The one-two punch of the big LG Watch Sport and sleek LG Watch Style didn't hit every market segment, and that's fine because we always knew other companies would step in and provide different options. The Huawei Watch 2 is the first of those alternative choices — a follow-up model to the well-received Huawei Watch, and another choice for those who want a new watch built for Android Wear 2.0.
Interestingly the Huawei Watch 2 doesn't follow the design of its predecessor, and instead goes with a more active design that actually lines it up nicely against the LG Watch Sport. A step further, the Huawei Watch 2 is launching at a similar price point. So how do these two compare? After reviewing the LG Watch Sport, I took a look at the Huawei Watch 2 alongside it to see how they stack up.
Huawei's second-gen smartwatch looks rather bulky thanks to its active styling, but it is notably thinner and lighter than the LG Watch Sport — of course, pretty much every watch is small compared to the Watch Sport. The Huawei Watch 2 doesn't have the large bulge on the back though it still has a heart rate sensor, coming in a couple millimeters thinner than the Watch Sport because of it. It's also considerably lighter than LG's watch, though that comes at the expense of actual feel on the wrist — the Huawei Watch 2 feels cheap both in terms of its heft and external plastic coatings.
All of the same specs, fit into a smaller package — but of course, with cheaper materials.
The Huawei Watch 2 makes up some of that sleekness back on the front, where its thick bezel rises up high off of the display and certainly stands out ... and depending on your design sensibilities it may stand out too much. It's a pretty honest take at a men's sport watch design, but the LG Watch Sport certainly has a more streamlined feeling to it that's a bit more neutral to be paired with a wider variety of watch faces and wardrobes alike.
Even with its smaller overall case size, the Huawei Watch 2 manages to fit the same raw specs inside as the LG Watch Sport. One better, it gets NFC, LTE and GPS into the case while retaining removable bands — which was of course understandably easier because the entirety of the case is plastic, allowing radio penetration. The victory of removable bands isn't as big as you'd immediately think, as the lug design really limits what kind of bands will actually look good here.
The Huawei Watch 2 isn't a complete slam dunk, even against the imperfect LG Watch Sport.
Even though the Huawei Watch 2 has the same specs and software, it does have a couple of usability shortcomings compared to the latest from LG. Namely its smaller 1.2-inch display to the Watch Sport's 1.38-inch, which when paired with the large bezels can make it a bit tougher to quickly flick through the interface without your finger obscuring the view. This is an important point because the Huawei Watch 2 also doesn't have a rotating crown (or any other input method) — which is one of my favorite features of the LG Watch Sport.
Considering just how big and clunky the LG Watch Sport is, the Huawei Watch 2 will automatically get some attention because it is indeed thinner and lighter while offering the same internals and near-identical features. But that doesn't mean the only differences are in the positive category — the Huawei Watch 2 in turn feels cheaper, has a more polarizing bezel design and is missing a couple of key features for many like a larger display and rotating bezel. These trade-offs also live with the reality that the Huawei Watch 2 is in the same price category as the Watch Sport, depending on where you live and whether you choose to get a model with LTE or not.