Huawei female watch review: Bringing out your inner fashionista
Style meets substance in the world’s first female smartwatch
- Elegant design
- Customisable watch faces
- Great for viewing notifications on the go
- No sleep tracker
- No Cloud for fitness app data
- iOS compatibility needs work
Out on the overall, the Huawei female watch is a strong start to Huawei’s range of smartwatches specifically targeted at women. The Huawei Watch Jewel and Elegant are available from April 20 for $699 at selected Myer, Harvey Norman, and Huawei kiosks nationally.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
Elegance and pure opulence combined with technology – that’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see and try on the Huawei female watch.
This new Huawei wearable is a far cry from your average smartwatch – you’ve got two variants: the Huawei Watch Elegant, which is a stylish rose-gold knurled watch frame and a genuine Italian leather watch strap available in pearl white or sapphire blue.
The other, the Huawei Watch Jewel, comes with the added option of Swarovski Zirconia encrusted around the watch face. Each of the 68 Swarovski Zirconias measure 1.5mm in size and are precision cut and polished. Its esthetics is clearly tailored to features women look for in a watch.
They both come with a trendy large 44m sapphire crystal watch face, and underneath their classy design, feature a 1.4-in touch-sensitive AMOLED watch face, meaning even though the smartwatch looks dainty, its screen can take some tough love without spotting scratches.
But the Huawei female watch is not just a good looker. It is powered by the latest Android Wear software and is both Android and iOS compatible.
Partnership with Vogue
And because technology, like fashion, is something that has and will continue to become part of our personal style, the Huawei Watch Jewel and Huawei Watch Elegant were created in partnership with Vogue.
Huawei said the global deal sees the next phase in its ongoing effort to blur the lines between fashion and advanced technology.
“As fashion trends continue to evolve, wearable technology is now accepted and adopted as a conscious fashion statement.
“Huawei is committed to leading the way in the fusion of technology and fashion to create products that are parts asthetically-appealing, versatile, and practical,” Huawei Australia head of consumer marketing, Marc Di Giacomo, said.
As fashion lovers, this smartwatch’s looks excited us as much as the Intel MICA smart bracelet. We got our wrists on the Huawei Watch Elegant with a pearl white leather strap and it surprisingly wasn’t a bulky wear as we thought it was going to be. It sat comfortably on our wrists and was an easy use.
Getting started with features
We paired the Huawei female watch with an iPhone 5S, which took minutes. All we had to do was download the Android Wear app and pair it with the wearable. You can tweak the settings to mute apps, link your email accounts, or even manage SafeSearch.
The Huawei female watch stays true to the Android form of personalization. The app also lets you download more watchfaces, from the likes of Mango, Ted Baker, Lulu Frost, or BCBG MAXAZRIA, in addition to the 40-plus watchfaces that already come pre-installed with Android Wear. So, there is a watchface to suit you regardless if you’re after something sporty, classy, timeless, new age or out of this world. Alternatively, you can even mix them up whenever you feel like it.
Swiping left on the watch brings up settings, where you can alter its font size, sound, screen brightness, gestures, or watch face. There’s also access to an alarm, fitness tracking, your agenda (it only shows up what you have on that particular day), Google and a heart rate monitor. Swiping right exits the feature.
App alerts that show up on your smartphone show up on the bottom of the Huawei female watch without obstructing the view of the time. To read these messages, you simply drag up to see, tap to read more, and right to dismiss.
Music controls show up on the smartwatch as well. We tested Pandora on it and thought it was a convenient addition to be able to flick through tracks, pause it, or adjust the volume without having to pick up your smartphone – it’s pretty much like having a remote on the smartwatch.
Bringing your wrist in activates the light on the smartwatch and bringing it back out puts the light off (but the time is still easily viewable on this setting).
Other gestures include flicking wrists out to scroll down a page, flicking wrists in to scroll up a page, pushing arm down to select a card and open a new screen, pivoting arm up to go back, and shaking wrist back and forth exit watch face from any screen.
