Home Reviews Huawei Watch GT Runner review: a great alternative for runners. Huawei watch gt runner

Huawei Watch GT Runner review: a great alternative for runners. Huawei watch gt runner

Huawei Watch GT Runner review: a great alternative for runners

While Huawei tries to keep pace with the smartphone pack without Google in its life, it’s quietly become very good at making fitness-focussed smartwatches. In the Huawei Watch GT Runner, it’s added a wearable to its GT Series that clearly wants a piece of the running watch market.

By targeting the wrists of sprinters, the Watch GT Runner is taking on a legion of established players. But unlike the Apple Watch, the GT Runner doesn’t have to be charged every day. And with a sporty design and heaps of software features for runners, Huawei is hoping it might find a place among the Garmins and Polars of this world.

There’s still no UK pricing, but at €299 it’s competing with mid-range options like the Garmin Forerunner 245 – rather than top-dog tickers like the Garmin Forerunner 945 and Polar Vantage V2. So has Huawei’s move to make a smartwatch for runners paid off?

Huawei Watch GT Runner design and display: running light

With the Huawei Watch GT Runner, you’re getting a 46mm polymer case that measures in at 11mm thick and comes matched up with a silicone strap. That’s pretty much the case and strap combo most running watches opt for these days, to keep things light and comfortable on the move. There are just the two looks: grey or black.

It’s fair to say that Huawei has done a very good job of creating a wearable that feels like a running watch. It’s lightweight, the strap has a good flex to it and it doesn’t budge once it’s on. If you were hoping for a Huawei Watch with a look, weight and design that make it a better fit for exercise, that’s absolutely what you get with the Runner.

Huawei uses the same button and crown setup as the GT 3 and the Watch 3. You can twist the crown to scroll through menu screens, while the lower button primarily acts as a shortcut to the workout screen – though you can configure it to launch something else instead.

Front and centre is a 1.43in, 466×466 pixel AMOLED display – the same as the one planted on the Huawei Watch GT 3. We said that display quality was excellent on the GT 3, and it’s the same story with the Runner. It’s sharp, responsive to touch and easy to see, both indoors and outdoors. You can also switch it to always-on if you want to see the time, all of the time.

Around the back you’ll find Huawei’s latest TruSeen 5.0 biometric sensor, which takes care of heart rate and blood oxygen readings. As for the antennae used to capture satellite signals, Huawei has cleverly hidden these inside the Runner’s lugs. The aim is to reduce interference and deliver more accurate location logging when you jog outdoors.

Huawei Watch GT Runner performance tracking: well-equipped

Pretty much everything the Huawei Watch GT 3 can do, so can the Watch GT Runner. It runs on Huawei’s HarmonyOS operating system, which makes it fit to work with iPhones, Android devices and – of course – Huawei’s own phones. The software also gives you access to Huawei’s AppGallery app store, although this isn’t on the same level its rivals.

You also get access to training plans that are shaped around running experience, as well as new running-centric training insights. These aim to give you a better understanding of whether you’re making progress with your training – and tell you how fast you’ll be able to finish a marathon.

As far as performing like a full-fat running watch, the GT Runner does a pretty solid job. It promises superior outdoor tracking with its dual-Band GNSS support, which means it can receive multiple signals from satellite systems to improve accuracy in patchy locations. It wasn’t always 100% on the money in terms of accuracy, though it wasn’t a disaster either. There are also simple navigation features to help you find your way around, plus the ability to upload routes to the watch.

Heart rate monitoring performance didn’t shine. While it met Huawei’s promise of being within 10 bpm of a chest strap monitor, it was definitely at the extreme end of that promise. Thankfully, Huawei lets you pair the Watch GT Runner with an external heart rate sensor to improve results.

In terms of battery life, Huawei promises the same 14 days in typical use as the Huawei Watch GT 3. Put its outdoor tracking features to regular use and that can drop to seven days. If you’re turning to the GT Runner for a solid week’s worth of training, running regularly throughout, seven days feels accurate. If you’re not training every other day, then it’s absolutely capable of hitting that two week mark.

Huawei Watch GT Runner data feedback: insightful stuff

The Huawei Watch GT Runner promises to deliver a host of running insights, including Garmin and Polar staples such as Training Load, VO2 Max, recovery time and predicted race times, plus Huawei’s own Running Ability Index.

The latter will score you based on previous training, heart rate information and distance covered in training. It wasn’t far off telling us what running shape we were in compared to a Garmin watch, but you’ll want to feed it with more reliable heart rate data from an external sensor to get the most accurate feedback.

If you’re not sure where to start with your running, Huawei includes AI coaching plans, which begin by asking you questions about your running experience. It uses your answers to build a plan that you can follow on the Health smartphone app or on the watch itself. It does a nice job of prompting you when you have a training session for the day and breaking down exactly what those sessions are comprised of.

