After many many hours of research, I chose this watch and am happy I did. (See update at bottom)
Granskad i Storbritannien den 8 december 2019
I lost many hours researching before choosing my first fitness/smartwatch. that was very hard work- watching endless youtube video reviews and reading many customer comments on Amazon. I don't think there is a perfect fitness/smartwatch. battery life, HR accuracy, app/website support, ability to store music on the watch..are just a few of the areas that cause me a lot of difficulty in making a decision. I wish I could have just gone into several shops to see and physically handle these watches but that did not seem possible.
Anyway, I was looking for a watch to help me become more aware of my fitness overall and to help me achieve a personal goal of successfully completing a marathon. my first attempt at a Marathon was the Munich marathon Oct 2019. I trained for 14 weeks, mainly using the Nike + app. Everything seemed to be going well, but in the few weeks before, what is known as 'The Tapering period'. I went out for what should have been alight 4-mile run and something pulled in my right calf muscle. that was 10 days before the marathon. I could not move for the next few days and in the end, I gambled on resting every day until I felt better. I did not run again until the day of the marathon. I had put too much effort to walk away from the marathon and so I went along and tried my best. everything fine until km 5 and then the pain started-by km 37 I had to pull out. I don't want this to happen again.I am hoping a watch that helps me track my runs and gives advice on recovery time and my general heart rate and fitness level (VO2 max) will help me avoid overtraining. and also sleep tracking is interesting to me. I have not been very well with a case of non-bacterial prostatitis and that means for me, I don't sleep well- waking several times each night..So I thought a fitness/smartwatch might help me run a marathon successfully and become more aware of my overall fitness and for some insight into my sleeping patterns. these were the main reasons behind my search for a fitness-based smart watch.
I short listed the following watches on a budget of up to £150-200:
Polar Vantage M
Garmin Forerunner 735XT (According to the '5k runner' website, this is a superior running watch to the FR235)
On paper, the best watch for me was the Garmin. Polar's reviews showed the heart rate accuracy was still not accurate- (I don't know if that is still true as there has been a recent firmware update to address this). but then again, the Garmin watch did not really look like a watch that I wanted to wear all day and night- The Amazfit Stratos watch was a really nice looking sports watch, but reviews showed that the app (nice but very basic) and user interface of the watch was awkward and there was as a seemingly ill fitting battery charger, so that did not feel like the right choice. The Samsung watch had everything I could dream of finding in a watch but a battery that lasts 1-3 days. No sir. not for me. Then there was the Huawei GT2. and that seemed to me, anyway, a beautiful watch, one I would love to wear all the time. But my reading on this subject, made me think of all the running features that I woudl not see in this watch and that left me unsure and a little down hearted. I could not find the perfect watch.. But this paerticular one, had really left a strong impression on me; looks, battery, all round features..
Logic told me that the Garmin Forerunner 735XT with its long battery life, excellent running tracking and the ability to create a training plan was the watch for me.
But my heart told me to go for the Huawei GT2- for its beautiful design- a watch I would want to wear all day and night, it had a great battery life (up to 14 days) and plays music from the watch..even answer a phone call and hold a conversation from the watch!! (Beam me up scotty!!) And it also have some run training plans and good screen display for running, so not all bad. But yes, my heart won this one..
So, I chose the Huawei GT2
I am now 5 days into owning this watch. It really is beautiful to look at- it is a very sleek looking, black sports watch. The display on starting the watch up is stylish. I feel like a child again with a brand new toy- I am always playing around with the watch faces and settings and just enjoying the experience of wearing this. Of course, I have lots of watches. What will happen to them?? oh, I did not think of that. I'll find a time to wear them, I am sure..
But on wearing the watch, I have to say it is very comfortable to wear. the strap is very soft on the skin. so wearing this at night, is not a problem at all.
On battery- The watch arrived with 75% battery. that was used up by two firmware updates and 2 days use- riding a bike to work 30 mins there, 30 mins back. I have left all features on including digital time display- as opposed to a blank watch face after use until you 'raise to wake'.
I decided to charge the watch up to full-on Friday AM. It is now Sunday. in that time, I have gone out for a few 4-5 mile runs and bike rides of up to an hour and have changed the settings to watch can time out display after 15 secs and then raise to wake-experimenting with this, to see what battery life I get with my typical usage. I hope to go back to an always on display as this is my preference. My battery level is down to 65%...
That is the point of marketing though, isn't it? ‘14 days’ in big print but caveats in small print. And I hate these youtube review videos where people say things like-’yes this watch will last up to 2 days!!’.. but if you only if you switch some of the features off, turn the lights run down and this and not that and so on. This is nonsense. if you have to hold back on using the watch for its full intended purpose then what is the point? The point is to appeal to a target audience and entice you to make the purchase. marketers are perhaps not the most honest people.
Anyway, Fitness features- I have not done much with the watch yet but it looks like this thing can track everything...I can think of including the obvious running (indoors and out), walking, cycling (indoors and out), swimming (Pool and open water), but theres also hiking and climbing as well as a ‘Triathlon’ mode and then 'other'.
