I was wondering how I could diversify my tests by finding something that I use on a daily basis and that is related to the other types of devices I test. In the end, the answer was quite simple: I had to test a smart watch.
I'm not a watch enthusiast because before buying this Huawei GT Active watch, I only had 2 watches in my life (a Swatch and a Festina). I tested 2 connected bracelets last year but I hadn't yet tested a connected watch yet, so this is a first.
How are my tests different from others on the web?
- I usually buy the devices with my own money, so price is just as important as you are! - I keep the devices for at least a few weeks (sometimes more) to see what they are worth in real conditions. - I answer (when possible) your questions to help you decide before you buy - no one pays me to do these reviews, so I'm completely neutral and independent... - My pages are not filled with ads
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08/02/2020 Purchase of the Huawei Watch GT Active on RueDuCommerce.fr with trade-in guarantee 08/02/2020 Start of test
Waarom deze smartwatch?
When I decided to test a smart watch, I still had no idea which brand or model I should test. At first, I went for Chinese brands like Kospet, Alfawise or Zeblaze but I preferred to start with a less exotic (but still Chinese) brand. It's first and foremost the price that motivated my choice of the Huawei GT Active.
Structure of my tests
I test products according to a pre-established structure (see below) to provide you with maximum information. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of time. Unlike some sites where products are tested on a single day, I use the products I test for a minimum of a few weeks and sometimes even a few months. If the test is not complete at the time of your visit, I invite you to come back later or ask your question in the comment section below.
The Huawei Watch GT Active is packaged in a case that contains only the watch, a manual, a charging cradle and a USB cable. All this could fit in a much smaller box but we can see that Huawei wants to position its watch as a premium product and to stand out from other Chinese watches that don't bother with this kind of thing.
Unlike a smartphone, the Huawei Watch GT Active does not need to be configured, however, it must be connected to a phone to be able to install updates and access watch data via the Huawei Health application. The watch is almost useless if it is not connected to a phone.
I first tried to install the Huawei application on a Xiaomi. The installation of the application works but you have to download the Huawei HMS application in addition. Unfortunately, this application doesn't work on my Xiaomi. In theory, it should be able to work by giving the necessary authorizations but despite everything, the application never wanted to start. I also tried the operation on a Samsung and I had the same problem. Luckily I had an Honor phone on hand (Honor is part of the Huawei group) and with this phone everything worked.
The watch is connected in Bluetooth with the smartphone but the Huawei Health application is necessary to be able to recognize and synchronize the watch. It seems that you have to have a Huawei or Honor phone to be able to use the watch and I think it's a shame.
As I wrote above, Huawei wants to position its products above other Chinese products and at first contact the Huawei Watch GT Active gives a very good impression. The choice of materials gives the impression that the watch is made of a metal alloy but this is not the case, the whole watch is made of good quality plastic. I was also surprised by the weight of the GT Active because I usually wear a traditional metal watch and the GT Active is much lighter due to its plastic design.
The strap is made out of rubber, it doesn't look very premium but I find this strap nevertheless quite elegant and it sticks very well to the wrist. The closing system is efficient and the watch never came off by moving the wrist. I had the problem with the Mi Band bracelet that regularly came off with certain movements.
On the side of the GT Active, there are two big buttons that look like traditional watch buttons, they look like they can turn but they are static. Pressing the top button gives access to the main functions of the watch, the bottom button gives access to the sport functions.
On the back is the sensor for the heartbeat but also the connector to charge the watch. The watch can not be connected directly to a USB cable, it is necessary to use a small charging station supplied with the watch.
The Huawei Watch GT Active can't really compete with a traditional quality watch, but it still offers a very good level of finishing.
The Huawei Watch GT Active connects via bluetooth, it does not offer connectivity to the 3G/4G network.
I was pleasantly surprised by the battery life of the Huawei GT Active. When I took it out of the box, it was 60% charged and I lasted almost a week. I then recharged it to the maximum and lasted exactly 7 days with normal daily use and two 1-hour cycling sessions. I then used the GT Active without any sport activity and the battery lasted 9 days.
Honor announces an even greater autonomy but it is mainly a marketing argument because with minimal use, I lasted a maximum of 9 days.
So the range is pretty good and unless you do intensive sports every day, you won't have to think about the battery.
