As the name of the watch suggests, this is a watch that is primarily intended for runners. It’s both a smart and unwise watch in the sense that you can read notifications from the phone without answering them on the watch, you can only install a few fairly simple apps, there is no support for mobile payments and you can download music files in the watch but not listen to Spotify. On the plus side, the watch can of course have a generous and generous battery life that only an Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch could dream of.
The Huawei Watch GT Runner was already launched this spring and I took the opportunity to test the watch for a longer period, for several months, which also means that during the test period there were several updates and that I tested with the watch connected both Android and Iphone. Because in the phone, it is the Huawei Health app that handles training information and settings and this app is available for both Android and iOS. And of course in Huawei’s App Store app gallery.
Disagreements are obligatory
Many functions are the same no matter what phone you use, but the iPhone lacks the watch’s music download function. On the plus side, however, Huawei Health in iOS can sync with the Apple Health app, while a corresponding sync with Google Fit isn’t available in the Android version. Only in the Android version did I notice that Huawei has rounded out Google for a better job in its training app. I download the app from Google Play as usual when I start but then when I have to update the app it downloads a new version by itself and that way it acts as an app store applet in the app. It requires that I approve the app to install program files from unknown sources, so it might be a bit cumbersome, but it works.
Huawei offers the Watch GT Runner as something for both elite runners and exercisers and a watch with improved accuracy and more accurate heart rate measurement and positioning.
On the outside, the watch has a slightly more durable look than other Huawei watches, which has a more luxurious style. Here, functionality is prioritized and the attached bracelet is made of rubber. The weight of the watch is completely normal, in fact about a gram as heavy as the Apple Watch I wear on the other arm when I go out on the first run with the watch.
As always, I test the watch in parallel with many other watches to more easily detect differences and notice deviations in the measurement data. Already when I start the training session, I notice improvements that previous Huawei watches cannot boast of. The Huawei Watch GT Runner dial provides a typical overview of a wide range of tasks without getting cluttered for that reason. Then when the watch starts looking for a GPS location, I notice that it does it faster than other Huawei watches. Not quite as fast as the Apple Watch, you can instantly start a workout in seconds, but it doesn’t take more than ten seconds before the Huawei Watch GT Runner is up and running as well.
I’m particularly interested in how accurate the measurements are, so after a workout which both watches claim to be exactly 10.40km, I take a detailed look at a map of where I ran. None of the watches I test are 100 percent accurate in their positioning, so it always comes down to a margin of error, and they bother a little bit here and there, something that, however, usually flattens out over the long term so that the result is accurate enough. In this particular case, the watches charted a somewhat similar path, except that the Huawei watch claims I run the latter part of the tour down a parallel street a block away. However, it does not have much effect on the total distance. Summary After the end of the tour, the hours agree, in everything from distance as was said to steps per minute, calories and heart rate, with only marginal differences.
However, with its sprinter focus, it’s not the Apple Watch in the first place but the more advanced Garmin watches that are Huawei’s toughest competitor. At Garmin we find a more comprehensive analysis of training data as well as support for Spotify and mobile payments and equally good battery life and support for both iOS and Android even there.
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