Honor’s outdoor Watch GS will get you home even when your phone’s GPS gives up

Until now Honor has chosen a fashion-forward look for its smartwatches, with an emphasis on fitness tracking and long battery life. The announcement of the Honor Watch GS takes the brand in a new direction, with a more rugged design and specialized feature list that will appeal to weekend hikers and anyone who likes some light outdoor adventuring.

What do we mean by rugged? The Watch GS’s body is made from reinforced polycarbonate with a stainless steel bezel, all built to meet the MIL-STD-810G military toughness standard. It’s water resistant to 50 meters, and withstands shock and extreme temperatures, too. In other words, it won’t mind if you take it swimming, skiing, or hiking.

The 1.39-inch, 454 × 454 pixel circular AMOLED touchscreen promises to be really sharp with its 326ppi pixel density, and just like the MagicWatch 2 it presents Honor’s own operating system, so it will connect to smartphones running Android and iOS. On the back is a heart rate sensor, while inside the Watch GS has GPS, which enables one of its standout features called Route Back.

This is what makes it interesting for hikers. The watch keeps a note of your start position so you can always navigate back to it even without a GPS signal on your phone, by using a series of digital “breadcrumbs” to help you get back home. Handy if you’re really out in the wilderness. There’s little chance of the battery running out during this time either, unless you’re really lost, as it will last for 25 days on a full charge, and return 48 hours with GPS constantly running.

The software includes 100 different workout modes, with a new skiing mode that tracks maximum speed, the biggest slope, and also works when skiing cross country or snowboarding. Runners can try out a verbal guidance system complete with spoken data points when connecting the watch to a pair of Bluetooth headphones. The Watch GS has enough storage space for 500 songs.

In addition to the usual everyday fitness tracking features, the Watch GS has sleep tracking using the Huawei TruSleep 2.0 system, SpO2 tracking, a stress monitor, and automatic workout detection. The Watch GS will be available in black, white, or a cool urban camouflage blue, but the price has yet to be confirmed. Unveiled at IFA 2020, the Watch GS should be available in Europe soon.

Honor Watch ES

The Watch GS is joined by the Watch ES, which fits somewhere between Honor’s fitness bands and the MagicWatch 2 smartwatch. It looks like an oversized, more fashionable fitness band with a 1.64-inch AMOLED screen with a tiny bezel around it. It’s really lightweight at 21 grams, and is designed to appeal to the casual workout fan.

It does this with a series of 12 animated workout plans, complete with a personal virtual coach, ready to talk you through and show you how to perform 44 different exercises, concentrating on specific goals like strength training, cardio, fat burn, abs, and legs. These animated plans join an additional 95 workout tracking modes ranging from yoga to swimming, and the Watch ES is water resistant to 50 meters.

Like the Watch GS, the Watch ES has a heart rate sensor, SpO2 tracking, sleep tracking, stress monitoring, and a female cycle tracker, too. The Watch ES comes in either black, white, or pink, and the battery will last for 10 days before it needs a recharge. The price has not been confirmed at the time of writing, and we’ll update here when we find out more.

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