WITH Brits finally emerging from the country’s latest coronavirus lockdown this week, thousands of fitness freaks are wondering whether to bin or keep their newfound exercise routines.
Home workouts have become the norm in 2020 and workout tech has made that transition a smooth one – but can a smartwatch convince anyone to ditch the gym and stick to exercising from home for good?
Huawei’s GT 2 Pro smartwatch pulls no punches
Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken Huawei’s GT 2 Pro for a spin to see whether the Chinese firm’s excellent smartwatch can up my fitness game.
I’ve come out the other side of lockdown very impressed, and can safely say it’s changed my workouts for good.
To start with, the GT 2 Pro is one of the best-looking smartwatches I’ve tried.
It boasts a premium titanium shell and sapphire glass surface, with a ceramic back to boot.
The smartwatch has a fun selection of digital faces to choose fromCredit: Huawei
The face features a 1.39-inch OLED display with a nice selection of digital designs to choose from, though the range isn’t quite as stylish as those available on the Apple watch.
You can slap a leather or silicon strap on it, depending on your taste. Both of those clip on with an easy to use clasp.
All in all, the GT 2 Pro comes in a classy design that – provided you pick the right watch face – wouldn’t look out of place in a board meeting, or out at a fancy restaurant.
It lacks the bold and futuristic form of gadgets like the Apple Watch or Nubia Watch, but Huawei’s offering looks and feels great to use.
The gadget’s two-week battery life is very impressiveCredit: Huawei
While design is important (no one wants to wear something that looks naff), it’s what a smartwatch can do that helps it stand out from the crowd.
The GT 2 Pro runs off of Huawei’s Lite OS software, which is simple and easy to use, and boasts a massive battery life of up to 14 days.
Importantly, it also comes with a wealth of activity tracking.
The watch can track 100+ workouts, offering stats on everything from running and full body workouts to open water swimming and skiing.
You’ll find everything from heart rate to elevation is monitored by the clever little ticker, allowing you to follow your progress throughout your workout.
I mostly used the GT 2 Pro for running as well as circuit workouts performed from the comfort of my living room, and I was pretty impressed.
Huawei says the gizmo can act as your “personal workout partner”, and it’s certainly not far off, offering running courses, analysis of your training regime and more.
I even had my music tastes catered for. The GT 2 Pro supports Spotify, and you can store a few hundred tracks on it for when you’re taking it out and about without your phone.
You can hook it up to your smartphone, even if it’s not a HuaweiCredit: © 2020 SOPA Img
I’ve been running for years but am a bit of a newbie to the circuit training scene, and the GT 2 Pro was great for someone taking his first (achy) steps into a new world of fitness.
Whether it would be as helpful to someone who’s a more seasoned fitness guru is another question, however, and the GT 2 Pro does have its drawbacks.
Namely, the watch’s lack of third party app support really grates after a while, especially if switching from something as excellently integrated as the Apple Watch.
The GT 2 Pro will show notifications from your smartphone (even if it’s an iPhone!) but offers no way to interact with those notifications.
That means if you get a WhatsApp message, for instance, you can see the notification but have no way of responding via your watch.
Instead, you’ll have to whip your phone out of your pocket and do it the “old fashioned” way. A minor inconvenience, but one users of other smartwatch brands do not have to endure.
Price and release date
At around £300, the watch is certainly on the pricey sideCredit: Huawei
All that fancy fitness tracking and smart design comes at a price (and a steep one, at that.)
The GT 2 Pro comes in at around £300, meaning it costs just as much as heavy hitters like the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch line.
The watch is out now in the UK. It’s not clear if the gadget will ever launch in the US.
Given the Huawei ban still in place in the States, it’s safe to assume the gadget won’t be making its way there any time soon…
The GT 2 Pro is a great piece of hardware that should satisfy the needs of any fitness fanatic looking to track their stats.
The design is great, the battery is fantastic, and the ability to suggest updates to your training regime is handy for anyone trying out new forms of exercise.
However, the gadget falls well below expectations when it comes to third party app support, which is really disappointing when you consider its beefy price tag.
I’d say the GT 2 Pro is a decent option for someone looking for a smartwatch solely for the fitness options, rather than those who want a gadget that can do everything their phone can.
As for whether it can replace the gym: Maybe, if you’re focussed on cardio alone, but truly dedicated exercise junkies should keep hold of their memberships (and the machines they grant access to) for now.
In other news, Apple’s new iPhone 12 Mini and Pro Max launched last month.
The entire iPhone 12 range won’t come with a power adapter in the box.
And, Apple recently unveiled the latest version of the Apple Watch – its cheapest smartwatch in years.
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