Huawei’s Watch GT 2 is a sports smartwatch with over 100 workout modes, but is it fit for cyclists?
I tested the 46mm-face version (42mm is also available), which has a beautifully clear resolution of 454×454 pixels. Note that the mooted two-week battery life means the screen sleeps unless activated – deactivating this feature cuts battery length in half but I think it’s worth it.
Tracking is decent, supporting both GPS and GLONASS satellite positioning systems. This gives you your current speed, average speed and distance, which you can analyse in greater detail post-training via the Huawei Health app.
This is pretty good for a general overview but is nowhere near as comprehensive as Garmin’s Connect. The virtual pacer function is smart though, showing you via a graphic whether you’re ahead or behind your target speed.
Unfortunately, the wrist-based heart rate monitor is a let-down. It uses Huawei’s TruSeen 3.0 tech, a typical combination of light sensors and algorithms. One or both of them are way off because my exercising heart rate (HR) regularly hit 20bpm over what it actually was.
This also meant the VO2 max predictor was out and had me querying the accuracy of the HR variability readings, which are useful for gauging your readiness to train.
Huawei’s platform doesn’t have an app store, so you’re limited when it comes to syncing to third-party apps, such as Strava. This means any analysis comes back to Huawei’s Health app.
The music system nearly excels. The sound is impressive, whether via Bluetooth to wireless headphones or even out of the watch. The GT 2 can hold up to 500 songs, uploaded via, yep, the Huawei app. The problem is its limited usability on iOS devices – I couldn’t add music via my iOS device.
On the positive, the sleep-analysis feature seemed to match my anecdotal experience and you’re given a score on the app (there are plenty of tips to help you improve your sleep).
This is a very attractive watch that’s easily actioned by two buttons and a touchscreen, but its minimal cycling-specific functions – plus lack of accuracy with the ones that are there – means the GT 2 is best avoided as a sports watch.
Smartwatches for cyclists
Are smartwatches truly essential for cyclists when an all-singing bike computer, such as a Garmin Edge 1030, will give you all the two-wheeled features you’ll ever need… and probably some that you don’t?
A smartwatch can do a lot though: provide 24/7 data; comprehensive cycling stats; sleep pattern, recovery status and physical fitness analysis; and some can even tell you how well you’re acclimatising to altitude and give real-time advice on when to fuel your rides.
Combined with data from any other sports you’ll have a holistic view of your training and can create training plans and analyse your routes/rides in detail.
There is a lot to choose from though, and some of these features you simply won’t need so, beyond our test of six popular options, make sure you do your own research too. We’ve also got a guide to choosing the best cycling watch, with our top-rated options.
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