INSIGHT: Huawei Watch GT – “Influencer” Marketing

I’m taking a different tack today with the Huawei Watch GT.

Huawei have produced a 20 page Reviewer’s Guide which I thought I would share with you and comment on. As well as some quite detailed technical information it also gives insight into how Huawei are HOPING to guide the media-influencers to help Huawei MARKET their own product.

Source: Original Document here

Brands sometimes send out REVIEWERS’ GUIDES to influence what reviewers write about. From one perspective this is GOOD as it saves people like me wasting time trying to find the important stuff but it also tells people who have time limitations what to write. #GoodJournalism 😉 #ControlTheMessage

FWIW: If I ever review the Watch GT then, because of what Huawei claim below, I would specifically look really, really, really (did I say “really”) hard at their claims on, for example, GPS and oHR…it would be probably better they played the claims down somewhat 😉

Huawei’s Reviewer’s Guide wasn’t sent to me by Huawei. It is, sort of, public, at least in some parts of the world – Huawei are staggering the release of information around the world on the internet. Errrr. Good luck with that.

Let’s go.

OK it’s SWEET-looking and the name “Hauwei Watch GT” sounds a bit speedy and racing car like. Brrrm Brrrm.


Competing Product: This is interestingly stated as the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus. Indeed the GT is supposedly superior to the 5X Plus because it’s lighter, has a higher screen resolution, has more accurate oHR (hmmm), more accurate GPS positioning and is cheaper – coming in at $799. I’m just gonna say ‘hmmm’ again.

Target Markets:urban explorers who are keen on exploring, pursue quality of life or are interested in new technology products.” – this is a relatively standard form of words used by several companies.

Typical Use Scenarios:Treadmill in fitness room, indoor cycling, indoor swimming pool, outdoor runway, outdoor swimming pool or open waters (sic), avenue, mountain climbing, cycling, office, home, etc.

Unique Selling Points – hey, remember this is NOT me speaking. It’s what they are saying: two week battery life; smart smart health and fitness; and multi-sport modes. In more detail, these are the things Huawei think YOU want

  • “Two-week ultra-long endurance, smart power saving and dual-engine architecture. With smart power saving design, it can reduce the power consumption while improving its endurance”
    • Actually it is great that Huawei state a scenario that should give about 2 weeks of battery life. That scenario is “wearing 24×7 with oHR, sleep monitoring on, 90 minutes GPS exercise a week, notifications on (50 SMSs, 6 incoming calls and 3 alarm reminder), screen brightening for 200 times a day“. You and I might bemoan the 90 minutes of exercise time per week but at least they are defining what ‘2 weeks’ typical usage means to them. Nice.
    • They also say 22 hours of GPS-on activity from full charge to depletion. Fair enough. That’s good enough for me and they are not bypassing the battery drain issue caused by GPS usage.
    • Here is how Huawei want to get reviewers to say why the GT is better than the Fenix 5X Plus for battery life “The endurance of Garmin Fenix 5X Plus varies with different modes, and may be up to 18 days under smart watch mode. As for HUAWEI WATCH GT, the endurance may be up to 30 days under watch mode, and 2 weeks under typical scenarios.
    • Huawei say “Collaborative optimization of software and hardware ensures no drift in case of complex scenarios“. That’s great to know and maybe it’s true. I’d say a complex scenario was an “urban scenario” and Huawei have already said (above) that “urban explorers” are their target market. I just can’t help feeling that at least ‘some drift’ will be found in those urban GPNSS/GPS tracks. “some”….or, perhaps, MORE than some.
    • GT also has a (sic) “unique ephemeris auxiliary scheme ensures rapid positioning“ it’s got A-GPS like everyone else!!
    • The watch also adopts accurate track optimization algorithm for one-to-one track optimization under complex scenarios” (sic). What does that mean? Ah, then they say
      • “Track optimization algorithm : advanced self-developed inertial navigation algorithm + GPS positioning can restore the user’s precise track.
      • “Optimization of tracks under complex scenarios : for playing ground, avenue and other special scenarios, track optimization algorithm makes one-to-one track optimization possible.
      • “Optimization of swimming tracks in open water : unique self-developed track optimization algorithm can restore real tracks in such scenarios as swimming”.
    • A diagram is included to help explain that (kinda) and the diagram shows the abbreviation PDR without explaining it. If I attempted to explain the above info I would say that PDR likely means “Pedestrian Dead Reckoning”. So if the GT records 10 steps since the last GPS point but the new GPS position says the equivalent of 12 steps has been made then an adjustment is made to the GPS position…or something like that. Maybe it’s a bit like Suunto’s rather clever FusedTrack. It is potentially clever. Potentially. But…
  • TruSeen heart rate monitoring –  That sounds interesting, I’m intrigued…tell me more. They do:

