The Huawei Watch is Beautiful - But Is It Better?

The premium Huawei Watch ($349) has popped up on Amazon, showing off its all-metal design and sapphire crystal display. It will also be one of the Android Wear watches supported under the new Android Wear app for iOS devices, making it not only fashionable but convenient for different smartphone owners.

But with so many other Android Wear competitors, Huawei (and other manufacturers) must do whatever they can to stand out - and that's not an easy task. To recap, here's a breakdown of the top Android Wear watches so far:

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DeviceHuawei WatchLG Watch UrbaneMoto 360Asus Zenwatch 2Sony Smartwatch 3
Price$349 - $799$349$149 - $229$169 - $189$249
Display1.4-inch AMOLED, 400 x 400-pixels, sapphire crystal1.3-inch, P-MOLED, 320 x 320-pixels1.52-inch backlit LCD, 320 x 290-pixels, Gorilla Glass 31.63-inch AMOLED, 320 x 320-pixels, Gorilla Glass 31.6-inch transflective display, 320 x 320-pixels
Processor1.2 GHz Snapdragon 4001.2 GHz Snapdragon 400TI OMAP 3Qualcomm APQ 80261.2 GHz Quad ARM A7
Memory4GB internal, 512MB RAM4GB internal, 512MB RAM4GB internal, 512MB RAM4GB internal, 512MB RAM4GB internal, 512MB RAM
Battery300 mAh, up to 2 days410 mAh, up to 2 days320 mAh, up to 1 day400 mAh, up to 2 days420 mAh, up to 2 days
SensorsAccelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, barometerAccelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, magentometerPedometer, heart rate monitorAccelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitorAccelerometer, gyroscope, GPS
Materialsstainless steel, genuine leather, gold platingstainless steel, leatherstainless steel, leathermetal, leatherstainless steel, silicone
Water ResistanceIP67 (1 meter up to 30 minutes)IP67 (1 meter up to 30 minutes)IP67 (1 meter up to 30 minutes)IP67 (1 meter up to 30 minutes)IP68 (1.5 meters up to 30 minutes)

As you can see, there's not much variation in the specs of these Android Wear watches. What makes them different is design, and Huawei is making a strong statement. When I saw the Huawei Watch line for the first time, it was prefaced with this sentiment: "Smart, redefined." Today, a smartwatch means a device with enough technology and intelligence to deliver notifications and alerts to your wrist. But a smart watch as an accessory means a timepiece that is timeless - an expression of style that can carry you through day and night, month to month and year to year.

MORE: Best Smartwatches

Huawei has the most thoughtful collection of smartwatches currently available. Designed by Swiss watchmakers, the Huawei Watch has an all-metal case and the first ever always-on, sapphire glass display to be featured in an Android Wear watch.

The interchangeable watch bands are standard 18mm, so you can purchase your own or choose from Huawei's line of metal and leather bands. The details of the watch make it a luxurious timepiece as well as a smart tech device: the sapphire crystal display helps keep the device free of scratches and little blemishes, and the cold-forged stainless steel body is stronger and more durable than regular steel.

Those are features of every Huawei watch, but the styles are different enough that you'll still want to do serious research if you want to purchase one. With the standard case, you can choose a leather band, a chain link band or a metal mesh strap, which looks similar to the one available for the Apple Watch. The all-black model has a "diamond-like carbon" coating, making it scratch-resistant to ensure its midnight look will stay as pristine as it was out of the box.

The most premium Huawei watch features the same all-metal design, but it's coated in rose gold, giving it an extra luxury factor. You'll be able to get it with an alligator-patterned leather band or a matching rose gold chain link band.

It's clear that Huawei spent a lot of time developing its Android watch collection - it's cohesive, and it accounts for a variety of both male and female users. While the smartwatches from major OEMs have been getting progressively more stylish, the number of options users have from each is limited. The Moto 360 is the only one with more than a handful of styling options because you can customize it like a Motorola smartphone.

Since all Google OS smartwatches have to work with the benefits and limitations of Android Wear, design is one way they can stand out. What's telling about the Huawei Watch is not just the different designs, but the company's approach to the smartwatch category. Rather than treating it as a device first, it's first and foremost a timepiece. The line was created under the eyes of experienced watchmakers rather than technological engineers, ensuring it would stay true to its stylish roots while delivering "smart" functionality. At the end of the day, smartwatches have yet to prove their significance in our daily lives but a watch on your wrist has one job: to tell time.

It's not surprising that companies like Fossil and Tag Heuer are jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon, as they bring fashion-forward knowledge and skills to the table that most technology companies don't have. The forthcoming smartwatches from both companies are exciting prospects, and it seems that Huawei wants to beat them to the punch.

The Huawei Watch collection is available for preorder now. All of the Huawei Watch styles will be available for purchase on September 17, starting at $349, at Huawei's website, Best Buy, Amazon and the Google Play Store.

Valentina Palladino

Valentina is Commerce Editor at Engadget and has covered consumer electronics for a number of publications including Tom's Guide, Wired, Laptop Mag and Ars Technica, with a particular focus on wearables, PCs and other mobile tech.