Huawei is aggressively pursuing its push into the U.S. market of late and the Huawei Fit is one of the devices leading this charge. Now will it satisfy the jaded tastes of fitness tracker fans?
We can turn to the initial round of hands-on reviews for insights. One should remember that the smartwatch was only released Nov. 3.
On Huawei Fit's Design
The slew of tech reviews is one in saying that the Huawei Fit has two most compelling points and one of them is its design. Cherlynn Low pretty much summed everything in an article for Engadget.
"As a watch purist, I like that it has a round face. I also dig its clean aesthetic," Low said. "There are no knobs, dials or buttons other than a reset button on the underside, which keeps the overall design uncluttered."
Reviewers also noted its extremely lightweight design. The consensus is that it represents the ideal form factor for a fitness tracker.
"As far as I'm concerned, the lighter the device (and the less attention I need to give to it when I'm not using it), the better," said Barbara Krasnoff of ComputerWorld.
The reviews, however, noted that the material used for the watch band is a bit cheap-looking, with one touting that it will feel at home inside a McDonald's Happy Meal box. Unfortunately, it undermines the overall design, giving an impression of a not so well put together piece of hardware.
Battery Life And Sensors
The only other Huawei Fit value proposition that could potentially compete with rival fitness trackers involves the battery life. It could last a week on a single charge and this is the case even when the display is always turned on. CNET rated this aspect an 8, which should be significant given that the score was given in relative to the performance of other fitness trackers today.
"Since the display is always on, you can use the Huawei Fit as a normal wristwatch to tell the time," wrote Timothy Torres of PC Magazine, who also highlighted how competing devices such as the Fitbit Charge 2 and the Apple Watch Series 2 time out after a few seconds.
The sensors are also accurate.
"Huawei checked off all the necessary boxes that would make a fitness tracker capable at this price: it tracks steps, calories, distance, and sleep," noted Jennifer Hahn of Ars Technica.
Hahn also singled out the accuracy of Huawei Fit's heart rate sensor, which she said can be attributed to how the technology was not outsourced but developed in-house.
Fitness Tracker Display Quality
Complaints mainly centered on the quality of the smartwatch screen. The device has black and white touch screen display with 208 x 208 resolution.
"The display is dull and touchscreen is difficult to operate when working out," according to CNET's Dan Graziano.
Krasnoff also confirmed this, citing how the display is difficult to read in medium-light environments.
Huawei Fitness Software
The Huawei Fit's fitness software also got a lot of flak. A number of reviews, for example, noted that it has spotty performance when synching with the dedicated Huawei Wear app for iOS and Android devices. The interface could also get confusing especially with the absence of knobs and dials that could have been used for navigation.
The software has few redeeming factors such as the capability to build workout plans but hands-on experiences showed they are eclipsed by its flaws. Fortunately, owners could flash their own fitness software such as Google Fit.
When evaluating the Huawei Fit, which costs $130, it is important to remember that the device is designed to directly compete in the fitness tracker segment.
This sphere is dominated by Fitbit, Garmin and the Apple Watch. The leading devices offer on par features and some even boast more value propositions. The bottom line — based on available reviews — is that the Huawei Fit is not a stand out in the fitness tracker crowd. This means that its ambition to leave a mark in the market is seriously at risk.