Honor refreshed its watch portfolio with two new models. The first is Honor Watch ES, which costs PLN 449 . The second one resembles G-Shock watches – this is Honor Watch GS Pro that costs much more, PLN 999. Both models are an extension of the concept that Honor and Huawei have presented in their devices so far – their own operating system, good battery life and simplified functions. Below, I will compare both devices and try to highlight their strengths and weaknesses.
How do we rate design? – Watch ES / Watch GS Pro
The smaller and cheaper Honor Watch ES has a rectangular shape measuring 46 x 30 mm and weighs 21 grams without the strap. It is much smaller and slimmer than most watches and much closer to a sports band with a larger screen. Another similarity is even a single button, in this case located on the right edge of the housing. Honor Watch ES is available in Black White and Pink.
The much larger and more expensive Honor Watch GS Pro measures 48 x 48 mm and weighs more than twice as much as 45.5 grams without the strap. Due to the large size of the housing, the watch is noticeably larger than models such as Honor Magic Watch 2 or Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro . Its appearance alone is associated with extreme sports and endurance. The manufacturer boasts that it has passed 14 tests from the MIL-STD-810G military category, such as temperatures of -40 and +70 degrees, 96 hours in a salt spray, low pressure and much more.
The Watch GS Pro has two buttons on the right edge and a built-in speaker and microphone.
Both watches are sealed and can be submerged up to 50 meters under water. Both use standard 22 mm straps with a telescope, so changing the strap is possible at any watchmaker.
Due to the size and weight, the Honor Watch ES is a smartwatch for people for whom the screens of sports bands are too small, but do not want to have a “normal” watch. Honor Watch GS Pro is one of the largest watches I have tested and therefore you have to be used to carrying a larger device.
What do we think about the display? – Watch ES / Watch GS Pro
For Honor Watch ES, the screen is rectangular with a diagonal of 1.64 inches and a resolution of 456 x 280, resulting in a pixel density of 326 PPI.
Honor Watch GS Pro has a 1.39-inch round screen with a resolution of 454 x 454, which gives a pixel density of 326 PPI as well. These are the same parameters as in the previous Honor and Huawei watches.
In both models, the panels are made in AMOLED technology, which guarantees adequate readability in the sun, good viewing angles and brightness. The latter can be adjusted manually in the range from 1 to 5, or set to be adjusted automatically. Also in both models are installed 11 clock faces to choose from and a twelfth dial with the ability to set your own background. More dials can be downloaded and installed using a smartphone application, there are dozens if not hundreds of options. Due to the shape of the display, the GS Pro model is dominated by analog and sports dials, and the ES model has more youth and color options, but in both cases everyone should find something for themselves.
Specs and operating system – Watch ES / Watch GS Pro
Both devices run under the operating system developed by the manufacturer. If we dealt with earlier Honor or Huawei watches, we will feel immediately at home – the layout of functions and their icons are exactly the same, at least within the functions that are available. It also means certain limitations – it is not possible to interfere with installed applications or install new ones. It is not possible to respond to notifications, or at least deleting and marking an e-mail as read. It can be said that 80% of these are sports band functions with certain extras and a larger display.
The larger and more expensive Honor Watch GS Pro has built-in GPS, a digital compass, and a barometer. It can independently record the course of the training route. It is also possible to copy music to the watch’s memory as MP3 files and play it via Bluetooth on the headphones. However, it is not possible to listen to files from streaming services such as Spotify or Tidal. New to previous Honor and Huawei watchesthere is an option to determine the return route from the training to its starting point. This is possible both in your path and in a straight line, which is a form of simplified navigation. I would like to be able to navigate on the map or read GPS coordinates, which is still missing. However, I do appreciate the step in the right direction.
Another novelty in Watch GS Pro , which we will not find in the predecessors, is information about sunrise and sunset, moon, moon phase and tides. This data can be viewed for the current day and 5 days ahead with symbolic charts. During multi-day hikes, this can be useful in terms of route planning and the time needed to cover it.
