Huawei’s Watch Ultra is a durable, rugged smartwatch that looks good

Huawei may be persona non grata in the US, but the company is still rolling out products for the rest of the world. The latest is the Watch Ultimate, a super premium wearable for extreme athletes who want a statement piece on their wrist. In the style of a Submariner or Seamaster, the Ultimate has a rotating crown mounted on the top right and two pushers, one on the top left and the other on the bottom right. Available in blue and black, the cases are clad in an “innovative zirconium-based liquid metal material” that sounds a lot like the LiquidMetal-branded alloy found in a range of modern Omega watches.

You’ll get different strap choices depending on which watch face you choose, with the higher-end blue option getting a titanium alloy strap. Choose black and you get both a standard length HNBR (rubber) strap and a long one to wear while diving. To that end, Huawei is really pushing the Watch Ultimate, saying it will last up to 24 hours at depths of 110 meters. Huawei added a number of additional software features for technical divers, but it’s not clear how many deep-diving professionals would swap their mechanical watch for a digital alternative.

Inside the case is a 1.5-inch LTPO AMOLED display with a resolution of 466 x 466 and a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits under a 2.3mm sapphire crystal. It runs on Harmony OS with the same features as the existing Watch GT series of wearables, with the only major changes being a China-exclusive golf mode and the aforementioned dive-specific features.

Another much-vaunted feature is the battery life, with Huawei promising you’ll get 14 days of battery life if you don’t use it too much. More realistically, you should expect to get closer to eight days out of the thing with what I consider more normal use. The company didn’t reveal how long you’d last if you went for a long run with GPS on, for example, but we’d expect the 530mAh cell to last long enough for most people to run a marathon, for example.

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Along with integration with Strava and Runtastic, there’s the usual Huawei-branded array of fitness tracking features. These include TruSeen 5.0 heart rate monitoring, TruSleep 3.0 sleep tracking, and an integrated ECG and continuous SpO2 monitoring. There’s also a new Expedition mode that uses dual-band GPS to ensure you know where you are, no matter how far you stray off the path. Huawei says you’ll get the battery from empty to full in 60 minutes and get a 25 percent charge in just 10 minutes.

In terms of pricing, Huawei won’t announce this until April 2nd, a day before it’s available in the UK and Europe. However, we do know that there will be no LTE-enabled model and no emergency call options, only Bluetooth. Of course, the usual caveats apply to any modern Huawei purchase.