I train with my bodyweight (thanks to discovering the likes of the Kavadlo brothers on youtube and the excellent 'Convict conditioning e-books by Paul Wade) at home or at the park- pull ups/push ups,bridges, leg raises, squats etc. so this workout goes down as an 'other' workout and that is fine for me. I am really just happy to have some insight on how active I am in the day, so steps taken and active minutes and calories burned etc. This information is wonderful, to me. And this watch certainly does a great job.
For the running- you can set a goal for each run you do ie:
Distance or time
you can set reminder intervals ie per mile- I like this feature.
you can also set a pace reminder thing- where you have a visual display of two runners; one representing you and the other your goal pace.
then when ready to go, follow the prompt and press the centre of the watch face to acquire the GPS (this has been within 5-10 secs each time-cycling or running) and away you go.
The reminders can be spoken to you to tell you your pace, your distance and heart rate- I like this feature. but you can switch this off- not mid run but once you have experienced it, you can see if you like it or not and then for the next time- set the run guidance as you like ie reminders off. once you do this, that setting will remain that way..
I also really like the heart rate zones that show up. I can see, as I run, that I go straight past warm up to aerobic and then extreme. that has helped me to learn something about the pace I run with, on what should be gentle runs. either, I am running too fast (hmmm. I’m not) ok then I am not as fit as I thought..(Oh dear, that must be it).so, the watch has helped me gain insight here
'Raise to wake' display for running or cycling- works great. no problem at all. very reliable
After running, the display shows you stats- distance covered, average cadence even, estimated stride length, your average pace. there are decent graphs (on both the watch and the app), there is a VO2 estimate at the end of this display- (you scroll down the screen of your watch- its all very intuitive) and a recovery estimate (Mine said- ‘Stop. Just dont..’ not really, bad joke). Apparently, my VO2 score is 45- I dont think that is bad for 44 years old, I am happy and I will keep going and do my best to improve.
Oh, the watch automatically syncs to the Huawei health app on my phone (not normally any delays with that, but in the rare cases there were, i might be waiting a few seconds, nothing substantial) - It is really nice to look at the overview of my day and week so far. and another point, the graphs like pace, cadence, altitude etc, they can all be overlaid to help you see how for example, pace or cadence changed with altitude. It seems interesting for a little glance, but I am not studying it in any way. But, then again, I’m not that smart. maybe you will be able to better interpret the data and there is some to look at.
the sleep tracking feature is fun to look at in the morning. I can see how well or not (emphasis on not) I have slept; how many times I woke up, the time I spent in each stage of sleep awake, REM, light and deep sleep. I wake a lot. I know that. but I was pleasantly surprised to see that I still manage to get a good amount of time in ‘deep sleep’. this insight has been another really interesting feature, for me.
Music- well, on the youtube videos, transferring music from your phone to your watch without the pc (I have a Chromebook), all looks easy enough to do. but it isn't. But it can be done.
you follow the prompts on your Huawei health app- to add music to your watch. then folders showing you the available music totransfer, will appear- but for me, only Viber voice message recordings and some other voice recordings, which I had stored on the phone, while using a voice recorder app showed up as available.
My music from google play even though purchased and downloaded to my phone for offline listening DID NOT appear in this list and as such, was not available for transferring. this is disappointing. But the watch, as the other watches, I considered, DOES offer the ability to control the music played from the phone, like a remote. And I am happy with that. I like listening to music as I run and ride (mainly on paths- I like some background noise to distract me from how long this is all taking..come on!!!).I might have to persuade my wife to let me use her computer to transfer music from an external hard drive, we have somewhere, which has music on it and give this a go because the idea of running without a running belt and phone is quite exciting, to me, anyway :)
So, that's as much as I can say right now. the watch is beautiful and attracts admiring glances from people. It is very comfortable to wear. It has good fitness tracking features for running, overall health and fitness as far as cardio health is concerned anyway. Battery life appears decent and to be running at around 12% or per day, so with my usage (I guess 8-9 days use) but I am still learning and tweaking settings to get the most of this area. I am still learning.
But, I don't think there is a perfect watch and there has be a point at which you just 'take the plunge' and make a decision- no you do it your way I am just sharing how I went about this.
The watch is not perfect, but for a first fitness/smart watch- (These companies really should make that distinction clearer, if they werent all too busy pretending to be all things to all people, like a game of ‘hungry, hungry hippos’, there are fitness watches with some smart features and smart watches with some fitness features. But this area should be further clarified)
Anyway, from me to you, as a first fitness/smart watch, you could really do a lot worse
(Oh and music can be downloaded from Google play but it is a little tricky. I woudl select songs or playlists from google play (on my chromebook) and then select Download. then the music would appear in my google drive. from there, I can select the MP3 versions of any song (they might not all show up this way) and transfer to, yes another place and that for me, on my moto g7 phone was a 'Files app'. once I moved the music there, then I could go back into the Huawei health app, then to the Device page, select 'Add music' and then suddenly, a list of songs appear, all available to transfer. But then, then you have to transfer the darn songs and that... that takes time, over WIFI. but once it is done. it is done and you can run, phone free and with GPS.. it is worth the struggle :) all best
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