Huawei Watch Fit Elegant Review: A stylish fitness band alternative
Huawei’s Watch Fit Elegant is an elegant version of….you guessed it, the Huawei Watch Fit. It’s more or less the exact same device in a different shell, but it looks good and performs well in its price bracket when compared against the competition. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and I’ve found it does its job really well, whilst looking sleek and being comfortable to wear. The Huawei Watch Fit is almost the same device as the Huawei Watch Fit Active (previously known as just the Huawei Watch Fit), though in a newer, more premium body.
About this review: I received the Huawei Watch Fit Elegant in Midnight Black from Huawei UK on the 8th of May, 2021. They did not have any input in the contents of this review.
Huawei Watch Fit Elegant: Design
The Huawei Watch Fit Elegant features a very similar design to the regular Watch Fit Active, packing more “premium” materials. It has a rounded rectangular face with smaller bezels and a stainless steel body. The strap is soft fluoroelastomer, making it more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The Huawei Watch Fit Elegant comes in two colors — Midnight Black and Frosty White.
Admittedly, I still need to take it off occasionally just to let my skin breathe, but it’s generally only once a day that I need to do so, and I tend to do it when I’m sitting down at my computer anyway. Ireland is undergoing something of a heatwave currently, and even throughout it, I’ve had very few issues with comfort with this watch on, unlike with the metal strap of the Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT 2.
The biggest complaint I have about the design is that the screen itself can be fairly dim to use in direct sunlight. I’ve found that the best way to use it in sunlight is to try and cover the display with the hand being used to operate it. Thankfully a watch is something that doesn’t necessarily need to always be used, so it’s fine just sitting on my wrist for most of the day. I can check the time when I need to, and otherwise, it still continues to do all of its health-tracking in the background. This problem affects nearly every smartwatch, as very few of them have high brightness displays.
There’s only a single button on the Huawei Watch Fit Elegant, and it’s the power button on the right side. It lights up the display and also acts as a home button to return to your watch face if you want to exit whatever app you’re using.
The Huawei Watch Fit Elegant is packed with useful features
To make use of your new Huawei Watch, you’ll need to grab the latest version of the Huawei Health app from the company’s AppGallery. It can be a bit cumbersome to get up and running thanks to the hoops of needing to jump through a whole new app store, though you can scan a QR code on the box that will let you download and install the app through your browser — no AppGallery required. Once set up, you’ll be able to control your smartwatch and store all of the data that it collects on your phone. I find that the data the app collects is helpful, and I know in the past that Huawei has been accurate when compared with other trackers too. I also used the Huawei Watch Fit Elegant with my Google Nest Hub for a period of time to compare and found that they both give roughly the same falling asleep and waking up times.
The Huawei Watch Fit Elegant can also track SpO2 throughout the day at random intervals, and you no longer need to enable it manually. It does slightly drain the battery more and is likely inaccurate at times due to the higher precision it needs to even get a reading, but it’s there and can be enabled if you’re curious about seeing the results it can give. The app can also track your menstrual cycle, save exercise records, and identify periods of high-intensity workouts. You also get GPS tracking too, which is great for planning routes for runs and walks. Huawei seems to have left out music playing though, so you won’t be able to copy music to your watch and stream it to your Bluetooth earphones without your smartphone. There’s no NFC for payments either, which isn’t present on pretty much any smartwatch at this price range.
There are a lot of watch faces to choose from in the Huawei Health app, but you’re not able to make your own. The always-on display watch face is also different and not tied to whatever watch face you’re using on your active display, which can make the transition jarring if you’re using a wildly different active watch face. There are also paid watch faces too that can be bought through the Huawei Health app. There are a lot of free ones to choose from, though.
The Huwaei Watch Fit Elegant is a worthy competitor
LiteOS has grown on me a lot over the last year as I’ve used more and more devices that come with it. It has a lot of useful features that are pretty much all health-focused, with some of the more advanced features like music controls and notifications leaving a lot to be desired. When it comes to health and fitness tracking, the Huawei Watch Fit Elegant does a good job, but I wouldn’t rely on it for music or notifications.
As for notifications, you can read your notifications, but you can’t interact in any way. You can’t reply to a message (even with predefined responses), and you’ll probably want to turn on ‘do not disturb’ if you’re getting a lot of messages. The vibration is mushy, and you’ll hear it more than you’ll feel it. It’s a good experience for fitness tracking and for barebones smartphone integration, but that’s about it. LiteOS has come a long way and I can appreciate its features and its long battery life thanks to how light the operating system is. GPS tracking can be enabled for outdoor runs and walks, there are timers and stopwatches, and a weather app.
When contrasted against the competition, the Huawei Watch Fit Elegant can come across as expensive, but it has a leg up over some other offerings in its looks and design. I can wear it for hours consistently without issue, and it looks and feels good too. If you’re not interested in getting a flashy smartwatch, then something like the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 will do just fine at a much more affordable price. However, even then, you won’t get GPS tracking for workouts, which can be useful for planning routes and measuring distances for a run or a walk. I also personally prefer the Huawei Health app to the Mi Fit app, though that’s a personal preference, and the Mi Fit app admittedly gets bonus points for actually being on the Google Play Store.
Overall, I enjoy using the Huawei Watch Fit, but there are competitors with fewer features for a portion of the price if that’s what you’d prefer. Not everyone needs or wants GPS tracking, and not everyone cares about whether or not their smartwatch looks fancy. Sometimes basic is better, and this isn’t the smartwatch for you if you think that.