If you are looking for a trainer to run and train at the right pace and monitor your physical condition for each stride of the course, Huawei has found your ideal coach and wants to put it on your wrist. The new Huawei Watch GT Runner, who accompanied us in training during the tests for this review, has the instruments that newbies need to start running and a series of in-depth analysis for those who have been running for a long time. And many interesting functions for an (almost) complete smartwatch.
The Huawei Watch GT Runner review
Huawei has launched several noteworthy smartwatches over the past few years, in every price range. But with the name Watch GT Runner he wanted to give a clear reference to all runners: this is a smartwatch meant for sport and the speed. Something that is immediately understood by opening the package and putting the smartwatch on the wrist.
The design is reminiscent of the lines of the other smartwatches in the GT line, but with a clear bias towards a more ‘sporty’ look. Instead of the glass that curves to widen the screen, we find a round frame that gives the idea of resistance. At the top and bottom we find the structure to fasten the strap, with rather evident ‘air vents’. The silicone strap seemed a lot to us resistant and is adjustable so you have a tight yet comfortable grip on your wrist while running.
The watch case measures 46mm, which are many for those with particularly thin wrists. But running smartwatches tend to be large in size and unsurprisingly they lack a 42mm or 44mm model. However, the cash register weighs only 38.5 grams, for a weight with the strap below 50 grams. So it’s a very light watch. For comparison, a small Fitbit Charge weighs 29 grams and an aluminum Apple Watch 7 has a 37-gram case, but the case of a Garmin Fenix 6 (designed for running) reaches 57 grams.
On the right of the screen you will find the crown that doubles as a Home button, while at the bottom the button to activate sports programs and mark that you have completed a lap during training. The materials seemed to us light but strong, quality.
Display and battery
While the buttons are also very comfortable, the 1.43 inch AMOLED display it will soon become your favorite choice for interacting with the watch. Intuitive and simple to navigate and of the highest quality. THE colors are really vivid, clearly visible even during a jog in the sun. By scrolling down you activate the settings menu, look up at the notifications, left and right you can browse the fitness features as well as voice assistant, music control and much more. The size of the screen and the accuracy in detecting the touch allows you to surf even during workouts, watching notifications without too much difficulty.
With such a bright screen we would have expected some battery life issues, but Huawei Watch GT Runner surprised us during this review. Huawei assures you that you can reach two weeks of autonomy and in our experience perhaps even a little more. Even using the GPS every day for training, using the voice assistant often and answering calls (more frequently during our tests, with a use therefore above the average) the percentage of the battery never seems to drop. You will have to run a marathon a day (or nearly so) to run out of power in a week.
The battery charger supplied attaches magnetically to the speaker and has a cable with USB-A input, which you can connect to any power supply (or even to a PC). There is also wireless charging via smartphone, in case you need it. But in all likelihood, you won’t have any.
Huawei Watch GT Runner Review: Health and Sports Features
Huawei’s Sports Technology Labs have worked and refined the fitness tracking capabilities of this device and the results are visible. Despite the nickname Runner, you can track over 100 activities with your Huawei smartwatch. And while for many rivals ‘tracking’ is limited to measuring heart rate and time spent doing the activity, there are many interesting features for the Watch GT Runner. For instance jumping rope the smartwatch will keep track of the jumps made (better than we can do when tired). And you will find interesting functions for many sports from cross-country skiing to rowing in the gym. Even the I swim it seemed accurate and reliable. And the large AMOLED screen allowed us to read the data even with fogged goggles (and the accumulated fatigue).
A coach on the wrist
While running and cycling the accelerometer always has recognized the movement of the wrist, lighting up at the right time to provide us with precise indications. But there is still the modality Always–On to be on the safe side. The indications (heart rate, pace, minutes passed and kilometers traveled) yes they see very clearly, with a colored indicator along the edge of the screen that tells you if you are making an aerobic effort or if you are sprinting beyond the anaerobic threshold. We have found it very useful in any type of training, even the heartbeat detection it’s one of the most sensitive we’ve tried – really accurate.
If you don’t even want to raise your arm during the most hectic phases of training, you can take advantage of the audio notifications while running. Every kilometer a voice will tell you (in English) what time you have done, what pace you have kept and your average heart rate. Detection of mileage, thanks to the fast GPS sensor present in the smartwatch, did not disappoint us. It seems to us that both on the short 5km city route and on the 12km mixed one (first city and then in the middle of the fields) in which we tested it, he made very little mistakes in mapping the movements, during each training. On longer stretches there may be greater discrepancies but within the uncertainty. Huawei has worked to ensure that the GPS locks on the signal quickly and we can say that it has done a great job, you can start running right away.
In addition to the heartbeat, the Huawei Watch GT Runner provides a great many at the end of the stroke interesting data, not only from a statistical point of view. For example the value VO2 Max it allows you to understand your athletic ability and can give you a more precise idea of your state of form (even if logically you cannot expect the precision of a laboratory analysis).
The indication of the rest time needed for recovery between runs. Which especially for those who are not used to running (or have not done it for a while) allows you to avoid overdoing it and risking injury.
A complete approach to health
In addition to measuring your performance during sports, there are many other measurements that the Huawei Watch GT Runner takes during the day. The ability to track the level of blood oxygen SpO2 (although for many it will be fine to do this only during training) allows you to monitor your physical health. And there is also the 24 hour tracking of stresss, as well as a sensor to detect the temperature of the skin.
Also excellent sleep monitoring. Compared to many other smartwatches, it seems to us that it accurately captured the moment we fell asleep every night that we held it on the wrist, recognizing the phases of sleep and evaluating its quality. Also for sleep Huawei Watch GT Runner has made us from real coach during this review, telling us when it was best to go to bed and wake up. It also warns you that falling asleep in front of the sofa before going to bed can take your sleep away, prompting you to take your rest seriously (as essential as training, although we often take it for granted).
Not just fitness: the many functions of the Huawei Watch GT Runner
Huawei has done a good job of making the Watch GT Runner the perfect partner for those who love sports. But it can do so much more. There management of notifications it is very fluid and, even without having a dedicated keyboard to reply to messages arrived on Telegram, we were able to reply with the predefined answers (which you can change from the app) or with emoji.
Interesting the possibility of calling from the smartwatch. The volume (which you can also adjust with the two crowns) of the call is not excellent, but on the other hand our interlocutors heard us quite well. It won’t become your preferred method of answering calls, but during training (if you have a Bluetooth remote phone) you can use it with great convenience.
Theyet of compatible AppGallery apps is not very large. However, there are several applications for training and more. But we particularly enjoyed being able to upload music to the smartwatch and also listen to it through the speakers (even if we continue to prefer having our smartphone with us so as not to have to download songs or podcasts but rely on streaming). The ability to upload is really interesting Petal Maps or another navigation app, which can show you the way as you run or cycle. Very precise and with clear navigation, although it must be said that we only tested it on city streets.
Finally, there is the possibility of using Celia, Huawei’s voice assistant which can allow you to obtain information and use various features. However, you can only use it with your phone …