HONOR Watch GS Pro

HONOR Watch GS Pro

The HONOR Watch GS Pro is a rugged smartwatch released in September 2020. This is essentially the rugged version of the popular Honor Magicwatch 2, and HONOR’s first rugged smartwatch. HONOR was the budget or value brand of HUAWEI, but HUAWEI sold off the HONOR brand in November 2020.

The GS Pro is using a HUAWEI Kirin A1 processor. This is an older processor that is very power efficient allowing for extended battery life. That being said, in 2020 this processor is showing its age. While lag is not a big issue, it performs the same as older and cheaper watches in the HUAWEI family. Essentially, its sibling, the HONOR MagicWatch 2 at a much lower price has nearly identical specs, performance and user experience.

This watch is using Lite OS, the proprietary operating system for HONOR smartwatches. While there are some available apps, the number is minimal and you do not have access to a 3rd party app store such as the Google Play Store. This is a significant disadvantage and is common drawback for any smartwatch using a proprietary operating system.

Design

The GS Pro has a circular watch face design with a stainless steel case. As this is a rugged watch, it has a bulky style that you will either love or hate. Definitely designed for outdoor use. The watch is available in black, white and blue. The blue one comes with a “camo design”.

HONOR Watch GS Pro Colors
HONOR Watch GS Pro Colors

This smartwatch is on the larger size at 48 x 48 x 12.3 mm and weighs 41g. The 12.3 mm thickness is on the larger size and could be uncomfortable for some to wear while sleeping.

The GS Pro comes with a 22 mm fluoroelastomer interchangeable strap for the black or white watches while the blue one comes with a nylon strap. Fluoroelastomer is a synthetic rubber strap that is supposed to be more resistant to heat, moisture and oil than silicone.

You can interact with the watch using the touchscreen and 2 physical buttons. The touchscreen works very well and typically does not lag, but occasionally does. The user interface is simple to navigate and fonts are easy to read.

The GS Pro has a 5ATM water resistance rating which allows for swimming and showers. Salt water or chlorine could be problematic so make sure to rinse, wipe and dry the watch after swimming. When going into swimming mode, the screen is locked to avoid accidental swiping.

Screen

The screen of the Watch GS Pro is quite good. The 1.39″ AMOLED Touchscreen, with 454 x 454 pixels and 326 ppi pixel density delivers a high-quality visual experience. Indoors the display is excellent while outdoors it is acceptable but not great.

HONOR does not indicate what screen protection is provided but the GS Pro has passed the MIL-STD-810G military specification for durability. A strong positive, hence we expect this watch to be quite durable.

The watch has an always on screen option but this has a significant impact on battery life. The watch allows for custom watchfaces which is a nice feature.

Battery

The Watch GS Pro comes with a 790 mAh battery. HONOR claims that typical usage battery life is 25 days and GPS mode battery life is 2 days. Real world battery life is much less with most people getting 2 weeks with normal usage. While it isn’t 25 days, this is very good when compared to other smartwatches on the market.

Connectivity Features

From a connectivity perspective, the Watch GS Pro has limited functionality when compared to full featured smartwatches. The watch can only receive notifications and there is no ability to respond to notifications from the watch.

This is one of the biggest drawbacks of the watch and a very common complaint. While the inability to respond to notifications may be acceptable on the $130 HONOR MagicWatch 2, at the $200+ level it is disappointing. The watch does not have WiFi connectivity as well.

The Watch GS Pro has both a speaker and a microphone and has the ability to both answer and place calls via Bluetooth. The speaker and microphone work well for both incoming and outgoing calls. The speaker can be used to play music stored on the 4GB internal memory. The GS Pro does not have a camera and does not have cellular connectivity.

On the positive side, it does come with built-in GPS. GPS connectivity is fast and accuracy is while not perfect is acceptable. The GS Pro comes with a route back feature which records your travel route and allows you to find your way back to the starting point.

