Last modified: December 8th, 2022 at 12:48 pm
Huawei’s Watch D is a smartwatch that allows you to measure your blood pressure. It’s easy to use and accurate, comparable to a consumer-grade blood pressure cuff (according to Huawei). For anyone who needs to test their blood pressure regularly, it’s a game changer and a handy tool.
$749 for a blood pressure pump is expensive, though. Let’s remember that this is a smartwatch that can test your blood pressure, not a blood pressure pump with smartwatch capabilities.
As a health tracker, the Watch D gets a lot right. It has a massive 7-day battery that’s market-leading and has all the trackers you would want. It also comes packed with 70+ workout modes so you can accurately track your exercise no matter what you’re doing.
But it’s hampered by the same problems the latest Huawei devices all run into. The Watch D isn’t compatible with most apps you’ll probably use. Any US-based apps won’t work here. There’s no Spotify, Strava, WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter functionality. While this technically isn’t Huawei’s fault, not being able to use the apps I’m familiar with impacted my ability to use the watch and I ended up not using it at all.
As a smartwatch, I’m not convinced the Watch D is worth the $749 price tag. It feels overpriced when both Huawei’s own GT 3 and Samsung’s Watch 4 cost $450. That said, someone who needs to test their blood pressure regularly may disagree.
That’s the crux of the Watch D. It appeals to a small group. Yes, being able to test blood pressure is a fantastic new feature, but it’s niche, and won’t appeal to everyone.
Also, not being able to use familiar apps means the Watch D is essentially an expensive health tracker that can’t do much else.
There are much better and cheaper options for someone who doesn’t need to check their blood pressure regularly.
- Blood pressure pump
- Accurate health tradckers
- Massive 7-day battery
- Dated design
- Not compatible with US-based apps
The Huawei Watch D costs $749. That’s expensive.
As a comparison, the Huawei GT 3 costs $450, the 44mm Samsung Watch 4 costs $450, and the FitBit Versa 3 costs $340.
These comparisons don’t have an integrated blood pressure pump, though. Is the extra $300 worth it? If you’re someone that needs to check their blood pressure regularly, maybe.
For everyone else, the blood pressure feature is a novelty that you might use once or twice, and there isn’t enough “smart” in the Watch D to make it worth the extra investment.
Blood Pressure Pump
The Watch D’s main feature is the integrated blood pressure pump. Inside the strap, there’s an airbag that uses an oscillograph to test blood pressure. During testing, the mini-pump will inflate and deflate the airbag. This allows the watch to read both your diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
Huawei claims the high-precision pressure sensor inside the watch allows it to be accurate to ±3 mm Hg. That means it’s comparable to a dedicated consumer-grade blood pressure cuff.
The Watch D makes blood pressure testing easy. Utilising Huawei’s TruBP blood algorithm, the watch can detect if you aren’t performing the test correctly. Before you take a test, you’re asked to place your arms and hands in a specific position and keep still while the test is underway. If your posture isn’t right, the watch will tell you, if the test didn’t complete, the watch will tell you. It guides you through everything you need to do. It’s simple, straightforward, and anyone can do it.
In the Huawei Health app, you can set up blood pressure schedules in which the watch will remind you to test your blood pressure and more. The Watch D is a useful tool for someone with blood pressure issues. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of strokes, and identifying high blood pressure – so you can intervene early – is a brilliant feature.
The Watch D is bulky. Of course, when there’s a small airbag inside the strap, it will feel bigger than other smartwatches. I didn’t have any problems with this, though. It’s comfortable to wear, and despite its size, it didn’t feel noticeably heavy on my wrist.
For the pump to work correctly, the Watch D’s fit is very important. To assist with this, it comes with a measurement sleeve to get the perfect fit. The strap is easy to adjust and is very secure. I was able to easily find my size, and I appreciated the numbered holes on the inside of the strap, so I could find my size again if I’d accidentally altered it.
Both the strap and the airbag are removable. If you need to replace the airbag, it’s easy to unclip and put in a new one. Inside the box, you get a spare airbag, and you can buy extras.
