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Huawei Watch GT 4 (46 mm) in review - Angular smartwatch with extended battery life

Sporty fashion. Huawei aims to establish new fashion trends with the Watch GT series while maintaining a high level of sports functionality, precise sensors, and prolonged battery life. Dive into our review to find out more! Update: Full list of activities supported by the watch added.
Image credit: Daniel Schmidt

The diameter is primarily designed for the male market, whereas the 41-millimeter size may be more appealing to the female audience. Of course, this is still a matter of individual taste.

In terms of price, the GT series starts at ~$265 USD, making it significantly more affordable than the Watch 4. Prices remain identical to the predecessor GT 3:

Model Price (MSRP)
41 mm with white leather strap $265 USD
41 mm with Milanese strap $319 USD
41 mm with piano look $425 USD
46 mm with black fluoroelastomer strap $265 USD
46 mm with brown leather strap $287 USD
46 mm with green fabric strap $287 USD
46 mm in stainless steel version $372 USD

The new octagonal shape of the Watch GT 4 distinguishes it from its predecessor, and it now integrates NFC with the newest TruSeen 5.5 sensor, ensuring even higher accuracy. Our test device is the 46-mm stainless-steel strap model.

Huawei Watch GT 4 (46 mm)
Processor
unknown
Display
1.43 inch 1:1, 466 x 466 pixel 326 PPI, capacitive, AMOLED, glossy: yes, 60 Hz
Connections
NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: TruSeen 5.5, Acceleromter, Gyroscope, optical Heart Rate, Temperature
Networking
Bluetooth 5.2, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 10.9 x 46 x 46 ( = 0.43 x 1.81 x 1.81 in)
Battery
524 mAh Lithium-Polymer
Charging
wireless charging
Operating System
Huawei HarmonyOS
Additional features
Speakers: Mono, Wireless Charger, Bracelet links, HarmonyOS 4.0.0.88, 24 Months Warranty, Dual-Band-GNSS: GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS, 5 ATM, IP68, fanless, waterproof
Weight
48 g ( = 1.69 oz / 0.11 pounds), Power Supply: 0 g ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
349 Euro

 

Case and features – Watch GT 4 with titanium-finished stainless steel

The premium edition of our test gadget features a 46-millimeter (~1.8 in) diameter, titanium-coated stainless steel, and a matte finish. The quality is amazing, and the smartwatch appears to be cast in one piece. Due to its smooth contours, the octagonal form is not excessively cramped and provides a highly appealing haptically feeling. The display blends in with the bezel, however, the bezel isn't adjustable and lacks any sensors for controlling the Watch GT 4.

A speaker and microphone are also integrated into the case. Furthermore, it is also dust and waterproof, with an IP68 rating. Huawei also claims a water pressure resistance of 5 ATM. 

The wristband features a 22-mm quick-release fastening that can be changed without the use of tools. Individual pieces on the stainless-steel band can also be removed or added, allowing it to be modified to accommodate wrist circumferences ranging from 140 to 210 millimeters (~5.5 to 8.3 in). 

With updated algorithms, the multiple sensors not only enable higher precision but also additional features such as sleep breathing monitoring and burned calories. 

All versions

Setup and operation - Accessible on all platforms, with some limitations on iOS

The Huawei Watch GT 4 runs on Harmony OS 4.0. The connection to the smartphone is established via Bluetooth and requires the app Huawei Health, which can be downloaded directly from the AppGallery or the App Store. If you use a Google Android phone, you can download the app by scanning the QR code on the packaging. However, it is preferable to download Huawei's AppGallery and install the Health app from it. Otherwise, the system may disable the notification function on specific devices, such as the Pixel models.

The Watch GT 4 does not have mobile connectivity, but NFC is now on board. Due to trade restrictions, there is currently no payment functionality available for the smartwatch. It's disappointing that Huawei doesn't even support Chinese payment systems like AliPay, despite the fact that the Band 8 does.

The user can select from a variety of watch faces. Thirteen of them are already preinstalled, and several more are available for free through the integrated store. The paid options are also quite affordable, with prices ranging from $0.50 to $5 USD.

Some watch faces allow the user to personalize them by adding their own images as backgrounds.

When it comes to syncing notifications, iOS users may experience longer waiting times, and it's worth noting that some apps do not support the feature altogether.

