(Pocket-lint) – Huawei’s had its fair share of challenges over the past couple of years, forcing it to champion its own ecosystem made up of watches, tablets, phones and all manner of other products. At its spring showcase event in Milan at the end of May 2022, it was keen to show off just how far its come in a few short years.
Not only is it building its HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) into an alternative to Android and iPhone, but is building some of the finest sports-tracking wearables around. And the latest developments were on show for all to see at the Milan event.
HMS updates – bigger screens, better optimised
In a continued push to make its software and ecosystem stronger, Huawei has been updating a number of apps to make them better optimised for larger screens, like the Mate Xs 2 (more on that in a second).
Huawei’s Petal Maps is one of those core apps that have been updated to include a rich array of map layers, 3D effects for well-known landmarks and a colour classification system to ensure the maps on screen are clear and easy to read. Plus, with lane-level guidance and lane-specific information, its navigation capabilities are better than ever.
The new version of the app also features a new lighting effect in dark mode, showing road and building lights at night time, helping to make the map more realistic. Plus, there are personalised skins for each of the four seasons, with added temperature and precipitation layers to display weather conditions while driving.
Other apps like Huawei’s browser, Huawei Books, Video and Petal Search have all been updated with the big screen in mind. From being given multi-window and floating window support, to being updated with the AI-powered rescaling tool for when the foldable screen is folded and unfolded. They’ve been enhanced to make sure they’re making the most of the screen you’re using. However you’re using it.
Mate Xs 2 – The pioneer returns
Huawei was among the first companies to launch a folding smartphone to market; doing so with the Huawei Mate X. It was a phone with a large flexible display that wraps around the outside of the hinge. And now, there’s a new version.
It’s called the Huawei Mate Xs 2 and builds on the early formula, but makes it far more durable and practical. The new device has been built from titanium alloy and steel, with a rear panel made from fibre glass. It also has a redesigned display built from four composite layers for a stronger finish. This all ensures a sturdy phone that’s also thinner and lighter than the previous versions. It’ll not only survive being dropped and banged more readily, but is easier to hold and use as well.
The phone features a 10-billion colour 120Hz AMOLED display, flagship processor and a design and form factor that make it unlike anything else on the market. Plus, there are the usual flagship quality cameras on the back.
Health+ – Fitness tracking turned up to 11
Huawei Health has been built into one of the leading fitness apps, thanks to the popularity of Huawei’s watches and the breadth and quality of easy-to-read data that’s collected in the app. Now, Huawei is building even further with a premium subscription service called Huawei Health+.
With the new premium service users will be able to get even more advanced health and fitness information, including in-depth nutritional analysis of their foods consumed. It’ll also open users up to a wide range of training and workout sessions that can be viewed on a Huawei device and tracked on their wrist.
With the Stay Fit Plan, users can create eating and workout plans, which comes with reminders on their workout days. You’ll get to scan and add your favourite foods for calorie counting for those looking to create calorie deficit, or ensure you’re eating enough calories for the workouts you’re doing.
It’s also getting some new advanced breathing training, which takes you through a variety of different exercises. Huawei Health+ will initially be available in Italy and Germany, but will rollout elsewhere in the future.
New watches, new bands
To take advantage of these latest improvements in Huawei Health services, Huawei also unveiled a range of new wearables to pair with its fitness and health tracking platform.
Those include the Watch GT 3 Pro, which is a super premium fitness watch that comes in both titanium and ceramic editions. They also both feature the latest in Huawei’s fitness tracking hardware, including the TruSeen 5.0+ system, which means really accurate heart rate monitoring, reliable GPS and in-depth fitness analysis.
It’s also the first watch Huawei has launched that’s certified, ready for free diving up to depths of 30 metres and has a new dedicated golfing mode.
Alongside the watches, Huawei launched a new “Sense” series of watchfaces which are designed with a lot of detail to give them the authentic look of traditional watches. It’s an homage to classic design, and a new way to use virtual design to reflect the tradition of watch making. What’s more, there’s a Huawei Themes watchface store offering thousands of alternatives to download and install.
Other new devices include the more affordable Huawei Watch Fit 2 and the Huawei Band 7, which is a lightweight fitness band which measures just 10mm thin and has customisable always-on-display watchfaces.
There were also a couple of new, less mainstream products that show a real commitment to overall health and to running specifically. The Huawei Watch D is one of the first devices to come equipped with build-in blood pressure monitoring that doesn’t require and external accessory. The band itself inflates to create the pressure which the watch then reads.
For runners, there’s the new S-Tag. Think of this as a small fitness tracker that you clip on to your shoe when running or on to your bike wheel spokes when cycling. Using motion sensors it can read data, and convert it into something that tells you how youre form is. For runners it’ll help improve posture and running style to reduce risk of injury and make you more efficient.