All of that data lives primarily in Huawei’s Health app. That said, there is some small support for third party apps like Adidas Running. There’s also an app solution which offers a workaround for Android users to sync data to Strava. But if you’re an iPhone user and you love Strava, you’ve got no such luck.

Huawei Watch GT Runner Smart features:

When you’re not thinking about running or exercise, the GT Runner can play the smartwatch game without abandoning its fitness skills.

It can track steps and sleep (although it definitely performed more reliably for the latter, offering rich sleep data). Huawei also includes the Healthy Living Clover that debuted on the Watch GT 3, which is there to remind you to drink more water and smile more throughout the day.

As a smartwatch, you get the ability to view notifications and to respond to them via Android smartphones. You can also view the weather, change watch faces and play music – although you can only transfer your own music over from your Android device.

There’s access to Huawei’s Celia Smart assistant too, but only if you have a Huawei phone connected to the watch. There’s no sign of payment support or LTE connectivity, which is currently reserved for the more expensive Huawei Watch 3.

So it’s a smartwatch experience that will be fine for some, but doesn’t quite match what you can get from an Apple Watch Series 7 or a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 right now.

Huawei Watch GT Runner verdict

While the Watch GT Runner is pitched as Huawei’s first proper smartwatch for sprinters, Huawei’s been serving joggers pretty well since its GT 2 series. What the Runner does is package those existing features up in a design that makes it a far more suitable running companion – and adds a few useful extras.

The features that it shares with the Huawei Watch GT 3 are well-executed, plus it performs well on the tracking and accuracy front. But it’s still let down by certain aspects on the software side: it lacks official support for several major third-party apps, and there’s inconsistency in the features available to Android and iPhone users.

These niggles mean rival devices like the Garmin Forerunner 245 will be a better option for most runners. But if you can look past the software frustrations, the Watch GT Runner is a Smart, lightweight watch with no shortage of features for those of a sprinting disposition.

Stuff Says…

It’s hard to judge without a confirmed UK price – but if you’ve been hoping for a Huawei wearable that offers pretty much everything you need to track serious runs, you’ll have time for the Huawei Watch GT Runner.

Lovely light design for active use

Useful running software features

Works with external heart rate monitors

Few great running apps available

Promised GPS improvements not quite there

Smartwatch experience favours Android users

Tech specs

Display 1.43in, 466×466 AMOLED touchscreen
Dimensions 46.4×46.4x11mm
Weight 38.5G
Battery 14 days
Waterproof 50m
Connectivity GPS, Bluetooth, NFC
Sensors Accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic, optical heart rate, air pressure

Huawei Watch GT Runner Review: Good, But Pricey for Imperfection

So, you’ve decided to buy a smartwatch? You might feel somewhat tied to Apple’s ecosystem if you’re an iPhone user. After my somewhat surprising migration to Apple, I know I felt that was inevitable for me. But after years of loving Huawei wearables, I stuck with them. The latest smartwatch Huawei has sent over to test is the Huawei Watch GT Runner. I’ve been putting it through its paces.

Huawei Watch GT Runner

I had a couple of Huawei watches sent over to test in quick succession. The Watch 3 landed in and was mega premium. However, it was suffering from extremely limited availability. The Huawei Watch GT 3 landed in next. It lived up to past iterations but didn’t do much to ignite my curiosity. A great watch, but I expected that much.

The Huawei Watch GT Runner is a different story.

For everyday users, the Huawei Watch GT Runner might still be a tough sell. However, some features compare brilliantly versus Apple Watch. Even for more dedicated athletes, the Huawei Watch GT Runner offers some features that measure up versus Garmin and other high-end workout watches


The Huawei Watch GT Runner feels lighter than most Huawei smartwatches I’ve tested. It’s odd given that it is about 3g heavier than the Huawei Watch GT 3, weighing in at 38.5G. Overall, it’s a fairly premium vibe you get from the watch. Huawei has forever held onto designing their smartwatches around traditional round faces. This bucks the trend from big fitness competitors Apple and Fitbit.

In terms of input, beyond the touchscreen, you can also control the watch using the crown (spinning button) or the button below.

The watch itself remains light with a clever body featuring cutout sections. The lightness mission is further supported by the body being made from a polymer-fibre case.In short, that means light and strong. And that’s what this watch is all about. It’s supposed to be on your arm, unnoticeable, until you need it.

When you do need it, it’s packed full of smarts to give you your workout insights. It makes that data more readily available than ever before. I feel that the improved sensors is where the weight and price got a little inflated. So let’s look at what you get.

Fitness Tracking

I’ve mainly tested the Huawei Watch GT Runner hiking, cycling, lifting weights and even with a bit of swimming. Sorry, I’m just not into running (I understand the irony given the watch’s name).

