Honor’s GS Pro smartwatch is aimed at the adventurer, boasting a design that's built to survive the elements alongside a host of features to match, such as built-in GPS navigation, a barometric altimeter and big battery life to last you a long few days of exploring the wilderness.
At £249.99, the Watch GS Pro sits in the mid-range, rivialing outdoor watches like the Garmin Instinct Solar and older Suunto options like the Traverse. But how does it measure up? We’ve been putting it to the test to find out.
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Honor Watch GS Pro Review: Price
The Honor Watch GS Pro is available to buy right now from retailers such as Amazon (opens in new tab) and Argos (opens in new tab). While it has an RRP of £249.99, both retailers are selling the smartwatch at a reduced price of £12.99 and £219.99, respectively.
Compared to its rivals, such as the Amazfit T-Rex (£129, Amazon (opens in new tab)), Polar’s Grit X (£379, Wiggle (opens in new tab)) and Garmin’s Fenix 6 Pro (£599.99, Argos (opens in new tab)), the Watch GS Pro is priced within the mid-range.
It comes in one size and in either Charcoal Black, Marl White or a Camo Blue colour options.
Honor Watch GS Pro Review: Design And Hardware
The Honor Watch GS Pro isn’t a sleek or slender smartwatch by any means. With the face measuring 48mm, it’s a cumbersome piece of wristwear that will likely snag on tight-fitting clothing thanks to a raised and wide bezel that goes all the way around the screen.
Despite its size, it only weighs just over 45g, so it's not that heavy. In fact, the odd weight-to-size ratio kind of cheapens it. If it was heavier (like the Garmin Fenix 6, for instance), it would actually feel more legit. But the chunky form with no meat behind it just gives it a kind of hollow feel. Not something you want from a £250 watch, but at least it doesn’t weigh you down while working out.
On the plus side, the GS Pro touts some great design features to ensure it can survive in harsh environments, such as a host of military certifications and 5ATM water resistance, which all work to fortify its durability credentials. Such certifications include being able to function fully in humidity for 240 hours or salt fog for 96 hours. We’d love to say how we ran around in salt fog for 96 hours to test out this very claim, but we doubt anyone would believe us. We did, however, test it out one some rainy runs and cycles and found zero issues with the watch’s rugged abilities.
Display-wise, the GS Pro boasts a good-quality 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen with a 454 x 454 resolution. As a result, text and on-screen graphics appear sharp with nice punchy colours to match.
Honor Watch GS Pro Review: Features And OS
The most impressive thing about the Watch GS Pro is the extensive list of activities it can track. It boasts over 100 popular and quite obscure workout modes, including; hiking, mountain climbing, open water swimming, free training, triathlon, outdoor/indoor running, outdoor/indoor cycling, mountain climbing, elliptical, rower, trail running, skiing and more.
There's built-in GPS, so you won't need your phone to calculate your distance on trips, and there’s even an altitude barometer for mountaineering, so you know that nearly every base is covered if you’re looking to take it out on your next outdoors adventure with you. On the opposite end of the spectrum, all your daily activities are tracked and monitored, too, including step count, calories burnt, and 24/7 heart rate monitoring.
Obviously, we haven’t had the time to test out all of the watch’s features (Everest base camp has been closed during the pandemic, unforch), but the ones we have tried have proven accurate and fairly easy to use.
With fitness aside, some of our favourite lifestyle features include the watch’s ability to take photos from your smartphone remotely and store up to 500 songs in some on-board storage so you can control music playback without needing to connect your phone. You can also manage phone calls, receive notifications and set alerts for forecast changes so you’re in the know if, for instance, you have some bad weather coming your way.
The operating system which powers all of the watch’s features is based on the Huawei wearable platform and is compatible with devices running iOS 9.0 or later,or Android 5.0 or later. As for performance, to be honest, it’s not as responsive or as fluid as we were expecting. Scrolling through menus can prove irritating as it tends to jar every so slightly from time-to-time. Nevertheless, this is more of a niggle than a major complaint. Another downside, though, is the lack of third-party app support, meaning you won’t get automatic integration with platforms such as Strava. Instead, all your activity data will be synced to and stored in the Huawei Health app, which - don’t get us wrong - is a pretty decent app.
When it comes to battery life, the GS Pro boasts a massive 25 days battery life on a single charge. However, this is reduced significantly when all the watch’s bells and whistles are turned on. For instance, you can expect just 48 hours total battery life with GPS enabled, and up to 100 hours battery life when outdoor workout mode is enabled. However, a totally flat battery only takes an impressive two hours of charging to rejuice all the way up to 100%. The star of the Google Home Mini show is of course Google Assistant, just as it is on the original Google Home. The software on board is exactly the same on both the speakers. If you want all the Google Assistant goodness with a few extra visuals and some additional tricks, try a Nest Hub or a Nest Hub Max.
We're not going to go into everything Google Assistant can do for you – you've probably already used it in one form or another – but the digital helper now covers a huge number of functions and tasks, and is getting smarter all the time.
You can get answers from the web, check your spelling, solve maths problems, hear the weather forecast, get a brief news update, check travel times to destinations, set alarms and reminders, hear what's coming up on your Google Calendar, check the latest sports scores, and much more besides.
Honor Watch GS Pro Review: Verdict
The Honor Watch GS Pro is a decent smartwatch for those who like to brave the elements. While that’s not exactly on the top of most people’s agenda right now thanks to government advice to stay home, still, there’s plenty to play with here once restrictions are lifted, and plenty to keep you busy until that time, too, thanks to its ability to track any home workouts with ease.
If you’re looking for a watch that’s sleek and elegant, the GS Pro is probably not for you. It’s pretty bulky and while this isn’t such an issue for a watch made to survive the great outdoors, it does feel a little cheap. And at £250, it’s not exactly an expensive smartwatch but we were expecting a bit more of a premium finish from Honor.
Software is also a bit of a disappointment. Not only is it not as nippy as we’d like, but - as with Honor sister firm Huawei’s smartwatches - the OS lacks support for third party apps,
Despite these few niggles, this watch still has plenty going for it, such as the plethora of trackable activities, military certifications to withstand all rugged environments, GPS tracking, and an amazing battery life. All-in-all, it might not be the ultimate adventure companion like the Polar Grit X or the Garmin Fenix 6, but it could prove a more suitable option for those not wanting to splurge on a suitable outdoors activity tracker.