To charge the battery, Honor delivers a small charging station with the device, simply plug it into a socket with a USB cable. It takes 2 hours to fully charge the watch (when it is at 0%).
The display of the Huawei Watch GT Active is an AMOLED display with good contrast and good readability. The difference between pixels is visible but it didn't bother me too much.
The screen is quite bright, it is possible to adjust the brightness manually or in automatic mode. the minimum brightness is still too bright because the watch turns on when I move while I sleep and it emits too much light. If you wake up in the middle of the night to look at the time, you will probably be disturbed by this too high brightness (even at the lowest level).
Huawei Watch GT Active operates in a closed environment, so you cannot download applications to enhance its functionality.
The vast majority of the features are related to sports activities (12 modes) and you have a few extra features such as a stopwatch, compass, barometer, weather, alarm and flashlight functionality.
If you're using an application like Deezer or Spotify on your phone, you'll be able to stop or restart a song.
The watch is compatible with the Huawei Health application but you won't be able to connect it with applications like Strava or Runtastic.
Heart data The Huawei Watch and the Huawei Health application make it possible to follow the heartbeat in charts. The watch captures the heartbeat continuously, I didn't see the possibility to set the update frequency. With the permanent measurement, the battery lasts a week, which is a very good result.
Are the measurements reliable? It depends. When you are at rest, I get a heart rate quite similar to what I get with other devices. However, I have noticed abnormal measurements at rest, such as 40 beats per minute, which is impossible. I have done several tests measuring the Mi Band 4 results with the Huawei Watch GT Active and got quite different results.
Here is an example:
I rode my bike for an hour and attached the Mi Band 4 and the Huawei Watch to the same wrist. The Mi Band 4 started at the time of the exercise while the Huawei was already on my wrist before the exercise, so the lower range is different.
The Huawei Watch indicated a maximum heart rate of 160 while the Mi Band 4 measured 165 beats. The graph of the Huawei is irregular, it clearly lost the measurement at certain times while the Mi Band 4 kept the measurement over the entire duration. So I get a very different average.
I have repeated the operation several times and I have always obtained less reliable data with the Huawei. The minimum measured by Huawei was always lower than what I measured with Mi Band 4, for example I got results below 45 beats per minute at night, which is impossible. In 4 exercises of 1 hour, I obtained a maximum of 160 beats with the Huawei while I got close to 170 with the Mi Band 4. I think here again that the Mi Band 4 is more reliable but I didn't have a third measuring device.
Sleep data The sleep measurement in the Huawei Health application provides more detailed data than I obtained with Mi Fit. It measures the following stages of sleep: - light sleep - major sleep - paraxodal sleep - number of awakenings - sleep continuity The application combines these different factors to give you a sleep quality score.
To compare the sleep data, I used the Mi Band 4 again. The Huawei considers that sleep starts at 9:45pm while the Mi Band starts around 11:30pm. I was watching a movie around 9:45pm and Huawei considered me asleep, Mi Band 4 considered me still awake. So the measured sleep time is quite different between the two devices. The measurements also differ in the deep sleep where the Mi Band 4 seems a bit too optimistic with 3 hours of deep sleep.
The quality of sleep is difficult to measure and in the end I can't say which device gave the best result, the Huawei is more easily influenced by rest periods but overall this kind of functionality is not to be taken very seriously.
Number of steps When I tested the Mi Band 4 I found a 10% difference between the measured steps and the actual steps taken, the Mi Band recorded 9 steps when I took 10. The Huawei measures 13 steps where I was doing 10. This difference can vary depending on the walking rhythm but I made these measurements under the same conditions.
The Huawei Health application can be downloaded for free from the Play Store but as I explained above, you will also need to install the Huawei services. I was unable to get the application to work on a Xiaomi and on a Samsung.
The Huawei Health application will ask you for a series of authorizations and so far I had managed to avoid creating a Huawei profile but to use this application, this step is mandatory. I find this regrettable because in 2 years, I have never had to create an account with Samsung or Xiaomi to use an application but Huawei forced my hand.
The Huawei Health application is quite simple and easy to use, it doesn't report as much information as Mi Fit (like course data for example) but it will allow you to use all the features of your Huawei Watch.
I will detail the results obtained by the application in the "measurements" section.
The Huawei Watch GT Active is theoretically compatible with any device, but in reality, if you do not have a Huawei or Honor brand device, you may not be able to use the watch.
