Honor Enters the Outdoor Wearable Race

HONOR looks set to disrupt the Outdoor Sports Watch category with the release of it’s latest SmartWatch, the HONOR GS PRO.

For the best part of two decades, Suunto and Garmin dominated the sports watch sector.

The early 2010s started to shake things up with the release of the Samsung Gear, Apple Watch and FitBit.

This new generation boasted much more functionality and better displays than their predecessors. They simply weren’t rugged enough, nor had enough battery life to win across the outdoor market however.

Now that’s what I call rugged!

I’ve got a Samsung Gear and love it, but it’s useless on anything more than a day hike as it’s impossible to keep it charged. It also won’t record a track for more than 6 hours. What, normal people don’t hike for more than 6 hours?

Suunto and Garmin upped their game of course, improving displays, adding functions and integrating with mobile apps. A bit of competition is always a good thing!

It looks like things just got serious though with the release of the HONOR GS PRO. In addition to being rugged enough for pretty much any (terrestrial*) outdoor adventure, HONOR are claiming a whopping 25 days of battery life!

Probably why it’s just been awarded the IFA Product Innovation Technology Award in the Outdoor Wearable Category.

That’s 25 days of “standard use”. When in high performance mode with GPS activated it can run for 40 hours. In theory, you could do a 14 day hiking trip without having to charge once, providing you put the watch in power saving mode while you’re not recording.

Built in GPS helps you (and the CPC) find your way home without your phone

I’m guessing that these “laboratory” timings are probably somewhat exaggerated, but even if the watch only lasts 7 days of heavy daily use, that’s still pretty impressive. 7 times better than my Galaxy Gear which barely lasts a day…

Couple this with the fact that unlike the Gamins and Suuntos, this is a fully functioning smart watch – calls, messages, music controls and so on, the incumbents better pull their bezels out and up their game again. Particularly as the GS PRO is launching at under €200 – about half the price of their mid range options…

If the in house battery life and toughness tests live up to their claims, the only stumbling block for the GS PRO will be it’s lack of full water resistance. It resists humidity and rain, but isn’t submergible.

I may well be putting this on my Christmas list as I’m a hiker/biker/runner/boarder – won’t be much good for swimmers, triathletes, rafters and surfers though!

Of course, HONOR is in fact the more “budget” brand of parent company Huawei. Perhaps we’ll see an even more impressive offering at a slightly high price under the Huawei brand that may offer full water resistance.