(Pocket-lint) - The Huawei Watch 2 is one of the first smartwatches to run Google's Android Wear 2.0 software direct from the box. This gives the watch a distinct edge over the competition, offering a mass of features many of its rivals don't have.
These are meaningful features too. Features that make the watch easier to use and better attuned to the requirements of your daily life.
This isn't a one-way street, however. Yes, Android Wear 2.0 brings a number of new features to the fore, but the Huawei Watch 2 also enhances much of what the Google operating system brings to the table, by building on the core features to offer something more evolved.
Want to know what cool new features Android Wear 2.0 has brought to the Huawei Watch 2? Here are seven of the most stand-out.
Huawei Watch 2 explored: Standalone apps
The days of your smartwatch being reliant on a synced smartphone to do anything other than simply tell the time are done. Thanks to Android Wear 2.0, the Huawei Watch 2 lets you ditch your handset and go it alone, with standalone watch-based apps. It's a vast improvement over the original Android Wear's implementation.
There's 4GB of internal storage on the Huawei Watch 2 just waiting to be filled with applications and your content. A number of popular apps are all ready to run remotely on the device. These include the fitness-focused likes of Strava, through to ways of keeping in touch with friends wherever you are thanks to services like Facebook Messenger. One of these apps is the pre-installed Workout app. Accessed directly from a button on the body, the Huawei Watch 2 is ready to run as soon as you are.
Huawei Watch 2 explored: Android Pay from the wrist
Android Pay has been available on a number of smartphones - including the Huawei P10, P10 Plus and Mate 9 - for some time now. With Android Wear 2.0, it's now available on your wrist too, with the Huawei Watch 2 letting you ditch both cash and card and pay directly using your smartwatch direct from the wrist.
You'll need to load you bank card details into the watch-based Android Wear app first, with the securely encrypted copy of your banking information then able to be used to make in-store payments. At a supporting store simply load the app and tap your NFC-equipped timepiece against the compatible payment terminal in order to make your purchase. It's that simple.
Huawei Watch 2 explored: Smarter messaging replies
Many smartwatches have been great at bringing messages to your wrist, letting you see whatever your mates are telling you whether via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or traditional SMS text message form. They've never exactly been great at letting you reply to these messages without first fishing your phone out of your pocket though. Until now.
Android Wear 2.0 lets you make easier, more advanced message replies direct from your wrist. Instead of simply firing off basic pre-set message replies such as "yes" or "I'll call you later" (these auto answers are still available, however), you can dictate your replies or use the new gesture-based on-watch QWERTY keyboard to swipe out predictive text enhanced retorts in double-quick fashion.
Huawei Watch 2 explored: Voice control with Google Assistant
Using buttons and touchscreens to navigate your way around a smartwatch is handy, but the Huawei Watch 2 goes more futuristic than that with voice control. Android Wear 2.0 introduced Google Assistant - the search giant's voice-controlled digital assistant - meaning you can easily and effectively instruct by just talking to your wrist.
Activated by tapping the power button and saying the "OK, Google" trigger words, you can then ask the Watch 2 to send messages, set alarms, check the weather and even add items to your shopping list without having to lift a finger or pull your phone from your pocket.
Huawei Watch 2 explored: Remote Play Store access
As well as being able to use certain apps while away from your phone, you don't need your handset to download new applications either. Thanks to Android Wear 2.0, the Huawei Watch 2 possesses the ability to download new applications on the fly.
You can do this by either utilising a Wi-Fi network, or making use of the watch's built-in 4G SIM slot. The watch-friendly version of the Google Play Store offers instant access to apps that are wearable friendly, letting you search by category of browse the latest Essentials. You can even add new watch faces from here.
Huawei Watch 2 explored: Custom 'Complications'
Those little data points on your watch face - such as the date or a second timezone - are called Complications. And thanks to Android Wear 2.0, these can be customised to your own, individual wants and needs for the first time.
Simply swipe across to select a new watch face and tap the settings wheel beneath the face. Here you can select which Complications you want to adorn your watch face of choice, and what positions you want them to sit in. Depending on the face, these can include everything from a battery meter or real-time steps counter to quick call access and live heart-rate figures.
Huawei Watch 2 explored: 4G benefits
One of features of Android Wear 2.0 that Huawei Watch 2 takes advantage of is 4G. The 4G model lets you insert a nano SIM card, meaning that your Watch 2 can be connected any time, any place, without the need for your phone or Wi-Fi. Although there are number of devices out there running Android Wear 2.0, there are very few that offer a SIM card slot.
Putting a SIM into your Watch 2 brings real flexibility. It means you can be out on a long run or ride and still get messages you'd normally miss, as well as being able to use Google Assistant to find things near you, or let you open Google Maps and find out exactly where you are and how you get home.