Huawei Watch 2 Classic hands-on: Metal and leather make for a less sporty smartwatch
The Classic lacks LTE connectivity, but looks prettier than the regular plastic Huawei Watch 2.
I’m not a huge fan of the Huawei Watch 2’s plasticky feel and gigantic bezels. In aesthetic terms, it’s a step backward from the universal style of the first Huawei smartwatch — one of the compromises involved in bringing LTE connectivity and a boatload of other features to a wearable in 2017. The Watch 2 Classic, on the other hand, has a slightly more fashionable look. It’s still big, and bulky, and undeniably not for everyone. But unless you absolutely must have LTE on your wrist, this is the Huawei wearable you’ll want to consider.
Most of the Classic’s spec sheet carries over from the regular Watch 2. You get NFC payments through Android Pay — with an antenna embedded in the bezel, not the strap — together with fitness tracking through the built-in heart rate sensor and other metrics, and all the core functionality of Android Wear 2.0, including the Play Store and the ability to install apps directly on the watch. But because there’s no 4G connectivity, the watch itself is a little smaller and slimmer, while still packing the same Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip and 420mAh battery.
Huawei promises up to three days of battery life with the Classic connected over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, a claim which would put its longevity far ahead of other Android watches.
From a distance, the Watch 2 Classic doesn’t look dramatically different. The body itself is slightly less angular, with a more reserved, rounded bezel and piston-style buttons. And the form factor and screen size are almost identical, as are the dimensions, though the metal-bodied Classic is four grams heavier.
The difference in build quality becomes apparent when you actually wear the Classic — leather and metal make for a refreshing change after using the plastic-clad, and rather cheap-feeling Watch 2.
But these premium materials don’t come cheap. Huawei Watch 2 Classic will sell for €399 in Europe, up from €379 for the LTE Watch 2, or €329 for the non-LTE model — and significantly more than LG’s Watch Sport.