    • HUAWEI partners with TOP suppliers in customizing professional devices, and has optimized and designed PPG scheme with separated characteristics for lower power consumption and higher signal-to-noise ratio. In terms of algorithm, HUAWEI 2012 Lab joints hands with Russian Research Institute to further optimize the multi-sensor fusion + neural network and AI technologies. In terms of testing, HUAWEI collects and verifies typical big data samples regardless of costs to cover more people and more scenarios” (sic) Glad we’ve cleared that up then. It’s good to know that they don’t use the BOTTOM suppliers, that wouldn’t be good.
    • And they tell me that this proprietary tech has taken 4 years to develop. And then they tell me
    • In terms of heart rate monitoring, Garmin Fenix 5X Plus is designed with wrist optical heart rate monitor, allowing the user to check heart rate at any time. Backed by TruSeenTM3.0 technology, HUAWEI WATCH GT is superior to Fenix 5X Plus in accuracy of heart rate monitoring under all exercise modes. During exercise, the watch can judge the heart rate of the user in real time based on alarm threshold set by the user and give alarm in advance in case of high heart rate, offering the users more professional heart rate monitoring services.” I mean, maybe it is. Maybe. Should I say it again? Maybe.
  • Climb, run, swim, cycle and more sports profiles including Firstbeat training programs and guidance.
    • They provide “rich sports modes” which include data for time, distance, heart rate, stride frequency, step count, stride, aerobic/anaerobic training effect. (Power?…any external sensors? Any links to sports data platform?)
    • There IS some good stuff alluded to with Firstbeat’s “real-time guidance for training courses, real-time feedback on exercise effects, and evaluation of exercise effects“.
    • A wide variety of guided run types are listed: HIIT interval running, Threshold tempo, Cruise intervals, Aerobic endurance run, Long slow distance, MAF180 advanced, MAF180 primary, MIIT fat-burning running, Enhanced fat-burning running, Easy fat-burning running, Easy jogging. It does seem like more thought than usual has gone into the creation of running programs (First beat probably did it for them 😉 )
    • There is other good stuff in some of the sports modes including, for example, SWOLF and swim stroke detection, performance alerts, real-time training effect, training status, training load, recovery time, VO2max, training effect and exercise score prediction
    • Here’s another quote “HUAWEI WATCH GT is comparable to Fenix 5X Plus in terms of *basic* exercise ability and specialty, while it is superior to the latter in terms of interactive experience and UI during exercise.” – actually that probably is true if you read it carefully..I underlined the key word.
  • Design of watch and UI
    • Thin body construction @10.6mm, ceramic bezel, 20x polished stainless steel 316L body, DLC Diamond coating option,
    • 1.39″ AMOLED HD touchscreen
    • Compared to the 5X plus which Huawei say has a “semi-reflective color screen that is essentially LCD screen” (sic). To be fair the 5X screen is NOT great and the GT will certainly look better.
  • Smart Health Assistant
    • HUAWEI TruSleep™2.0 is the first PPG-based staged sleep monitoring technology in the industry, and is a CPC (Cardiopulmonary Coupling) technology jointly developed by HUAWEI in cooperation with CDB Center at Harvard Medical School. The principle behind the HUAWEI TruSleep™ sleep detection technology has been validated by the CDB center at Harvard Medical School.
    • Is that an independent study at Harvard? Who paid for it?


It’s great that Huawei have made the effort to help reviewers. I’ve had a little, probably unfair, fun having a poke at poorly translated English when my own grasp of any language other than English approaches zero. However we are talking about a significant global corporate that really should have produced a clearer and more concise document.

Furthermore, some of the phrases used are plain gobbledygook. I’ve been out of the corporate world for a few years now but ‘Corporate Speak’ still appears to be rife. I would imagine that speaking with a genuine voice to almost any audience is the best way to go these days – YOU are a clever lot.

