Does not fate act in peculiar ways? Last week my 2015 edition Moto 360 smart watch was taken from me, then mere days later it was replaced by a Huawei W1 smart watch. I feel I have done rather well with the swap!
Both devices run the latest version of Android Wear, which means, like my Nexus 6P and Xperia Z4 Tablet, the Huawei W1 is another Android 6/Marshmallow device I own. Android Wear is getting pretty nifty with this latest version.
The watch does not look too big and bulky, as the pictures below show. If you generally wear a large watch it would not be a shock to your wrist to switch to a Huawei W1.
I would suggest you go for the cheaper leather strap option. Not only does it cost less than a Huawei W1 with a metal strap, it is also considerably lighter. The metal straps are terrible heavy.
That being said, the leather strap does not feel as soft and generally lovely as it did on my Moto 360. It looks and feels a little bit cheaper.
There are a couple of real improvements in the Huawei Watch over the Moto 360.
Firstly, it does not have the ‘flat tyre’ at the bottom of the screen that the Moto 360 used for the light sensor. The screen goes right to the edge of the bezel and looks much better for that.
Secondly, the Huawei Watch has a display resolution of 400×400 pixels, that wallops the arse off the Moto 360’s 360×325. This is a fantastic feature of the Huawei Watch, the display is pin sharp and all notifications look lovely. The high display resolution means that notifications can have more text and be more informative – here is a screenshot of the Huawei Watch showing me what is playing on the BeyondThePC Sonos system:
The notification that the Huawei Watch shows are generally very useful, and you can interact with them in sensible ways. This brings me to one of my favourite features of Android Wear, trivial as it may seem.
I use Outlook as my email client on my Nexus 6P (and so should you if you are using any other email client for Android). This sorts emails into Focused Inbox of emails you are more likely to care about and a store of less important emails.
Outlook only notifies me if I get an email in my Focused Inbox (you can change this in the settings if you think all your emails need acting on instantly). But, rarely, some emails slip through the filter and you get a notification when you might not have wanted one. For example, I got a notification for this email.
I obviously could not care less about such tripe, so I swipe to the left on my phone screen and this button appears.
Press it and paf! The email is deleted. You can also mark emails as read or as junk in this manner. I bloody love this function of Android Wear coupled with Outlook! I dare say Gmail gives you similar notifications you can act on, but last time I had the misfortune to use it, it did not distinguish between important emails and drivel.
The Huawei Watch comes with vast numbers of watch faces, one to suit every occasion you could possibly attend, bar one that squirts out Sarin when you meet Jeremy Corbyn. The picture below just shows a small sample of the total number that comes with the watch:
I love having a wearable and the Huawei Watch is a great one. Alas, it has one major problem: battery life.
Huawei claim the battery in the watch will last for a day and a half. I have found that it only really keeps going from 07:30 until 20:00. This will do for most people’s use, but obviously if you are going out on the lash after work your Huawei Watch is likely to give up before you get so drunk you cannot find your way home.
There is an extremely minor gripe I have about it as well. That is that the charger, that the watch magnetically clicks into with reassuring firmness, leaves the watch facing up. I liked the Moto 360’s charger that allowed the watch to face to one side and so act as a bedside clock. You have to tap the Huawei Watch screen to see a clock whilst it is charging. This is the diminutive charger.
There is a solution to this last problem, but it requires £16.50 that I do not have right now. You can buy an angled stand to fit the charger into and so have the watch facing to one side. I will buy one when I have spare cash.
I am very happy to have a wearable again after the loss of my Moto 360, and the Huawei Watch beats that in all regards with the possible exception of battery life. It is a great little device and I do not think, if you are looking for a wearable, that the Huawei Watch will disappoint.