The slickest, watch-iest Android Wear device so far made its appearance Sunday at Mobile World Congress. Made by the Chinese company Huawei and set for a June release in 20 countries around the world, the simply named Huawei Watch (say that 10 times fast) might be Android’s best Apple Watch competitor yet.
If, that is, it weren’t for one small problem.
The Huawei Watch’s specifications aren’t that different from those of other Android watches. But a few of its features could make a big impact in the watch’s overall performance:
- 1.4-inch AMOLED sapphire crystal display with 400 x 400 pixel resolution at 286 ppi
- 4GB of internal storage
- 512MB of RAM
- Qualcomm APQ8026 1.2GHz processor
- Heart rate monitor, 6-axis motion sensor, and barometer
- 300mAh battery
The main difference here lies in the higher resolution screen—which Huawei says makes it the “highest resolution Android Wear watch”—the heart rate monitor, and the 300mAh battery. That’s one of the smallest batteries featured in any Android watch so far—and it’s paired with some power-hungry features.
For comparison, the Moto 360—which has taken grief for its underwhelming battery life since its release last September—has a slightly larger display, heart rate monitor, and a 300mAh battery (despite a spec sheet that lists 320mAh). The G Watch R has a slightly smaller display, heart rate monitor, and a 410mAh battery.
Style Over Substance
What the Huawei Watch might lack in terms of battery, it could redeem with pure style. A sapphire crystal display means it will resist the scratches that come with everyday wear and tear. There have been more than a few regretful bumps on my Asus ZenWatch as I reach into the fridge to grab the milk, so the Huawei Watch’s tougher display could be one of its best features. It doesn’t hurt that the Huawei Watch’s round design simply looks great, and will come in gold, silver, or black style choices.
There are still a few months between now and the supposed June release window, so maybe Huawei could swap in a more powerful battery. That’s not terribly likely, of course.
More important, until we actually try one out, we won’t know how well the battery holds up under normal use. I’m hopeful that Huawei manages to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of this watch. It’d be a shame for something this good looking to go dark just past lunch.
Images courtesy of Huawei; MWC photo by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite