The Huawei Watch D was first announced on Dec 23rd, 2021. This is Huawei’s first watch to feature a blood pressure sensor and they were keen to demonstrate in detail how accurate it is, in comparison to a standard B.P. machine.
Even though the Watch D was initially only a China launch, Huawei has been slowly rolling it out to other markets. We only just received the Watch D in the UAE this week.
I was fortunate to spend some time testing the Watch D’s features, most especially its Blood Pressure Monitor. So here’s a summary of my thoughts (both the Pros and Cons) from my Hands-On experience with the Huawei Watch D.
Huawei Watch D Design and Build Quality
The Huawei Watch D has a thick, rectangular-shaped aluminum alloy IP68 water-resistant frame with a Home and a Health button. It has a complex strapping mechanism which Huawei describes as follows:
“A Macromolecular tensile strap, ergonomically-arced airbag, and butterfly clasp designed to remain stable during inflation to enhance the precision of impromptu blood pressure readings”
Yeah! So basically it’s a pair of black rubber (fluoroelastomer) straps carrying an airbag that’s connected to a tiny air pump hidden within the graphite-colored (only 1 color exists) watch chassis. And that’s what makes the Huawei Watch D look so chunky.
You can detach the airbag and wear the watch D only with its rubber straps. But this will keep the air pump holes exposed thus breaching the watch’s water resistance. However, Huawei provides a rubber seal that can be used to cover the air pump holes when not worn with the airbag.
Huawei Watch D has an AMOLED color screen with a resolution of 456 by 280 pixels. With its pixel density of 326 PPI, the display is very sharp and easy to read. Although Huawei hasn’t provided an official brightness value, I would say the screen is bright enough to be clearly visible in broad daylight.
- Body: 51 x 38 x 13.6 mm (13.6mm thickness is measured at its thinnest point from the watch screen to the bottom cover, not including the sensor area).
- Strap width: 30mm (width after gradient).
- L-sized strap: about 133 mm long strap, about 90 mm short strap (including the buckle length), adapting to the wrist circumference of 161–200 mm.
- M-sized strap: about 118 mm long strap, about 90 mm short strap (including the buckle length), adapting to the wrist circumference of 130-160 mm.
- Weight: Approximately 40.9 g.
Huawei Watch D Health Features
- Blood Pressure monitoring.
- ECG (electrocardiogram).
- Heart Rate monitoring.
- Skin Temperature detection.
- Blood Oxygen monitoring.
- Sleep Tracking.
- Stress Tracking
Blood Pressure Monitor
As a long-time Galaxy Watch 4 user, I must admit that Huawei’s approach to Blood Pressure monitoring on a Smartwatch is very different.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3, Watch Active 2, and Watch 4 are able to measure your blood pressure Using their Heart Rate monitoring sensors through a technology known as “Pulse Wave Analysis”.
Pulse Wave Technology requires an initial calibration value which must be obtained with the help of a standard Blood Pressure Monitor. Furthermore, their watches must be recalibrated once every 30 days to improve accuracy.
Huawei on the other hand managed to pack a compact mini pump and airbag into the Watch D’s straps. The BP measurement app starts the pump, inflates the airbag to maximum, then measures your blood pressure as it deflates.
The watch is equipped with both high-precision pressure sensors and feedback controls that take BP measurements. That’s similar to how a standard wrist blood pressure monitor works. Huawei claims that the Watch D has a margin of error within + or – 3mmHg.
While theoretically, the Huawei watch D should be extremely accurate, in practice it’s a bit different. During my hands-on, the watch was unsuccessful at taking my blood pressure.
It kept indicating that I should keep still and stop talking, even though I was already still and wasn’t talking. Then I realized that the problem was with the watch straps. Its default straps were too large for my tiny wrists.
So due to the fact that at maximum inflation the airbags weren’t fully in contact with my wrist, my blood pressure couldn’t be measured. It’s worth noting that the Huawei includes a smaller-sized airbag and watch straps in the box. But unfortunately, I didn’t have access to those.
The Huawei Watch D also has an Electrocardiogram and I spent some time fiddling with it. Unlike its Blood Pressure measuring mechanism, the ECG is very easy to use. All you have to do is launch the ECG app, then place your index finger on the “Health Button”.
It takes roughly one minute to get a full ECG reading on the Watch D. During the real-time analysis, the watch checks for ventricular heartbeats, sinus rhythm, and atrial fibrillation. At the time of writing this post, Huawei’s ECG feature is only available in a few countries. But Huawei hopes to extend this feature to many other countries with time.
Other Health & Fitness Features
The short time I spent with the Huawei Watch D was not enough to play with all the watch’s core health features. Apart from Blood Pressure and ECG, Watch D also has the following features: Heart Rate monitoring, Skin Temperature detection, Blood Oxygen monitoring, Sleep Tracking, and Stress Tracking.
Unlike most smartwatches, the Huawei Watch D comes with a guest profile that allows you to track more than one person’s health. Your friends or family can log onto the guest profile to take a quick ECG or blood pressure reading without messing up your personal reports.
In terms of fitness, Huawei claims that the Watch D can automatically start tracking six types of daily workouts: outdoor walking, outdoor running, indoor walking, indoor running, elliptical machine, and rowing machine. It can also manually track up to 70+ workout modes.
Tracking all these health and fitness activities requires a bunch of sensors. So the Huawei Watch D comes with a Gyroscope sensor, Accelerometer sensor, Optical heart rate sensor, Temperature sensor, Hall sensor, Differential pressure sensor, and an Ambient light sensor.
The Watch D supports Qi wireless charging. Huawei claims the Watch D has a typical battery life of 7 days if the watch is used with its default factory settings if the following conditions are met.
Huawei Watch D 7-day battery life requirements
- Always-on heart rate monitoring on intelligent mode.
- Sleep measurement.
- Max 6 blood pressure measurements per day.
- Max 5 ECG measurements per day.
- Max 90 minutes of exercise per week.
- Max daily notifications of 50 Messages, 6 calls, and 3 alarms.
- 200 maximum number of daily screen wake-up times