Apple Watch full review
2015 is dubbed as the year to make or break smartwatches and Apple and Huawei have both gone for the minimalist naming system. Find out how these to wearables differ in our Apple Watch vs Huawei Watch comparison preview. Read: The best smartwatches.
The Apple Watch, or iWatch as it's still referred to, has been a long time coming and thanks to the firms Spring Forward evert we have all the details on the device. Huawei's Watch one of the surprise stars of MWC 2015 and these two are well worth a comparison.
We've spent some time with the Huawei Watch but not with the Apple Watch so this is a preview where we'll be comparing details such as price, design and specs. Read: How to choose your Apple Watch - The complete buying guide.
Apple Watch vs Huawei Watch: Price and release date
Huawei has unveiled the Watch and hasn't confirmed its own price or release date information. However, Mobile Fun is taking pre-orders for the Huawei Watch at £300 for the black or silver models and £350 for the gold.
This means at the cheaper price, it matches the Apple Watch Sport edition which will set you back £299. Apple's cheapest model is bound to be the most popular but you can spend more by opting for the Apple Watch edition which starts at £479 or the Apple Watch Edition which starts at £8,000. The most expensive Apple Watch is £13,500.
Apple Watch vs Huawei Watch: Design
Since the initial introduction of the Apple Watch last year, we've seen a number of rival manufacturer's bring more luxury designs to their smartwatch line-up including the LG Watch Urbane.
The Huawei Watch is round like LG's latest models, the Motorola Moto 360 and some others while Apple has opted for a square shape. We prefer the round option when it comes to smartwatch screens but each to their own.
There are three colours of the Huawei Watch: silver, black and gold plus the choice of either leather or stainless steel straps. The body choices are just colours rather than a reflection of the material they are made from, though.
That's not bad and there should be at least one you like the look of but pales into insignificance compare to Apple's whopping choice of 38 different combinations of body and strap.
It's partly because the Apple Watch is available in two sizes (38- and 42 mm height) to fit different size wrists – a clever move for anyone who doesn't fancy a giant smartwatch on their arm. The Huawei Watch is coincidentally 42 mm in diameter and is a little chunky at 11.3 mm. The Apple Watch is a little thinner at 10.5 mm and varies on weight depending on the model but the smaller model is 40-55 g while the bigger case is 50-69 g.
Both Apple and Huawei use premium materials including stainless steel and sapphire crystal glass but you'll have to pay serious cash if you want Apple's 18-carat rose and yellow gold models (see above).
Apart from touchscreens (see below) you can interact with the Apple Watch using the digital crown which sits on the right side of the device. Huawei just uses a simpler on/off button which is also on the right but at the 2 o'clock position to make it easier to press.
Apple Watch vs Huawei Watch: Hardware and specs
On hardware, the Huawei Watch fits in with other Android Wear devices meaning it has the usual array of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 4 GB of internal storage, 512 MB of RAM and Bluetooth 4.1.
Meanwhile, Apple uses its own S1 chip and has double the amount of storage at 8 GB. However, as it stands you can only use 2 GB for music and just 75 MB for photos. As usual, Apple doesn't quote RAM.
Both watches have a heart rate monitor on the back and sensors such as an accelerometer to track activity. Each uses Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone but the Apple Watch also has Wi-Fi on-board.
The screens are very different as mentioned with either round or square on offer. Specs aside this will probably have a big impact on which you choose. Apple's is quoted as Retina while Huawei's is 400 x 400 pixels.
In terms of battery life, Apple touts up to 18 hours of varied use which drops to 6.5 for audio playback and just 3 for phone calls. The Huawei Watch will last longer, according to the firm, with one and a half to two days usage.
Apple Watch vs Huawei Watch: Software
When it comes to software, this is a big difference between the two smartwatches. For starters the Apple Watch will only work with iPhones and the Huawei Watch will only be compatible with Android since it runs Google's Android Wear (although Google is reportedly working towards adding iOS support).
The functionality of each is very similar but the information is presented in a different way. Android Wear uses a card style system to provide notifications and various bits of data like weather and number of steps. You can also interact with it with voice to send messages or ask questions. You can also control music playback on the connected smartphone and the camera shutter.
Something which they share is the ability to install apps like you would on a smartphone or tablet. There are many for Android Wear and while there may be less for the newer Apple Watch system it will quickly go up after launch.
The Apple Watch can do what Android Wear does, providing notifications to the device over Bluetooth and built-in apps include Messages, Phone, Mail, Calendar, Activity, Workout, Maps, Passbook, Siri, Weather and Photos. You can also use the Apple Watch to make payment and with certain partners check into flights, hotel rooms and the like.
It's early days for the Apple Watch in terms of software so there's no way of coming to a conclusion yet compared to Android Wear. The main thing is whether you want to use a smartwatch with iOS or Android.
Apple Watch: Specs
- Requires iPhone