There’s a long list of vitals that the watch can measure:

Heart rate is one of the areas Huawei has invested heavily in. They’ve made a bold claim that the Huawei Watch GT Runner is able to take on chest strap monitors with 97% accuracy. This is all down to upgraded modules in the rear of the watch which keep contact with your skin to measure heart rate.

In the interest of transparency, I can only say this is what Huawei claims. I don’t have a chest strap for comparison. I can tell you that when I was hiking up a hill and felt like I could die at any moment, my watch said my heart rate was very high. To be fair, looking at me probably could have told you similar information.

Huawei also launched TruSport with this watch. This lets you measure your performance against other runners in your cohort. TruSport even gives you predicted performance insights and helps you train to the right level for your ability.

Even I, a guy not into running, think that’s pretty awesome.

But, the best part of the fitness tracking for me is a combination of the onboard GPS tracking and my realisation that the Huawei Health App is after getting very good.

Huawei Health App

One of the biggest issues through the years has been the Huawei Health app. Until now, it was just ok, missing lots of features from the competition. When heading out for a hike, I was surprised with just how much information I was getting. Next, it was how well the app was processing everything.

Huawei now even supports Strava. It’s been a long time coming and held a lot of people back from making the move towards Huawei as a genuine option for serious fitness tracking. But it’s still not perfect – more on that later.

Hiking through Kerry, the watch was able to send me back the way I came if I ever got lost. I actually used the on-board compass given I’d no internet. I also appreciated the sunset feature, knowing we’d plenty of time to get back to our AirBnB. It tracked the whole hike too. My favourite thing of all was the video of the hike the app generates. It shows all your elevation changes, your pace at milestones and peak heart rate. It’s a nice clip to be able to your favourite social media platform. Did the workout even happen if you don’t share it?

Battery Life

The main highlight of Huawei watches for me is the design. Second is the battery. The two big wins for Huawei in my eyes. The battery of the Huawei Watch GT Runner is whopper. You’ll likely get the bones of two weeks from your watch if you’re a fairly casual exerciser. If you’re a bit more intense in your workouts, you can still expect a fairly impressive week-long battery.

This is all remarkable given Apple still celebrates an all-day battery life for their Watch. I honestly couldn’t imagine wearing a watch I need to charge daily.

The Missing Links

While reviewing Huawei watches, I’ve learned that they are brilliant. But, while brilliant, there are plenty of shortcomings that many will consider deal-breakers. That’s why I recommend Huawei Watches, including the GT Runner only if you don’t want the following.

Music Support

Huawei doesn’t support the likes of Spotify. You can’t load up or sync music to your watch and head out. The on-board GPS tracking means you can get all the fitness data without your watch, but you’ll have to run in silence.

It’s a shame given the watch supports Bluetooth 5.2 connections and you can connect buds to it. Of course, if you have MP3s you can upload them to the watch. I couldn’t work out how to do it and let’s be honest; music syncing is a deal-breaker for many.


A few weeks ago I spent a €50 note that had been in my wallet for two years. Yup. Between Google Pay, Apple Pay and Fitbit Pay, through various gadget testing stints, I just never needed to open my wallet.

Huawei offers nothing in terms of payments through the watch. Just before the pandemic, I asked Huawei’s CEO if payments would be a priority, but nothing has happened since. There could be progress here in the future given Huawei has teamed up with Curve for their phones. Perhaps that could feature on their watches in the near future too. Still, it feels like a workaround and if payments are crucial, it’s another deal-breaker.

Linking to Apps

What apps you can link to and use with your Huawei Watch GT Runner is still somewhat hit and miss. If you’re on the fence, feel free to drop me a DM and I’ll see if I can link your platform of choice to the Huawei ecosystem. As I mentioned, many will welcome Strava integration, but even that’s not consistent.

I don’t use Strava much, but for this review, I wanted to test this integration. Strava doesn’t list Huawei as a supported device and I couldn’t find Strava within the Huawei Health App.

This is a common theme if third party integration is a crucial part of your workout. While the Huawei Health App is vastly improved, integration has not.

Huawei Watch GT Runner: The Verdict

The Huawei Watch GT Runner is an excellent smartwatch and a fantastic fitness tracker. At €299, it’s not a cheap purchase. The integrations also make it a risky purchase if you’re looking to use anything beyond the Huawei Health App.

If you’re not already in bed with the likes of Strava, then you’ve nothing to worry about. Just check the other missing links I’ve mentioned above. If they don’t apply to you, this is the smartwatch you’ve been looking for. As I said, I’m an iPhone user and that didn’t produce any unique snags for me.

The Huawei Watch GT Runner is available from Eir, Harvey Norman, DID and Euronics.

Flawless design might make up for missing features. That design owes to the coolness of the watch too, but it’s pricey for imperfection.

