Huawei has long has trouble finding a foothold for its smartphones in the US. But the company’s past struggles isn’t stopping it from releasing a new smartwatch in the country.

The Huawei Watch GT is now available in the US as a pre-order on Amazon and Newegg, starting at US$200 for the Sport model and US$230 for the higher-end “Classic”.

The Watch GT has already been released in the UK and China. (Picture: Huawei)

Unlike some of Huawei’s past smartwatches, this one doesn’t run Google’s Wear OS -- it uses Huawei’s own LiteOS. Reviews suggest LiteOS isn’t nearly as capable as Wear OS, with Android Central dubbing it a “fitness band in disguise”.

But it does come with one huge upside: Battery life. Fewer features mean fewer things to drain the battery, meaning the Huawei Watch GT can last much longer than other smartwatches -- up to two weeks on a single charge.

It’s not Huawei’s first smartwatch to come to the US. But it’s also Huawei’s first truly new smartwatch in a while, as last year’s Huawei Watch 2 was a refresh of a model first introduced in 2017.

The company has struggled to match Xiaomi, Apple and Fitbit in wearables, trailing far behind those three in IDC’s wearables market share for Q3 2018 (a chart that does include wristbands as well as smartwatches).

It might explain why Huawei has been skeptical about smartwatches in the past. Back in 2017, CEO Eric Xu Zhijun expressed doubt about their usefulness, saying “I am always confused as to what smartwatches are for when we have smartphones.”