Huawei Watch GT launches in the US without Google’s Wear OS, which seems to be struggling
Despite Google’s Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) being a widely known operating system for smartwatches, it’s still struggling to find its place even after several updates. And while Google may be fully committed to releasing constant updates to the platform and bringing Wear OS to everyone’s wrists sooner or later, it seems like most of these efforts are in vain as smartwatch manufacturers keep losing hope in the platform. Samsung, for one, uses their in-house Tizen OS for their Samsung Galaxy Watch as well as their Gear line of smartwatches instead of using Wear OS.
With the top 3 smartwatch manufacturers (Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit) not using Wear OS and making up 88% of the market, things are looking ugly for Google. Now, another manufacturer is apparently drifting away from Google’s smartwatch solution: Huawei.
The Huawei Watch GT was announced a few months back together with the Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, and Mate 20 X. So what’s special about this smartwatch? Well, for starters, it’s not running Wear OS. Instead, it’s running on a new smartwatch OS made by Huawei, produced completely in-house, called Light OS. At its core, it looks very similar to Wear OS, almost identical in some places. But it’s very much different from Wear OS.
Now, Huawei’s latest smartwatch is coming to the United States. It is, for all intents and purposes, identical to its global counterpart, with very small differences. Huawei’s smartwatch OS, for one, is called LiteOS instead of Light OS—the American version does not support Wear OS either, to the disappointment of Wear OS enthusiasts. The smartwatch is fully compatible with phones running Android 4.4+ or iOS 9.0+, so any relatively recent device should suffice.
As for the rest, the same feature set as its global counterpart remains. Bluetooth 4.2 and 14-day battery life remain as some of the Huawei Watch GT’s biggest selling points. As for pricing, the Graphite Black version, with an included silicone strap, will set you back $199.99 when the watch goes on sale on February 19th, while the Saddle Brown version with a leather strap is slightly more expensive at $229.99.