Huawei Watch GT Runner review

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  • 1. Verdict
  • 2. About our review
  • 3. Huawei Watch GT Runner: Design, fit, and screen
  • 4. Huawei Watch GT Runner: Running features
  • 5. Training plans and coaching
  • 6. GPS accuracy
  • 7. VO2 max and training data
  • 8. Huawei Watch GT Runner: Heart rate accuracy
  • 9. Huawei Watch GT Runner: Fitness tracking and sleep tracking
  • 10. Huawei Watch GT Runner: Smartwatch features
  • 11. Huawei Watch GT Runner: Battery life

As a running watch, the Huawei Watch GT Runner brings a lovely screen, lightweight design and is packed with decent running insights. There’s a lot to like. However, the promised boost to GPS accuracy didn’t quite work for us, and third party support outside of the Huawei app is still lacking. If you’re looking for a good-looking running-focused watch that can offer you support and guidance to a reliable level, the Watch GT Runner will certainly have appeal.

  • Nice, light design for running
  • Useful running software features
  • Good for a week’s worth of heavy training
  • GPS accuracy lacking despite new antennae
  • Lacking third party support
  • Average smartwatch experience

The Huawei Watch GT Runner is a repackaging of its existing Watch GT3 aimed at runners.

Since it moved away from Google’s Wear OS, Huawei’s GT series has emerged as dependable sports and running watches.

Like the Huawei Watch GT 3, it runs on Huawei’s HarmonyOS, but it’s added a more run-friendly design and made a notable hardware tweak that should make it a more accurate running companion.

Given the remaining standoff between the US and Huawei, it’s not clear when or if it will be available Stateside as has been the case with other Huawei’s other new smartwatches so far.

It’s substantially more than the standard Huawei Watch GT3, for a device that shares most of the same features. It’s also in direct competition with the Apple Watch SE and sports watches like the Garmin Forerunner 55, Forerunner 255 and Polar Pacer Pro.

It seems like a bit of a gamble to take on established players like Garmin and Polar, so was Huawei right to make the move? We’ve been putting in the running time to find out.

Here’s our comprehensive verdict on the Huawei Watch GT Runner.

About our review

All of our reviews adhere to our strict in-depth testing policy. We test every aspect in-depth and benchmark against key competitors so you can make an informed choice. You can read our editorial policy to find out why you can trust Wareable reviews.

Huawei GT Runner Review. Great Option for CrossFit/HIIT, & Life. with Room to Grow

Michael Sawh is Wareable’s running and testing expert and has reviewed nearly every fitness wearable over the last decade.

Huawei Watch GT Runner: Design, fit, and screen

With the sporty Huawei Watch GT2e, Huawei has already played with a more fitness-friendly look, but that Watch still felt like a standard Watch GT with a sportier, breathable strap. It’s a different story with the GT Runner. This feels like a sports watch in weight, look, and comfort.

There’s just the one case size option with the 46mm-sized polymer weighing in at just 38.5G when you don’t factor in the stretchy, ventilated silicone strap connected to it that uses a traditional watch buckle to keep it in place.

That weight gives it something similar in heft to Garmin’s Forerunner 245, so it’s a comfortable watch to wear. However, 46mm cases will be large for some wrists.

With the strap, we’d say you need to play around with the tightness because at times what felt like a comfortable fit felt a little tight during runs. You might need to go down a notch more than usual.

Huawei offers it up in grey and black looks, and our grey case with grey and yellow strap inner certainly felt like an attractive sports watch to wear.

There are two physical buttons with the top one getting you into the main menu screen, where you can choose to display features in a list of a grid. The bottom button, or ‘Down button’ as Huawei calls it, gives you a shortcut to workout tracking as default, but you can change its use in the watch settings.

The screen is a lovely 1.43-inch, 466 x 466 resolution AMOLED touchscreen display, which can be used in an always-on mode. That’s the same screen setup found on the 46mm Huawei Watch GT3 and the results are similar. It’s a sharp, bright, colorful screen that responds swiftly to swipes and taps and there’s no screen lag to deal with here.

When you’re not running with it, or things get sweaty, Huawei has slapped it with a 5ATM waterproof rating, which makes it good to be submerged for up to 50 meters depth and there is swim tracking onboard here too.

It’s a surprisingly good-looking sports watch, that’s been comfortable to wear during runs on the whole and it’s the strap and case that makes that possible.

Huawei Watch GT Runner: Running features

As we said, everything you can do on the Huawei Watch GT 3 from a tracking perspective, you can do on the GT Runner. That includes the same workout modes and it still offers its running courses as well.

A lot of what we experienced on that front reflects our time with the Huawei Watch GT 3. So what we are going to do here is FOCUS on the Runner’s running-centric features, most of which we have seen or were announced for the GT 3 and the GT 3 Pro, but weren’t all available to test at launch.

