Honor Watch GS Pro review

The Chinese tech giant Huawei’s spin-off brand Honor has finally lifted off the covers from two new smartwatches including Watch GS Pro and Watch ES at IFA 2020 in Berlin. As the name suggests the Pro variant is superior in terms of build quality and features. Honor claims the GS Pro is meant for “urban adventurers”. The tagline indicates the GS Pro is a rugged watch dedicated to explorers who like to do adventures in the outdoor. On the other hand, the Watch ES is the Huawei’s Watch Fit under the Honor branding.

PRODUCT INFO
Watch GS Pro
ManufactureHonor
Available atView at Huawei

The new GS Pro is a worthy successor of MagicWatch 2 which was unveiled in January this year. It brings all goodies of Magic Watch 2 with new rugged modes and features. The 14 MIL-STD-810G military certifications of the GS Pro confirms its ruggedness and durability.  The certifications highlight the device prowess to bear high altitude, temperature, and ability to survive under deep water and heavy rainfall.

Honor Watch GS Pro

Unlike its predecessor and other fitness watches the GS Pro is meant for a targeted audience only. There are several modes available on board to assist in outdoor adventures. Most of them are not available in other watches of this niche. If you are an athlete, mountaineer, or looking for a rugged watch for adventures and gym workout the GS Pro is certainly a good option. As expected the rugged features come at a steeper price tag.  Without any further delay, let’s find out how capable this watch is.

In the Box

  • GS Pro main body
  • Straps
  • Guide
  • Warranty card
  • Charging Dock
Watch GS Pro Box

Price and Release

Soon after the announcement, the Watch GS Pro was available for pre-orders in many European countries including Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and also in the UK via the official Honor website.  The device is expected to be released for other countries from periodically, however, the exact details are still not clear.  As far as the pricing is concerned the Watch GS Pro is priced at £220 for the UK market, the European customers will have to pay €249.99.  At the current currency exchange rate the watch costs roughly 400 Australian Dollars.  Just for the sake of reminder, the Honor Watch was available at a significantly cheaper price tag of £159.99.

Now we have to keep in our minds that other outdoor-centric smartwatches are not cheap at all. The Suunto 7 is amongst the priciest smartwatch available in the market, it costs $499 (available on discount on special sales). The Fēnix 5 by Garmin also costs $499 at a discounted price tag.  The Gear S3 Frontier by Samsung is currently available at $349.99. You can also grab the cheaper Amazfit T-Rex for just £110. Considering these prices the GS Pro doesn’t seem overly expensive.

Design and Display

Unlike the sleek smartwatches, the GS Pro comes with a heavy design which is understandable considering it brings several dedicated sports sensors. The Watch GS Pro chassis is made up of a reinforced polycarbonate body. On the top side, you will get the stainless steel bezels. The good thing is even with the hefty design the watch weighs 45.5g only without the strap. The rubber straps are removable and quite comfortable.

Honor Watch GS Pro

Taking a look at the design we can see that the main brain portion comes with two physical buttons on the right edge.  By clicking the first button the app menu will open whereas the second button can be customized according to preference.  There are many work modes, so it’s up to the user which mode is set on the dedicated menu button.

Honor Watch GS Pro Main body

Thanks to the military IL-STD-810G certifications the watch is quite sturdy and can bear water up to 50 meters. Its stainless steel bezel is rugged enough to stand against the external conditions during adventures.  In terms of color options, the Watch cases are available in Charcoal Black, Marl White, and Camo Blue. The straps are also available in three options including fluororubber straps in Marl White color whereas the braided strap is available in CamoBluenylon and Charcoal Black.

Honor Watch GS Pro Side angle

It features a 1.39-inches AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 454 x 454 pixels. The Watch comes pre-installed with many watch faces straight out of the box. Apart from the pre-installed ones the users are free to customize from the gallery as well. For special workouts, the animated watch faces can also be set to know the specific details instantly.

Battery Life & Charging Times

Considering the fitness and other outdoor features the battery life of the Watch GS Pro is quite outstanding. Honor claims on normal usage the Watch can survive up to 25 days on a single charge. When the dedicated outdoor workout mode is activated the smartwatch survives up to 100 hours.  Last but not least with the GPS mode is activated it lasts 48 hours on continuous usage.

The battery life is one of prominent aspect which differentiates Watch GS Pro from its predecessor as well as Watch GT 2.  It is important to mention that the GS Pro comes with a dual satellite positioning system that wasn’t available on the Magic Watch 2.  The Watch GS Pro is packed with a 790mAh battery under the hood whereas the GT 2 comes with a significantly smaller 455mAh battery cell.  With the fast charger, the watch took 1 hour 20 minutes to complete charge from 0 to 100.

On normal usage with heart rate monitoring and automatic stress tracking the watch can easily last two weeks which is much higher than most of the smartwatches available in the market.  Despite with few hours of music playback and other routine monitoring tasks the GS Pro’s battery life is exceptional.  The stats may improve with a new software update.

Lite OS and Huawei Health

The Watch GS Pro is pre-installed with Lite OS straight out of the box. On the main home page, swiping up will showcase notifications whereas the swipe down will direct you to the quick settings.  If you swipe horizontally the watch is pre-set to different tracking options like heart rate monitoring, weather, stress level tracking, music playback, and activity dashboard. The dashboard showcases three kinds of tracking data including workout minutes, step count, and active hours.

