Huawei enters smartwatch market

Chinese telecoms firm Huawei has announced its arrival as a smartwatch manufacturer with a new device that debuted at last week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. It will go on commercial sale in June 2015

Huawei has opted for a round face on its new smartwatch – Source: HuaweiThe Huawei Watch is intended to be a mid-level smartwatch with an emphasis on aesthetics as well as performance. The Chinese firm employed Benjamin Norton who has previously worked with fashion brands Fossil and Emporio Armani to design the product.

Norton has followed the path set by Motorola’s Moto 360 and opted for a circular face that resonates with traditional watch designs, rather than maximising the screen area. Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei consumer division, told theverge.com this was a conscious decision as square-faced watches, like Samsung’s Gear range, are failing to capture the public imagination.

He says: ‘We have responded to consumers’ requests from around the world asking for a smartwatch featuring a timeless design that is truly smart from within.’ The device incorporates a biomonitoring package and is configured to allow future component upgrades.

The new smartwatch’s face is 1.4 inches (42mm) across and has a 286ppi AMOLED screen mounted behind Sapphire Glass. A set of 40 different face decisions can be reproduced on the screen, when not streaming content from a synced smartphone.

The Huawei Watch runs on Android wear which is an impediment as the software is configured for square rather than circular displays.

The basic model is made of stainless steel with leather or metal straps. Yu says future versions in 18- or 24-carat gold may be made if he detects demand.

The Huawei TalkBand B2 and an earphone necklace were also shown at MWC 2015.