I also don’t quite understand why Huawei are saying the Fenix 5X Plus is the main competition. Well I do. It’s a high value watch with a large market share. Kerching. It’s more wishful thinking on Huawei’s part, as the two products address fundamentally different market needs. Sure the Watch GT really DOES look prettier than then Fenix and WILL have a vastly superior screen and that REALLY is a factor in MANY people’s purchase decision BUT I would like to think that you Fenix buyers out there all bought the Fenix because of the Fenix’s performance characteristics for sports. YES the GT does have some GREAT Firstbeat stuff…probably broadly on par with Garmin’s Firstbeat stuff (aka the same!) …but ALL the other sporty functionality will simply not be as comprehensive as what Garmin have developed over several years. We all know that.

Then we come to the seemingly bold claims about: battery life; GNSS/GPS performance; and oHR performance. Many surveys show that these are EXACTLY the technical characteristics that people REALLY want improvements on (see my survey results here as one small example of that). The GT’s battery life is probably good enough for their true target market but I am sceptical that the GNSS/GPS and oHR will be better than Garmin. On the other hand, dcrainmaker and other reviewers are showing that the Apple Watch 4 may well be making significant inroads in producing great GNSS and oHR data…so why not Huawei? or LG? or Samsung? why not? Maybe the tide is about to turn in favour of the smart watch players and away from the sports watch players. Maybe. It WILL turn … eventually.

But really the Watch GT comes back to what it was originally intended to be. It was originally expected to be a great WearOS watch. It is NOT WearOS. But, essentially that is the space where it is competing. ie a smart, connected fitness watch (Apple Watch+) – albeit hopefully a GOOD one. Clearly Huawei saw the technical limitations of WearOS and have gone their own way to address the pressing sports tech problems of the day. Compared to WearOS they probably WILL have produced something better. But to produce something a bit better, in some respects, to WearOS does not mean that you have developed a sports watch that will kill off either the Apple Watch 4 or the Garmin Fenix 5X (Plus).


Huawei Watch GT – Detailed Specifications


Dimensions (H x W x D)Length x width x height: 46.5 mm x 46.5 mm x 10.6 mm
WeightApproximately 46 g (without the strap)
ColorBlack Stainless Steel, Stainless Steel
MaterialMetal + Plastic + Ceramic
StrapGraphite Black Silicone Strap, Saddle Brown leather Silicone Strap, Glacier Gray Silicone Strap, Fluorescent Green Silicone Strap
SizeWrist coverage range 14~21cm
ButtonPower button, function button
Charging PortMagnetic charging thimble
Screen1.4-inch AMOLED color screen,Resolution: 454 x 454, PPI 326, The AMOLED touchscreen supports slide and touch gestures.
Operating SystemAndroid 4.4 or later
iOS 9.0 or later
NFC (Near Field Communication)Supported
SensorAccelerometer sensor
Gyroscope sensor
Magnetometer sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Ambient light sensor
Barometer sensor
Battery Life14 days for typical use (The typical usage scenarios are decided based on the user habits.The specific battery life depends on the user habits and usage frequency.)
Charging Time≤ 2 hours (under 25°C ambient temperatures)
Charger Voltage and Current Requirements5V 0.5A/1A/1.5A/2A
Packing ListWatch x 1
Charging cradle x 1
Charging cable x 1
User Guide x 1
Resistance Levels5 ATM water-resistant
Resistance ScenariosThe watch has a water resistance rating of 50 meters under ISO standard 22810:2010. The watch may be used for shallow water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean.
The watch may not be suitable for deep water activities such as snorkeling, hot showers, hot springs, saunas (steam rooms), diving, underwater diving, water skiing, or other high-pressure water activities.
The watch can prevent dust from living rooms, offices, laboratories, light industrial studios, and storage rooms. They may not be used in special dust environments.Note: Syntax leather strap is not water-resistant. Avoid contact with water. Change to a silicone strap if necessary.
FunctionsSustaining battery life, lasts for up to 2 weeks without charge;
24/7 continuous heart rate monitoring, supports resting heart rate, single heart rate, continuous heart rate, and other measuring features;
Altitude barometer for mountaineering;
ALS ambient light monitoring for automatic screen brightness adjusting;
Firstbeat professional running guidance;
TruSleep (enabled by default, but can be disabled through the Huawei Health app) automatic sleep recognition and data statistics, certified by the CDB Center at Harvard Medical School;
Breathe training for relaxation and stress relieve;
Fitness interactions: create groups, manage groups, set default groups, initiate friendly competitions, view daily activity rankings and friendly competition rankings, participate in friendly competitions, and more (requires the Huawei Health app). Running partners: create running groups, create friendly running competitions, view and display group rankings, and more.
Tracks, monitors, and identifies types of daily activities, and provides step, calories, activity intensity, activity time, and standing statistics;
Exercise statistics on various types of exercises, including outdoor running, outdoor walking, outdoor riding, indoor running, swimming, indoor spinning, and free training;
Advanced exercise data analysis, including marathon, trail running, and professional training;
Notification reminders, including caller ID, SMS, email, calendar, social app notification, and SmartCare (only available on EMUI 8.1 or later);
Find My Phone;
Wear monitoring: when not worn, automatically enters power-saving mode;
Support alarm clock, stopwatch, timer.