The good thing is that you can rearrange toggle and tracking options according to your preference. Apart from the regular tracking options, you can add one more from the Display settings. When the main menu is open the top right button opens the list of apps whereas in other menus it acts as a home button.  With a single swipe inwards you can get back from the app step by step. The button on the right bottom is by default activity tracking, however, it can be adjusted to any other app as well.

The Huawei Health app is quite helpful as it provides complete e stats of workout, heart rate, sleeping habits, calories burned, and stress level. Unfortunately, like all other Huawei and Honor products, the users will have to adjust to the limited ecosystem of apps. The activity-tracking feature of the Watch GS Pro works quite efficiently, it comes pre-loaded with more than 100 modes to track elliptical, triathlon, walking, cycling, swimming, rowing, skiing, and running. It is important to mention the stress monitoring feature isn’t available for the iOS users.

Apart from the fitness and tracking features the GS Pro comes with a compass, barometer, and altimeter. It also provides weather alerts with complete details including tide, sunset, and sunrise timings.

Forgot Your Route? Don’t Worry

If you are a mountaineer the Watch GS Pro comes with a dual satellite positioning system for accurate GPS navigation. A new Route Back feature is introduced with the GS Pro, it provides offline GPS coordinates and helps the user to reach the starting point of their journey without getting lost. It provides breadcrumb navigation to hikers so that users won’t deviate from the actual route. However, this feature isn’t available for all outdoor activities.  From the right edge, you need to swipe twice to activate the route back.

Audio Experience

The audio experience of the Watch GS Pro is quite phenomenal. The speakers are not Dolby Atmos but the loudness and clarity are worth appreciating. The watch can store music files for playback, you can also connect it via Bluetooth. Last but not least it also supports the connectivity of wireless earbuds. If the watch is connected to the phone, it can be used to attend calls.  For the Honor and Huawei phones, the watch can be used as a remote camera shutter.

Huawei OneHop feature

The OneHop share is quite beneficial as it allows users to transfer videos, documents, images, and other content on the go instantly by simply tapping the device.  This feature was initially available to transfer files from Huawei or Honor phones to PC. Now it is available to share files from phone to smartwatch. You can share pictures, videos, and other documents on the GS Pro by simply placing the phone right above the watch.

Watch Faces

No matter how much we love a specific watch face but we get bored after a very short span of time. Huawei introduces Watch Faces so that users can change new faces whenever they feel bored with the existing face. The Health app is pre-loaded with a number of watch faces. The good thing is you can install a custom watch face as well. For instance, if you captured a stunning shot on your phone, you can share it via Huawei OneHop and can set it as Watch Face.

By clicking the Watch faces section on the Health app, you will get a number of Watch faces. You just need to tap the install button to have your desired Watch Face.

Fitness tracking Features

Apart from the regular Swimming, Altitude barometer, hiking, cycling, walking, mountain climbing modes the Watch GS Pro comes with a new dedicated skiing mode.  In all modes, the Watch automatically records data in real-time so that users have a record of overall performance during six different workouts. These records can be later accessed via Huawei Health app.  In terms of water resistance, the Watch GS Pro can survive under 50 meters deep water without any effect which makes it suitable for many water sports.

To make sure your outdoor activities are not disturbed the watch will showcase regular weather alerts and also forecasts severe weather condition.  Not just that the device also analyses sunrise and sunset timings.  Apart from the outdoor modes, the watch comes with many fitness-related features. It brings heart rate sensors, Calories burnt, Step count, blood oxygen, air pressure calculation, stress monitor, and sleep monitor.  The SpO2 Monitor keeps an eye on the users’ blood oxygen saturation level to ensure the users’ health.

As mentioned above there are tons of dedicated modes in all sorts of conditions. There are special modes for martial art and dancing. Those who are gym freaks the Watch GS Pro comes with 13 cardio modes assist in shaping your body and reduce weight.

In the end, the GS Pro comes with many lifestyle modes. It assists the user in capturing shots from the phone using the watch. The native storage can store up to 500 songs. You can also control playback music via the watch.  Though the messages notification is shown on the watch, however, you can’t reply to it.

Conclusion 

The Honor Watch GS Pro and Watch ES are aimed at two different kinds of customers. Undoubtedly the GS Pro is a worthy successor as it brings all the goodies of the Magic Watch and also brings a number of new workout modes.

Honor Watch GS Pro

The only tiny drawback of the GS Pro is its slightly hefty price-tag, don’t get me wrong here. For enthusiastic wanderers, this price tag is still justified. But for an average consumer, the price tag might not be the most pleasant. However, if you are looking for a rugged smartwatch with tons of features for outdoor adventures and fitness modes the GS Pro is certainly an amazing option.

Honor Watch GS Pro

Explorer's Companion

  • Many Fitness modes
  • Military-grade certified rugged watch
  • Built-in dual GPS
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Route-back is impeccable
  • Polycarbonate chassis
  • hefty pricing

2 Reviews

Display: 1.39-inches, 454 x 454 pixels | Chipset: Kirin A1, | Weight: 45.5g | Colours: Charcoal Black, Marl White, Camo Blue | Waterproof rating: 50m | Battery: 790mAh

VERDICT:The Honor Watch GS Pro is for those who are looking for a durable outdoor watch with great battery life. However, the little hiccups in the software are certainly an issue that will be sorted out in the software update surely. Overall the Watch GS Pro doesn't fail to impress in almost every aspect.

Fahad Mushtaq


Fahad Mushtaq is an avid Android developer with over 5 years experience working on Google Cloud AI and Tensor flow in conjunction with BPM line of products.