We’ll start by saying that the general running experience of using the Runner is solid overall. It’s not perfect but does feel like a mostly enjoyable watch to run with.

There are outdoor, indoor, and trail running modes and there are pre-run settings at your disposal to do things like chase down a distance or time-based goal, for instance, turn on the auto pause or follow routes.

Those routes can be imported through Huawei Health app as GPX files, whether that’s something you’ve downloaded from the web, or via third-party apps such as Komoot. It’s nice and straightforward to do, letting you quickly import that route over to the watch.

Huawei Watch GT Runner lets you follow routes on the watch

During a run, you can swipe through screens to see data fields, music controls, and the pretty basic navigation features, which offer a back-to-the-start mode.

Sadly, you can’t adjust the data fields and the navigation is pretty basic too.

You’re following a blue line that will point you back in the right direction. There’s real-time voice feedback, but we turned that off almost immediately.

It’s quite a grating voice to hear out loud, and a bit embarrassing when you’re out in public without headphones.

Training plans and coaching

It’s nice to see that Huawei offers an interval training mode here too, where you can set your training sets, rests, and repeats and schedule in the warm-up and warm-down sections too.

It would be nice to have the option to set these sessions up on the app as it can be a touch fiddly to do on that small watch screen.

Along with the courses Huawei already offers runners as introductory sessions to run/walk, fat burning, and HIIT-style run workouts, it’s now also adding something it’s calling AI running plans.

These AI running plans essentially feel a little bit like a riff on Garmin’s Coach, where you can find some beginner plans already available or you can have a plan built for you.

To build that plan, you’ll be asked about things like your total running distance in the past month, and your best performance at the chosen training distance in the last six months, and you’ll be asked to pick the days to run.

Then the plan is generated and sent to the watch. The training plan is displayed on a dedicated screen on the watch where you can see your training for the week. If you’re due a session, when you go to track a run, the session will be suggested.

The plans adjust based on sessions logged to make sure you do enough to chase down your goals as well.

The experience across the watch and app to explain sessions and let you know about upcoming sessions is pretty well executed. However, one quirk is that plans don’t seem to be supported if you use treadmill or trail running modes.

If you were looking for a Garmin Coach-style feature outside of a Garmin, then Huawei’s AI plans do a pretty good job of it.

GPS accuracy

Huawei is talking a big game when it comes to tracking outdoor runs and offers dual-Band, five-system GNSS support, which was present on the Huawei Watch 3 and we’ve seen similar support on the Coros Vertix 2, while Garmin’s Fenix and Epix watches offer multi-Band GNSS modes.

What this dual-Band, five-system GNSS mode means is that it’s capable of using extra signals from supported satellite systems to improve outdoor accuracy.

Huawei Watch GT Runner: Scientific Review!

That’s also coupled with Huawei moving the antenna on the GT Runner to receive those signals at the watch lugs, which it says reduces interference and enhances that accuracy.

Distance tracking compared: Huawei Watch GT Runner (left) and Fenix 7 (right)

We put it through a series of runs with the Garmin Fenix 7 with its multi-Band, GNSS mode including runs in areas with tall buildings where signal interference can be a problem.

Before looking at the maps, the distance tracking generally always came up short against the Fenix 7 for us.

Outdoor run tracking accuracy: Huawei Watch GT Runner (left) and Fenix 7 with multiband GNSS (right)

A closer look at the maps shows with the GT Runner didn’t plot routes as accurately and still did on occasion show routes running through buildings.

So, it’s not super accurate from our testing in those more challenging environments for locking onto a satellite signal – and that’s a shame given the antennae technology Huawei has added and means that people might be better off with the standard GT3.

VO2 max and training data

Running Ability Index or RAI is Huawei’s way of giving you a sense of your running ability. It’s based on historical running heart rate, distance, and frequency of training.

It then scores you on a scoring system that seems to go from 40.7 to 85.3 for some reason.

Based on our running, it put us at a 46.8, giving us an A-level score on its RAI index, and suggested we’d be fit enough to run a 3.30 marathon.

Having run a 3.26 marathon late last year and currently deep into training for a spring marathon, that index score seemed about right.

There’s a dedicated card (watch screen) you can dedicate to RAI, which is easy to understand and it seems if you put the right data in, it can give you a sense of where you’re at with your running.

That RAI can be found in the training status section of the watch where you’ll also find training load, training index, VO2Max, and recovery insights. There are also predicted times for 5km, 10km, half marathon, and marathon times. Our times didn’t feel wild out for our level of training either.

Those training load, index, and recovery insights are no longer powered by the Garmin-owned Firstbeat, which was previously the case on the previous generation Huawei Watches. The Training index, which looks at the progression of fitness and fatigue, actually felt reflective of our training. In one run, we’d completed 10km but it felt very leggy and tired.

