Huawei unveiled a new range of wearables earlier this year. We’ve already checked out the Huawei Watch Fit 2 from this range, and come away impressed by the features and large screen, but now it’s time to up the ante with the Watch D which adds Blood Pressure monitoring.
Priced at $799 RRP at launch, the Watch D has seen some price reductions through sales down to as low as $497. The sales pricing is excellent, but how does the watch handle? Well, I spent three weeks with the Huawei Watch D and here’s how it went.
Hardware and Design
The Huawei Watch D has a solid look and feel to it, though has similar design to the Watch Fit 2. It’s quite chunky at 13.6mm thick, though this includes all the hardware necessary for taking your blood pressure, which includes a pump to inflate the bag on the inside of the elastomer band which replaces the cuff on a blood pressure monitor.
The Watch D only comes in black, which is a classic choice, but doesn’t allow for a lot of personalisation and while you can switch the bands between the large and small options included in the box – there’s no colour choices. There are two different sized bands included in the box, the medium fit my wrist, but any bigger and the Large would be better, but there is a sizing guide in the box alongside spare airbags, so you’re set if any issues arise.
The band and clasp design is fairly comfortable to wear, even while exercising, though the extra wide band to accommodate that inflatable bag won’t be to everyone’s liking. It’s easily adjustable, though takes a bit to get used to, and you need to make sure it’s secure so it won’t slip when the bag inflates during BP measurement.
To the watch itself, it has a large, bright 1.64-inch AMOLED touch enabled display with 456×280 resolution on the front. It’s an incredibly easy to read screen whether you’re indoors or outside and the touch component is very responsive – even when you’re a little sweaty during a workout.
There are two buttons on the right hand side of the watch – and that’s effectively it. The top button acts as a dual home/application menu button, while the bottom one, marked ‘Health’ loads the Blood Pressure monitoring app by default.
The rear of the watch has an optical heart rate sensor and connector for the inflatable bag which can be disconnected and replaced with one of the included bags in the box. It’s fairly easy to replace that bag, though I had no need to during the review.
Blood Pressure measurement
This is NOT a medical device, but it can give you good indications about what’s going on. I personally haven’t regularly taken my blood pressure previously, but the convenience of having a blood pressure monitor on my wrist made it hard to not take it occasionally – but my wife who does, loved the convenience of borrowing it to take a quick check of hers.
It’s easy to get the blood pressure app going, you can load it from the list of apps, or you can just hit the health button and go from there.
To take your blood pressure you need to be at rest, have the watch at the same level as your heart and don’t move or talk during measurement. While I followed the instructions, the Watch D was fairly finicky and failed saying I moved on more than one occasion.
When you get your Blood Pressure it’s fairly decently accurate – though again, this isn’t a medical device and I found my Diastolic reading to be occasionally a little different to the blood pressure machine, which matched with my BP reading from Red Cross when I gave blood.
What it IS, is a good indicator of what’s happening, so if you start seeing consistently higher results than when your Dr took your BP at your last check-up, it’s possibly a reason to go back to your GP for a check up.
Battery and Charging
The Watch D includes a battery big enough for 7 days of ‘typical use’ which is outlined on the Huawei website, and charges with a wireless charging puck.
My experience with the Watch D very much is inline with the official specs, though I got 9 days out of the Watch D on the first charge and 7 days on the second. I did add in a couple of GPS tracked workouts on the second charge, but overall it’s similar.
The wireless charger offers a good way to easily charge the watch, plug it into a USB-A port on a PC or any spare power brick you have and you’re off and racing.
Charge time is decent, with an overall charging time of around 2 hours to go from 0% to full.
As usual, the Huawei Health app is needed on your phone to connect to the Huawei Watch D.
For Apple users, things are fairly easy. You can download and install the Huawei Health app directly from the iOS app store then set the watch up.
For Android users, this gets a little convoluted. First, you can grab the app a couple of ways. First, through the Huawei App Gallery either via direct download of the APK or install the Huawei App Gallery on your phone and then side-load it that way. Second, you can also install the Huawei Health app directly through Google Play, at which point the app downloads a new version from its own servers.
There is a slight issue here, though mainly for those using Android 13. There’s a new restriction to notification access for side-loaded apps in Android 13 – but you can get around this restriction.
To do this you’ll need to go to Settings > Apps > See All Apps. Expand the list of apps, select the Huawei Health app and tap the overflow menu up the top and select ‘Allow Restricted Settings’ and confirm the changed setting. Once you’ve done this, you should be able to change the notification settings.
After several generations of Huawei Watch GT, various fitbands and the Watch Fit 2 I am very familiar with the Huawei Health app. It’s an easy app to navigate and consistently gets updates from Huawei. Once you authorise the Huawei Health app to side-load its own updates its an smooth process for updates – but remember you are allowing an app to update itself outside of Google Play.
The app is, as usual, fairly straightforward to use with simple display of your current stats including stats like steps and active time at the top, with other widgets – which can be re-arranged to your own personal preference – showing workouts, your Health Living score (a makeup of active minutes and mindfullness like managing stress and of course sleep. You can also track your weight, sleep, heart-rate over time, SpO2, Skin temperature and of course Blood Pressure.
Apps and Health Tracking
The health tracking apps on the watch are excellent. The Workout app is able to track a wide array of apps, while other apps are available for tracking temperature, sleep, stress and more.
There’s also the Torch app which lights up the entire display in white to help you see what you’re doing in the dark.
There’s no way to add to the app load which is minorly disappointing, but there’s enough to keep you interested and tracking your health to get you moving.
Should you buy this watch?
The Huawei Watch D is definitely aimed at those wanting to track their Blood Pressure, so if you’re not particularly in that category then the Watch Fit 2 may be more your style.
If however you want all the convenience of the Watch Fit 2 and excellent health tracking including GPS tracked exercises with convenient BP measurement, then the Watch D is an excellent choice. The higher RRP of $799 is a bit of a put-off for a number of people, but it’s definitely an item I’ve seen on-sale during the review period, so it’s worth shopping around.
It’s more expensive than a blood pressure monitor, but it’s also a heck of a lot more convenient having it on your wrist and that encrouages you to take your BP – plus it doesn’t need to be stored separately.
I really like the Watch D for the convenient blood pressure monitoring, but if you’re really just wanting a great fitness tracker then the Watch Fit 2 may be more your style.
You can check the Huawei Watch D out at Amazon, Auptimal, Digimart, Bing Lee, CentreCom and of course in person at the Huawei Experience Stores.