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Traveller gift: review of the Huawei smartwatch

I have on my wrist, as I type, the Huawei smart watch. I’ve had it for three days to test it out…

Huawei watch review

Checking my heart rate before I head off to make it race

Day one and I was caught up with changing watch faces every time I looked at it and then decided to matchy matchy my outfit with it. I downloaded the Android Wear app onto my phone and paired it to my iPhone. Yes iPhone. The Huawei and the iPhone are friends. So are the Huawei and Android, which makes this smartwatch unique.

Day two and I thought I had left it charging overnight, but alas it wasn’t properly hooked up (rookie mistake) so I walked around with a blank, man’s size watch on my wrist. Why didn’t you just take it off, I hear you ask? For reasons I can’t explain. Battery life promises about a day and a half and it charges via USB into your laptop or power point.

Day three and I’m warming to it. I had always said I wouldn’t want a smartwatch because I’d hate to be so connected. But actually I am enjoying keeping my phone on silent and allowing alerts to buzz on my wrist when someone rings and picking up if it’s convenient. I get a buzz when a text comes (I could turn any of these settings off, but I do like keeping my main phone on silent.) But the main thing I’m liking it for is a bit of a fitbit. Not a Fit Bit, as I’m probably not allowed to say that, but I have found one of its many watch faces that has a step count on the dial so at a glance I can check how lardy, or otherwise, I’m tracking. I also had fun measuring my heart rate (143 bpm at the top of my hilly road this morning!) then back down to 71 as I type right now.

This would be great for people with the gigantic iPhone 6’s, especially blokes without handbags, as you don’t need to have it in your pocket to know there’s calls, texts, emails. How far can I wander between phone and watch? So far I’ve practiced leaving my phone on the table and walking about 30 metres to the bedroom and yes, I still got a text alert. Imagine therefore, being able to leave your phone on your desk, in your desk drawer or in your briefcase while you are in the boardroom. Of course, at this point in time, you can’t be all Maxwell Smart and talk into your watch to take a call. But give it time!! You can set it up to operate on voice commands so maybe Maxwell Smart is closer than I think.

I like its shape. Round and large. It comes in one size, but big watches are cool on girls too.

I also like that it shows the time even when its asleep, unlike other smartwatches that you have to flick to get cracking. You can get it to buzz an alert for anything your phone is set to, for example I’m following people on Periscope so that pops up when someone goes live, as do Snapchats. Then all I need to do is pick up my phone and watch them. If I want to.

There are hundreds of Android Wear apps for this watch. Five fun ones are: Duolingo – you pass little flash card tests to learn another language in teeny watch-sized bites. Instaweather – is there a shower coming? (You can run this app in low power so it doesn’t drain your battery). Wear Audio Recorder – tape conversations, notes, songs and your random ideas for playing back later. Find My Phone – ideal when your watch is on your wrist and your phone is goodness knows where! Wear Aware – a great app that will make your wrist buzz frantically if you’re moving too far from your phone. Never leave home without your phone again!

The Huawei smartwatch retails for about $700. Not cheap, but I know some people who are very keen to get their wrists into one. As for me, I have to give it back tomorrow. *Sigh

Huawei fitness face

Pretending this is my step count for the day….

Huawei watch review

Smart and elegant. Choose your face from bright colours to this one.


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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!