The index suggested fatigue was increased. We’ve also been running with Garmin to see how recovery insights compare. It generally suggested longer recovery periods, though didn’t feel excessive, but did generally suggest resting for long periods.

Huawei is also including a lactate threshold test, which you’ll need to do outside and will help you get a sense of whether you’re training over overdoing it.

It’s a feature we’ve seen on Garmin and Polar watches and if you’re looking at your training on a more focused and serious level, this is a test that would be of good value to do regularly.

Overall, in terms of what Huawei is offering for runners, it’s promising a lot of the promised tracking accuracy, training features, and insights you’ll find on rival Garmin, Polar, and Coros running watches.

As far as executing those features goes, it does most of those things well enough. Crucial to many of the training insights though is heart rate, which we’ll get into next.

Huawei Watch GT Runner: Heart rate accuracy

Huawei has made a lot of noise about the heart rate sensor its latest watches have come packing. The Runner features its TruSeen 5.0 optical sensor setup, which uses eight photodiodes, has two light sources, and has a curved glass lens to reduce light interference. Huawei also says it’s using a new AI algorithm to filter out noise signals and claims improved heart rate monitoring at high intensity compared to its previous sensor.

It claims measurements are on par with chest strap monitors, with a 97% accuracy within 10 bpm. A rather big thing to mention here is that you can pair an external heart rate monitor and that’s big news.

This support also rolled out to the Huawei Watch GT 3 and it’s good news for the heart rate fuelled features and insights on this watch. So how did the Runner fare?

We’ll start with our run tests and we used the Runner against a Wahoo Tickr X chest strap monitor paired with a range of Garmin watches including the Fenix 7 and the Epix. We found it delivered that promised accuracy within 10bpm, but we usually ask for better accuracy than that during steady running sessions – and the Huawei Watch GT Runner produced an average performance.

Heart rate monitoring compared: Huawei Watch GT Runner (left) and WahooTickr X (right)

On steady-paced runs (screens above), it was roughly 10bpm out of a chest strap, which does ring true with what Huawei claims in terms of accuracy you can expect from the GT Runner.

Although we usually see Garmin, Apple, Fitbit, and other devices get much closer.

Interval HR monitoring compared: Huawei Watch GT Runner (left) and WahooTickr X (right)

In an interval track session, it was within 5bpm on average heart rate and matched the maximum heart rate, but the graph that accompanied those numbers didn’t exactly tell the story.

During running interval sessions, we saw differences beyond 10bpm accuracy.

For continuous monitoring, we wore it against a chest strap monitor and the reliable continuous monitoring on the Oura Ring 3. Resting heart rate readings were within 5bpm of the Oura Ring 3 and chest strap monitor.

The heart rate monitoring performance wasn’t horrendous or as bad as we’ve experienced with previous Huawei Watches.

What’s important here is that you can now pair up an external sensor, and we had no problem doing that with the Wahoo Tickr X and a Polar chest strap, which means you’re getting the right kind of data pumped into the watch to make the most of heart rate-fuelled training features.

Huawei Watch GT Runner: Fitness tracking and sleep tracking

Away from running, you’re getting everything the Huawei Watch GT 3 from a fitness tracking and sleep tracking perspective. That includes its new Healthy Living clover, to get you thinking beyond hitting steps, and that targets 8 hours of sleep.

As a fitness tracker, there’s a dedicated widget on the watch to monitor daily steps, your logged exercise time, and the time you’ve managed to successfully stand to stop your inactivity alerts from buzzing you.

Comparing daily step counts, we found there was a difference of 4,000 steps on some days, which is quite a sizeable difference, and we had the general sense that Huawei was overestimating step counts.

Daily step counts compared: Huawei Watch GT Runner (left) and Oura Ring 3 (right)

We’ve already mentioned that Healthy Living Clover, which when set up in the Health app will send notifications to the watch to drink some water or to smile more. It doesn’t feel as nagging as it sounds and if you like the idea of making sure you’re keeping up with positive daily habits during the day, the Clover feature does an okay job of it.

When it comes to sleep tracking, it’s a pretty rich experience in terms of the data you can capture. Along with sleep duration, it’ll break down sleep stages, give you a sleep score and look at breathing quality too.

We put it up against the Oura Ring 3, one of the best sleep trackers we’ve tested, and found that the sleep duration captured was generally longer, and the breakdown of sleep stages was very close to what was captured on the Oura.

Sleep tracking compared: Huawei Watch GT Runner (left) and Oura Ring 3 (center and right)

Along with steps, sleep, and that clover telling you to smile more, you can monitor skin temperature, and stress (Android only) and continuously monitor blood oxygen, though at the expense of battery life with the latter enabled.

