Hauwei Watch GT-843

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I received the Hauwei Watch GT-843 on Saturday. Very nice.

I had been using a FitBit Charge 2, but its lack of waterproofing, the small display and the fact you can cheat by just rubbing your stomach had me looking for a replacement.

The small display is also difficult to read without my glasses.

I looked at The Garmin Vívosmart and Fenix watches, Polar and a few Android and Tizen watches. I really like the Fenxi 5, but it is just too expensive – 400€ – 700€ depending on which one you choose. The problem with the “smart” watches is the lack of battery life. About the one thing FitBit did get right. I did look at the FitBit smart watches, but they were expensive and I didn’t feel comfortable with them, having looked at a couple in an electronics shop.

The Watch GT is a fitness watch first and foremost. It comes in a typical round smart-watch housing, is marginally wider than my Casio G-Shock, but much thinner. It is light and sits comfortably on my wrist.

The big display is bright and the selection of watch faces are interesting, although the “classic” watch faces fine, but can appear a bit busy. There are also “modern”, digital displays which provide easier access to the tracking information.

One big advantage over the Charge 2 is that it can display messages from the phone, calendar and nearly any messaging app – it allowed me to set up email from Outlook, calendar from Outlook, Telegram, Threema and Signal; and all at the same time, with the FitBit, I could only choose 1 source of messages. Having a “proper” display, it also displays more of each message and you can scroll through the message history; the Charge 2 only displayed the first message, and if you got more messages, just the total number of messages. Being a tracker, you can’t respond to the messages, but that is to be expected.

So far I am very pleased with it, with one little exception.

In watch mode, it should last 2 weeks, with messaging turned on, I’m guessing 8 – 10 days (it is currently draining about 10% per day, with everything turned on).

On the plus side, it seems less susceptible to “cheating” or random arm movements being registered as steps. Annoying, because I actually have to walk further than with the FitBit to reach the daily target, but good, because I know I’m much closer to my target – with the FitBit, I could rub my stomach for a few hundred extra steps, preparing a salad was good for anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 “steps”.

The Hauwei Fit hat is good and nearly on a par with FitBit. The plus is that the data can be passed along to Google Fit, for example, if you are in the Google world.

The heart rate seems to be pretty close to the FitBit, which was generally accurate when I was measured at the doctors, the FitBit was always +/- 2-3 heart beats.

A big plus, the Watch GT is water resistant to 5 atmospheres, so I can use it when I go swimming.

The one thing I could criticize is the calorie meter. The FitBit calculated your base calorie usage, plus the additional calories burnt through excercise. The Watch GT seems to only register calories burnt through excercise – for example, I walked 7,500 steps yesterday, no training and my total burnt calories for the day were 181 kcal. Realistically, that would be around 2,800.

All in all, it seems to be a very well thought out tracker, with teh exception of the calories and for 169€, it compares well to the “professional” trackers, at least on paper, from Garmin, Polar and TomTom – they might offer GPS and other accessories, like HR chest-belts for the more serious fitness enthusiast. But for the price, I think it offers a genuine advantage over the Charge, whilst the professional trackers offer more high end training-route features, but start at about twice the price.

For me, it offers what I was looking for at a reasonable price.

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