Even though the gestures are handy, we didn’t quite use them as much – besides flicking our wrists in and out to scroll across pages. These gestures required strong movements, which didn’t come as naturally as using our fingers to scroll or move back and forth between notifications.
The only downside to pairing an iOS device to Android wear – it stunts your app usage. The experience isn’t quite the same as pairing it with an Android smartphone as Apple restricted apps, meaning third-party Android apps aren’t allowed on it. So if you’re using it with an iOS device, you’ll have to live with basic apps and push notifications.
The pick up call feature on the Huawei female watch is handy to have if you’re one of those people that has your smartphone dug deep in your handbags. It lets you pick up the call from the smartwatch, although you will still need your smartphone to actually answer those calls, which means you’ll still need to fish out your phone from your bag. But it probably saves you from missing a call.
This feature is more apt for dismissing calls, because then you can do so quickly and easily on the smartwatch without having to even touch your smartphone.
Replying to texts or messages is also out of the question with an Apple paired Android Wear, excluding Gmail emails. Rich Gmail previews can be turned on from within the Android Wear iPhone app that lets you reply to messages via voice. However, we should probably warn you that this comes with no preview – it automatically gets sent the minute you pause to think.Read more: Huawei P9 smartphone review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
The ‘Okay Google’ functionality on the smartwatch is also minimal when paired with an iOS device. It limits your voice commands to only Google searches and actions within Google’s apps. But it is helpful when you’re standing on a train for example, and use the smartwatch functionality to search for what you need and have your preferred results pushed to your smartphone to look at a later time.
On the plus side, the Huawei female watch comes with a built-in gyroscope, accelerometer, six-axis motion sensor, and heart rate monitor. It helps track activities anywhere and at any time and is also able to distinguish between physical activities such as walking, running or climbing.
The fitness tracking apps keep count of the number of steps you take, the amount of calories you have burnt, and monitor your heart rate. They also let you set daily targets and keep a record of your data over seven days. But, the data only gets stored on the smartwatch. We would have liked to see it get transferred to a dedicated Cloud, somewhat like Apple Health.
Another addition that we would have liked to see on the Huawei female watch is sleep tracking functionality. Many wearables in the market already come with sleep tracking preinstalled and based on your sleep patterns, wake you at the optimal timeframe based on your sleep patterns. This feature would have been the cherry on the cake for us.Read more: Sony Xperia X Performance review: Sony’s most disappointing product in years
In terms of usage, the Huawei female watch lasts about a day. We had most of our push notifications coming in to the smartwatch and used it for daily tracking activities as well. If like us, you are a heavy user, you will have to charge it every night.
It comes with a magnetic pogo pin charger with a 300mAh Li-battery. A full charge from a flat battery on the device takes about an hour.
One way battery life could have been extended is by reducing the brightness. We had the Huawei female watch on the lowest brightness setting and it worked for us generally in the day but in the evenings and in dim-lit situations like cinemas for example, we found it to be a tad bit too bright. Perhaps, an auto-dimming feature in darker situations might have been useful.
But that’s just us being picky as the battery life did last throughout the day on heavy usage while the Huawei female watch served its purpose.
In terms of form, the Huawei female watch is quite hard to beat. It screams luxury and opulence in its make, drawing attention, while also being subtle as a smartwatch. Its design is almost flawless and we can’t think of any woman who wouldn’t want to don it on their wrists.
But in terms of functionality, there is plenty of room for improvement. What we love most is the customisable watch faces that are available with the Huawei female watch and the fitness tracking functionality that comes with it. It beats having to wear a smartwatch and a wearable fitness device. This is obviously besides the push notification functionality that keeps you on top of every message, email or update with just a glance.
On the downside, we would have preferred the addition of a sleep tracker; a dedicated Cloud that stores all the data from the fitness apps and lets us access it when we want; in addition to better features when paired with an iOS device.
Overall, the Huawei female watch is a strong start to Huawei’s range of smartwatches specifically targeted at women. The Huawei Watch Jewel and Elegant are available from April 20 for $699 at selected Myer, Harvey Norman, and Huawei kiosks nationally.
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