Like the GT3, the temperature data didn’t feel hugely accurate or offer any actionable insights around the metric. The stress monitoring was a little more useful thanks to the largely reliable continuous heart rate tracking.

Again, though, it feels like Huawei is a little behind in terms of pulling these extra wellness insights together to help you put the insights to good use.

Huawei Watch GT Runner: Smartwatch features

The GT Runner runs on Huawei’s Harmony OS, so that means you’re getting most of what Huawei has to offer on the smartwatch front. If you want LTE, you’re going to need to get the Huawei Watch 3, but pretty much everything else you get on the Huawei Watch GT3 and Watch 3 is here on the Runner.

It’s Android and iOS friendly, and we spent our testing time with it paired to a Samsung Android phone and didn’t experience connection, pairing, or syncing issues.

The Huawei Health app still feels a bit busy, but it’s the place you’ll need to go to dig into your data, set up training plans, tweak settings, and access Huawei’s AppGallery app store.

That app it’s fair to say, isn’t brimming with many apps of the running variety. If you’re hoping that Strava support is there, it isn’t. What is there is slow to get onto the watch as well? We downloaded the Petal Maps app and it didn’t transfer over to the watch instantly.

You can share data with Komoot and Adidas Running officially and there are workaround apps like HealthSync to share with some other third-party apps like Strava, but this isn’t the kind of app support to rival what Apple and Google can offer.

On the watch, we’d say the smartwatch experience is generally good. Notification support works well with third-party apps and from an Android phone, you can respond to notifications with emojis and default responses.

The weather widget, Celia Smart assistant, and music controls are strangely dedicated to one screen, which sort of works in a way, but gets crowded if you start using the music controls and it throws on another set of controls below the music player ones.

The built-in music player only works with music you own and has to be uploaded via the Huawei Health app. We couldn’t access the Celia Smart assistant as its reserved for Huawei phones, but you can add custom cards (widgets) and change the launch feature for the bottom physical button.

If you like your watch faces, there’s a decent handful preloaded and there’s a store to get more, but these extra faces all cost. Some are as much as 5/£5, which seems a bit excessive.

The Huawei Watch GT Runner isn’t the best smartwatch. There are smartwatches with better apps, payment, music, and watch face support.

Notifications feel like the standout feature here and if that’s your primary concern here and you own an Android phone, then you’ll feel well served.

Those seeking for a richer smartwatch experience and a well-supported app store will be disappointed.

Huawei Watch GT Runner: Battery life

Any good running watch needs to give you the kind of battery life that holds up well under GPS use and generally doesn’t have you charging it every few days.

Huawei suggests that 14 days is typical to use, but doesn’t specify GPS battery life numbers. In heavy use, it suggests the GT Runner is good for 7 days. Based on our heavy usage experience, tracking 3-4 outdoor runs a week (including a long two-hour run), with notifications enabled and the screen not set to always-on, it was good for that week’s use.

With one hour of outdoor running, we saw an 8% drop-off. That would suggest a battery life of around 15 hours. Garmin’s Forerunner 245 manages 24 hours without music streaming while the Polar Vantage M2 manages 40 hours, so it’s not matching the competition here.

We think you could get two weeks, but you’d have to be doing significantly less GPS-based running every week and not use the screen in always-on mode to get there. That week in heavy usage puts it around what you’d get from the Garmin Forerunner 245 and offers a few more days than the Polar Vantage M2.

Huawei Watch GT Runner review

Huawei gives other smartwatches a run for their money.

Huawei may have stuttered in the smartphone market of late, thanks to the continuing sanctions put on the company on its use of Android, but its smartwatches have fared far better, with only a few hoops to jump through to get them up and running with your phone of choice.

One of its newest smartwatches is the Huawei Watch GT Runner, the sportiest-looking Huawei device around which acts like a Huawei Watch GT 3 with racing stripes.

We’ve spent some time running with the Huawei Watch GT Runner. here are five things to know about the super sporty smartwatch that can, almost definitely, last longer than you can…

Design is durable and fitness focused

While there are many similarities to the Huawei Watch GT 3, the design isn’t one of them. The Huawei Watch GT Runner has been built with sports in mind and this is something that can be seen as soon as you take it out of the box.

On the wrist, it’s very light. Weighing just 38.5G, which helps to make the GT Runner one of the most comfortable smartwatches we have worn.

The strange thing about a smartwatch is that you don’t really want to feel it when running and Huawei has made great strides in making this happen. While the size of the face is an ample 46mm, there’s a small curve where the straps slot in and this blends well with the curvature of our wrist, making it a joy to wear. it also means you don’t feel the sensor on the back digging into the top of your wrist.

If you have very small wrists, though, you may find the size of the screen a little chunky. unfortunately there’s no 42mm option available.