HONOR Watch GS Pro Route Back
HONOR Watch GS Pro Route Back

Finally, Near Field Communication (NFC) is not supported, hence you cannot use this smartwatch to make payments. In the $200+ price range, numerous smartwatches have NFC hence this is a negative to consider.

Health and Fitness Features

The Watch GS Pro comes with 6 sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2). These cover quite a bit of fitness functions and even some health areas. These sensors allow you to track the following 11 metrics: Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming, VO2 Max.

Heart rate tracking works well in most situations but can be inaccurate when doing high exertion exercises. Most smartwatches without chest bands struggle in these situations. The GS Pro has very good sleep monitoring and fitness tracking, while not Garmin level, is quite good. Also included are 100+ different sports modes. Note that some owners have complained the step tracking is not the most accurate.

HUAWEI Health App

The HONOR Watch GS Pro uses the HUAWEI Health app, which is very good particularly for fitness and sports tracking. The app is not cluttered, easy to navigate and works quite well. You can see how the HUAWEI Health app ranks on our Smartwatch Apps Page.

One common complaint with all HUAWEI and HONOR smartwatches is the lack of Strava app support, a popular app for runners and cyclists.

HUAWEI Health App

Known Issues

As this watch has just recently been released, there are no common known issues.

Verdict

The HONOR GS Pro is similar to the popular Magicwatch 2 in a rugged design. While 25 day battery life is exaggerated, 2 weeks of battery is achievable. Price is a bit high considering the inability to respond to notifications, no app store, no payment capability and no Strava support. That being said, it is a watch to consider if you are looking for a rugged smartwatch.

Specifications

General

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Watch Type Rugged Smartwatch
Gender Men
Release Date September 2020
Operating System Proprietary - Lite OS
App HUAWEI Health
Supported Devices Android 5.0+, iOS 9.0+
Processor HUAWEI Kirin A1

Design

Shape Circular
Case Size 48 x 48 x 12.3mm
Case Material Stainless Steel
Weight 41g
Strap Width 22 mm
Strap Material Fluoroelastomer
Interchangeable Strap Yes
Watch Colors Black, White, Blue
Input Touchscreen, 2 Buttons
Water Resistance

Screen

Screen Size 1.39"
Screen Type AMOLED Touchscreen
Resolution 454 x 454
Pixels per Inch 326 ppi
Always On Yes
Custom Faces Yes
Screen Protection None

Battery

Typical Usage Battery Life (Days) 25
Watch Mode Battery Life (Days) Not disclosed
GPS Mode Battery Life (Days) 2
Charging System Magnetic
Capacity 790 mAh

Features

Notifications Receive Only
Bluetooth v5.1
Bluetooth Calling Receive and Place Calls
Bluetooth Music Yes
Speaker Yes
Microphone Yes
Camera No
Cellular No
GPS GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia)
Near Field Communication (NFC) No
Payments No
WiFi No
Voice Command No
Memory 4GB
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2)
Tracking Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming, VO2 Max
Sport Modes 100+
Warranty 12 Months

Summary

Unique Features MIL-STD-810G Rugged Rating
GPS Route Back
Advantages Good durability
Good battery life
Nice screen
Fitness and health tracking is good
Can receive and place calls with the watch when paired to your phone
Disadvantages Cannot respond to notifications
Limited apps, no app store with third-party apps
No NFC or payment capability
No Strava support
Verdict Similar to the Magicwatch 2 in a rugged design. While 25 day battery life is exaggerated, 2 weeks of battery is achievable. Price is a bit high considering the inability to respond to notifications, no app store, no payment capability and no Strava support. A watch to consider if you are looking for a rugged watch.

Published: January 09, 2021

HONOR Watch GS Pro - WatchSmarty
HONOR Watch GS Pro

The HONOR Watch GS Pro Similar to the Magicwatch 2 in a rugged design. While 25 day battery life is exaggerated, 2 weeks of battery is achievable.

Product SKU: HONOR Watch GS Pro

Product Brand: HONOR

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 200

Price Valid Until: 2023-01-01

Product In-Stock: SoldOut

Editor's Rating:
6.5