AppGallery

The Huawei Watch GT 4 is mainly controlled by a touchscreen that responds rapidly to inputs. Huawei also integrated two physical buttons on the device's right side. The crown is located above and may be pressed to switch between the dial and the apps. A double-click brings up the task manager, allowing you to easily switch between previously opened apps. The lower button is pre-programmed for training mode, however, it can be assigned to any other software on it. In terms of apps, the watch includes an AppGallery, yet just a few apps are included. 

The swiping gestures on the touchscreen work. A swipe from the upper border brings down the quick access menu, while a slide from the left takes the user back to the previous display. From the right, the user can easily navigate between the widgets, which can be sorted, removed, or added to the app. Notifications are displayed from the bottom, which the Watch GT 4 pushes through very reliably and quickly. However, it's worth noting that the status of notifications read on the smartphone is not synchronized with those on the smartwatch, and vice versa. 

The widgets display information such as fitness goals, the lunar cycle, scheduled appointments, health data, and other information (see video). The well-tuned vibration motor provides satisfying haptic feedback.

Telephony and notifications

The watch has both a microphone and a speaker and can use the connected smartphone for calling. Not only may calls be accepted, but they can also be initiated through the smartwatch. You can use the call list or one of your saved favorite contacts. However, the GT 4 does not support Wi-Fi, therefore the connected phone should be within range. 

The voice quality is acceptable in quiet areas and serves its purpose. Our call partners also had no complaints. In crowded places, the watch easily encounters limitations, not to mention compromised privacy. 

Notifications are pushed through to the watch in a timely and consistent manner. You can specify which apps are allowed to do so in the Health app. The read status on the watch is synced, but deleted notifications on the smartphone are not. Android users can respond to incoming messages with a brief reply (up to 36 characters). Based on the user's choices, these can also be sorted, updated, deleted, or newly written. Emojis can also be used to respond to messages. This worked flawlessly during the WhatsApp test. Received messages, including emojis, can be read directly on the watch, while pictures and videos can only be viewed on the phone.

Voice assistant

AI Voice is Huawei's primary assistant, although it is only compatible with smartphones running EMUI 10.1 or later. 

Unfortunately, users cannot select additional voice assistants.

Health and fitness - Watch GT 4 sleep breathing monitoring

The Huawei Watch GT 4 is equipped with advanced sensors that constantly collect body measurements. In addition to the already required steps and heart rate, the Huawei wristwatch measures stress and blood oxygen levels (SpO2), as well as skin temperature. TrueSleep can also perform a thorough sleep analysis, and the VO2Max can be determined for certain workout types, such as running. A period tracker, powered by temperature sensor data, is also included. Additional health functions, including assessing arterial stiffness, conducting breath tests, and recording ECGs, are exclusive to the Watch 4 Pro. This is why the Health Glance feature, which gathers seven different measurements in a row, is also missing.

The integrated calorie counter is a brand-new feature. It might not seem particularly groundbreaking at first, but Huawei relies on machine learning. The eating habits only need to be documented during the first two weeks for the AI to recognize the feeding pattern of the user based on body measurements. Using the provided target weight, a meal plan may be generated that outlines meals or their calorie content and suggests workout sessions. Unfortunately, there hasn't been enough time for a thorough evaluation of this functionality. The initial impression is that this feature is still quite basic, as entering each meal is a time-consuming and tedious process because of the extremely limited food database.

Data synchronization with Apple Health or Google Fit is only possible to a limited extent. However, you can connect to Strava or Komoot to exchange fitness statistics.

Activities supported by the Watch GT 4

Standard Indoor Dancing Fun Sports Water Winter Extreme
Running (Indoor) Weightlifting Belly dancing eSports Paddling Sailing Ice skating Skateboarding
Running (Outdoor) Spinning Jazz dance Roller skating Soccer Surfing Ice hockey Rock climbing
Rope skipping Stepper Latin American dancing Martial arts Basketball Rafting Curling Bungee jumping
Running (track and field) Air walker Ballet Tai Chi Badminton Dragon boating Bobsledding Parkour
Walking (Outdoor) HIIT Street dance Hula-Hoop Table Tennis Canoeing Tobogganing BMX
Walking (Indoor) Aerobic Park dancing Frisbee Tennis Aqua soccer Biathlon Orienteering
Cycling (Outdoor) Group training Dancing (general) Darts Billiards Standup paddleboarding Skydiving
Cycling (Indoor) Yoga Archery Bowling Rowing Car racing
Swimming (Indoor) Pilates Horse riding Volleybal
Swimming (Outdoor) CrossFit Laser tag Feather footbal
Mountain hiking Functional training Kite flying Handball
Hiking Physical training Tug of war Baseball
Trail running Taekwondo Stair climbing Softball
Skiing Boxing Obstacle course Cricket
Snowboarding Free sparring Fishing Rugby
Cross country running Karate Swinging Beach soccer
Triathlon Fencing Beach volleyball
Cross trainer Trunk training Gateball
Rowing machine Bodycombat Hockey
Free training Kendo Squash
Crossbar Sepak takraw
Parallel bars Dodge ball

Activity Objectives

Huawei offers only two ways to set exercise goals: the standard three rings, which track calories, standing, and exercising, as well as the Health Cloverleaf.

