The Watch Fit 2 gets more than just a facelift but software issues still remain
- New stylish design choices
- Bigger and sharper screen
- Accurate HR monitoring
- Software still restrictive for non-Huawei users
- Pricier than its predecessor
The Huawei Watch Fit 2 launched in July 2022, alongside the Watch GT 3 Pro smartwatch and a new foldable smartphone: the Mate Xs 2. While the GT 3 Pro is Huawei’s latest premium wearable, the Watch Fit 2 attempts to blur the line between smartwatch and fitness tracker, at an altogether more affordable price. As such, it’s somewhat of a hybrid wearable, with a focus on both fitness and lifestyle features, and has a stylish design.
As the successor to 2020’s original Watch Fit, the Watch Fit 2 is an aesthetic upgrade for the most part with an increase in screen size and a wider choice of straps and colours. There are, however, some other notable improvements that make the Watch Fit 2 worth considering.
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Huawei Watch Fit 2 review: What do you get for the money?
The Huawei Watch Fit 2 starts at £130 and that price rises depending on your choice of finish and wristband design, more on which below.
As a second generation smartwatch-cum-fitness-tracker, it offers all the core features we’ve come to expect from a decent tech wearable. It tracks all the basics such as steps, heart-rate monitoring, stress and sleep tracking and adds more advanced features such as automatic SpO2 monitoring and menstrual cycle tracking as well. (For a full list of features, see Huawei’s website.)
The most obvious improvement the Watch Fit 2 delivers over its predecessor is its larger 1.74in AMOLED screen. That represents an 18% increase in size over its predecessor’s 1.64in display and with a slightly higher screen-to-body ratio, Huawei has managed to keep the overall size increase to a minimum. Not only is the screen bigger, it’s sharper too, with a resolution of 336 x 480 pixels versus the original Fit’s 280 x 456.
Style was one of Huawei’s main areas of focus with the release of the Watch GT 3 Pro, and the same is true here. The fashion-conscious will be pleased to hear that you get a choice of straps with the Watch Fit 2, across three different “Editions”: the Active Edition comes with a silicone rubber strap and costs £130, the Classic Edition comes with a leather wristband for £160; and then there’s the Elegant Edition, which comes with either a silver and gold coloured metal wristband for £190.
Huawei has also upgraded the heart rate sensor on the Watch Fit 2, from the TruSeen 4.0 to the TruSeen 5.0. It’s not quite as accurate of the TruSeen 5.0+ sensor on the Watch GT 3 Pro but it’s a solid upgrade nonetheless.
Outwards improvements aside, the Watch Fit 2 introduces a number of new key features. The addition of Bluetooth calling allows you to answer calls from your wrist and you can also quickly reply to texts from a selection of pre-written canned responses. In addition, Huawei has added a music playback feature, allowing you to download and store your own music and playlists onto the watch, something that was lacking on the original Watch Fit.
Elsewhere, there are 97 workouts to choose from, plus a new audio companion for workouts thanks to the addition of a speaker on the watch. The watch’s on-board personal trainer provides runners with training plans to help them meet their goals, whether they’re a beginner just starting out or training to run a marathon. You even get animated guidance for pre-run warmups and post-run stretches, to ensure you’re preparing your body properly for strenuous activity: another useful feature for beginners.
Huawei Watch Fit 2 review: What does it do well?
There are plenty of things to like about the Huawei Watch Fit 2 and its strongest suit has to be the accuracy of its sensors. Tested against a MyZone MZ-Switch heart rate chest belt and a Stryd foot pod, both of which are as accurate as you can get, it matched average heart rate on the former and total distances on the latter very closely – to around 1% across a series of runs.
