For smartwatch users, there’s a big problem with using Huawei phones: Most smartwatches on the market won’t connect perfectly with them. This problem isn’t from the phones themselves (so don’t blame Huawei for this). Rather, the problem is from the wearables. Most smartwatch manufacturers — especially the US-based ones — presently seem completely uninterested in working with Chinese phone manufacturers, so they don’t bother with supporting smartphones by companies like Huawei.
Due to this poor compatibility issue, many users of Huawei smartphones have had to miss out on some important smartwatch features, while others have dumped their Huawei devices for phones by other brands just to enjoy a maximum smartwatch experience.
But no, you don’t have to ditch your lovely Huawei.
Here’s the good news: A few smartwatches on the market sync perfectly with Huawei smartphones. So, whether you’re using a Huawei Mate device, a P-series device (P10, P20, or P30), or any other model of Huawei smartphones, you too can enjoy a flawless phone-and-smartwatch combo experience. It’s all down to choosing the right smartwatch.
Best Smartwatches for Huawei Phones: Our Top 5 Picks
To help you make the right choice, we researched and tested a good number of amazing smartwatches. Most importantly, we were interested in their compatibility with Huawei smartphones. We pruned our long list until we were left with the best five options.
So, there we go…
1. Huawei Watch 2 Classic Smartwatch
- Perfect syncing with any Huawei smartphone
- Long-lasting battery with power saving options
- Sharp screen
- Feature-packed smartwatch
- Great accuracy
- Comfortable to wear
- The user interface could be more intuitive
- Screen size is a little too small
Editor’s detailed review
The Huawei Watch 2 Classic has a metal body, leather strap and tons of features to make it appealing to runners.
The Huawei Watch 2 Classic comes with a rugged and slightly chunky design weighing 12.6mm thick which is an improvement on its predecessor. It looks plain and ordinary, lacking any form of appeal or taste but that could be because it was designed to sell on its functionality other than its aesthetics. To that end, the silicon strap looks like a high-end leather rubber band and is sweat-proof.
On the right side, you get two buttons that serve as main navigation key and for returning the clock to its face while the second is a key you can assign to any app you want to launch. Unlike its predecessor, there’s no rotating bezel or crown; all there is, is an etched bezel with numbers every 10 minutes. The flat rear sits comfortably on the wrist, with the built-in heart rate monitor almost flush to the metal cover
At 1.2 inches, the display of the Watch 2 Classic is quite discouraging as it is smaller than the screen size on its rivals. What this means is that users might struggle to use the on-screen keyboard or navigate some of the complex apps. The screen resolution of 390 x 390 is also unimpressive but the compensation is that it has a higher pixel density, making the display sharp. As an extra point, the display is very responsive and bright enough to use under direct light.
The Huawei Watch 2 Classic boasts a Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset and is supported by 768MB of RAM. This is rather disappointing as evidenced by the lag in loading apps and the overall sluggishness of the apps. Apart from the delay, the Android pay which should serve as a means for contactless payments occasionally refused to work and this could be frustrating but we’re hopeful that the bug will be fixed in subsequent updates.
One big feature on the Watch 2 Classic is the ability to download apps directly to the watch from the apps store without using your smartphone and some examples are Spotify, Uber, WhatsApp, and so on. Going further, you don’t need a SIM card for the device as the watch can perform its functions using wireless network plus you can send and receive calls with it.
In terms of fitness, the watch stands out as it packs an array of features such as GPS, Bluetooth, 4G, workout app, heart rate monitor and so on.
Without a SIM card, the Watch 2 Classic can last for two days away from the socket but expect less once you insert the SIM card or play games on it. It also comes with a fairly flimsy charging cradle which needs to be lined up with the pins.
2. Huawei Watch GT Classic
- Works perfectly with any Huawei smartphone
- Amazing battery life
- Comfortable and stylish
- Limited third party support
- Sleep tracking is patchy
- Not built for contactless payment
- Limited phone apps
Editor’s detailed review
The Huawei Watch GT now runs on its own OS and offers an unprecedented battery life with a host of other features at an affordable price.
It can be hard to tell if the Huawei Watch GT is actually a watch or a fitness tracker as it looks like the former, having a circular stainless-steel body of 46.5 x 46.5 x 10.6mm. In fact, you could say it has a similar design to its forebear, the Watch 2 except that it’s slightly slimmer. The watch is notably light and feels good on the wrist.