Material wise, Huawei has used something called a textured ‘high-composite fibre’ material, which is a really hard plastic for the case; a metal finish for the bezel and crown (which has a lovely red ring accent) make up the rest of the device.

While the bezel is tiny, Huawei has still managed to add lettering to help you understand what the two buttons on the right-side do: the top says Home and the bottom one Sport/Lap. This does mean that there isn’t a back button which meant that we did find ourselves button mashing when we accidentally chose the wrong option in the menu.

The Band is silicon which is ideal for running. there’s no option for a more dressed-up Band, so this is definitely a watch for runners and not casual users. Colour wise, we tested the Black version which comes with an understated strap. If you opt for Grey, then the strap has a yellow accent, which is a nice touch.

Setup is a marathon, not a sprint

The Huawei Watch GT Runner is an all-round fantastic smartwatch but setting the thing up is a chore.

The good news is that if you are using an Huawei phone, then the watch takes mere minutes to sort, thanks to the fact that you are already using Huawei’s bespoke App Gallery. If you are using an Android phone (or iOS), then the watch should play nicely but there are a number of steps to make this happen.

Essentially you have to ‘side-load’ the software on to your device which involves clicking on a QR code that’s in the box and following the instructions. We had a version of the Huawei Health app installed on our phone but it was the one that is currently in the Google Play store. That hasn’t been updated since 2020, so you have to get the new version of the app that’s unique to the Huawei App Store.

Download this and it should connect no problem to the Huawei Watch GT Runner. But be prepared after this to download a number of software updates as well. It felt like we had to do a number of these before the watch was properly setup, so we don’t believe the smartwatch automatically jumps to the latest update.

One this is done, the bad news is that the watch won’t work immediately with the likes of Strava and other popular running apps. There is a workaround, however, by using the third-party Health Sync app.

It’s not a smooth process and the hoop-jumping software-wise may put some off but it was smooth sailing once setup was finally complete.

The display is an OLED delight

About that 46mm bezel. It houses a 1.43-inch OLED screen and the result is a super-bright display that you will have no bother with when running in bright daylight or in the dark of the night.

When you initially see the homescreen on the Huawei Watch GT Runner it’s quite overwhelming. It’s PACKED with data points. There’s a built-in barometer, so you can track the weather before and during a run, times for sunrise and sunset, a WTL (workout training load) measuring count which lets you know how long you should be resting after training.

If you aren’t a fan of the standard watch face (which is called aptly DataPack), then there are eight others to choose from, including an Apple Watch-like Tri-Ring setup.

There are feature-rich fitness options abound

As well as the data you can get from the home screen, dig into the Huawei Watch GT Runner’s options and there’s plenty of health-focused features peppered throughout the watch’s myriad menus.

The ones we found particularly interesting were the 24/7 heart rate tracking, sleep tracking and SpO2 monitoring.

Given the main function of this watch is to serve runners’ needs, there’s plenty of decent features to help track and boost your runs.

GPS is on board and took seconds to connect to. There’s a really nice feature on board that allows you to track back on a run when outdoors. So if you are halfway through your distance and just want to head home the way you came, the watch can reroute that for you and get you on your way.

You can add a training plan to each day of the week, too, and the post-run data is decent, with the likes of distance, calories, VO2Max, pace and heart rate offered up.

Things get a little trickier when AI is added. Huawei has added an AI coach into the smartwatch which allows the device to create a beginner, lifestyle, and competitive coaching plan based on your running. It takes a few runs to compile the data but we weren’t convinced that the plans on offer were right for us.

AI did work well, though, when it came to predicting how long it would take us to run longer runs, by looking at how we ran a 5K. The accuracy of this is to be debated but it was another data point that we welcomed.

There are also a number of preset running courses available, a Running Ability Index score and Training Stress which offers you an insight into just how much stress your body was under during your workout. These aren’t unique to this smartwatch but they were insightful nonetheless.

Battery is big and impressive

When it comes to using a smartwatch on a daily basis, one of the most annoying things is a small battery life. While those with an Apple Watch will have been used to almost-daily charges, Garmin users know you can go a lot longer without having to charge.

You’ll be pleased to read that the Huawei Watch GT Runner is in the latter category. It’s got one of the best batteries we have tested on a smartwatch, having a quoted 14 days’ life per charge. Now, this is only really true when you don’t do much with it. If you add in a couple of runs a week, using GPS, and you are more likely to get 11 days’ use out of the thing which is still utterly impressive.

Charging does take around 90 minutes but we always put it on charge way before the battery was going to run out.

Huawei Watch GT Runner: final verdict

Despite some niggling compatibility issues, the Huawei Watch GT Runner is a fantastic running watch that served this, albeit fair-weather, runner well.

Working best when pounding the pavements outdoors, the watch offers up a superb smorgasbord of data before, during and after runs and has the staying power of a Marathon runner.



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