New Huawei GT Watch Snubs Google for Own OS
Following their Mate 20 series launch in London, Huawei unveiled their latest smartwatch, the Huawei Watch GT, which they claim has an impressive battery life of up to 30 days. They have chosen to not use WearOS – the wearable-tech version of Android – and have decided to use their in-house operating system, LiteOS.
LiteOS had previously been used by Huawei to power more basic fitness trackers as well as smart doorbells, internet-connected letterboxes, among other products.
This marks a setback for Google’s Android-based Wear OS, which ran Huawei’s previous two smartwatches. However, it could also be seen as Huawei sticking their necks out.
None of the five top-selling smartwatch brands currently uses Wear OS. Only 10.3% of all smartwatches shipped within the July-to-September period in Western Europe has it installed, according to IDC’s data. Instead, Apple, Fitbit, Samsung, and Garmin have adopted their own proprietary operating systems.
According to the BBC, the company said the decision to use Lite OS had been taken in part to maximise battery life.
Huawei claims that the Watch GT’s battery life will last two weeks with heart rate monitoring on and exercise for 90 minutes per week; 22 hours with constant exercise tracking, heart rate monitoring, and GPS on; and for those who live a sedentary life, up to 30-days without heart rate monitoring.
LiteOS will offer many of the same features as WearOS, including customisable watch faces, notifications, and GPS integration. It has NFC built-in, but no mention of mobile payment functionality.
The Watch GT offers real-time heart-rate monitoring with 94% claimed accuracy, a built-in smart running coach, barometer, compass, water-resistance of up to 50m, the ability to recognise four different swimming strokes and open-water GPS mode to track your ocean swim.
It’s not as chunky as other smartwatches on the market, at just 11.8mm thick, and features at 1.39-inch OLED display at 454 x 454 resolution.
The watch also offers sleep monitoring, like many smartwatches on the market, via TruSleep 2.0 mode which uses infrared to avoid disturbing the wearer when monitoring sleep length and quality.
Featuring personalised straps, a Sport model and a Classic model, Huawei is making a big new pitch in smart wearables, especially with the decision to break away from WearOS.
No conclusive reporting on whether this device will be available in Australia and at what price. European pricing is set at around at €199 for the Sport and €249 for the Classic, roughly $325 and $400 AUD respectively.