For comparison, Watch ES was not equipped with GPS. The barometer and compass are also not available. This significantly limits its functionality, because training without a phone in your pocket makes much less sense then. It’s a shame as that would be what set the Watch ES apart for sports bands and unfortunately it was not included.
A novelty unique to the Watch ES are fitness courses that have not been available in any other Honor and Huawei watch so far . We have 12 course types to choose from: Recharge Your Batteries, Relax Your Neck and Shoulders, Workout at Work, Burn Fat Fast, Full Body Stretch, Strengthen Your Heart and Lungs, Advanced Chest Exercises, Toning Your Abdominal Muscles, Ab ripper, Deep Muscle Training, Leg Training and buttocks, and Leg training. Within these workouts, there are 44 animations of various exercises played on the screen, so you can easily see what the exercise is about. I have not encountered such animations in other watch models either.
Both devices measure the pulse 24/7 and sleep with the analysis of its individual phases, as well as stress. They also offer breathing exercises. I have described all this many times while reviewing previous Honor and Huawei models . If someone has already exercised with a smartphone anyway, but would like to enrich the data with pulse and oxygen zones, both watches work well here. It is also possible to measure blood oxygenation, which is definitely a useful function nowadays. In my case, the indications were consistent with the measurements made with the oximeter +/- one percentage point.
Honor Watch ES offers 95 types of sports that it monitors, and Honor Watch GS Pro more than 100 such modes, including skiing with slope measurement. Some basic exercises are recognized and monitored automatically.
The last advantage of the Watch GS Pro worth mentioning is the ability to make and receive voice calls in a hands-free mode. We can answer any incoming call. To make a call, you must first select your favorite contacts in the Health application and add them to the watch, otherwise you will not be able to initiate a call without reaching for your phone.
During the tests, I noticed one error in the more expensive Watch GS Pro model . After training, you can review the duration, distance, heart rate, and oxygen zones data in the summary. In any type of training, regardless of its intensity, the summary of heart rate zones always shows that 100% of training took place in the extreme zone, i.e. the highest zone, which is impossible. It is also not indicated by the heart rate graph, which is displayed correctly. Fortunately, the error only affects the summary, not the data itself, so the heart rate zones are displayed correctly in the Health app. It remains to be hoped that the manufacturer will improve it with a software update.
The application for handling watches on a smartphone is Huawei Zdrowie. The app has been in development for a long time and is quite useful. My main caveat from the very beginning is the inability to export training data to other applications. Besides, I have no major comments.
Honor Watch ES is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate sensor and lighting strength. Honor Watch GS Pro has 4 GB of memory on board, 2 GB of which is available for music files. Bluetooth 5.1 is used, and the localization is done in the GPS, GLONASS and Galileo standards. The sensors include a barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, heart rate monitor, light sensor, and digital compass.
How long does the battery last? – Watch ES / Watch GS Pro
The Watch ES has a 180 mAh battery. It is charged via a special USB cable with a magnetically connected tip. Compared to other charging stations, the one connected to the Watch ES is very small, so it is easy to take with you. The manufacturer declares 10 days of continuous operation and a week of operation after 30 minutes of charging. The tests confirm the manufacturer’s data.
Watch GS Pro has a battery with a capacity of 790 mAh, which is the highest value I have come across in watches. The result is an improvement in the already great results of its predecessors. Instead of 14 days of operation with all active functions, the manufacturer declares 25 days. In continuous GPS recording mode, the operating time has been extended from 30 to 40 hours. There is also a GPS mode with power saving to run for 100 hours. These times are so long that they are difficult to verify in a two-week review. So far, however, the manufacturer has not missed the actual times of operation. So it looks like the Honor Watch GS Pro is setting new records for battery performance.
The base station has not changed from the Honor Magic Watch 2 – it is flat and round, has a USB C socket and is magnetically connected to the watch. Unfortunately, inductive charging is not possible.
