So about a year ago, Huawei sent me their first smartwatch Huawei Watch, which was running on Android 1.0. As my first wearable, it was a cool tech-geek kind of toy but I couldn’t really get into it. It could have been because I was pairing it with my iPhone 6 Plus (that phone is a thing of my past now).

The features were good but not great. Simply stated, the device didn’t really offer much of a unique user experience. I enjoyed it for a while, wrote a review after my first 30 days of using the Huawei Watch, but remained unimpressed.

Huawei Watch Smartwatch Android Wear 2.0 Update Review

Sure, I was honored to receive the device from Huawei, it was definitely a sound introduction to the wearables market and piqued my overall interest to this space. But, after a brief stint with the watch, I was already eager to see what the next gen of wearables had to offer.

After putting the Huawei Watch in my drawer, I was really interested in rediscovering the full potential of the ‘smart’watch. Having a smaller screen on my wrist that was just an extension of my phone didn’t fill a real void. Content was basically being displayed on a smaller screen but not allowing the user to truly engage with the content.

That all changed in February 2017.

In February, Google announced an important Android Wear 2.0 update for many smartwatches including my Huawei Watch.

What is Android Wear 2.0?

Android Wear 2.0 is arguably the biggest software update to Android wearables. Android 2.0 brings new relevance and maturity to the smartwatch space.

So Android updates its software for wearables, big deal?

It’s a very big deal. Big enough to make me recharge my watch, update it and take the whole smartwatch experience for a new spin.

This update brings a total interface redesign, improvement of existing features, adding some new- critical - features, raising the wearables bar and transforming the Huawei, and other Android powered smartwatches, into an attractive and welcomed wearable.

If you have not updated your Huawei Watch software to Android Wear 2.0 then, watch the below video for the instructions.

What made the Android 2.0 update so impressive?

Here are 7 reasons why the Android 2.0 update is causing me to rethink my Huawei Watch, possibly the entire wearables market.

In fairness, I haven’t tested the new Huawei Watch 2, which from what my colleagues are saying, offers a revamped and upgraded wearable experience.

7 Reasons to Return Back to Huawei Watch After the Android 2.0 Update

1. Interface and Navigation Changes

Let’s be honest, Android Wear 1.0 didn’t provide a great user interface. The interface looked childish in comparison to the ‘big boys’ in the wearables space.

Well, Android Wear 2.0 just made the big boys look like chumps. The maturity of the visuals, the flat design, and the UI all updated to optimize experience and quality of battery usage. Based on the newest version of Material Design, ensuring an overall a far more readable interface - reducing that awkward wrist move during meetings to seconds.

Huawei Watch Android Wear 2.0 Update Review

A serious notifications update translates into small pop up on the watch screen, rather than the previous version which just took over the valuable real estate.

The user experience is much easier to navigate. As a wearable, the small screen means simple functions. Just swipe left or right to change the watch face. Up for notifications and down for the settings menu. Simple change, world of a difference. The main toggle button used to be everything, now its reserved for accessing a full list of the apps on the phone.

2. Swipe Text Replying

This is definitely a welcomed change. Android 2.0 allows you to send messages directly from the watch! Yup. While the motion takes some getting used to, the contextual “smart replies” can eliminate embarrassing typo SNAFUs. The on-screen keyboard allows the user to either swype (instead of typing), dictate with voice, or just type a longer response. Now, I don’t have to “reach” for my phone to respond to a text message (less options for the iOS users among us).

3. Google Fit : Sport Enthusiasts Pay Attention

As a runner, Android Wear 1.0 wasn’t a viable option for me. The basic information that I could see on the watch, didn’t offer me the relevant metrics necessary to really improve my training.

Android 2.0 changed that. While I’m still a devout Garmin user while running, I took my Huawei Watch for a short test and the results were impressive. I think someone at Google is an exercise freak because the update is comprehensive and smart. With a series of exercise options, some offering challenges, the watch can actually show you proper form before you begin the challenge.

Now, that’s a smartwatch!

4. Free Functioning Apps

No big deal, right? Actually this is a very big deal. The watch can now run Google Play Store directly to install Android apps. This is a huge deal, especially for iOS users who can now bypass Apple’s limitations. It’s like getting the best of Apple and Android.

Native Android users, don’t worry. Now you can download apps solely for your smartwatch without being copied onto your phone.

Let’s be honest, Google Play Store on a smartwatch is just plain weird. There’s no getting around that. Fortunately, you can find the app on your phone or desktop and then choose its final destination.

5. Sensors Galore

Android 2.0 supports all the sensors and hardware to the watch. What a treat! Sure, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and heart rate sensors are already there on most of the smartwtaches but now, an Android smartwatch can feature LTE, GPS and NFC as well . But please note that LTE, NFC and GPS are not available in Huawei Watch but in Huawei Watch 2 only.

Google claims that Android Wear 2.0 will search for the best connectivity option, and connect accordingly. Smart watch.

And, if you have a watch with NFC built-in, you'll also be able to make use of Android Pay direct from your wrist. But again this hardware capability is not available in Huawei Watch unfortunately.

6. Making Complications Simple

In smartwatch terms, complications are the data points that appear on your watch. Who knew that every user means another series of ‘complications?’

Huawei Watch Android Wear 2.0 Update Review

Well, Android Wear 2.0 allows customizable complications from color, to backgrounds, to watchfaces. With a simple left swipe, users tailor the complications to their needs. Everything is fair game, from battery, step counter, quick calls, or heart rate.

7. "Okay, Google" with AI

Voice recognition is gaining popularity. Android Wear 2.0 knows it and is ready for the task. As the main competitor to Siri, the AI on Google voice activated commands is pretty impressive. It’s intelligence allows you to ask one question and will respond to follow up questions contextually.

All in all, the new Android Wear 2.0 is a serious upgrade from the original version, making the Huawei Watch (even the first edition) an absolute pleasure, raising the bar for wearable devices.

About Author : Mordecai Holtz is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of Blue Thread Marketing, a boutique digital agency promoting brands through strategic content marketing and effective management of digital platforms.

Mordecai is also an avid blogger and an active contributor to the digital marketing space. He's also recently been invited to serve as the first international board member of the National Institute of Social Media.