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The Huawei Watch is the most watch-like Android smartwatch yet

A new design contender from an unlikely source

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We've just seen Huawei unveil its first Android Wear device, the Huawei Watch, at Mobile World Congress. There have been a few other circular Android Wear watches before — LG showed us one just a few hours ago, in fact — so Huawei's is very much a known quantity from a software and functionality perspective.

From a design perspective, however, it's another story.

The Huawei Watch is by far the most "watch-like" Android Wear smartwatch to date, keeping traditional features like lugs for interchangeable straps, the circular frame, and the crown (okay, it's just a button). I wouldn't go so far as to compare it to a luxury watch, or even many regular watches that sell for a few hundred dollars, but it's clear that this one has been designed by people that at least speak the language of timepieces.

The 1.4-inch 400 x 400 OLED display comes in at 286 pixels per inch, and its contrast and color make it the best smartwatch screen I'm yet to see. The frame is 42mm in diameter, which would be a little large to my taste if this were a normal watch, but its thin bezels and slimline design help it fit the wrist well enough.

I think Android Wear has a very long way to go before I'd want to charge and wear a device every day. But if you're comfortable with its simple, notification-based paradigm, and if you think smartwatches should look as close to regular watches as close as humanly possible, well — Huawei may well turn out to be your best bet when the watch launches this summer. Who saw that coming?

Huawei Watch hands-on photos