The cloverleaf analyzes several areas separately: sleep, steps, and mood. This method is already familiar from the Watch 4 Pro and can be customized according to the user's preferences.

Heart rate, heart rhythm and blood oxygen saturation

The new TruSeen sensor is primarily designed to enhance the accuracy of recorded data. We conducted comparisons between the Huawei Watch GT 4 and similar devices in various areas to evaluate its precision. 

The heart rate data was collected during a bike ride and compared to the Polar H10 chest strap. In the resting range, the recorded heart rates are identical, and the numbers barely change during the ride. The Watch GT 4 is always only one heartbeat off, which means a deviation of 0.17% - excellent. 

The measurement of blood oxygen levels is also highly reliable. The variance remains minimal, at approximately 2 percent, with the Huawei smartwatch consistently registering slightly higher values than Braun's pulse oximeter 1 reference values. 

Huawei Watch GT 4
Huawei Watch GT 4
Polar H10
Polar H10

Sleep tracking - Watch GT 4 features integrated breath monitoring

Sleep monitoring on the Watch GT 4 has seen significant improvements. The smartwatch can now detect waking stages and distinguish between light, deep, and REM sleep. The breath recognition feature is a new addition that is meant to identify disturbances during sleep. It is also possible to record snoring or chatting while sleeping, but a smartphone must be nearby (around 50 cm/~20 in). 

The sleep tracking feature provides a detailed breakdown of the results, offers advice for improving sleep quality, and also soundscapes to help you fall asleep. 

The prior night's data may be read immediately on the watch, and past days, weeks, months, or years can be accessed using the app. The findings appear realistic, however waking stages are not always precisely identified. There is no smart alarm clock, but the watch may store up to 10 user-defined alarms. 

Training recording

Huawei Watch GT 4 during cycling.
Huawei Watch GT 4 during cycling.

The Huawei Watch GT 4 can track more than 100 different sports. Running is divided into outdoor, indoor, and sports field categories. Rowing, golf, cross-training, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, mountain trekking, and many more are now available. Depending on the activity, various types of data are recorded and evaluated. Those who train outdoors have to wait for the GNSS connection to be established before they can begin. 

Running is one of the most data-collecting activities. This covers the foot striking pattern, distance covered, calories burned, speed, stride cadence, and duration, ground contact times, and many other factors. Furthermore, specific performance are highlighted, which may be utilized to define your own best training rhythm, and VO2Max is calculated. Swimmers can monitor their lane coverage, pull rate, swimming technique, and more. Free training is also available, which primarily tracks heart rate and calories burned. The watch supports various other sports as well.

A second always-on function can be configured exclusively for workouts, enabling you to glance at the colored rings at any time to access information about your current training. You can also monitor your recovery heart rate after the workout. 

The program also provides users with training schedules, such as marathon preps, and video guidance exercises.

GPS and navigation - Directional satellite tracking with the Watch GT 4

For location tracking, the Huawei Watch GT 4 is using all five global satellite networks with dual-band technology, providing exceptional accuracy. Additionally, it includes directional positioning technology for the first time, ensuring that the antennas are continuously oriented towards the sky to offer the highest possible reception quality. 

During our test ride with the bike, this feature performed relatively poorly, as the recorded route indicated that the Watch GT 4 has room for improvement in terms of accuracy. However, since we were using an early software version, Huawei is likely to enhance this through a future update. 

If desired, you can also use the watch for navigation. However, this only works when connected to a smartphone that provides the map data. The Watch GT 4 relies on Petal Maps, which is compatible with both Android and iOS. 

GNSS, around the lake
GNSS, around the lake
GNSS, turning point
GNSS, turning point
GNSS, summary
GNSS, summary

Display - Huawei Watch GT 4 glows with over 600 nits

Subpixel
Subpixel
Huawei Watch GT 4 outdoors
Huawei Watch GT 4 outdoors

The 1.43-inch round AMOLED display of the Huawei Watch GT 4 offers an impressive resolution and remains easily readable in most lighting situations. It reaches up to 605 cd/m2 with the ambient light sensor enabled, and up to 553 cd/m2 even with manual control. However, the display's minimum brightness of 11.43 cd/m2 is relatively high, which can be bothersome in dark environments. In sleep mode, the panel can only be activated via a button press.

