Huawei today announced the U.S. availability and pricing of its Huawei Watch, a large-ish metal smartwatch that runs on Android Wear. The watch will go on sale September 17 and will come in models ranging from $350 to $800.

Six models, with stainless steel, black, or rose gold-plated watch bodies will be available. The stainless steel and black models are available for pre-order now, with the rose gold models coming later this year.

I got to play with the watch during a press briefing, and my first impression was that the device is just too big and heavy, at least for my relatively small wrist. When I put the watch on I became very conscious of the weight riding on my wrist.

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“Designed first and foremost as a watch, the Huawei Watch is unlike any smartwatch available today,” said Huawei U.S. president Zhiqiang Xu in a statement.

“We are committed to meeting U.S. consumers’ demands for premium products and the Huawei Watch is a step in that direction,” he said. “It embodies Huawei’s technology innovation heritage, pursuit of premium design and integration of useful functionality that we strive to develop in each product.”

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The Huawei Watch has a round face and body, standard lugs, and a 42mm diameter. A physical crown sits in the 2 o’clock position on the watch body. The body of the watch is made of “316L cold-forged stainless steel” while the face is scratch resistant, two-layer sapphire crystal.

The lug design makes it easy to swap in various types of standard 18mm bands. The Huawei Watch comes with a variety of watch faces that users can switch for different settings, moods or activities.

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Key features

  • 300 mAh battery offers up to two days of battery life with regular use, and fast charging offers 80 percent battery life in just 45 minutes, or 75 minutes for a full charge.
  • Always-on watch face gives immediate access to the most important information a watch can provide – the time.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity for instant notifications when the user’s phone isn’t in Bluetooth range.
  • Bluetooth 4.1 LE lets users pair directly with Bluetooth headsets and speakers to enjoy music on the go, with or without a smartphone.
  • 6-axis motion sensors automatically identify activity and provide accurate tracking.
  • Enhanced heart rate monitor provided by the world’s most advanced heart rate sensor manufacturer delivers measurable health tracking.
  • 1.4-inch AMOLED screen offers the highest resolution display of any Android Wear watch at 400 by 400 pixels with 286 pixels per inch.

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A better heart rate sensor?

Like the Apple Watch, the Huawei Watch has a heart rate sensor on its back. Huawei says the slightly raised window and transparent glass sensor fit closer to the skin, which helps provide a more precise reading. The heart rate sensor on the Apple Watch had some trouble getting accurate readings with darker skin tones. Huawei says its algorithm automatically takes skin color into account, adjusting light intensity in the watches’ two photosensors. The two sensors increase light-stream strength for greater precision, Huawei said in a note to VentureBeat.

Huawei also claims its Watch can get a heart rate reading faster than the Apple Watch. “From a competitive standpoint, the Huawei Watch has a shorter time for initial value reporting versus Apple, clocking within 10 seconds, compared to 15-20 seconds with Apple,” a Huawei spokesperson said.

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Models and Pricing

Watch Body Band Pricing
Stainless Steel Black Leather $349
Stainless Steel Steel Link Bracelet $399
Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Mesh $399
Black DLC-coated Stainless Steel Black-plated Link Bracelet $449
Rose Gold-plated Stainless Steel Alligator-pressed Brown Leather $699
Rose Gold-plated Stainless Steel Rose Gold-plated Link Bracelet $799

Specifications

OS Android Wear 1.3
OS Support Android 4.3 and later

iOS 8.2 and later

Size 42mm diameter, 11.3mm thin
Display 1.4-inch full circle AMOLED display

400×400 pixels, 286 ppi

Materials Sapphire crystal

316L Stainless Steel

Black version: DLC coating

Rose gold model: Genuine rose gold plated

CPU 1.2 GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400
Memory 4GB ROM, 512MB RAM
Network Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi
Sensors Gyroscope + Accelerometer, PPG (Heart Rate Sensor), Barometer
Audio Built-in microphone
Battery 300 mAh