Huawei Watch My thoughts

Hey there guys,

As promised, here's my review/comparison of the Huawei Watch after using it a month, coming from the Apple Watch.

Hope this will help you chose the right watch.

I have recently decided to grab the Huawei Watch W1 since I already owned a Nexus 6P also by Huawei, to give Android Wear a go after using the Apple Watch for over 5 months.

- Let me begin with  design and build quality.

I already own the Apple Watch Sport (Black), the W1 I selected was the Black Link, Sapphire Crystal version coz I liked the way it looked. And wow did I make the right decision. The thing feels so premium. Very solid build.

I love the recessed circular screen. Much harder to break or scratch. Unlike the Apple Watch, the W1 looks much sexier, combined with a Pro Analog Watch Face, it looks much sleeker than the geeky Apple Watch.

To be honest, I much prefer the circular design as opposed to the squared off one. Only gripe I have with the link band, is that it's a regular one, what I mean by that is that I have to use "Special" tools to make it smaller to fit my wrist. Whereas, the Apple Watch link band is much easier to resize, with just a click. Otherwise am loving the build quality of the W1.

- Now on to Customisation.

Well, the clear winner in this section is the W1. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the Apple Watch is crap. In its own right the limited amount of customisation on Apple Watch is neat and functional.

Anyway, I love the huge amount of Watch Faces available on the Play Store. I already have added 45 new ones to the already available list that comes out the box.

I, for one prefer Analog Watch Faces to the Digital ones. Either that or a combination of the two. But what makes things better, is that I can have the Watch Face display Watch and phone Battery levels, as well as Weather and much more.

There are tools that allow us to create our own Watch Faces too, mainly WatchMaker which has its own Community on GPlus where we can find thousands of user made Watch Faces that either mimic "Real" classic and big brand watches or just unique ones.

Oh, did I mention that the W1 has a nice and loud speaker on it ? Yeah, by default it's not being used much by any apps. But, there is an app on the Play Store called Smart Wear Notifications, which makes use of that amazing speaker that lets you set a per app notification tone. You should check it out NOW!

We can customise way more things on the watch, but I won't get into all of it here, else post will take hours to read. What matters to me is how much info I can have on the Watch face LoL.

- What about Stability ?

Speaking of that, some of you might think that the Apple Watch would take the cake here. Well, yes and no.

The Apple Watch being an Apple device, is simply flawless. OS is smooth, simple to use, and no hiccups to mention after almost 6 months of use. As Apple puts it, "it just works"

Mind you, the W1 is smooth and stable for the most part. There is some lag here and there for some reason. Maybe it's due to the complex Watch Faces am using I dunno.

I sometimes get the "Android Wear Not Responding" message, other times screen refuses to wake up with me having to reboot the watch. Also if I leave my phone unattended for hours on end, I stop getting notifications on the Watch.

So, overall, the Apple Watch kinda wins here. Android Wear still has ways to go, but still would overlook any issues due to the vast amount of customisations we can have.

- Functionality, App Availability.

I dunno much here. I don't use for anything more than Push Notifications, rare times where I make calls, and I don't use Google Now much.

Yeah, call me crazy, but the only use of a smart watch for me, are push notifications and sexy Watch Faces that tell me the Weather, Call count, Battery levels etc...

There is, however a feature that makes the Apple Watch much more functional. The Glances feature is very useful. It allows me to have access to things that matter, like Data usage, World Clock and more. Android Wear does not have that which is a little bit annoying.

There’s something a little Apple Watch charger-ish about Huawei’s magnetic charging disk. But unlike the Apple Watch charger, this one has pins, so better make sure they connect to watch else it won't charge. I hate that. I prefer the Apple Watch one coz I can set watch on it n forget, so I will always wake up to a charged watch.

App availability, is something still to be looked into. WatchOS being a closed source OS compared to the Open Source Android Wear, it comes as no surprise that there are more Apps for Wear vs WatchOS. Still, that can change with time... 

Both watches are equally functional, with lots of apps to take advantage. No winner here. It's a DRAW!

- Battery life

Ok, here's the critical part of my review. 

The Apple Watch has a 205mAh battery vs 300mAh on the Huawei Watch. But, as we have learned, from past experience with Android vs Apple devices, those are nothing more than insignificant numbers.

Reason I say that is simply because no matter how much bigger a battery is on devices running Android, they last many times less than their much smaller Apple competitors. And this holds true with Android Wear sadly.

I have managed to get up to 36 hours of Battery life from my Apple Watch, whereas I couldn't get more than 14 hours from my W1. And I have tried many things to get longer to no avail from my W1.

I have turned off the screen always on feature, as well as the lift to turn on, having to tap the watch to get it to wake up. Still didn't improve.

I do see people on GPlus, saying that they got their Android Wear to last a full 2 days. I wonder how they got those results. Are they even real ? Or are they boasting fake numbers ?

That said, I much prefer the Apple Watch when it comes to long trips without a charger, since with battery saver feature turned on we can get as long as 72 hours from 10% charge. Albeit it will only display time nothing else. 

If you got tips for me to get longer battery life from my W1, feel free to share.

- Pricing...

Comparing prices, an Apple Watch of the same build is way more expensive than the black link W1. The black link sapphire and stainless steel Apple Watch retails for $1200 here vs $410 for the W1 of the same build. Granted Apple has always priced its devices higher than competition but why that much ?

Well, don't forget Apple builds Hardware and software vs Android being a Software only company. 

- Long Conclusion Time

Finally, time to conclude this review. It will be a long one. I want to combine a few things here.

Did the Huawei Watch deliver or not ?  

Yes, compared to other Android Wear devices, it did. Not all have speakers, full rounded screens and the high resolution the W1 has. But for the price, no, it fell a bit short in some areas like battery life and stability. 

As usual, Android manufacturers always manage to over promise some things, setting our expectations high, that's why they keep falling short. Whereas Apple almost never does that, hence why we get what was advertised.

As for my overall experience with the W1 compared to Apple Watch, it has been, and still remains to be, a most pleasant one.

Even with the few issues am having with it, I love how much fun it is to use compared to the less fun, dull Apple Watch. I love having a different Watch Face to suite my needs. Also love the custom notification tones I can set.

But here's the kicker, I love both watches equally. I do not prefer one over the other. They both give me what I need, when I need it. Even though I ranted about battery life on the W1, still serves me a full active day. 

But since I work at an Apple Reseller, I am sadly not allowed to wear my W1. So, I only wear it on occasions, or on my days off.

Anyway, I hope this review helps you in choosing the right  Smart Watch for you.


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