The display performs well outdoors and remains legible even on sunny days, although we would appreciate slightly higher brightness levels. Additionally, an always-on display can be optionally enabled in the settings. 

Similar to all OLED displays, the AMOLED screen of the GT 4 also flickers. Its frequency is not particularly high, but the amplitude curve is very flat, and the length of time focusing on a watch is not very long, so there should be no major concerns. 

Huawei Watch GT 4Huawei Watch GT 3Samsung Galaxy Watch5Apple Watch Series 8Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5
Response Times
PWM Frequency
60
60
0%
60
0%
108
80%
Screen
4%
52%
68%
-22%
Brightness middle
605
630
4%
920
52%
1017
68%
472
-22%
Black Level *
Total Average (Program / Settings)
4% / 4%
26% / 26%
34% / 34%
29% / 29%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 60 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 60 Hz (worst case, e.g., utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 60 Hz is very low, so the flickering may cause eyestrain and headaches after extended use.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 17753 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 3846000) Hz was measured.

Performance and battery life - Extended battery life without Always-on Display (AoD)

Huawei refuses to disclose information regarding the Watch GT 4's SiP (System in a Package) or storage capacity. It is safe to assume that this won't be less than that of the previous GT 3, which had 4 GB of internal flash storage. As a result, around 2 GB will most likely be accessible for music saved to the watch.

In daily use, the smartwatch's system works smoothly and without any bothersome stutters. Because the GT 4 lacks a browser, we are unable to provide any benchmarks at this time.

Battery life

Without the always-on display (AoD), Huawei claims a battery life of up to two weeks, which seems quite achievable, assuming that some continuous metrics are disabled. During testing, the GT 4 lasted a total of nine days and nights, even with full health tracking enabled and a weekly bike ride. However, enabling the optional AoD can noticeably reduce the battery life. 

Using the provided charging station, the 524 mAh battery can be fully recharged in just over an hour. The Watch GT 4 features wireless charging and connects magnetically to the charging pad.

Pros

+ sleek and stylish design
+ prolonged battery life
+ precise sensors
+ Bluetooth calling
+ plenty of sports functions

Cons

- no WLAN
- limited app store
- absence of payment functionality

Verdict - Watch GT 4 is a stylish athlete

Huawei Watch GT 4 in review. Test device provided by Huawei Germany.
Huawei Watch GT 4 in review. Test device provided by Huawei Germany.

The Huawei Watch GT 4 is once again a very stylish smartwatch, appearing even more sophisticated than its predecessor. In terms of functionality, it provides numerous essential features, including an effective notification system, Bluetooth calling, an attractive display, reliable sensors, and, most notably, impressive battery life.

The Huawei Watch GT 4 is a modest upgrade over its predecessor, yet impresses with its attractive design and long battery life.

The accurate sensors are particularly convincing during the tests and provide accurate measurements for sports activities. In terms of software, Huawei has improved the period tracker, which is expected to offer more accurate predictions thanks to AI and the data collected from the watch. Additionally, new features include a calorie tracker and sleep breath monitoring.

LTE, ECG, and arterial stiffness assessment features on the Watch 4 Pro are not included. Furthermore, the GNSS location, while nominally accurate, showed significant instability throughout testing. While the display is bright enough, Samsung and Apple offer better brightness capabilities, although with significantly shorter battery life. The Amazfit GTR 4 is another feasible option, but its sensors may be less precise.

Price and availability

In Germany, the Huawei Watch GT 4 is now available for purchase directly from the Huawei Store. Customers who pre-order between September 14 and October 15, 2023 will receive the FreeBuds SE 2 headphones as well as an extended one-year warranty for free.

The watch does not appear to be available in the US as of September 16. The same applies to the UK and to India. However, the Watch 4 Pro can be had for £474 on Amazon UK.

Transparency

The present review sample was made available to the author as a loan by the manufacturer or a shop for the purposes of review. The lender had no influence on this review, nor did the manufacturer receive a copy of this review before publication. There was no obligation to publish this review.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > Huawei Watch GT 4 (46 mm) in review - Angular smartwatch with extended battery life
Daniel Schmidt, 2023-09-16 (Update: 2024-05-28)