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Circuit Breaker

Huawei’s new Android Wear watches are big, chunky, and fitness focused

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The Watch 2 and Watch 2 Classic leave behind the fashion-forward look of the original

Now that Google has officially launched Android Wear 2.0 and released its own smartwatches made by LG, it’s time for the rest of the Android Wear partners to launch new models. And the first one out of the gate is Huawei, which is refreshing its Huawei Watch from 2015 with two new, sportier models.

The Huawei Watch 2 and the Huawei Watch 2 Classic are loaded with connectivity and new features, including LTE (in the case of the Watch 2), GPS, heart rate sensors, and NFC for Android Pay. They have much chunkier designs compared to the first Huawei Watch, and are significantly thicker and bulkier, despite having a smaller 1.2-inch circular display than the prior model’s 1.4-inch screen. They measure about 12.6mm thick, which is nearly two millimeters thicker than the prior version.

Huawei Watch 2 Classic
Photo: Huawei

Both versions have two buttons and include microphones and speakers. Huawei says the 420mAh batteries inside them provide up two days of life, or double the first generation’s stamina. A new, low-power “watch mode” will allow the watches to last up to 25 days, though it reduces functionality to just telling the time and counting steps.

The Watch 2 is made of plastic to support its LTE connectivity (a Wi-Fi-only model will also be offered), while the Watch 2 Classic has a metal chassis. Both versions have interchangeable straps, and the Classic model has a unique “hybrid strap” that has a leather top and rubber underneath to protect against sweat damage. Both watches support IP68 water resistance.

Huawei Watch 2 Classic
Photo: Huawei

The new heart rate sensor will continuously track heart rates, and both watches come loaded with Huawei’s Fit program that personalizes a training program based on goals and prior performance. A version of the same program debuted on the Huawei Fit fitness tracker last year.

It’s clear that Huawei is targeting a different consumer this time around, focusing on someone that prioritizes fitness features above aesthetics or general smartwatch uses. But that may leave fans of the first model that were looking for an updated watch that could be worn every day or even with a suit disappointed. The LG Watch Sport, made in partnership with Google, had a similar fitness focus, while the Watch Style offered fewer features than even Huawei’s first smartwatch attempt.

huawei watch 2 Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge

Both watches are also distinctly masculine, in both size and appearance, and those with smaller wrists will likely find them uncomfortable. Huawei says that its female-focused Watch Elegant and Watch Jewel will remain available for the time being.

A Porsche-designed version of the Watch 2 is also coming, featuring a Porsche Design logo and special watch face.

Huawei says the Watch 2 will first be available in Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, and China starting this March. In April, it will come to US, UK, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, The Nordics, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, India, South Africa, Poland, Austria, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and UAE, and Malaysia will see it starting in May. Pricing will begin at 329 € (~$347) depending on features and model.