The long-awaited Huawei Watch D has been unveiled in China, and as expected has brought blood pressure monitoring to the wrist.
Huawei has been teasing its new health smartwatch for some time, and the surprises were mostly ruined by a slew of leaks. But we now have full details on what to expect.
Firstly, the Huawei Watch D does bring blood pressure tracking, which is done via air pressure sensors mimicking a traditional cuff with tiny air pumps.
As we reported, these airbags fit onto the polymer strap to take wrist-based measurements.
The contents list of the Huawei Watch D packaging contains medium and large sized airbags, and a cover – so it looks like some fiddling will be necessary in order to take blood pressure readings.
It’s not quite as simple as we’d expected, and have seen from solutions such as Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, which use the optical HR sensor. But those require validation from a traditional cuff.
We have seen niche blood pressure wearables from the likes of Aktiia, which uses the optical sensor – so this route from Huawei is certainly different, and we’re not sure what effect it will have on wearability and accuracy.
Huawei boasts that its Watch D blood pressure sensor is accurate within ± 3 mmHg, and doesn’t require validation.
But there’s more to the Watch D than just blood pressure. There’s an 8 LED TruSeen 5.0 PPG heart rate monitor, ECG and SpO2 sensor, and can keep tabs on conditions such atherosclerosis, arrhythmia, and sleep apnea.
In terms of design, the Watch D uses a large 1.64-inch 456 x 280 AMOLED screen with a 326 PPI – and packs IP68 water and dust resistance.
There are 70 sports tracking modes built in with a GPS chip for tracking out outdoor workouts.
And there’s even a posture detection setting – although the instructions seem unfathomably particular about how you need to sit in order to get a posture reading.
All-in-all the Huawei Watch D is a pretty complete health and fitness watch, bringing much of the success of devices such as the Watch Fit and Band 6, and adding some serious sensors that will give Apple, Fitbit and all the big players a run for their money – if they work effectively and easily.
But it’s pretty pricey – at least in China where it’s being released first. It costs 2988 Yuan ($470/£350). Will we see it outside of China? We can’t see FDA approval in the US with its relationship with China, but it’s possible. Watch this space.