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At IFA 2015, Huawei has made a final push to promote its watch before its upcoming availability. If you recall, we were among the first to lay eyes (and hands) on the Huawei Watch at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – I recommend reading this linked page if you don’t know about the Huawei Watch at all.

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The overall positioning of the Huawei Watch has not changed: it is a watch with a Premium design which is positioned to be very competitive from that standpoint. As far as build-quality goes, this is the most Premium Android watch that I have seen thus far. But back to the point: what has changed since March 1 2015? Quite a few things in fact:

Design changes

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Since its initial reveal, Huawei has added a number of design options, that includes new straps, a new rose gold plating (that uses real gold, not paint) and a diamond-like carbon black coating (aka “Diamond Like Carbon”). This coating is not superficial like a paint coat and the watch will remain black, even when scratched, preventing it from looking “cheap”.

Huawei has made a small change to the logo top make the watch classier. You how logo branding can ruin an otherwise great design, we’ve seen that many times with smartphones.

huawei-watch-aug-2015__17Finally, and that’s the easiest part, Huawei has added new virtual watch faces to fit its design. Obviously, you can download new ones in the stores, but I found that OEMs had been doing a good job with the default ones, and that’s a very good thing.

Huawei also points out that it has refined its production methods to ensure the highest quality consistency. I can’t really “vouch” for this, but it should be part of the normal evolution of a product. Maybe Huawei is putting more effort into this one because the manufacturing and industrial design is the “soul” of the Huawei Watch.

Hardware/Firmware changes

The hardware has mostly remained the same: Snapdragon 400 processor, 300mAh battery capacity (75mn full charge), always on display, WIFI, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, 1.4” AMOLED screen with a 400×400 (286PPI) resolution.

Most of the changes happened in the firmware. For one, Huawei has assured us that it worked with Google to improve the battery life, which I can believe because it’s standard procedure. Also, this watch will ship with the latest version of Android Wear.

The heart rate monitor has been much improved as well: Huawei says that it has greatly expanded the accuracy of the readings and that it is a full 5 seconds faster than the Apple Watch on the first read. It is important to note that heart rate monitoring from the wrist is very difficult in general and that the fingertip or the chest are fundamentally a better location – however, the wrist is users accept to wear something.

Pricing information finally available

Last but no least, Huawei is now telling us how much the watch costs. There are 6 pre-configured models and of course, people can buy bracelets etc.…

Watch BodyBandPricing
Stainless SteelBlack Leather$349
Stainless SteelSteel Link Bracelet$399
Stainless SteelStainless Steel Mesh$399
Black DLC-coated Stainless SteelBlack-plated Link Bracelet$449
Rose Gold-plated Stainless SteelAlligator-pressed Brown Leather$699
Rose Gold-plated Stainless SteelRose Gold-plated Link Bracelet$799

The main thing to note is that the Stainless Steel has better than the Aluminum alloy proposed by some competing watches. I personally like the Stainless Steel Mesh and the Steel Link Bracelet. I usually wear a Titanium watch, which feels like that – except lighter. What would be your pick?

Note that pre-order have opened today at Huawei Watch on GetHuawei.com, Google Store, Amazon.com and BestBuy.com. The shipments will start from September 17th.

Filed in General. Read more about Huawei, Huawei Watch, IFA, IFA 2015 and Wearable Tech.

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