Android made huge strides forward with the new Wear 2.0 and removed plenty of limitations that made people sniff at smartwatches. Watches are more self-sufficient, so you might as well want to leave your phone at home when going for a run or out on the town and don't expect to be doing much besides a phone call or two.
The Huawei Watch 2 fits nicely in that first scenario as its sportier looks tend to work better with workout gear than a blazer. There are plenty of options (Android Wear or not) that would fit in a more formal environment, but this is certainly not the forte of the device we are reviewing today.
What we should mention though is that, despite the progress, Android Wear 2.0 and the devices it powers pretty much cater to the same audience as the first generation. That is mostly tech geeks that like to move their rusty bones from time to time. And by moving we mostly mean running or cycling, because the tracking of most other sports activities is not nearly as great.
Also, if you are the kind of active athlete that needs a perfectly accurate tracker with perfect GPS mapping of their workout you should probably look elsewhere. With the Huawei Watch 2 this is more of an added value feature than the focus, which means it's not working as great as the high-end Garmins, for example.
While the Huawei Watch 2 is among the first to debut with Android Wear 2.0 it's certainly not alone in the market. Google is updating most of the gen 1 devices, and as long as you pick one with a speaker you will be getting more or less the same functionality. The original Huawei Watch is on the list by the way of those getting 2.0. The new dedicated Snapdragon 2100 chipset may work in its favor but we didn't notice any dramatic improvements in battery life so it's not a game-changer by any means.
That said, the original Huawei Watch is a very reasonable alternative to its successor. Neither has NFC to take advantage of Android Pay and with the first generation undergoing several price cuts a strong case can be made that it's better value. You'd be missing on the SIM slot and that's a large part of the whole watch independence thing, though.
There's also the newly unveiled LG Watch Sport. If you prefer the SIM-less version, it's the Huawei Watch 2 Classic vs. the LG Watch Style. The LG Watch Sport is slightly bigger (1.38" screen) and of higher resolution (480 x 480), but the internals are the same: Snapdragon 2100, 768MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage.
We could go on with the list, but the differences are not too great between Android Wear devices. At the end of the day, the right one for you will depend mostly on your local pricing and design preferences.
Once again there's no simple answer to the million dollar question - should you get a Huawei Watch 2 (or any of its alternatives)? On one hand, it looks like the right time to give smartwatches a try - their functionality got a major boost and we are seeing new announcements left and right, which means plenty of big players are committed, so support should be great. Also, with such a wide variety deals are much easier to come by, so you don't need to break the bank to add some more connected tech to your life.
Yet, with all the work that goes in the wearable niche - Google, its partners, as well as Samsung and Apple with their respective platforms - smartwatches are still a long way to becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. Here's hoping that app developers will be drawn by the updated platform and help make the extra step. Even the smartest, most relevant apps though will hardly help as much as a single geek bone in your body.