Huawei’s original Watch was the first truly desirable slice of Android Wear, but it wasn’t quite the long-term keeper our wrists were hoping for.
The main problem was that it cost £300. For that price tag, it needed to be better than the Apple Watch, and with no GPS, slightly laggy performance and what was then Android Wear 1.0 software, it wasn’t.
The fact you can still buy one almost two years on (for a more palatable £225) shows that Huawei did also get a lot right, particularly with the smart stainless steel design.
That’s why we’re excited about the now confirmed Huawei Watch 2. If it combines the best bits of Android Wear 2.0 (Android Pay, Google Assistant, better battery life) with an even more refined design, it could be something for the Apple Watch to worry about.
So how’s it shaping up? Here’s what the leaks have told us so far:
What we know
>>>It’ll be launched on 26 February 2017
Huawei’s CEO recently confirmed on Weibo (China’s answer to Twitter) that the Watch 2 will launch at Mobile World Congress. That means we can expect a joint announcement with the new flagship Huawei P10 smartphone on 26 February. We’ll be over at MWC, so if you’re after a fancy new Android Wear watch or dual-camera smartphone, make sure you’re back here for Huawei’s double hit of news.
>>> It'll probably be a family of three
Leaked images show that the Huaweu Watch 2 will apparently come in three variants, rather than the rumoured two. All seem to have the same design with different straps, so it's possible that the images are merely showing the variety of straps available. We will find out at the launch on 26 February.
>>>It’s going to be much sportier
Smartwatches are embracing fitness because it’s the main thing they can do better than your phone (see: the Apple Watch Series 2). Huawei’s Watch 2 will be no different, with the leaked images showing a very different design to the original. There are rubber straps, two buttons rather than one, and a bezel that looks like it could turn and support Android Wear 2.0's rotational input. It does also appear to be slimmer than the slightly chunky LG Watch Sport.
>>>It will have SIM card slot
One of the Huawei Watch 2's leaked images shows a slot for a nanoSIM card. But it's not yet clear whether this will be the case for all versions of the Watch 2. Given that we're not yet convinced that anyone wants to buy another SIM card for the smartwatch, we're hoping there is a Wi-Fi-only option without a cellular radio.
>>>It’ll be strangely familiar (on the inside)
So far the rumours have pointed towards almost identical specs to original Huawei Watch, with 512MB RAM, 4GB storage and a 1.4in screen with 400x400 display. We’d expect it to upgrade the Snapdragon chipset and boost the 300mAh battery too, though the battery life boost from running Android Wear 2.0 and attempts to keep the price down to a less wallet-busting level might see it stay the same.
>>>It’ll still cost a pretty penny
The original Huawei Watch cost £300, which seemed pricey at the time for a fairly limited Android Wear 1.0 watch. But with Google setting the price bar quite high with the £349 LG Watch Sport, and the Watch 2 likely to pack extra sensors like GPS, we expect its tag to stay up around the £300 mark.
All the latest news
>>>February 24 2017
Leaked images from Evan Blass at VentureBeat show that the Huawei Watch 2 will come in three colours, with a sportier design and a nanoSIM card slot.
>>>January 26 2017
Sources apparently revealed to Mobile Choice that the Huawei Watch 2 will definitely be coming to the UK and will go on sale in April or May 2017.
>>>January 24 2017
GSM Arena has picked up a post on Weibo by Huawei’s CEO confirming that the Watch 2 will arrive at Mobile World Congress at the end of February. His post included a picture of an athlete wearing the watch, seemingly confirming earlier rumours that it would be sportier than its predecessor.
>>>January 24 2017
A person ‘familiar with the company’s plans’ told Evan Blass says the Huawei Watch 2 will have a ‘sportier’ look than its predecessor, and that it will also add optional cellular radio.