Thursday, February 22, 2024

Huawei’s Watch Ultra is a long-lasting rugged smartwatch that looks the part | Engadget

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Huawei may be persona non grata in the US but the company is still pushing out products for the rest of the world. Its latest is the Watch Ultimate, a super-premium wearable for extreme sports types who want a statement piece on their wrist. In the style of a Submariner or Seamaster, the Ultimate has a top right-mounted rotating crown and two pushers, one top left, the other bottom right. Available in blue and black, the cases are clad in an “innovative zirconium-based liquid metal material,” which sounds a lot like the LiquidMetal-brand alloy found in a number of modern Omega watches.

You’ll get a different strap choice depending on which watch face you opt for, with the more premium blue option getting a titanium alloy band. Select black, and you’ll get both a standard length HNBR (rubber) band and a long-length one to wear while scuba diving. It’s for this purpose that Huawei is really pushing the Watch Ultimate, saying that it’ll last for up to 24 hours at depths of 110 meters. Huawei added a number of extra software features for technical divers, but it’s not clear how many deep-diving pros would trade in their mechanical watch for a digital alternative.

Nestled inside the case is a 1.5-inch LTPO AMOLED display with a 466 x 466 resolution and a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits underneath a 2.3mm sapphire glass crystal. It’s running Harmony OS, with the same sort of features found in the existing Watch GT series of wearables, with the only major changes being a China-exclusive Golf mode and the aforementioned diving specific features.

Another much-ballyhooed feature is the battery life, with Huawei promising that you’ll get 14 days battery life if you’re not using it too much. More realistically, you should expect to get closer to eight days out of the thing with what I’d consider more normal use. The company didn’t disclose how long you’d last if, say, you did a long run with GPS enabled but we’d expect that 530mAh cell to last long enough for most folks to complete a marathon, for instance. 

As well as integrations with Strava and Runtastic, there’s the usual raft of Huawei-branded fitness tracking features. That includes its TruSeen 5.0 heart-rate monitoring, TruSleep 3.0 sleep tracking plus a built-in ECG and continuous SpO2 monitoring. There’s a new Expedition Mode, too, which harnesses the dual-band GPS to ensure you know where you are no matter how far you stray from the path. Huawei says that you’ll get the battery from flat to full in 60 minutes and you’ll get a 25 percent charge in just 10 minutes.

In terms of pricing, Huawei won’t be announcing that until April 2nd, the day before it becomes available in the UK and Europe. We do know, however, that there’ll be no LTE-enabled model and no emergency calling options, it’ll be strictly Bluetooth only. Of course, with any modern-day Huawei purchase, the usual caveats apply

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