If you don’t like the strap that comes with the one you buy, you can always get any that suits you from the offerings available such as Graphite Black, a Saddle Brown leather option, Glacier Grey and Fluorescent Green. There are two buttons on the side to interact with the watch. The top button wakes the watch and takes you to the main menu while the second is a programmable key that allows you to assign any app to it.
Huawei seldom gets it wrong with their displays and that of the Watch GT is commendable too. It’s a 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen which acts as a primary means to interact with the watch as well as to display all your stats. It packs a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels (326ppi) that ensures that texts and icons are uniformly readable. The display might not be the best on the market but it will easily make it to the list of best displays. You can crank up the brightness if you desire but the battery life will have to bear the brunt.
The Watch GT is powered by an ARM Cortex-M4 processor which keeps things running smoothly. It also packs some exciting features like GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, suggesting that the smartwatch is a top performer when it comes to location and distance tracking. There’s also a host of sensors that validate the device’s status as a fitness tracker such as accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, gyroscope, barometer and so on.
A drawback to the performance is the company’s use of its own LightOS software resulting in a dearth of third-party apps. The software isn’t particularly faulty but the lack of support for third-party apps is unlikely to appeal to anyone. There are also limitations for music as there’s no onboard music storage or ability to download streaming apps like Pandora and Spotify. As per fitness, the Watch GT performs above average in its accuracy but the sleep tracking isn’t quite reliable as it sometimes reads when you’ve been sitting still for some time even if you were awake.
The battery life of the Watch GT is one of its biggest attractions as Huawei announced that the battery can last up to 14 days on a single charge. That is quite impressive and way better than what other smartwatches offer. However, it’s needless to reiterate that the battery consumption is dependent on what features you’re using.
3. Fossil Men’s Gen 4 Explorist Hr Stainless Steel
- Large, clear display
- Stylish design
- Expanded fitness tech
- Improved, more reliable charger
- Poor battery life
- Occasional performance issues
- NFC for Google Pay is unreliable
- Not the newest processor
Editor’s detailed review
The Fossil Men’s Gen4 Explorist HR smartwatch sports great design and packs a variety of tech but is held back by a slow, outdated processor.
The fourth-generation Fossil Q Explorist is a stylish watch, adopting some design cues from its immediate forebear. At first glance, the Q Explorist looks like a mechanical wristwatch, thanks to its large flat glass surface and notched bezel. It has no noticeable branding except for the small visible logo on the strap.
Although it measures 45mm, it doesn’t feel chunky and is considerably lighter and slimmer than its rivals like the Samsung Galaxy Watch. You can even take it swimming as the smartwatch has a 3ATM water resistance rating which means it can handle being in the pool or shower.
Two buttons are positioned on the right side of the watch and you can personalize by assigning them to specific apps while the crown is for rotating through the menus. Flip the watch over and you will find the heart rate sensor protruding from the back of the casing but it’s unpronounced to cause discomfort.
One way to identify smartwatches from Fossil is the big screens and the Fossil Q sports a superb 454 x 454 circular display. Other vital specs for the display are unavailable as the company doesn’t share that information but it’s evident that the screens look good as the colors are bright and the viewing angles remain strong.
It has an auto-brightness setting that copes well with sudden changes in ambient light and environment while the always-on option means you will be able to glance at your wrist at any time without straining your gaze.
The Fossil Q isn’t as dazzling as the company marketed it to be but is better than past Fossil watches. Starting with the processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 might have been used in previous years but it isn’t as fast as the new Wear 3100. Additionally, some users complain of occasional performance issues like animation break down, and the only way to fix such is to restart the device.
Coming to fitness, Fossil Q doesn’t have sufficient fitness features to cater to the needs of an average fitness enthusiast but its current features are way better than those on its predecessor. Thankfully, it comes with Google Fit and Google Fit Workout apps so you can track your exercises, but you can download other apps from the Google Play Store if you want more. Other features like the heart rate monitor, GPS and NFC for contactless payment all presented no issues.
According to Fossil, the battery of this smartwatch should last the entire day but this is still poor as it means you might have to charge it daily. Some users complain that the watch lasts only a couple of hours during intense use and we found this to be true. Unlike the third-generation Fossil Q, this model has an improved charger that’s easy to use.
4. Pebble Time Steel Smartwatch
- Colour e-paper display
- Decent battery life
- Impressive notification delivery
- More expensive than Pebble Time
- Limited abilities without a phone
- Basic apps
Editor’s detailed review
There’s very little difference between the Pebble Time Steel smartwatch and its predecessor, but it will appeal to those who want an upgrade.
