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Three-way Smartwatch Comparo: Huawei Watch GT 2 VS Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 VS Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Which watch should you get?

With so many options for smartwatches nowadays, it’s incredibly difficult to choose the right one for you. Well, we’ll try and make the choice easier for you today, as we’ll be pitting three wildly popular smartwatches against each other to see which one you should buy.

Design

The three smartwatches couldn’t be more different in design, thanks to the different backgrounds of the companies that made it. Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music is the sportiest of the three, and uses a tough fiber-reinforced polymer on the outside, and a 42mm watch face.

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 meanwhile uses aluminum for its exterior, and if you’re feeling extra spendy, there’s a stainless steel version of the watch as well. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 comes in two different sizes: 44mm and 40mm.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 uses an aluminum front and a plastic rear, and comes in two different sizes: 46mm and 42mm, and uses 3D glass in the front.

All three have removable watch bands that can be replaced with aftermarket straps.

Of the three, Huawei’s Watch GT 2 looks the most like a regular smartwatch, thanks to its crown and button positioning. The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music looks like, well, a runner’s watch (which isn’t surprising considering who made it) while the Samsung Watch Active 2 looks a lot like a modern smartwatch.

Display

Both the Watch GT 2 and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 uses AMOLED-based displays to deliver relevant information to the user.

For the Galaxy Watch Active 2, you’re looking at a 1.2-inch display on the smaller 40mm model, and a 1.4-inch panel on the bigger 44mm variant. Both variants have a 360 x 360 resolution.

The Watch GT 2 meanwhile has a 1.39-inch display on the bigger 46mm variant, while the 42mm variant has a 1.2-inch display. Of the three watches, the Watch GT 2 has the sharpest display, thanks to a 454 x 454 resolution on the 46mm variant and 390 x 390 resolution on the 42mm variant. Just like the Galaxy Watch Active 2, the Watch GT 2 has multiple creative Watch Faces that users can choose from.

The Forerunner 245 Music uses a different display tech than its competitors, relying instead on a memory-in-pixel screen. The display size is 240 x 240 resolution and is 1.2-inches big. Unlike its competitors, Garmin relies on the buttons on the Forerunner 245 for navigation, since the display isn’t touch-screen capable.

Features

All three watches have robust tracking capabilities when it comes to fitness, including real-time heart-rate tracking as well as GPS positioning and several workout modes. All three can also be used while swimming.

As far as customizability and app support goes, there are only limited options for the three smartwatches because of the OS and interface that they use. Samsung’s Tizen, Huawei’s LiteOS and Garmin’s proprietary OS aren’t as robust as Google’s Wear OS and Apple’s watchOS, so you’re limited to a few additional fitness apps.

All three phones support music playback, thanks to 4GB of storage space. Samsung’s TizenOS is a little heavier than Huawei or Garmin’s solution, just leaving you with 1.5GB worth of space for music. Huawei’s Watch GT 2 and Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music have around 2GB of storage leftover. That allows the Huawei Watch GT 2 to store around 500 songs worth.

Of the three only Huawei’s Watch GT 2 and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has the ability to take and make calls – you’ll have to pull out your phone in the middle of your run if you use the Forerunner 245 Music.

Battery life

Battery life is an important metric when it comes to smartwatches because no one likes a watch that has to be constantly charged every day.

Garmin quotes 7-day battery endurance for the Forerunner 245 Music, but that’s not accounting for actual use with GPS, 24/7 heart-rate tracking, sleep tracking and notification use.

We found that the watch had closer to five days of battery life, which isn’t bad.

Samsung, on the other hand, says that the Watch Active 2 lasts “a day and more with normal use” on their website. Actual use comes in at around a day if you’re using workouts, GPS, heart-rate/sleep tracking and other features, two if you’re only using it as a smartwatch.

Huawei’s Watch GT 2 is still the battery king as far as smartwatches are concerned, as it comes in at an astounding 10 days of use during our time with it, and up to 30 hours of intensive use with all the features turned on and running. That’s a few days short of Huawei’s two-week claim, but that’s a non-issue compared to the battery endurance of its competitors.

Price and Verdict

Pricing is an important part of any wearable, as many people tend to shy away from higher-priced models especially when they cost more than a mid-range phone nowadays.

Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music is priced at Php 19,996 at Kinetic, one of Garmin’s partner online stores, down from an initial price of Php 24,995.

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 meanwhile, retails for Php 13,990 for the 40mm aluminum variant, while the bigger 44mm variant goes for a cool 16,990. The stainless steel variation comes in even higher, at Php 19,990.

Huawei’s Watch GT 2 looks to be the most affordable of the lot, with the 42mm Night Black variant starting at just Php 9,990, with the more expensive-looking Refined Gold variant coming in at Php 13,990.

The bigger 46mm variant isn’t that much expensive either, with the Matte Black variant coming in at just Php 10,990, while the Pebble Brown variation is slightly more, at Php 13,990.

After testing all three out, Huawei’s Watch GT 2 offers the most value per peso, delivering quite a lot of features that its competitors struggle to match, at a lower price point to boot.

It’s also the most stylish of the three, important if you’re the sort of person that’s looking for a smartwatch that blends with your wardrobe and don’t want your accessory sticking out like a sore thumb.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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