Huawei introduced the Watch 4 series in early May, and it is one of the best smartwatches the company has ever released, at least on paper. We got a unit for review early this month, and after testing all the new features HarmonyOS 3.0 brought, we are ready with our full impressions.
We got the all-Titanium unit for review with an aerospace-grade titanium case and a similar strap. If you don't have much experience with watch face sizes, the 48mm of this one means it's on the larger size, so you might want to check how it sits on your particular wrist before ordering one.
The first thing we noticed was the different looks of the stylish strap - the elements have a more complete design than previous Huawei watches like the Ultimate or the 3 Pro. Having Sapphire Glass on top isn't new, but this one is spherical, making the device stand out.
The screen is 1.5" LTPO AMOLED, which we already saw in the Watch Ultimate. However, the new domed glass design and unintrusive bezel make the watch a lot more pleasing to the eye.
The Titanium strap is the only one in the Watch 4 family with a classic deployant clasp; all other variants, Pro or not, have a pin buckle mechanism. Huawei provided extra elements in the retail box so the Watch 4 Pro could fit on everyone's wrist.
When companies put sapphire glass on their smartwatches, they promise full scratch resistance. This is exactly what we experienced in our time with the watch - after several activities, including an ultra-marathon in the mountains with shoulder-high grass and bushes, there is no single scratch on the screen or the body.
Because the glass is domed, it increases the surface area ever so slightly, which also makes navigation through menus a bit easier.
There is also the rotating crown button for quick navigation through menus when fingers are somehow obstructed from touching, for example, with gloves.
There is also a second programmable button on the right side, and it is from a conductive material for health-related features.
Huawei ships the Watch 4 series with Harmony OS 3.0. There are a handful of new features, making the Watch 4 Pro a lot more appealing device to have on your wrist. Watchfaces can bring more details, there are over 100 widgets, and there is even basic multitasking.
The number of widgets is a bit misleading because, in reality, you are limited by the number of cards appearing with a swipe to the right. You can have up to seven different "universal cards" that can be customized with different combinations of data visualized; only when we add third-party apps from AppGallery will the number of widgets grow.
Huawei has always placed Health at the forefront of its ecosystem. The app provides details on sleep schedule, skin temperature, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, recently added ECG and arterial stiffness. All these sounded great, but they were available only in the smartphone app. Thankfully, with the Watch 4 Pro and its widgets, all the data can be gathered in a single card called Health Glance, including info on the air quality and sunrise and sunset times.
The new watch also has a separate app, called Health Glance, that does all the measurements in a row to provide accurate and reliable data at the moment. We recommend using this feature and keeping the continuous measurements off to preserve the battery life, which seems to be getting shorter with every new generation of Huawei smartwatches.
The wearable comes with an eSIM module, but we didn't use it in our testing. It also has Wi-Fi and GPS, as well as Bluetooth, but we found minor issues with all three methods of connectivity. The wireless connectivity is only 802.11 b/g/n and the connection often dropped unexpectedly.
Bluetooth does a fine job of putting through the latest notifications, and they are perfectly readable on the screen; some of the apps even support replies with emojis and pre-recorded messages.
What we didn't like was the slow communication between the smartphone and the smartwatch. There were multiple ghost notifications; others repeatedly popped up despite the fact they were already seen and removed from the phone. This experience is definitely smoother if you have the Huawei Watch 4 Pro connected to a Huawei smartphone.
We did have an issue with the GPS as well, but it was rather a niche problem that might affect only a handful of users. We'd guess the Watch 4 Pro is designed to be an accessory for the sophisticated gentleman who exercises once or twice in the gym or in the park. We put it through a much harder test, going to the mountains where even cell coverage is often missing, and that's when the GPS got confused and started drawing longer routes, guesstimating the actual position of the wearable.
Thankfully, this reviewer knew his way out to civilization, but we would not recommend relying on the Watch 4 Pro location capabilities when going on an adventure.
Huawei stopped revealing the battery capacity of its wearables a long time ago, saying the number is not as important as the actual battery life, which is tested in Huawei Labs around the world. Eventually, we found out it is 780 mAh in the Pro and 530 mAh in the vanilla variant. The promised battery life is 4.5 days of regular use, which includes some notifications, sleep tracking, one to two activities per week and no AOD.
Different watch faces can drain the battery differently, and we opted for a medium option in our first test. We got over four days of battery life in this first run.
The first charge of the 780 mAh battery was supposed to take 90 minutes and Huawei recommends pairing the USB charger in the box with a Huawei adapter that supports at least a 9V/2A rate.
In reality, the charging time was more like 100 minutes, which is still good enough.
The second test was with the AOD turned on. HarmonyOS 3.0 and the new watch faces bring the most complicated displays we have ever seen on a Huawei wearable. Most of them include colors and fancy activity, which is not real-time; it is gathered from the Huawei Health app via Bluetooth when the watch "wakes up". There is a warning that AOD would halve the battery life, but it wasn't so bad. We got a comfortable three-day battery life out of this next charge.
The Titanium strap does not allow the watch to be easily charged on every wireless charger, so for the next charging, we again used the supplied magnetic charger plate but plugged it into a basic USB port instead. In this worst-case scenario, it takes 150 minutes for the battery to go from 0 to 100%.
The Huawei Watch 4 Pro also has an Ultra-long Battery Life mode, which turns off mobile data, Wi-Fi and all internet-related features. In this mode, we got 20 days of regular use. On the one hand, this is an amazing feature, and we tip our hat to Huawei. On another, in those 20 days, we had a wearable with a massive battery and top-tier hardware that was not utilized. We recommend using this mode only in emergencies; otherwise, you'd be using a €700 smartwatch with the functionality of a €200 оne like the Watch GT 3 SE.
The starting price of the all-Titanium Huawei Watch 4 Pro is €700 in Continental Europe and £600 in the United Kingdom. By the time this review is out, we're already seeing slight price reductions. The Blue and Leather versions are cheaper, costing €550/£500, while the vanilla Watch4 with its smaller battery, black stainless steel body and black fluoroelastomer strap is €450/£400.
Huawei usually bundles its wearables with some of its other devices, often for free. A purchase of the Watch 4 Pro in Germany comes with a Scale 3 for just €9.99 (sold separately for €69). The bundle in France includes Freebuds 5i for free, while users in Italy can even add a 3-month subscription to Health+ for free.
Users who already own a Watch 3, Watch GT 3, or Watch Ultimate device will find it less compelling to upgrade - the updates are not that major.
But for anyone else who needs a reliable, durable smart watch that does everything, offers a long battery life and has some great aesthetics coupled with great scratch resistance, the Watch 4 Pro is a great option.
unfortunately this comment that it is very resistant to scratches is unfortunately not true. I have a Gt4 pro elite model and after a week of normal wear, any accidental contact with a hard surface, scratches remained on the watch bracelet (titanium...
Ok, good watch. But it isn't any Google apps or another apk of Android. If it capable to sideload Google apps and apk of Android apps. It will be nice. Harmony OS Next will be no of Android apps apk sideload.