There are many similarities between the design of Time Steel and its predecessor, the Time, but the first noticeable difference is the extra metal. It is actually 1mm thicker and a bit heavier than its forebear. The metal will sit on your wrist all through the day without causing discomfort or irritation.
There are two options of straps to choose from with the first being the leather strap which feels good but gives a cheap vibe that’s synonymous to any other silicone watch strap. It will probably become unusable after soaking in sweat for about six months. On the other hand, you can go for the stainless steel band which more attractive and expensive.
For controls, there’s a single button on the left side and three on the right, all of which are easy to press. Underneath the watch are charging pins which are meant to be connected to the magnetic charger to top up the battery juice. Unlike the leather, the Pebble Time Steel is waterproof up to 30m.
There’s literally no improvement to the display as the Pebble Time Steel uses the same 1.25 inches screen and 144 x 168 resolution color ePaper display, both of which are also on the Time. The slight difference is that more of the surround is taken up by Gorilla Glass rather than the steel outer part, giving it a more curvaceous appearance when you look at it from an angle.
The watch comes pre-set to an always-on display, and this is why the manufacturer opted for a screen that conserves power instead of the popular LCD and AMOLED screens. Hence, it’s not surprising to see that sacrificing the choice of a quality screen for longer battery life affects the overall display quality as the smartwatch isn’t as crisp and detailed as its rivals.
By now, you should know that the Pebble Time Steel was manufactured to meet the basic needs of a fitness enthusiast and not to compete with the flashiest smartwatches. There’s very little app support to cater to the needs of the average fitness enthusiast.
The 1GHz Cortex-M4 chipset and 16MB memory show that the performance wasn’t meant to wow you even though you will some features to be interesting. One of them is the organised presentation of notifications so you don’t have to miss anything anymore.
Thankfully, the battery life offers some encouragement as the smartwatch can stay powered on for up to ten days which is a feat many fitness trackers are yet to achieve. The battery life might become shorter if you don’t tinker with the settings as the duration of use is based on light usage. With a battery unit of 150mAh, there’s only so much you can do with the smartwatch before the battery drains out.
5. Amazfit Bip Smartwatch
- Stylish design
- Extremely lightweight
- A soft band that fits all wrist sizes comfortably
- Amazing value
- The auto-pause feature doesn’t work
- Low-resolution graphics
Editor’s detailed review
Coming at an inexpensive price, the Amazfit Bip Watch offers many reasons to invest in it but none is more compelling than its battery life.
The Amazfit Bip Smartwatch takes after the Apple Watch in terms of design, is fairly attractive for the price and a pleasure to wear. Weighing 1.1 ounces, the Bip is so lightweight that you could easily forget you’re wearing it but that doesn’t mean it the body build cannot resist wear and tear. It actually has a polycarbonate, matte-plastic build to make it durable while its IP68 water and dust rating mean it won’t develop problems if you submerge it in water for up to 30 minutes.
On the right side is a glossy button that triggers an animation on the screen to indicate that you’ve woken it and you can assign it to an app when you press and hold the button.
The Bip sports a 1.28-inch touchscreen with 176 x 176 pixels resolution which is protected by a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass. The screen is very responsive, allowing you to interface with the watch. However, the resolution falls short of expectations as the display doesn’t have auto-brightness which means you have to manually adjust the brightness in the day and night accordingly. The raise-to-wake feature can allow you illuminate the face with just a flick of the wrist and you can also use the always-on feature but keep in mind that it drains battery juice so fast
The Bip puts up a great performance for its pricing even though opinions might differ. For starters, the companion app, Mi Fit, works flawlessly and links to the Apple Health App. It tracks keeps records of all activities so you can get the data organized for you. The notifications aren’t as rich as what other smartwatches present as you can’t do anything with texts or phone calls. You will have to pick up your smartphone to handle the rest from there.
Regarding fitness, the Bip shines brightly, proving it is the ideal choice for people who want a wearable that can handle a lot. It can help track and monitor a range of activities like walking, running and cycling and so on. The Bip proves to be accurate in taking heart rate readings, sleeping tracking, and the in-built GPS can map your progress
Advertised to last up to 30 days on average use and 45 days with minimal notifications, the battery life is one of the huge draws of the Bip. It boasts a 190-mAh lithium-polymer battery unit which drains slowly and that can be recharged in a couple of hours to 100% using the two contact pins on the charging dock.