The Huawei Watch GT4 is the company’s best smartwatch so far, partnering great looks with even better performance
- Accurate heart rate and GNSS
- High-end looks
- Reasonable price
- App still needs work in places
Huawei has placed a renewed focus on its wearables in recent times but with mixed success. Some models we’ve liked, others less so. Happily, the Huawei Watch GT4 falls into the former camp and is definitely one of our favourites so far.
It’s the most accurate Huawei watch we’ve used yet and while it can’t quite compete on the luxury front with the Huawei Watch Ultimate, it’s uncommonly good looking considering the comparatively low cost.
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Huawei Watch GT4 review: What do you get for the money
For this review, I was sent the larger 46mm Huawei Watch GT4 with a 1.43in display, a black rubber strap, a slightly raised black bezel and a polished, dark grey stainless steel case and this costs a reasonable £230. In keeping with the self-proclaimed “fashion forwards” design approach to the GT4, though, there are plenty of other variants to choose from.
For £20 more you can have the same sized watch in brighter polished stainless steel and a flatter, more stylish steel bezel. This model comes with a brown leather strap. There’s also a “Steel” model for £300, which comes with a satin finish and a matching steel link bracelet. And, finally, the most attractive of the lot is the “Rainforest Green” model, which has green accents running around the interior circumference of its steel bezel and a matching rubber and nylon weave watch band.
This is quite a chunky timepiece, however, so Huawei also has a more feminine 14mm model available with a smaller 1.32in display. This looks quite different from its 46mm sibling, with a softer, rounder look, a case that’s just 9.1mm thin, and prominent “floating” lugs to hold the wristband in place. It’s available in three different styles: One with a white leather strap, another with a Milanese strap and the last with a two-tone “piano key” steel link band.
Whichever of these models you go for, you’re getting a 466 x 466 resolution AMOLED display and all the same internal hardware and improvements. Chief among these are Huawei’s latest TruSeen 5.5+ optical heart rate sensor and an upgraded dual-band, five-system GNSS radio (global navigation satellite system). Huawei says these two developments improve accuracy all round.
There’s also now smart menstrual cycle tracking, which uses various metrics to predict when your period might happen. There’s improved sleep tracking with breathing “awareness”, meaning that, in addition to the usual REM, deep sleep, light sleep and awake monitoring, you also get a “Breathing quality” score out of 100.
A new Stay Fit app has been added for more effectively tracking your calories in and out and there are new sports modes – football (soccer), padel and e-sports. There are also new watch faces here, with enhanced customisability via complications.
And, of course, all this is in addition to the usual Huawei wearable capabilities. The watch monitors your steps, sleep, stress, heart rate and skin temperature, alongside blood oxygen saturation. There’s tracking for more than 100 different sports, and adaptive running training plans for 3km, 5km, 10km, half marathon and marathon distances.
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Huawei Watch GT4 review: What did we like about it?
Put simply, the best thing about the Huawei Watch GT4 is its accuracy. I haven’t had much time with the watch so far – I’ve only run 26km with it so far – but the results I’ve seen have been impressive. As usual, I compared its results with a chest belt – the MyZone MZ-Switch – and the GT4’s average heart rate differed from the chest belt by a mere 1.35%.
It’s a similar story with the satellite position accuracy. I compared the distance recorded with the Huawei Watch GT4 with my Stryd Wind running pod across the same series of runs, and saw an average discrepancy of only 1.07%. These are seriously impressive results, the best I’ve seen from a Huawei wearable, and among the best wearables I’ve ever tested. Clearly, Huawei’s new GNSS technology, which uses beamforming to compensate for the fact that a watch’s antennas are always changing position relative to the satellite signal, is working.
Battery life is excellent, too. As I’ve mentioned, I haven’t had much chance to fully put it through its paces but with around 3hrs 40mins of GPS usage and the watch’s always on display disabled I got around seven days of usage out of it before it it needed a top-up.
It’s good to see that Huawei wearables are slowly coming into line with industry standards on third-party accessibility. As Huawei watches have for some time, the Watch GT4 can be connected with both Android and Apple phones but the ability to sync simply with Strava and Komoot is a relatively recent addition and it’s much appreciated here.
Huawei Watch GT4 review: What could it do better?
Given that third party synchronisation is much better than it was, I find it somewhat frustrating that it continues to be difficult to extract full data from the Huawei Health app. Yes, you can synchronise with Strava and view/download your workouts in full there but the Huawei Health app only seems to allow you to export the route data and not your heart rate.
Speaking of the app, I’m not a big fan of the watch face selection screen, either. It’s poorly designed with weird fonts and although there’s a large choice of watch faces, many of them aren’t free. The watch faces that are preinstalled on the watch itself do look quite good and the added customisability is welcome but I’d like there to be a bit more variety.
Huawei Watch GT 4 review: Verdict
Otherwise, the Huawei Watch GT4 is a cracking smartwatch. Not only does it look great but it’s incredibly accurate, stuffed with health and fitness features and battery life is excellent, too.
Yes, there is the odd niggle here and there but, if you’re looking for a smartwatch with performance and attractive good looks in equal measure, there aren’t many around that can match it at this price.