The best smartwatch manufacturers are trampling over each other to produce wearables that rival the build quality and design of timepieces from watch brands such as Rolex and Tag Heuer. There is, of course, the Apple Watch Ultra, and Garmin has its own mega-premium MARQ series. With the release of the Watch Ultimate, Huawei is joining the brigade of ultra-premium smartwatch manufacturers.
At first glance, you might mistake the Huawei Watch Ultimate for a dive watch made in Switzerland. The watch has a zirconium-based liquid metal material case, usually reserved for traditional, luxurious timepieces. And it's not only premium-looking but also 4.5 times stronger and 2.5 times harder than stainless steel and resists deformation under high-temperature conditions.
The new watch has a 1.5-inch LTPO AMOLED touchscreen display with a 466 x 466-pixel resolution and an up to 1,000 nits brightness protected by a 2.35 mm scratch-resistant sapphire glass lens and a 'Nano-Tech Ceramic' bezel. A dedicated 'Ultimate' mode button now allows single-press access to advanced adventuring features such as the Diving and Expedition modes.
And the Watch Ultimate needs all the hardness as it's said to be the most water-tight smartwatch on the market today (well, when it's released). It supports 100-metre dive-level water resistance capabilities while still equipped with audio capabilities – a first in smartwatches. The watch has also undergone ISO 22810 water resistance standard and EN13319 diving equipment standard tests and can endure 24 hours of 110-meter depth submersion.
Of course, some might say that's overkill, and they aren't wrong. Unless you're a professional diver examining oil pipes under the sea, you'll unlikely dive that deep. But that's beside the point. You don't have to dive quite as deep, but you can. Similarly, the Apple Watch Ultra is a very decent diving watch, yet not many people use it for anything but tracking steps.
But back to the Huawei Watch Ultimate. Not surprisingly, you can use the smartwatch for diving thanks to the Diving Mode, which offers four different diving modes: recreational scuba dive, technical scuba dive, free dive and gauge. The watch also uses the industry-recognised Bühlmann decompression algorithm to monitor diving data continually. It provides suggestions based on a real-time environment with over 20 reminders also to be set.
Even if you prefer to spend your days above the waterline, exploring deserts (or walking the dog), the Huawei Watch Ultimate has your back. The new Expedition Mode feature "will satisfy your diverse exploration needs" in scenarios like desert off-roading, camping, and hiking. The wearable has Dual-Frequency Five-System GNSS positioning capabilities and can record your exercise trajectory with marking points and supports precise navigation of marked points and recorded exercise trajectories, enabling you to return to the starting point or any previous location.
The Huawei Watch Ultimate offers non-adventurer features, too, such as enhanced CE MDR-certified ECG analysis and all-day heart rate monitoring (powered by the new TruSeenTM 5.0+ heart rate sensor) with irregular heart rate notifications, screening for the risk of arteriosclerosis, all-day SpO2 and stress monitoring, and TruSleepTM 3.0 sleep tracking.
Thankfully, despite the substantial AMOLED display, the Huawei Watch Ultimate doesn't skimp on battery life either. With the new intelligent power management mode, the smartwatch can function for up to two weeks on a single charge. When the smartwatch battery goes flat, the new advanced wireless fast-charging system ensures it is fully charged within 60 minutes and 25% in 10 minutes.
The Huawei Watch Ultimate will be available in the UK and Europe from 3 April 2023 from the Huawei Store and selected retailers. AU availability TBC. Currently, there are no plans to launch in the US. Pricing is yet to be announced; however, we expect the watch to sell for a similar price to the Apple Watch Ultra (as in, not cheap). Customers who subscribe to the Huawei Store Newsletter by 23 April can also qualify for £50 off the purchase of the Watch Ultimate Voyage Blue and £100 off the WATCH Ultimate Expedition Black (UK customers only).