Our final assessment
Honor Watch ES and Honor Watch GS Pro differ significantly in price and functions. Although both devices allow you to monitor heart rate, sleep and stress, match notifications and are waterproof, they are addressed to a different audience. Watch ES is devoid of GPS, the ability to load music to memory, as well as barometer and compass. However, it offers extensive monitoring of exercises that can be performed at home. Therefore, it is aimed at people who are more focused on indoor fitness. Honor Watch ES is smaller and more handy than classic watches. At the same time, the price of PLN 449 in most stores and PLN 399 in one of them is not so little as for a watch that duplicates the functions of a sports band, expanding them mainly with animations of fitness exercises. The recently tested Mi Watch is very similar in price and offers GPS, although it does not have such extensive fitness training as Honor .
Honor Watch GS Pro, although functionally not very different from its predecessors, has advantages that are worth appreciating. The first is a record-breaking, unbeatable battery life. Combined with the durability of the structure and built-in GPS, it is perfect for long training in difficult conditions, as long as we accept the inability to export data to applications such as Strava. You should also appreciate the possibility of navigating the traveled route to the starting point, or extended information about sunrise and sunset and moonlight.
However, it must be remembered that Honor Magic Watch 2 can currently be purchased for PLN 599 and it offers 90% of the Honor Watch GS Pro functions , which is more expensive. The only thing missing is a more powerful battery, navigation to the starting point of the training and the aforementioned sun and moon cycles. It is worth considering which of these functions are worth such a surcharge for us.
To sum up the entire Honor and Huawei watch category – the idea of your own system, without the possibility of installing applications and responding to notifications, is easily acceptable to me, because I definitely appreciate the battery life more, and I would not reply to the messages from the watch anyway. In the future, however, I would love to see three additions in the form of payment with a watch, export of GPS data to other applications and the possibility of uploading free OpenStreetMap and navigating with them. With a kit like this, I would accept all other compromises and gladly head to the store.
The main pros and cons of Honor Watch GS Pro
Advantages of Honor Watch GS Pro :
- Durable construction
- Super long battery life
- New feature for navigating to where your training starts
- New feature that informs about sunrise and sunset and moon
- The ability to conduct voice calls using the watch
- The ability to copy music to the watch’s memory
- Design associated with G-Shock
Wady Honor Watch GS Pro:
- Much higher price compared to Honor Magic Watch 2
- Large and heavy, extreme look will not suit everyone and not every occasion
- Still no map navigation, payment and data export
- You cannot mark messages as read
- Error of the heart rate zones shown in the training summary on the watch
- No inductive charging
The main pros and cons of Honor Watch ES
Advantages of Honor Watch ES :
- Small, light and handy
- A set of fitness training designed to be performed at home and at work
- Animations of 44 fitness exercises to help you do the exercises correctly
- A large, easy-to-read display distinguishes the Watch ES from sports bands
- You can use it to control the shutter of the camera
Disadvantages of Honor Watch ES :
- The lack of a built-in GPS, barometer and compass brings the functionality even closer to a sports band
- Still no map navigation, payment and data export
- Too limited interaction with notifications
- You cannot listen to music directly from the watch in any form
- The sports headband gives you the same at a lower price
Who is Honor Watch GS Pro for :
- For those who need the longest battery life on the market
- For active people
- For fans of sports design
Who is Honor Watch GS Pro not for :
- Not for people who want to handle notifications on the watch
- Not for people who want to use Spotify without a phone
- Not for people who want to pay with a watch
- Not for people who want to export data to other applications and services
Who is Honor Watch ES for :
- For indoor fitness enthusiasts
- For people who prefer small, light and more discreet devices
- For those who want a larger display than a sports headband
Who is Honor Watch ES not for :
- Not for people who want to interact with notifications
- Not for people who want to listen to music directly from the watch
- Not for people who want to pay with a watch
- Not for people who need built-in GPS