Battery life is impressive, too, standing at ten days of typical usage according to Huawei. This is an area in which Huawei’s wearables typically excel: they’re certainly better than any Apple Watch and most WearOS wearables we’ve tested over the years, and the Watch Fit 2 doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
The new lifestyle features – particularly the Bluetooth calling and music control – work well, too, allowing the Watch Fit 2 to straddle that line between being a fitness tracker and an everyday smartwatch nicely. It is worth noting, however, that there’s not a great deal to the Watch Fit 2’s music playback feature, with only the facility to download files to the watch to play, or to control music that’s playing on your phone. There’s no facility for offline Spotify playback like you get on watches such as the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music and Samsung Galaxy Watch.
And it’s also fair to say that the Watch Fit 2 is a clear improvement on its predecessor when it comes to style, with a larger screen and an attractive, sharp colour display. Although the scaly gold strap adorning the watch I was sent to review isn’t quite to my taste, having a wide selection of colours and strap styles to choose from is a definite positive. One of the pros of the new Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro was aesthetics, and it’s fair to say that Huawei has another stylish wearable here.
Huawei Watch Fit 2: What could be improved?
The Huawei Watch Fit 2’s shortcomings are, for the most part, the same issues that afflict pretty much every other Huawei wearable we’ve looked at recently. The main drawback is that you’ll only be able to make the most of its full feature set if you pair it with a phone running Huawei’s EMUI operating system.
Although the watch will work if you pair it with an iPhone or a non-Huawei Android handset, features such as the AI voice assistant, remote camera shutter, and OneHop sharing, which allows you to quickly transfer images from your phone to your watch background, are all out of bounds.
These might not sound like dealbreakers but even accessing features that are available to non-Huawei phone users can be fiddly. For instance, to get Petal Maps working you’ll need to download the Huawei App Gallery to your phone before downloading Petal Maps from there.
And, as I mentioned in my Watch GT 3 Pro review, synchronising fitness data from the Huawei Health app to the most popular third-party fitness platforms is, for the most part, not achievable natively (although you can sync your Huawei Health account with the Adidas Runtastic app).
If you want to synchronise your workouts to Strava, though, you’ll need to be prepared to jump through some hoops. You can either use the separate Health Sync app, or use a workaround that involves setting up a new Huawei Fit account for a non-European country where that feature is available (such as Singapore). Neither of these methods are particularly easy to do, though – it’s safer to assume you’ll be staying within the confines Huawei Fit.
The Watch Fit 2 is also a lot more expensive than the original Watch Fit was. Indeed, the starting price of the new wearable is almost twice as much as that of its predecessor (which you can buy for around £50). Admittedly, the upgrades justify the higher price in some ways, but while one of the key plus points of the original Watch Fit was its value for money, this is a bit more of a budget-stretcher.
A final point worth mentioning is that, if you opt for the Watch Fit 2 with a metal strap, connecting the magnetic charger isn’t always as straightforward as it should be. On a few occasions, the charging plate would latch onto the strap itself rather than the charging point on the rear of the watch case. It’s a minor irritation but an irritation nonetheless.
Huawei Watch Fit 2 review: Should I buy it?
When you consider the wide range of smartwatches and fitness trackers that are available, you might find that the Huawei Watch Fit 2 isn’t the most attractive choice.
For a start, you’ll need to ask yourself whether you are prepared to forgo certain privileges that are reserved for Huawei users, while dealing with a few other annoyances and workarounds. And Android users who are happy to sacrifice battery life in favour of better features and integration may be better off with a smartwatch that employs Wear OS instead of Huawei’s EMUI.
iPhone users, meanwhile, should avoid it and go for an Apple Watch instead (you can now get the Apple Watch Series 3, for instance, for less than £200). And, similarly, Samsung users might want one of the brand’s Galaxy Watches. Both Android and iPhone users also have a wide variety of Garmin watches to choose from, which offer fantastic sports features balanced with style and some smart features.
That’s not to say the Huawei Watch Fit 2 is a bad wearable, though. At £130, it’s a sensible choice for anyone looking for a decent selection of health and lifestyle features that won’t break the bank. What’s more, its battery life fairly beats that of many of its more expensive rivals, and it looks pretty stylish, too.