The Huawei Watch GT Runner smart watch should appeal to all runners, especially beginners. The question is whether they can compete with models from Garmin and other companies that have long become the benchmark for most athletes. Watch GT Runner came out almost immediately after Watch GT 3, and these models are similar in many ways. However, the GT Runner has a lighter body, better GPS navigation, and a few other benefits.
The new watch is lighter, because the 46mm case is made of composite fiber, and the weight is only 38.5 grams – 4.1 grams lighter than the Watch GT 3. The device is almost not felt on the hand and fits snugly on the wrist, which is especially important while running. Composite fiber is not only light, but also reliable, and also contributes to more accurate GPS performance. The matte textured finish also has a nice premium feel to it whilst still being durable. The bezel of the watch is ceramic and the rotary knob is made of titanium alloy.
The Huawei Watch GT Runner has a 1.43-inch OLED display, high detail, contrast and rich colours. The watch is compatible with Android and iOS devices, but works best with smartphones from Huawei. The “ears” have also become larger, but there is a good reason for this – antennas are placed there to reduce distortion during GPS operation. In addition, the extra space between the case and the “ears” allows for better air circulation, which makes the hands less sweaty.
There are two colors to choose from: gray and black. Overall, the Watch GT Runner is very well made with all the style and polish you’d come to expect from a Huawei wearable.
Performance & Software
For iOS and Android, you can download the Huawei Health app, which has courses for beginners and experienced runners. Through thr app, you can quickly increase endurance, and you can create your own course and set the desired goals in it. The built-in speaker gives voice prompts while running which some might find handy but other might see it as a bit much having your watch shout at you whilst out and about.
The watch faces of the Watch GT Runner display useful information: heart rate, heart rate zones, pace and distance covered. You can choose a watch face that will show the time to overcome the circle and the height to which you climbed. When running outdoors, dual-frequency GPS helps, and its accuracy is impressive. Since the GPS is moved to the “ears”, away from metal elements, there are no problems with its operation. Establishing a connection with the satellite took less than 5 seconds, and when you swipe the screen to the left, you can get directions home, incase you get a little bit lost whilst out on one of your runs.
The Watch GT Runner not measures the pulse at rest and during training, but also the saturation of the blood with oxygen. Together with GPS and a gyroscope, the Huawei Watch GT Runner smartwatch provides detailed information about the distance traveled, calories burned, VO2Max and heart rate.
The Running Ability Index (RAI) is also calculated, which basically gives you a better understanding of how well you run, so you can instantly see your progress. Both endurance and running technique are taken into account.
The Recovery Time feature lets you know how much rest you need before your next workout to avoid injury. The Training Stress indicator provides information on how difficult the last session was so you can better prepare for the next one, and again, this should help avoid any injuries when working out.
All this combined should help even the most experienced runners (which I am not, unfortunately) to more accurately schedule training and understand what needs to be improved. As one nice additional feature, data can be also exported from the Huawei Health app to Apple Health, which is handy.
According to Huawei, one charge is enough for 14 days of use, but for this, many features such as the always-on display will have to be disabled. During our testing, which we had the always on display setting enabled along with auto screen brightness, we were able to wring out about 11 full days of use which is still very impressive, especially when compared to some of the other popular full-featured smartwatches out there.
When it comes to charging, it takes about an hour and a half to charge the watch back up to full and you can also use reverse wireless charging off the back of any compatible smartphone to charge the watch, if you’re stuck without the wireless charging pad that comes with the device.
All in all, the Huawei Watch GT Runner is not the ‘smartest’ smartwatch when it comes to messaging functionality and more specific use case scenarios but, for runners, it is almost ideal. The fitness focused device packs a lightweight body and a strap as well as a high-precision heart rate measurement and GPS tracking.
The display is bright, the colours are saturated, and there are a large number of dials to choose from. The watch tracks distance covered, calories burned and pace, while metrics like the Running Ability Index and Training Stress let you see your progress and plan your workouts more efficiently. For any aspiring or even semi-professional runners out there, along with individuals who just want a smarter way to stay fit, this is definitely one watch that should be on their radars.
Pricing & Availability
REVIEW: Huawei Watch GT Runner
- Design & Build Quality
- Performance & Software
- Battery & Other Features
For any aspiring or even semi-professional runners out there, along with individuals who just want a smarter way to stay fit, this is definitely one watch that should be on their radars.