A few months ago, Huawei and Google were at odds. The reasons make sense: Huawei wanted to expand its customer base by making inroads into the US market, but Google scrapped its Nexus-like, repeat smartphone plans to create another Huawei Nexus and decided to "go it alone" with its own self-branded Pixel lineup. It appears as though Huawei was told by Google that it would have to forfeit its own branding on the Pixel phones were it to make the phone for Google -- which led to Huawei pulling out altogether. And at that time, we were told that Huawei was looking to get chummy with Samsung and make smartwatches running Tizen.
Well, the first-generation Android Wear smartwatch from the Chinese OEM was called "Huawei Watch," and it appears as though a second-generation smartwatch from Huawei is in the works. According to tech site VentureBeat, Huawei is planning a Huawei Watch 2 that will have a sportier design and feature cellular connectivity. The Huawei Watch 2 will prove to be several months late, but, as the old saying goes, "better late than never."
The first Huawei Watch was rather formal in design, leaving little room for athletes and fitness-centric consumers who want something more informal to use for exercise and walks. The new watch, though, will have a sportier look and operate as more of a sports model instead of a formal model that many associate with formal, elegant events. Motorola brought a Moto 360 Sport smartwatch to Android Wear some time after announcing its formal Moto 360, but companies such as LG (G Watch R) and Samsung (Gear S2 Sport, Gear S3 Frontier) have offered sports models before.
As for cellular connectivity, it is a must-have feature for smartwatches of the future. A number of consumers are fed up with smartwatches that must be tethered to smartphones all the time and cannot operate apart from them. Why have a smartwatch on the wrist if it only works while the smartphone is alive? 3G-connected smartwatches like the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic, as well as 4G-connected smartwatches such as the Gear S3 Frontier and now, the SK Telecom-exclusive Gear S3 Classic LTE (the worldwide Gear S3 Classic isn't LTE-capable, for those who want to know), allow the smartwatch to operate as an independent, standalone device that can make calls and receive text messages apart from whether or not you carry your smartphone. Athletes could use more standalone connectivity and built-in GPS to enhance their workouts and fitness experience.
We don't know when Huawei will launch the Huawei Watch 2, but we could be looking at something of a Google I/O 2017 announcement or by summer's end. As for LTE connectivity, we assume Huawei may have a deal with GSM carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile to offer LTE-connected smartwatches, though we will hold our breath as far as these smartwatches coming to Verizon, for example. Huawei isn't the only Chinese OEM launching an LTE-connected smartwatch, as ZTE is also planning to launch its own Android Wear LTE-connected smartwatch this year.
What do you think? Are you ready for an LTE-connected smartwatch from Huawei? Happy with your first-gen. Huawei Watch, or got some other smartwatch on your mind (say, the Gear S3 Frontier/Classic)?