What we have here is the latest addition to HUAWEI's Watch Fit series, the HUAWEI Watch Fit 2. It's slightly more than a fitness band, but as a smartwatch, it's still pretty barebone and leaves much to be expected. But if you are already in HUAWEI's ecosystem and are looking for a way to show off your "allegiance" and monitor your fitness health on the cheap, then you may want to consider this Watch Fit 2.
On first impressions, the Watch Fit 2 looks almost identical to its predecessor, with its rounded edges and glass display that curves around the sides, it's clear where the inspiration comes from. So if you like the Apple Watch aesthetics just slightly thinner, here you go but don't click 'purchase' just yet.
Beneath the glass sports a 1.74 inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 336 by 480 pixels, adequate by smartwatch standards, colours and text remain visible even during my usage outdoors in the sun, no complaints there.
The version we received is the 'Active Edition' with its silicone straps that also come in black and pink. For a S$168 smartwatch, it's well built and doesn't feel cheap in the least. It is also 5 ATM water-resistant, meaning it will survive up to 50 metres in water but that doesn't mean you should bring it diving or submerge the watch for long periods but should you encounter heavy rains and such while in the middle of your run or workout, you've got nothing to worry about.
The watch comes with a side button to serve as a multi-functional home and on/off button and also features an IMU and optical heart rate sensor along with a magnetic charging thimble at the back. Nothing that a smartwatch shouldn't have so let's move on.
Setting up the watch is pretty straightforward, just pair the watch to your phone and download the 'Health' app and it will walk you through the rest. While it sounds simple at first, the version that you can find on Google Play Store will be outdated and won't be able to detect the watch for pairing.
I was only able to fix the issue by sideloading the App Gallery on my Pixel and using it to update the 'Health' app to its latest version. Considering that the watch is supposed to be compatible with android phones this does make the experience seem very unpolished.
Once the watch is paired and set up, you'll gain access to a variety of watch faces and a total of 6 apps within the watch's app store. You'll also get a comprehensive view of different sets of tracking data like steps, calories, distance, heart rate and sleep.
Simple smartwatch functions are also present in the Watch Fit 2 such as an always-on display, controlling music and checking notifications, you can also reply text using smart replies and answer calls using the built in microphone if that's your kind of lifestyle.
Circling back to watch faces, you are only limited to the choices within the ‘Health’ apps. Fortunately, there is an option for a custom watch face using an image from your gallery if none of the faces suits your fancy.
If you use it for fitness activities, the watch comes integrated with a bunch of workout routines such as running, cycling, swimming and even warmup and stretching exercises with voice narrations and animations. It is also fitted with an internal GPS tracking to map out your route, so leaving your phone at home while you go out for a run is possible. The watch will then sync the data with the app once it's connected back with the phone.
The watch also supports independent music playback allowing you to load your tracks in the watch's internal memory so that you can bring it out for a run without your phone with you. As for the playback you can choose to pair a headset via Bluetooth or just play it off the built-in speaker if that's your jam. HUAWEI doesn't specify the exact internal storage size on their website but on my unit, I had slightly more than 20GBs without any songs loaded in it so it should be more than enough storage for a running playlist, at least for my 15min daily runs.
One nitpick I had with the watch while running is that when it starts raining, the display does get a little confused and doesn't register my touches very well. So if you tend to check your watch for status or switch music on the run then you are going to have a very hard time.
Another is the lack of support for third-party fitness apps. As a Strava user, I do find myself shying away from this watch as I would prefer not to lose my current progress for my profile. However, if that's not a big issue for you then by all means do consider it, perhaps it might come as a software update in the future.
Lastly, battery life was pretty good, it's able to get through a week of general usage with everyday runs along with independent music playback. So far I've only needed to charge it once a week so the watch definitely lives up to its claims of 7 to 10 days.
At S$168, it's available at all HUAWEI authorised stores and official online stores in LAZADA and Shopee. For someone who's active and looking for value options in a smartwatch that's geared toward fitness, the HUAWEI Watch Fit 2 should be right up your alley!