In addition to its new high-end phones, Huawei also announced a new smartwatch, the most expensive to date in its portfolio, at its showcase event in China. It’s called the Huawei Watch Ultimate and it aims to create competition for watches like the Apple Watch Ultra, Galaxy Watch5 Pro and Garmin’s top models. At the same time, the watch is also trying to appeal to the watch-loving public in the smartwatch area, using some of the most “premium” materials that traditional watches are made of today.
Huawei Watch Ultra uses some of the most “premium” materials on a smartwatch to date
It all starts with the construction of the Huawei Watch Ultimate’s case. It’s made from an amorphous zirconium-based alloy called Liquid Metal. This name is also used in the PC area to describe a heat transfer solution, but in the watch industry, “liquid metal” is an extremely durable material. Huawei says it’s stronger than the titanium that competing watches on the market are made of. The strength could be up to 4.5 times greater, and the material is non-corrosive.
There will be two models of the Huawei Watch Ultimate, a version that comes with a titanium bracelet, with the bezels also adopting a design that stands out more easily, with a silver color and a blue ceramic bezel around the display. This will be the most expensive model. The more “affordable” version, if we can call it that, will be a watch also made of Liquid Metal, but with an HNBR (Hydrogenated Nitrile Rubber Strap). This material is also used for straps on expensive traditional watches and is a more durable material than silicone. Both models also come with a large strap, also made of HNBR, which is for those who practice sports such as skiing, as you can wear your watch over protective gear with such a strap.
This is Huawei’s best-equipped watch, and is even recommended for deep-sea diving
The watch features sapphire glass over the 1.5″ LTPO AMOLED display, complementing the watch’s “premium” construction. Being an LTPO screen, it can dynamically adjust the refresh rate between 1 and 60 Hz to save power when static elements are displayed on the screen, something not many watches on the market offer. Brightness is also at a high level, at 1,000 nits.
The battery is also one of the largest on a smartwatch, at 530 mAh. Like the Watch GT 3 series models, Huawei’s Watch Ultimate also promises up to 14 days of battery life on a single charge, while used in sports mode, it can reach around 8 days. Charging is am within an hour, and the watch also includes Qi wireless charging, so it can be charged from a phone via reverse wireless charging.
In terms of sensors, this model has pretty much “everything” we’re talking pulse sensor, pulse oximeter, ECG, GPS with 5 satellite constellations and altimeter, for monitoring over 100 types of sports activities, including deep sea diving. The watch offers water resistance to 110 metres for 24 hours and is certified to ISO 22810 and EN13319 standards.
Huawei also wants to promote this model as a dive computer, with dedicated functions for various levels of difficulty: recreational, free diving or technical. Huawei says it also has its own algorithm for diving, but it will be hard to test without domain expertise how well this software performs.
Huawei Watch Ultimate prices are comparable to the competition in the “Ultra” range
It seems that the watch is otherwise software-wise similar to the other Watch GT models on the market, as it’s still based on HarmonyOS Lite. The Watch allows Bluetooth calls and quick replies for chat apps, but will not be released with an NFC payment system in Europe, although it includes the necessary hardware. What it doesn’t include, however, is eSIM connectivity, making it dependent on a smartphone. Fortunately, you can use Android, iOS or HarmonyOS phones with this model, with the connection being made via the Huawei Health app.
The watch will also be released in Europe from April 3 in both variants. We don’t have pricing for Europe yet, but the “Expedition” model with the rubber strap is listed at 6,000 yuan in China, or around 800 euros, while the Voyage Blue model with the titanium strap will cost 7,000 yuan, or around 940 euros.