Huawei has confirmed its Watch D, a wearable that can measure blood pressure, is coming to the UK and Europe.
The Huawei Watch D was announced for a release in China in 2021 but was just confirmed for western markets at the IFA tech show.
Its blood pressure monitor feature already has regulatory approval for the UK and Europe.
It is highly unlikely ever to make it to the US, but the release of a UK edition should make it more palatable, and easier to get hold of, for keen US buyers.
The Huawei Watch D is also one of the most interesting wearables of the last few years, as the only mainstream watch that can provide standalone blood pressure readings. While Samsung has promoted its blood pressure feature for a couple of generations, it requires fairly regular calibrations using a blood pressure cuff.
Huawei’s Watch D does not need these, as it effectively is a blood pressure cuff itself. It has an inflatable strap, allowing Huawei to use the traditional method of at-home readings. Other manufacturers are chasing techniques that allow for blood pressure readings using heart rate reader hardware.
A look at the Huawei Watch D will help explain why. It’s a chunky watch with a thick-looking strap. A certain amount of elegance is traded away for functionality, and the significant costs involved in the bespoke hardware are going to drive watches like the Watch D into a small, if admirable, niche.
The watch will cost £399 in the UK, £30 more than the base Apple Watch Series 7 models when it goes on sale in October.
Huawei’s Watch D isn’t as pretty as an Apple Watch, but it is not a one-function device. It has ECG, GPS, a heart rate scanner, and handfuls of exercise tracking modes — all the staples of a good fitness watch.