Over the past few years I have used many smartwatches to try to help in my day to day for fitness, work flow and of course my adventure. There have been a few misses and a few almost greats but now I have found, finally, a watch that covers all the bases for myself in the Honor Watch GS Pro.
Rugged, durable, great for health monitoring, great for adventures and a battery life I cannot get over, to say what it does, more on that later.
I will cover here some reasons I prefer it for my lifestyle and what it does to enhance it beyond other watches I have tried. Especially for hiking and mountain treks too.
I am always looking to be on adventure and in the great outdoors. That also involves some scrambling of rocks or walking on mountain tops in torrential rain. With the GS Pro I don’t need to worry about this in the way that other watches need to be cared for more.
It has passed 14 military standard tests (MIL-STD-810G/GJB 150A) to make sure it is rugged enough and can still work well in extreme conditions. For example it can stand temperatures from plus 70 to minus 40 degrees Celsius. Can withstand shocks, solar radiation, high humidity and big blasts of sand and dust. It is also waterproof for 50 m which is perfect for most people.
Most smartwatches come with health monitoring features and this smartwatch is definitely no different but it does it a lot better than what I have used in the past. It is also very, very quick when syncing with the app on the phone, instant. For openness in review it uses the Huawei Fitness app and I use a Huawei phone currently. In past smartwatches I have had issues with delayed sync on Wear OS and compatibility issues on another ‘well known’ fitness tracking watch.
Health tracking is only a small part of what this watch does but has all I would need. It continuously measures steps, heart rate and excercise. It even continuously measures stress levels. I am normally relaxed and happy in my work but had a really stressful moment with the dogs this morning and took this pic. Yes the watch picked up I was a little stressy.
The watch can also take measurements of your blood oxygen levels which I have now started taking readings of. This will be perfect for a gauge on altitude climbs for sure.
Sleep monitoring is not missed out either. I wake every morning to get a breakdown of how I slept. Length of sleep, how much deep, REM, light and a little description of how good it was. The app teaches you as you go along too how each part can affect your health if you are missing or deprived of any parts of sleep.
Now then, I am still going through these myself, as there are over 100 workout modes on the watch. From walking to running, outdoor swimming to skiing. Hiking and mountain hiking modes are ones I will use a lot too. More on those two specifically in the next section below.
These, by the way, are not all just workout modes to measure your steps and heartrate on a particular activity, they can do a lot more. just a few examples include
If you activate skiing mode before taking on a slope the measurements include from heartrate, calories burnt average speed and duration. But will also log your biggest slope etc.
I set off on a dog walk without thinking of setting off a workout on my watch. After a few minutes of walking my watch vibrated and it basically told me it detected I was on a walk, asked me if this was indoor or outdoors. I selected outdoors and carried on my way. At the end it told me how far I had walked, calories, hear rate and average speed amongst other things. In the app I could see a map where the built in GPS had tracked me and my route.
Yes, I tested the system on the cross trainer at the gym too and purposely didn’t set of a specific workout. After a couple minutes the watch did ask me if I was doing an elliptical workout and when I pressed yes it measured the workout from back near the beginning.
Like I said there are over 100 workout modes. I won’t use them all but I know people that would use ones I do not. Like outdoor swimming, rowing, indoor or outdoor cycling or even the specific triathlon mode.
Hiking and Mountains
Ok, here we enter my passion and how I can now measure it all. Plus use unique watch features to help in my navigation. It will even help with my photography and locations to walk.
Of course these modes measure your heart, calories burnt, distance etc. But it also has a built in barometric altimeter to measure climbs. It also measures air pressure so you can foresee any incoming extreme bad weather and will advise you to get to cover. The compass goes full screen too as a navigation aid.
You can also get to screens that show tide timings at your locations, sunrise and sunset. Not only good outdoor aides but photography aides too.
If you love to wander in the great outdoors and often go off the beaten track like I do there is a neat little option on the watch called route back. If you get lost or it is getting dark and you are worried, in hiking mode the watch will have tracked every step from the start on a map via GPS. It can then guide you back exactly the way you came, or can help you find a better and quicker route if there are any.
This is what I wanted too, a good long battery life. I have used supposedly great smartwatches that last a day though on a single charge so become useless for me if hiking for a few days or wild camping. Plus if I have to charge every night then how can I measure sleep?
The Honor GS Pro battery life lasts ‘up to’ 25 days! Of course I am using GPS on walks, hikes and also doing some workouts at the gym. I have measured the battery since last charge 8 days ago and I am still only down to 55%. I do not have the always on display and use the lift arm to see viewing mode.
Useful Smart Extras
There are many other things that can be packed on a smartwatch and some of the ones on the Honor GS Pro I have used and find really useful.
There are hundreds and hundreds of them to choose from and you can change the watch face in an instant via the app. It all depends what you want to see briefly when looking as well the time. It also depends on if you are wearing casual or smart, but you can change the face to suit all scenarios if you want.
The default one is shown above, smart with moon phase etc, but the one I use day to day has what I need and all clearly shown. Time, battery, heartrate, steps, stress levels, calories burned and weather.
As a phone
Yes, you can get all your phone notifications through onto your watch face and can choose which apps to do so with. There is also a built in microphone and speaker so you can use your watch to answer calls talk to people without having to get your phone out of your pocket.
As a music player
Great for the gym if you don’t want to carry your phone around. The watch can store up to 500 downloaded songs for you to play.
Remote camera shutter
This is something I will use a lot. A camera shutter screen so you can remotely take photos from your phone. Good for long shutter shots or distance selfies with the dogs when the phone is on a tripod.
Every need is different. We all lead adventurous and busy lives in differing ways. I have tried fitness watches, and tried well known watches that are smart. The Honor GS Pro is the first watch that ticks so many boxes in my wants. Great and accurate health monitoring. Hard wearing and durable. Has good and useful functionality in the great outdoors, on mountains as well as in the gym or out walking. Has an extremely great battery life to actually last for what we use them for. And becomes a good extension to my phone to save keep getting that out all the time to know it is a useless notification. This one is a keeper.
The price is another good plus point too! On the Honor site the GS Pro is just £249.99 which considering what it does for my needs compared to other more expensive models is a bargain.