The Watch D comes with an IP68 resistance rating meaning it will withstand dust, dirt and sand and is resistant to being underwater for up to thirty minutes at a maximum depth of 1.5m. Frustratingly, the airbag doesn’t have an IP resistance rating. It means you must constantly take it out if going for a swim or having a shower, and it did become a burden pretty quickly. I ended up having to take the Watch D off whenever I had a shower, as I would rather do that than take the airbag out and put it back in each time.
The Watch D’s casing isn’t great. It’s a rectangular shape that looks dated. The Huawei GT 3 looks significantly nicer with its sleek circular design. The Watch D has two large buttons on the right side, one for going back to the home screen and one for opening up the blood pressure measurement display.
The watch boasts a 456 x 280 pixel AMOLED colour screen. It’s not as good as the GT 3 with its 466 x 466 resolution display or the 450 x 450 resolution Samsung Watch 4, but it’s fine.
Navigating the watch feels sluggish. Sliding between notifications and screens felt a bit laggy. It isn’t as seamless as other smartwatches on the market.
Although the Watch D’s blood pressure pump is the main attraction here, the device is full of other premium health tracking features.
One of the main ones is its ECG measurement capabilities. The Watch D has an ECG sensor that can provide real-time analysis of heart rhythms, sinus rhythms, atrial fibrillation and heartbeat reminders. The tailored fit assists with these measurements, and it’s all made possible by Huawei’s new, TruSeen 5.0+ heart rate monitoring technology. This is the same tech found inside the Huawei GT 3. It’s very accurate and reliable.
The watch is also compatible with other health tracking features that have become common in today’s smartwatches. There’s sleep tracking, SpO2 monitoring, stress monitoring, skin temperature monitoring and much more.
For fitness, there are over 70 workout modes you can select when exercising. Running is where the watch is at its best, however, there are options for rowing, skipping, swimming and even dodgeball. The watch is also fitted with GNSS positioning for tracking your movements when exercising.
Similar to the Huawei GT 3, compatibility is where the Watch D struggles.
Ever since Huawei was put on a US entity trade blacklist, its smartwatches are not compatible with the Google Play store and functionality with US apps and services like Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, WhatsApp and more, is limited.
This poses a problem as the majority of apps I use daily are not available on Huawei’s own AppGallery. Some apps have tricky workarounds to install on the watch, but many of New Zealand’s most popular apps aren’t available here.
While Huawei has done an okay job in trying to replace popular apps with its own in-house programs, often, they’re subpar. If you want to listen to music on the Watch D, you have to download the individual song files. It’s not a great alternative to Spotify. Also, for runners, there’s no Strava support.
Huawei can work with companies directly, and some apps are starting to pop up on the AppGallery however, it’s still missing crucial ones that will severely impact the use you can get out of the Watch D.
The Watch D boasts a massive 7-day battery. It’s market-leading, and it’s impressive.
I could use the device for 7-days without having to charge it. That said… I wasn’t using it much as I couldn’t download the apps I would regularly use with a smartwatch. But during testing, I was taking multiple blood pressure tests a day, the display was constantly turned on, I was using the workout modes and receiving alerts, and it barely made a dent in the battery life.
One upside of the massive battery life was it allowed me to track my sleep accurately. Where other smartwatches require charging overnight, I never needed to take off the Watch D, allowing me to receive sleep reports every morning.
If you’re looking for a smartwatch for health tracking, it’s hard to beat Huawei’s Watch D. The blood pressure measuring capabilities stand out here. It’s accurate, easy to do and puts the Watch D in a category of its own.
There’s also an abundance of other accurate health tracking features like SpO2, sleep, ECG, stress and skin temperature monitoring. Combine these with the market-leading 7-day battery life, and you’ll be able to track workouts and your health, 24/7.
While health tracking is where the Watch D is at its best, as a smartwatch, there are better options out there. Not being compatible with popular apps like Spotify and Strava severely impacts the Watch D’s functionality. While Huawei tries to provide similar alternatives on its AppGallery store, they’re often subpar and aren’t what I regularly use with my other devices.
It’s also expensive. At $749, it’s significantly more expensive than other smartwatches on the market. While this might be a fair price tag for someone who needs to test their blood pressure regularly, for someone who doesn’t, there are better, cheaper alternatives out there.