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Huawei Watch Fit review: More fitness tracker less ‘smartwatch’

Is the Huawei Watch Fit for you? Here are its pros, cons, and our thoughts on the hybrid wearable.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Rs. 8999
Written by Anuj Bhatia | New Delhi |
Updated: December 9, 2021 1:11:41 pm
Huawei Watch Fit, Huawei Watch Fit review, Huawei Watch Fit price in India, Huawei Watch Fit, budget smartwatches in India, smartwatch, fitness trackerThe Huawei Watch Fit can track your heart rate, view your SpO2 readings in the blood oxygen, and monitor your stress. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Even as Apple and Samsung fight for the premium smartwatch segment, the budget fitness-tracker-smartwatch market is hotting up in India. Huawei Watch Fit is the latest wearable that primarily is a fitness tracker with a few smartwatch features.

In this review, we look at where the Huawei Watch Fit actually fits in in the crowded wearables market and whether users should really settle for a hybrid solution rather than going for a proper smartwatch or buying a fitness tracker.

Huawei Watch Fit price in India: Rs 8,999

Huawei Watch Fit review: Design and display

It’s hard to ignore the appearance of the Huawei Watch Fit. It’s a cross between fitness trackers and smartwatches, with a 1.64-inch AMOLED portrait-orientation touch display. The watch is extremely comfortable and not sweaty to wear with its traditional silicone strap. There is a button on the right side of the 46mm frame, which wakes up the display, or shows up a menu. The back of the watch is made of plastic and houses the optical sensors and two metal contact pins for the proprietary charger.

Huawei Watch Fit, Huawei Watch Fit review, Huawei Watch Fit price in India, Huawei Watch Fit, budget smartwatches in India, smartwatch, fitness tracker Pressing the single button while on the home screen brings access to sleep info, SpO2 monitoring, etc. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express

The AMOLED display is very sharp and detailed but unfortunately not very bright, especially under direct sunlight. The display does take advantage of the watch faces included — with over six installed out of the box, some of which are customisable, and plenty more available to download. It supports an always-on display option, which will keep the time and some other information on-screen 24/7, though at a fairly serious hit to battery life. The display does not have scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass protection at this price point. Thankfully, the Watch Fit is water-resistant to 5ATM, meaning the watch will work properly even if you take it to the pool.

Huawei Watch Fit review: Smart features and fitness tracking

The Huawei Watch Fit runs on LiteOS, a custom operating system which is optimised for the rectangular display. It’s clean and fast but lacks “smart” features. To begin with, you won’t find third-party app support, something you would get on the Apple Watch or Samsung Watch 4. So if you use apps like Strava, the Huawei Watch Fit is not for you. Although you can control your music playing on your phone, there is no way to transfer it onto the watch somehow despite 4GB of built-in storage. What also puzzled me is the lack of the watch’s ability to handle Bluetooth headphones. The watch doesn’t come equipped with cellular connectivity, or speakers. The Huawei Watch Fit displays notifications from your smartphone apps – be it Gmail or WhatsApp – but you cannot reply to a message. I can view a WhatsApp message but there is no way I can reply. This absurd way of seeing notifications but not replying to them makes no sense in the real world.

Huawei Watch Fit, Huawei Watch Fit review, Huawei Watch Fit price in India, Huawei Watch Fit, budget smartwatches in India, smartwatch, fitness tracker A proprietary magnetic pogo pin is integrated into the USB charging cable. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

LiteOS is designed to be basic. The focus is clearly on the simplistic tasks like setting an alarm, checking the weather, checking your blood oxygen levels and stress levels, looking at your recent workouts, using a torch, etc. On the flip side, the Huawei Watch Fit works with both Android and iOS via BT5.0/Bluetooth LE.

The Huawei Watch Fit is essentially a fitness tracker housed in the body of a smartwatch. The basics — steps and calories- are covered. But then you can also monitor heart rate and blood oxygen. Heart rate can be checked anytime by swiping along through the home screen, though I am not too sure about its accuracy. There have been times when I observed that there was a difference between the readings of heart rate calculated by the Huawei Watch Fit and Apple Watch. Anyway, neither of the two are medical devices. The Watch Fit also has the ability to take blood-oxygen level monitoring, which quickly gives you information about your blood oxygenation. Other tracking is reliable, with the Watch Fit can track sleep automatically. Sleep tracking is especially impressive, with results closely matching those from the Apple Watch.

Huawei Watch Fit, Huawei Watch Fit review, Huawei Watch Fit price in India, Huawei Watch Fit, budget smartwatches in India, smartwatch, fitness tracker It wouldn’t be wrong to call the Huawei Watch Fit a “smart” fitness tracker. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The watch tracks 96 different activities, from running to rowing and swimming. The Huawei Watch Fit also has a built-in GPS, which is a boon for runners. Speaking of the app, it’s clean and simple, with nothing to complain about. You can tweak all the settings from the app like settings step goals, notification for high heart rate alerts, etc.

Huawei Watch Fit review: Battery life

Battery life is one area where the Huawei Watch Fit should be appreciated more than the Apple Watch. Huawei says it should last 10 days between charges with sleep tracking overnight and the Always-on display off. The results seem pretty accurate to me. But it’s also a reminder of how Huawei manages to deliver a long battery life by cutting the cost of several features that you get on premium smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch 4.

Huawei Watch Fit, Huawei Watch Fit review, Huawei Watch Fit price in India, Huawei Watch Fit, budget smartwatches in India, smartwatch, fitness tracker The Huawei Watch Fit runs Lite OS. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Huawei Watch Fit review: Should you buy it?

For me, reviewing the Huawei Watch Fit has been a mixed bag. I do not have much to complain about the features that could have been a part of the Watch Fit. But what really annoys me is the hype being generated around the devices like the Huawei Watch Fit and the OnePlus Watch. The concept of a hybrid wearable that brings certain elements of a smartwatch and fitness tracker is itself flawed. Sure, the Huawei Watch Fit is comfortable to wear, offers good battery life and screen but it never comes closer to a transitional smartwatch like the Apple Watch or dedicated fitness trackers from Fitbit. Do not rush and buy the Huawei Watch Fit because of how well it is priced; make sure you are aware of its trade-offs.

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