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14 thoughts on “INSIGHT: Huawei Watch GT – “Influencer” Marketing

  1. Hi. These are very interesting times. The fact Huawei and Apple (and Montblanc) have released what seem to be competitors to the high end sportwatches in terms of accuracy (i’m talking about apple here) and features, it’s exciting. Especially because we know that the hi end sportwatch market is dominated by the holy triumvirate (or should i say monopoly?). More fishes (with good to great products) more competition more development.
    That said,the words ‘urban explorers’ always make me giggle. Ironically enough, the sport modes section is dominated by those performed indoor.. We are true explorers, indeed

    1. perhaps ‘claimed’ competitors when it comes to accuracy.
      but interesting nevertheless. i’ve written elsewhere about the changing fortunes and tides in sports tech .
      i think we’ve sort of seen the demand side approching maturity but the tech is lagging behind.
      competition is also maturing. some have left and well-funded Asian challenger brands have staked their claims.
      the true battle ground is the mass market whoever wins that will eventually consume the top-end. watch out garmin.

  2. I’m curious to see how this plays out in the U.S. market, where Huawei is under the microscope for national security reasons.

    That being said, any competition for Garmin is a good thing for us as consumers. I can’t see it living up to the hype, but I’ll let the pro reviewers figure it all out.

  3. When comparisons are made with the Fenix 5+ series as sports watches with smart watch capabilities, the Garmin seems vulnerable. But what is often missed is that the Fenix 5+ series are “outdoor” watches from Garmin’s outdoor department rather than their sports department. Will the GT’s LCD display be always on and clear to read in bright sunlight? Does it have native mapping with routing? How does it handle courses and saved locations? Hopefully you get where I’m coming from.

    1. in terms of ‘smartness’ then i agree with you. WearOS was vastly superior a couple of years ago (which had native mapping thru google maps and all the rest of it)…but…
      the reality is that the GT isn’t LIKELY a competitor for any kind of serious outdoor or sport usage. but how many people who buy the fenix buy it for those reasons?…certainly not all.

  4. It looks like it’ll undercut the Fenix 5 plus by a long way in terms of price. Personally I’m in the “about due a new watch, frequent casual runner, maybe I’ll do my first triathlon next year?” category. Sure, the Fenix 5 plus will do some more, and likely do it better than this watch, but it’s a little expensive.

    In actuality, a watch like this and the Polar Vantage M is there to tempt away more frugal runners who would otherwise buy a Garmin 935 instead of a Fenix 5 plus. If the price is right, it looks good. Accuracy wise it doesn’t need to be superior to a Garmin, it just needs to avoid being terribly inferior to still be tempting.

  5. Thanks for sharing. Actually I’m comparing GT vs Sunnto diving watch.. based on the information sharing, I hv to buy Sunnto instead.

  6. I’m wondering when the suburban explorer team will come up to bat. These urban explorers seem to be everywhere.

    1. definately a fair point.
      I am team suburban, for sure
      In my urban exploring on the buses & underground trains of London my gps tests didn’t seem to work too well. So much for the ‘simulating normal usage’ protocol.

    1. i am not in a position to make that comparison, sorry. the stratos is pretty cool tho and my in-depth review covers the negative points which, if they don’t affect you, make the stratos a no-brainer. if the negative factors I list AFFECT you …then don’t buy stratos.

  7. Im really hoping to find out if a Bluetooth HRM strap is compatible with this watch. Doesn’t say anywhere if it is. I have a Suunto 9 and im not amazed by it…

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