Hands on: Huawei Watch Fit review

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Huawei’s back with another wearable ahead of IFA 2020 and it looks promising. The Huawei Watch Fit is the brand’s latest fitness tracker that sits somewhere between budget activity bands and serious running watches.

Earlier this year, we saw the Watch GT 2 and Watch GT 2e from Huawei, both of which came with solid fitness tracking, but were held back by software limitations.

The Watch Fit doesn’t improve anything on the software front, but it’s a different kind of value proposition from Huawei that brings most of the fitness and health tracking suite found on the Watch GT 2e in a lightweight design that’s accessible, easy to use and, most importantly, affordable.

Huawei is clearly going after the likes of Fitbit Charge 4 and Garmin Vivosport with the Watch Fit, and has a big advantage by offering an AMOLED display in a slim design with a 10-day battery life, all at a lower price. How well it stacks up against the competition is something we’ll be sure to test in our full review.

Huawei Watch Fit

(Image credit: Future)

Price and availability

The Huawei Watch Fit is priced at AED399 (about $110 / £80 / AU$150) and hits stores across the UAE on September 4. Global release dates have yet to be confirmed.

The Watch Fit comes in three colors (Sakura Pink, Graphite Black and Mint Green) and features an AMOLED display, built-in GPS, heart rate monitor, music storage and an extensive suite of workout modes.

Design and display

The Huawei Watch Fit has a slim and neat design that looks like a compressed Apple Watch. There’s a lone flat button tapered on the right side of the watch face’s smooth metal frame and 2.5D curved glass covers the surface, giving the watch a polished premium look.

It’s slim at just 10.7mm thick, and with a weight of 21g (without straps) you’ll barely feel it on your wrist, making it super comfy for all day wear. The watch’s sensors are housed at bottom of the chassis, which has a smooth matte plastic finish that’s easy to wipe clean and resists sweat accumulation. The Watch Fit is also 5ATM water resistant, meaning it can survive at depths up to 50m.

Huawei Watch Fit

(Image credit: Future)

You can’t swap the straps on the Watch Fit, which is a shame. Another sore point is the protruding sensor bump on the bottom that tends to dig into your skin if you strap the watch on tightly and gets sticky a few minutes into a workout. Other than that, the Watch Fit is one of the most comfortable fitness watches we’ve tested and you’ll have no problems wearing it all day and night.

On the front, there’s a smart 1.64-inch AMOLED screen with a crisp 280 x 456 resolution and small bezels. It’s a display you’d expect to find on pricier fitness watches. The tall aspect ratio is a great design choice, keeping the watch slim while displaying a good amount of information at once.

The display is responsive as you tap and swipe through the Watch Fit’s easy to use interface. It’s also bright and readable under direct sunlight, with decent vibrancy that makes watch faces pop off the screen.

Huawei Watch Fit

(Image credit: Future)

Features and fitness

The Watch Fit’s key selling point is the vast and versatile fitness and health tracking suite, which can track anything from conventional forms of exercise like walking, running, cycling and swimming to belly dancing, dart throwing, martial arts and more.

It can also monitor heart rate in real time and shows your target heart rate zone during exercise to keep you motivated to stay in the ideal range. There’s built-in GPS for mapping outdoor runs, but no altitude meter to track elevation.

How well the Watch Fit’s GPS performance and tracking stacks up is something we’ll be sure to test in our full review.

Huawei Watch Fit

(Image credit: Future)

Aside from to 90+ workout modes on the Watch Fit, there are 12 fitness courses accompanied by animations to guide you through each step of a workout. The fitness courses include stretches, quick fat-burning workouts, focused core exercises and more.

It’s a neat feature that we can see ourselves using often enough much like the quick breathing exercises and we’re curious to see if Huawei plans to build on this and add more courses in the future.

Like the Watch GT series, the Watch Fit allows you to monitor your blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), a feature we haven’t seen before on a fitness band at this price point. SpO2 monitoring is becoming a widespread feature on fitness watches and helps hint at your body’s overall conditioning to point to underlying issues.

The Watch Fit measures SpO2 at various intervals through the day and also during workouts. Along with SpO2, the watch is able to use GPS data and heart rate information to estimate your VO2max, training effect, recovery times, target heart rate zones for warm ups, fat-burning anaerobic endurance etc. Almost everything you need to make your workout sessions efficient and effective.

Huawei Watch Fit

(Image credit: Future)

There are no cutting-edge features on the Watch Fit or detailed analytics, so serious runners will still want to opt for more full-fledged options from Garmin and other brands. But considering the Watch Fit’s price, it’s still a very viable alternative to more expensive fitness watches and a great fitness companion for beginners or those looking for something inexpensive and ways to use.

There are no smartwatch features on board, which is to be expected, but you do have helpful utilities like pushing notifications and weather information from your smartphone and built-in storage for music.

Early verdict

The Huawei Watch Fit is a feature packed affordable fitness watch that will appeal to anyone wanting to kick-start or maintain an active lifestyle except serious athletes. It offers guided exercises, tracks a wide variety of activities and has a well-rounded suite of health and wellness monitoring to keep you on top of your fitness goals.

It’s also one of the most comfortable fitness bands to wear making it perfect for all day wear, plus it’s waterproof. The tall AMOLED screen is bright with an accessible and easy to use interface and built-in GPS and music storage means you can leave your phone behind for short workouts.

We still need to put the watch through its paces to confirm Huawei’s 10-day battery life claims and how well it holds up over a longer period of time, but considering the price and feature set, the Watch Fit could be a mid-range champion.

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