e, an updated, sportier version of 2019’s GT 2, Huawei is pushing the boundaries of how effective smartwatches can be. But, is it giving other high-roller brands of the tech world a run for their dirhams?
Price - Cost-friendly
Well, let’s start with that, as it certainly is. Coming in at Dhs599, not only is it immediately cheaper than its elder sibling, it’s a lot more affordable than most smartwatches on the market. The GT 2e has done this by removing the microphone and speaker, which means no answering phone calls, listening to music or AI telling you how many calories you’ve burned.
Whether this is a sorely missed feature comes down to preference – those who passively use these functions on their phone anyway won’t, and those who’ve made a habit out of picking up a call on their watch will. For us, it’s the former, especially at this price.
Apart from this, it’s practically identical to the GT 2.
Functionality – Hello, fitness goals
Huawei has clearly designed the GT 2e to be a fitness partner first, but it takes it a step further by making it a well-being companion, too. It isn’t kidding when it says it has 100 fitness modes packed into the watch, with 15 professional workout modes and a further 85 broken down into six categories including indoor, fun, sports, water, winter and extreme.
It’s an impressive feature for all fitness types, and we mean all. Interested in how many calories are burned while kite flying? Need a fitness check for dragon boat racing? Parachuting anytime soon? GT 2e excitingly has those modes.
Of course, primarily we stick to the general fitness modes, including indoor and outdoor running and cycling, and threw in an indoor HIIT session to mix it up. While results for the activities that aren’t the main professional 15 modes aren’t as varied, it does nicely track the differences in what we’re doing. For example, it tracked that our casual outdoor run wasn’t nearly as effective as our HIIT session.
Along with keeping a clean schedule for our fitness goals and recovery time, the GT 2e’s other new function includes monitoring blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) levels, which basically tracks oxygen levels in the blood, with low levels leading to lack of energy, fatigue and light-headedness. While it’s a nice addition looking for it, it’s one we rarely used.
What we did find useful was the TruSleep 2.0 feature, which tracks sleeping patterns and actually goes into detail on how we could get a better night’s sleep. It displays the amount of REM sleep, deep sleep and light sleep we had, calculating it into an overall sleep quality result out of 100 – showing whether our REM sleep cycle was a little too high and how avoid it.
“But how can it do this with a smartwatch’s generally limited battery life?” You may ask. Well…
Battery life – Top-notch
The GT 2e has excellent battery life. Huawei’s self-developed Kirin A1 chipset gives it a two-week battery life, which blows away a majority of others that last up to four days.
On testing, we found it lasted just over ten days, but this is also taking into account our excessive use of it for this review. And, it goes to full charge after a single wireless charging session, which lasted about 30 minutes. That alone puts it at the top of the line for smartwatches, because we all know a smartwatch with no battery life is essentially a miniature brick.
Design and comfort – Young and trendy
The GT 2e boasts a stainless steel body with a 1.39-inch AMOLED display and two simple buttons to get around. It can feel a tad bulkier than most, but overall looks slick and slim. It’s definitely a trendier device compared to the classier GT 2, coming with black, red and green rubber wrist straps covered in sporty small holes. There’s a range of watch face displays to pick from, and most are quite fresh, artsy and trendy. While it can’t compete with the fancier smartwatches out there, it’s not trying to, and looks stylish in everyday use.
While it takes a little getting used to, the GT 2e is a comfortable smartwatch to wear during workouts, even if it’s a little larger than other watches.
The Bottom Line
From its impressive list of fitness and wellbeing features to a truly outstanding battery life in the smartwatch market in 2020, the Huawei GT 2e is every fitnessgoers needs in a handy watch, and that’s saying something in a health conscious society. And, for the price it’s set at, it’s definitely one to keep an eye on, especially for those who’ve never owned a smartwatch before. As a side note, living in times of COVID-19, which limits the amount of sports and outdoor activities we can do, the GT 2e’s list of indoor exercises that it can track is fantastic, too.
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1.39-inch AMOLED HD display (454 x 454 resolution)
Kirin A1 chipset (two week battery life)
TruSeen 3.5 heart rate monitor
Huawei TruSleep 2.0
50m water resistant
Time Out receives products on loan for review. Time Out's product reviews are not influenced by external sources.