Huawei hopes smart watch's savvy design will attract consumers

BARCELONA, Spain--Huawei is hoping that the striking design of its new Android Wear-based smart watch, the Huawei Watch, will attract consumers ahead of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) April launch of its first wearable, the Apple Watch.

Huawei Watch

Huawei Watch

At a press conference held here before the start of the Mobile World Congress conference, Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, emphasized the watch's  industrial design and said it will be available around mid-year in more than 20 countries including the United States, UK, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, Japan, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.  Lu did not reveal the price of the device.

The Huawei Watch sports a fully circular watch face, a 1.4-inch touch-sensitive AMOLED display with scratch-proof sapphire crystal, a stainless steel frame, and comes with a built-in heart rate monitor and 6-Axis motion sensors.

Huawei emphasized that its watch was created by a team that specializes in watch design. The watch's screen has a 400 x 400 pixel resolution, with 286 ppi at a 10,000:1 high contrast ratio. The screen creates a pretty dynamic watch face that looks close to an actual watch. The Huawei Watch has more than 40 different digital watch faces and gold, silver and black-finish frames as well as multiple straps. It will also come with a magnetic charging station.

Powered by Android Wear, users can receive SMS, email, calendar, app, and phone call notifications. The watch is compatible with smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher, and sports a Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) 1.2 GHz processor, 4GB of storage, 512 MB of RAM and Bluetooth 4.1. The watch also has a heart rate monitor sensor, 6-Axis motion sensor, and barometer sensor that automatically detects and tracks in real-time if a user is walking, running, biking, hiking or sleeping. Users can track the number of calories burned, heart rate, climbing height, steps taken and distance travelled. The watch also connects to third-party health apps and Huawei's own health data platforms.

Huawei also unveiled the TalkBand B2, its second-generation smart wearable wristband that also doubles as a Bluetooth headset. The device is made on an aluminum alloy and comes with a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) strap that is resistant to oil, grease and abrasion and also anti-allergy and soft to the touch. Huawei said the TalkBand B2 can operate for up to five days, support continuous call time up to six hours and has 12 days' standby time. The device supports devices with Android 4.0 operating system and above and iPhones with iOS 7.0 or above and it will come in black, silver and gold. Huawei said the price of the premium version with a leather strap is around $223 (€199) and the standard version with the TPU strap is $189 (€169). The device will be available by the end of April.

Additionally, Huawei announced the TalkBand N1, a Bluetooth headset and earbud system that looks like a necklace and is designed to be worn while running. The device can store around 1,000 songs and uses APTX Bluetooth transmission technology to deliver CD-quality sound through the Bluetooth headset. When paired with a smartphone, the TalkBand N1 also serves as a health and sports tracker with functionalities including step counting, distance calculation, calorie consumption tracking and more. The device comes in silver, gray and red and the recommended retail price of $133 (€119) and will be available by the end of May.

For more:
- see this Huawei Watch release
- see this Huawei wearables release
- see this Huawei Media Pad release 
- see these two separate The Verge articles

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