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The Samsung Gear Sport and Huawei Watch 2 are among the best smartwatches on the market right now. Both are products of very reputable brands. Both are primarily designed to work with Android phones. And both have somewhat of a larger focus on fitness.
Now before we delve into the reasons that you’d get one watch over the other, let’s run through a few items that you can expect with both watches.
– Wrist heart rate monitors
– GPS for running, cycling, etc.
– Native fitness tracking features
– Relay incoming notifications from phone
– No US LTE version (i.e. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi only)
– Ability to respond to various notifications
– Built-in music storage for phone-free listening
– App stores to download 3rd party apps
– Mobile payments via NFC (Android Pay and Samsung Pay)
That’s most of the basics. You probably already had an idea of what to expect. But where does the Gear Sport get the edge and why do we prefer it over the Huawei Watch 2?
We like the design of the Samsung Gear Sport better
The Gear Sport is slightly smaller and the design feels more refined. It has a rotating bezel that allows you to navigate through the onboard software so that you don’t need to constantly use the touchscreen. With the Huawei Watch 2, it does have buttons, but the only way to navigate the software is to use the touchscreen. Therefore, it’s a fingerprint magnet. We do, however, wish that the Gear Sport had a third ‘Select’ button that would erase entirely the need to touch the display.
Additionally, the size of the Gear Sport is more accommodating for folks with smaller wrists. The HW2 feels large…because it is. Even more, the Gear Sport supports standard 20mm watch bands, which makes it easy to swap out bands if you’re looking for a more sporty or dressy look. A quick Amazon search for 20mm bands will yield plenty of possibilities.
Swim support with Samsung Gear Sport
The Gear Sport is water resistant down to 50 meters and does indeed support pool swimming as a sport. They even have a partnership with Speedo to track stroke type and more. The Huawei Watch 2, on the other hand, is water resistant down to 1 meter for 30 minutes, but does not work for swimming.
Additionally, we’ve found that the swim tracking on the SGS is accurate. They even leave the HRM running while you’re swimming and it does a decent job of tracking your heart rate. Big win for Samsung when it comes to swimming.
Slightly better battery life on Samsung Gear Sport
Expect to get around 2 full days of usage with the SGS on a single charge. This depends on how active you are and a few watch settings, but bank on ~2 full days. The Huawei Watch 2 is more like 24 hours…and that’s with moderate to low use. If you’re active, expect to charge the Huawei Watch 2 everyday and the SGS every other day.
Those are pretty compelling reasons as to why you should get the SGS, but what does the HW2 have in its favor?
Huawei Watch 2 is more sporty and possibley more durable
The Huawei Watch 2 reminds us a lot of a Casio G-Shock. It’s mostly rubber and plastic, but it feels durable. The SGS seems to have great build quality, but the bezels and casing are already showing scratches. The HW2 is a brute of a watch that feels more like a sport watch.
Huawei Watch 2 runs Android Wear 2.0
Personally, I prefer Android Wear 2.0 software to Tizen OS, which is on the SGS. For the most part, they function the exact same, but Android Wear 2.0 is a little more plainly laid out and easy to use out of the box. Also, Android Wear seems to have more 3rd party apps than does Tizen. And finally, you get Google Assistant on the HW2, which is somewhat helpful, but you get S Voice on the SGS, which is completely useless.
More hardcore training features on Huawei Watch 2
The Samsung Gear Sport has the basics and S Health is ok, but Huawei really zeroed in on fitness and added on high-end training features that you’ve probably only seen with Garmin. For starters, in addition to tracking a run or bike ride, the HW2 shows you a map of your route. Additionally, it estimates your VO2 Max and Training Effect, which is basically a single interpretation of how each workout affected your fitness level.