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Huawei Watch 2: Don't throw away your phone just yet

The new Huawei Watch 2 with its SIM card holder
The new Huawei Watch 2 with its SIM card holder

HUAWEI doesn't want you to throw away your phone just yet - but you won't need one to make calls on Australia's first 4G SIM-enabled smart watch.

Tech journalists from around the country were flown into Sydney for their own 'Knight Rider' moment - talking into the carbon black Huawei Watch 2.

This is a watch which allows phone calls and text messages without having a phone in your pocket - but also a range of apps including Uber, Foursquare, and Facebook messenger.

With a Vodafone sim installed in a tray accessed by removing one of the straps, I was easily able to pull in contacts from my Google account and make calls to friends and family.

The watch has a dual mic system with noise cancellation so the quality of the call was remarkably clear, though in a busy, noisy environment you would be better off with Bluetooth earpieces.

Huawei says the antennae on the upper watch case facilitates strong signal reception for 4G, GPS, Wi-fi, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity.

As a fitness partner, the watch has everything you would expect.

 

Huawei Watch 2
Huawei Watch 2

 

It is larger than the previous model but it's a size I personally like.



You can easily change the watch faces, while there are just two buttons to navigate through apps. The experience for me was not as good as the turn the bezel option of the Samsung Gear S3, especially initially.

The downside to having a SIM-powered smart watch is that it will go through the battery faster - though Huawei has allowed for this with a 420Mah offering which promises 'two days of typical usage' and 10 hours of training mode (with
the GPS & real-time hear rate monitoring on).

If you just want a watch, the battery will last about three weeks  in "Watch Mode" (time keeping & pedometer only).

The Android Wear 2.0 operating system integrates Google Assistant meaning you can use voice commands, to ask about the weather, calendar appointments or play music.

We've been testing it with an iPhone 7 Plus which means there are some restrictions - including not being able to reply to texts or email messages, for example.

But if you are using an Android device (which we will switch to test further), there is more freedom.



The watch is rated iP68 for water resistance meaning it has water and dust resistance. You can shower with it but it is not recommended for swimming, unlike the latest Apple Watch.

With Android Pay, you can use it to make payments and there are security features to automatically disable that function when it is not on the user's wrist.

As an Australian review pointed out, one of the issues of having a separate SIM in your watch is not being able to use the same number.

"Under Australia's communication system, the SIMS in your phone and watch can't share the same phone number, so if someone is urgently trying to contact you, do they text your phone or watch?

"Or do they have to learn to text both? And if someone sends a text to your phone, is there any guarantee it will appear on your watch? You might be jogging down the street with your watch but without your handset."

Huawei did, however, outline a call forwarding system that in three button presses lets you forward calls and messages from your phone to your watch.

In the meantime, we're just going to have some fun phoning up people who have no idea who is calling them.

Huawei Watch 2 features a 1.2 inch AMOLED display, weighs 42 grams, has 2.3 GB of available storage and retails for $599. It is available in Australia from today.

It is exclusive to Vodafone Australia at launch.

Topics:  editors picks games and gadgets huawei technology watch

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