Due to various reasons, Huawei and its sub-brand Honor are no longer active in the smartphone space in India. However, that hasn’t held the company back in allied product segments, including wearables and audio products, where it remains present. Wearables make up a popular and fast-growing segment, particularly in the affordable price range, where many of the company’s new releases are. Among the company’s latest novelties is the Huawei Watch Fit.
Priced from Rs. 8,999 in India, the Huawei Watch Fit is marketed as a smartwatch rather than a fitness bracelet, even though the design and features might have you thinking otherwise. It’s also priced a little higher than many products with similar features, but there are a few key factors that help set it apart. This is the best fitness-oriented wearable you can buy for less than Rs. 10,000? Find out in this review.
Huawei Watch Fit design
Smartwatches and fitness trackers offer many of the same functions, but the differences come down to physical design and software features. The Huawei Watch Fit is unique enough in design that it won’t fall into any of the categories. The large AMOLED screen and thick casing make it look like a smartwatch, but the slim form factor and fitness-centric features offer functionality more in line with what you’d expect from a fitness tracker.
The Huawei Watch Fit has a 1.64-inch AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 280×456 pixels. This results in a pixel density of 326ppi and a screen-to-body ratio of 70%. It is available in three colors in India – black, blue and pink – and comes with matching detachable rubber straps depending on which color you choose. The smartwatch has a single button on the right. Charging contact points and the optical sensor for heart rate and blood oxygen measurements are on the bottom.
I found the Huawei Watch Fit comfortable to wear and light enough to be discreet even while sleeping. The single button on the watch controls power, opens the app drawer if you’re on the home screen, and jumps to the home screen from anywhere else on the watch interface. The device comes with a charging cable that magnetically attaches to the charging contact points on the bottom. It remained securely in place on a flat surface during charging and did not come off easily.
The Watch Fit weighs 21g strapless and has a number of sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, capacitive sensor to activate the watch screen with a lifting gesture, ambient light sensor and optical heart rate sensor. There is also built-in GPS and the body is 5ATM water resistant. The main mode of connectivity with your smartphone is Bluetooth, although the version has not been specified.
Huawei Watch Fit software, interface and app
Huawei Watch Fit runs its own custom operating system and user interface and connects to the companion app via Bluetooth (available for Android and iOS) to sync fitness and health data. For this review, I used an Android smartphone with the app installed on it.
The Huawei Watch Fit’s user interface was simple and clean, with tap and touch gestures that allowed me to navigate through the various screens, working in tandem with the physical button.
The AMOLED screen is put to good use on the Huawei Watch Fit, with most of the backgrounds being black to highlight content and conserve battery life. The apps on the smartwatch are fixed and largely cover the basics; there is no way to install any third party apps. Most of the apps on the smartphone I was using the Watch Fit with supported notifications, including WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and of course the Phone and Messages apps.
I really liked the crisp, premium look and feel of the Watch Fit’s user interface, with everything well-optimized for the high-resolution AMOLED display. Settings and notifications were easy to reach, fitness and health data were just a few taps away, and it was convenient to start workouts and measure my heart rate and SpO2 level. You can also see weather updates, control music on your paired smartphone, set timers and alarms, call your paired smartphone, and much more.
Many of the pre-installed watch faces can be selected directly from the Huawei Watch Fit, but you can also use the Huawei Health app to download and install custom watch faces from the watch gallery for free. Many of them looked poorly designed and tacky, but there are also some useful and good-looking watch faces to choose from. They can provide a lot of information over time, like steps taken, heart rate, and more.
The Huawei Health app works fine and the connection between the smartwatch and smartphone has been stable in my experience. The app syncs and stores health and fitness data in the app for easy reference. You can start workouts directly from the app, configure key health and device monitoring settings, update watch firmware, and more. It is among the best affordable smartwatch and fitness tracker apps that you can find right now.
Huawei Watch Fit performance and battery life
Although launched as a smartwatch, the Huawei Watch Fit looks more like a premium fitness tracker. With a large, crisp AMOLED screen, the hardware to track most key health and fitness parameters, and functional second-screen capabilities, this device is impressive on paper for the price. However, the Huawei Watch Fit did not make very accurate measurements when tracking some parameters. On the other hand, the smartwatch functionality proved to be more reliable and I had no issues with app push notifications, caller ID, or music controls.
The Huawei Watch Fit can track a staggering 96 different types of exercise, including common ones like indoor and outdoor walking and running, cycling, swimming, rowing, and the elliptical, to name a few. There are also plenty of niche options, including various forms of dance, yoga, pilates, strength training, various martial arts, and popular sports such as tennis, cricket, football, and more.
Other categories of activities include water sports, extreme sports like parkour and winter sports like snowboarding. It’s hard to say how accurate and useful tracking will be with some of these, but it’s good to know that the Huawei Watch Fit has some sort of understanding of how you’ll move your body during this niche and specialized activities.
For my review, I continued to keep up with the basics of exercise, including indoor and outdoor walks and climbing stairs in my building. In our manual step count test, the Huawei Watch Fit recorded 1,071 steps when I manually counted 1,000 – a pretty high margin of error of around 7%. For other tests, I used an Apple Watch Series 5 to compare data and the differences were just as wide.
When walking in a covered area, the Huawei Watch Fit recorded about 75 more steps per 1,000 than the Apple Watch. The distance calculation reflected an even greater difference from 1.14 km on the Huawei device to 1 km on the Apple Watch. It should be noted that the Watch Fit allows manual distance calibration for indoor walks in order to improve tracking accuracy over time.
The Huawei Watch Fit has a GPS sensor, which is activated for any distance-based workouts and outdoor activities such as walking and running. I expected this to result in better accuracy, but there was still a considerable difference in distance recordings – the Huawei device recorded a distance of 1.18km when the Apple Watch recorded 1km, a distance that Google Maps estimated to be just under 1km.
Overall, the fitness tracking of the Huawei Watch Fit is much less accurate than I’ve experienced with more affordable devices with similar features like the Realme Watch 2 Pro.
I also found the SpO2 readings to be quite inaccurate when compared to a decent pulse oximeter; the Huawei Watch Fit provided readings of 96-97% blood oxygen saturation, while the pulse oximeter showed readings of 98-99%.
The heart rate readings on the Huawei Watch Fit were accurate, matching what I could see on the pulse oximeter and Apple Watch. Sleep tracking was also reasonably accurate on the Huawei device, and the data is a little more detailed than what you can get from an Apple Watch.
The battery life of the Huawei Watch Fit is very good, with the device running for around nine days on a single charge with regular use. You can get a little more battery out of it by turning off regular heart rate monitoring and only allowing limited use of GPS tracking, for example. However, the battery life is decent, even if its use tends to consume more power. Charging is convenient and fast with the included cable.
The Huawei Watch Fit has a lot to offer, including good design and hardware, a very good display, sophisticated and thoughtful software, and an app that keeps everything running smoothly. However, it falls short in one important department: fitness tracking. The margins of error for tracking steps and distances were very high, and tracking blood oxygen saturation seemed completely arbitrary in our tests. While the heart rate and sleep tracking have been decent in my experience, that’s not enough to establish this device’s fitness credentials.
As a smartwatch, the Huawei Watch Fit is reasonably good, so its design and ease of use are worth considering. However, as a fitness tracker, the Watch Fit falls short even when compared to more affordable competitors including the Realme Watch 2 Pro. Options like the Mi Watch Revolve Active might also be worth considering at this price point.