June 6, 2023

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Huawei Watch Ultra is a durable, long-lasting smartwatch that looks the part

Huawei may be persona non grata in the US, but the company is still rolling out products to the rest of the world. The latest is the Watch Ultimate, an ultra-premium wearable for extreme sports types who want a premium piece on their wrist. In Submariner or Seamaster fashion, the Ultimate has a right-mounted rotating crown and two pushers, one above left and one below right. Available in blue and black, the cases are covered in an ā€œinnovative zirconium-based liquid metal material,ā€ which closely resembles the trademark LiquidMetal alloy found in a number of recent Omega watches.

You’ll get a different strap selection depending on which watch face you choose, with the blue option being the most unique for a titanium alloy strap. Choose black, and you get a standard length of HNBR (elasticated) and a long strap for wearing while diving. For this, Huawei is really pushing the Watch Ultimate, saying it will last up to 24 hours at a depth of 110m, but a regular dive depth is 100m. Huawei has added a number of additional software features for technical divers, but it’s not clear how many deep-diving professionals will trade in their mechanical watch for a digital alternative.

Inside the case is a 1.5-inch LTPO AMOLED display with a resolution of 466 x 466 and a maximum brightness of 1000 nits under a 2.3 mm sapphire glass crystal. It runs Harmony OS, with the same kind of features found in the current Watch GT series of wearables, with the only major changes being the China-exclusive golf mode and the aforementioned specific diving features.

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Another plus is the battery life, with Huawei promising that you’ll get 14 days of battery life if you don’t use it much. More realistically, you should expect to get close to eight days of the thing with what I consider to be more normal use. The company hasn’t revealed how long it will last if, say, you take a long run with GPS enabled, but we expect the 530mAh cell to last long enough for most people to complete a marathon, for example. .

In addition to integration with Strava and Runtastic, there’s the usual suite of Huawei-branded fitness tracking features. This includes TruSeen 5.0 heart rate monitoring, TruSleep 3.0 sleep tracking as well as built-in ECG and continuous SpO2 monitoring. There’s also a new Explore mode, which uses dual-band GPS to make sure you know where you are no matter how far off the trail you are. Huawei says you’ll get the battery from flat to full in 60 minutes and get you to a 25 percent charge in just 10 minutes.

In terms of pricing, Huawei won’t announce it until April 2nd, the day before it’s available in the UK and Europe. However, we do know that there will be no LTE-enabled model and no emergency calling options, it will only be Bluetooth. Of course, with any recent Huawei purchase, the usual caveats apply.