I tried to connect the watch to a Xiaomi and a Samsung, it didn't work. You need to download the Huawei Health application to control the watch, this application is available in the Play Store and can be downloaded without restriction. This application will then ask you to download the Huawei HMS to make the application work but unfortunately I was unable to make this application work on Xiaomi or Samsung. Every time I try to launch it, the application crashes. On the Xiaomi it is possible to authorize the application to make changes but even giving these authorizations, the application ends up crashing.
This watch will therefore be aimed at people who already own a Huawei or Honor phone.
The Huawei Watch GT Active runs under Lite OS, an operating system specially designed for this kind of object.
What can I do with a Huawei Watch GT Active? I've gone through the main features in the video:
- top screen: configuration - bottom screen: messages - left/right: access to basic functions (heartbeat, weather, activity of the day)
The button in the upper right-hand corner gives access to the following functions: - Training - History -Status of training - Heart rate - Activity - Sleep - Barometer - Compass - Weather - Stopwatch - Timer - Alarm - Flashlight - Find my phone - Configuration
The bottom right button gives access to the following features: - Guided tour - Outdoor race - Inner race - Outdoor walking - Hiking - Cross-country running - Outdoor cycling - Indoor cycling - Indoor swimming - Outdoor swimming - Triathlon - Other For each sport it is possible to set a goal, a reminder and define the display during the effort.
The GT Active is a watch for an active audience as most of these features are sport focused.
It has some communication features like the possibility to read its messages, you can also hang up a call. These features are uni-directional, which means that the watch does not control anything that happens on the phone. You cannot answer messages, you cannot pick up a call.
I haven't encountered any bugs when using the Huawei Watch GT Active. However, I did encounter a few things that bothered me: - too much screen brightness during the night. - when you cross your arms and your arm rests on the dial, the watch offers you the possibility to personalize your dial - incompatibility with other phones
Compare Huawei Watch GT Active with the others
I assigned a score of 1 to 10 for each test that determines the strengths and weaknesses of a product. I am using 0 for criteria that have not (yet) been tested. A score of 1 to 3 indicates poor performance (and yes, it does), a score of 4 to 6 indicates average performance, a score of 7 to 8 indicates good performance, and a score of 9 and 10 indicates exceptional performance. . The score is calculated based on my measurements and when there are no measurements, it is a subjective opinion based on my experience.
The scores are not static, they change over time because the performance of new products changes and this must be taken into account.
Huawei Watch GT Active
Reliability of measurements
Ease of use
Global ranking 1. Amazfit Gts 48.5 / 77 2. Huawei Watch Gt Active 41.5 / 70 3. Mi Band 4 41 / 70 4. Mi Band 5 40.5 / 70 5. Mi Band 3 39.5 / 70 6. Umidigi Uwatch Gt 38.5 / 70
Test / Review conclusion
The Huawei Watch GT Active is the first real connected watch I've ever tested. I had tested the Mi Band 3 and 4 but the Huawei is clearly a different kind of product, it's much closer to a traditional watch than a simple connected bracelet.
Before the end of the test, I bought two other watches (an Umidigi and an Amazfit), so I will quickly be able to compare but at this stage my conclusion will be based on limited experience.
Overall I find that the Huawei Watch GT Active offers a good level of finishing despite the plastic based materials used for its case. It is of a size quite comparable to a traditional watch and is very easy to use.
It is intended for a sporting public or at least that's how Huawei decided to sell it and on paper, it offers everything for sport enthusiasts who would like to measure their performance. The problem is that cardiac measurements don't really seem reliable. So it's aimed at sport enthusiasts, but not at those who want a very high level of accuracy. It can give you an indication of your performance without any problem, but don't be surprised to see sometimes not very realistic heartbeats.
The autonomy is rather good, even if you do sport, it varies between one and two weeks depending on your level of activity.
It remains to compare its qualities with other watches in the same price range, this is what I will do in the next tests but for this price, you will find Chinese watches that have a GPS sensor and sometimes even a SIM card.
Strengths - Finishes - Ease of use - Screen quality - Numerous features for sports enthusiasts - Good battery life - Good application Huawei Health
Weaknesses - Lack of compatibility with other brands - Lack of compatibility with sports applications (e.g. Strava) - Long loading time - Cardiac measurements not always accurate
Price Huawei Watch GT Active
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