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Huawei and Samsung: we test smart watches

Huawei GT2 arrived in Brazil in January 2020

Huawei GT2 arrived in Brazil in January 2020

The Huawei Watch GT 2 and Samsung Watch Active 2 are connected clocks that, roughly speaking, we can say do the same thing. But the two models, despite being watches, have very different purposes. Huawei's is a great exercise tracker, while Samsung's does a little bit of everything – including measuring your physical activity.

Design

The Samsung model follows a more universal and basic design, with a round touch screen and two buttons on the side, without a protective crown. The model has 40 mm or 44 mm box size options and Bluetooth or LTE / 4G connectivity (to use without needing a smartphone nearby). We tested the 44 mm with Bluetooth, which has a suggested price of R $ 1,799.

Huawei also has two size options: a 42 mm case (with a design similar to that of the Samsung model) and 46 mm that resembles a conventional watch – and is more geared to the male audience. We tested both models (similar in functions), with suggested price of R $ 1,499 (42mm) and R $ 1,699 (46mm).

The battery performance of the two models is quite different. The Samsung Watch Active 2 consumes more energy and needs to be recharged every two or three days depends a lot on the intensity of exercises and applications open on the watch itself. The Huawei Watch GT2 can stay up to 15 days out of the socket. If you exercise regularly and use GPS to track your movements, however, you may need to recharge your battery once a week, which is an excellent factor in such a product.

With native applications, the Samsung model runs a proprietary operating system (Tizen)

With native applications, the Samsung model runs a proprietary operating system (Tizen)

A curious detail is that Huawei uses its own base to recharge the battery, but Samsung has built-in wireless charging, and can be recharged using external batteries or wireless charging bases (like the back of some of the brand's smartphones, such as Galaxy S10 or Note 10). In this way, it is possible, for example, to travel and not take the charger base of the Watch Active 2, if you have a smartphone compatible with the reverse charge feature.

An interesting feature of both watches that they have internal storage and connect, via Bluetooth, to wireless headphones. It is thus possible to transfer music files and podcasts to your watch and go out to exercise without taking your smartphone with you.

Like smartwatch

Both models work connected to smartphones running Android or iOS. It is worth noting that, in the Apple system, some features may not be available or are limited. One example is the Huawei Watch GT 2's stress measurement feature: when you connect to any Android, you follow its status. On the iPhone, using the same Huawei app to sync data, the feature screen disappears from the watch.

Samsung Watch Active 2 uses the Galaxy Wearable app to connect to Android and allow you to install and manage apps, new faces for the watch and update existing apps, and Samsung Health to handle workouts. J The Huawei Watch GT2 uses only the Sade app to manage everything.

But what to expect from a smart watch? May he be able to bring at least notifications and allow him to respond quickly – although limited due to the small screen – to messages and actions initiated on the smartphone.

If we think about it that way, the perfect Samsung model. It manages all your notifications (the ones you release in the app, of course, so as not to bother). Did a WhatsApp message arrive? Just choose the pre-configured quick answers and respond immediately, even with audio recorded directly on the watch, without having to take your smartphone out of your pocket.

This goes for other features and apps, like Spotify and Uber, which have native apps that run right on the clock. It is also possible to answer e-mails, but we believe that this is something that needs more screen space. The Samsung model runs a proprietary operating system (Tizen) that seems to be quite open for developers to create new solutions – it even has, inside the Galaxy Wearable on the smartphone, a store of new faces for the watches.

Huawei GT2 is available in 42mm and 46mm sizes

Huawei GT2 is available in 42mm and 46mm sizes

On the other hand, the Huawei Watch GT2 is still in its infancy on the smart watch issue. It also runs a proprietary system, very limited in its integration with other resources: it is not possible to reply to WhatsApp messages, for example. They appear as a notification, but to answer them you need to pick up the phone. It works in a much more passive way, receiving and showing information, without being able to interact with it.

There is also a lack of an application platform as it exists at Samsung: in addition to the integrated music player, which, with a recent update, allows you to control the music playing on Spotify, Tidal or another music player, there is nothing very smart in this Huawei model. At least you can order an Uber and see the notification on the clock of the license plate and model of the car that is arriving.

As a physical activity monitor

If the two models have big differences in the function of smartwatch, when you start to use them as physical activity monitors, you notice some differences. Both have sensors that measure heart rate in real time and assess breathing capacity and even the stress of your user at that time.

The difference here seems to be much more in the way the products were created: Huawei's is excellent for those who are starting to move (it has basic running training, with indications of when to walk, when to run for a short time, when to walk again) , but it also brings important information for those who are more advanced. Want to run 30 minutes? 1 am? Set the goal and run, it's that simple.

The device shows in real time performance data, number of steps and distance and, at the end of the exercise, it brings a summary of everything that was done: rhythm, steps, distance, altitude, maximum oxygen volume and even the elevation of the terrain traveled. a complete package of useful information that compares performance improvement – and realizing in the body that things have changed over time. However, being used as an activity monitor, the Watch GT 2 locks in this function, without allowing you to see notifications or control music during exercise.

Samsung's Watch Active 2 has a more generalist philosophy when it comes to monitoring physical exercises. It has more generic training modes – you want to run, just activate the program on your watch and run, literally. It is able to detect exercises automatically (any 10-minute walk is already starting to count, on average) and, because it is waterproof, it is able to measure swimmers' performance. More detailed adjustments (such as alternating running and walking, for example) can be made directly in the Samsung Health app on the smartphone.