Recently we reviewed the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro which I loved but now they are back with the Huawei Watch 3 and the upmarket Huawei Watch 3 Pro which now operates on the Huawei own Harmony OS platform. The HarmonyOS is an operating system focused on the era of IoT (Internet of Things). HarmonyOS creates a new smart interactive experience on your wrist. In this review, we are focusing on the Watch 3 which is available for £349.99.
So let’s see if this watch lives up to my high expectations.
Huawei Watch 3 – Design
The Huawei Watch 3 comes with the same rounded design used in the GT 2 Pro model. The Watch 3 comes with a 46mm chassis which is ideal for those who want to use the watch for exercise but can also work for those who want a more classic watch style.
The Watch 3 comes with a stainless steel case with ultra curved 3D Glass on the display. The display comes with an anti-fingerprint nano vacuum coating and is scratch-resistant. The Watch 3 also comes with a 1.43 inch AMOLED high definition touch screen with 466 x 466 resolution which provides a sharp display with accurate colours. The watch measures 12.15mm thick and weighs 54g.
Also on the front of the watch is a single physical button and a rotating crown letting you twist to scroll through screens and a press lets you open the app launcher. The single physical button gives you a shortcut to your exercise tracking.
Moving to the back of the watch you have a Hi-Tech ceramic back glass that uses nano zirconia powder which was achieved after 42 cycles of precision high-temperature polishing that reaches over 1400°C and fused with a sapphire crystal lens. This creates a surface that is smooth, skin-friendly and also capable of heart rate monitoring.
The Huawei Watch 3 also comes with a traditional watch buckle which I prefer over the strap on my Apple Watch Series 6. You can also have a nylon woven strap or stainless steel and titanium link bracelet giving the user plenty of choices.
The Huawei Watch 3 also comes with a dual-core processor along with 16GB of storage and 2GB RAM. This means using the watch was a fast and satisfying speed when loading apps. The Watch 3 works on both IOS & Android but when using this watch with an Android phone over an Apple device gives you a fuller experience.
Huawei Watch 3 – Battery Life
Battery life in a smartwatch is so important and was one of the things that impressed me with the GT 2 Pro. The Huawei Watch 3 provides a real mixed bag on this front. When using the watch in its full smart mode health and fitness features you will get 2-3 days battery life which varies depending on if you’re using the watch on an IOS or Android phone.
If you just want to use the watch with just basic features like an analogue face and prevent you from using the smart assistant and HarmonyOS benefits you will get a 14-day battery. You would still get notifications, workout tracking and heart rate but surely if you’re buying the Watch 3 you want it for all its benefits or what would be the point?
Huawei also provides you with the benefit of reverse charging which means if you’re using a Huawei device you can place your watch on the back of the phone to charge.
Huawei Watch 3 – Features
The Huawei Watch 3 is run on HarmonyOS. This software is being pushed out across all the Huawei products and this is done so you can connect devices together as Huawei wants its customers like Apple to have all the latest devices but all under the same manufacture.
The HarmonyOS has offered a grid launcher that looks similar to that you might find on an Apple smartwatch. It is derived from the hemispherical dome cosmology. The design brings the best of a traditional design into the new HarmonyOS interface. If you rotate the crown, users can zoom in/out so you can view or manage their apps.
The Huawei Watch 3 also comes with a built-in mic and speaker that is ideal for taking calls like James Bond does in films. and also being able to use the smart assistant named Celia which is just like other smart assistants available on the market. It works the same way you just say “Hey Celia.” She is not quite as intelligent as Siri and lacks a little context but she will be able to handle most things you need.
Earlier this month Huawei released a firmware update so make sure you do as you get two very cool features:
- Gesture recognition: You can answer a call by clenching your fists
- Skin Temperature detection: Now your watch can continuously track and detect a change in temperature.
- App market on Huawei Health: apps can be managed on a mobile phone. (Only Android for now)
The watch 3 also allows for personalised and interactive watch faces. This can be changed by a long press and once you pick the watch face that works for you you can set it to always on or non always on display options. You can also come up with your own designs via using frequently used apps on the face as a widget to see the content quickly.
Huawei Watch 3 – Health & Fitness Tracking
The Huawei Watch 3 in terms of fitness tracking is basically the same as what we got when we reviewed the GT 2 Pro model. It still tracks you when you walk but provides over 100 workout modes such as running, cross country running, cycling, Swimming and even when on the golf driving range. It also provides 17 professional workout modes and 7 indoor workouts such as when using a rowing machine. You can also create up to 85 customised workouts such as extreme sports if that is your thing.
The Watch 3 also provides all-day smart monitoring which records steps, calories, standing time and medium and high-intensity workouts. All forming a fitness record ring similar to what you have on the Apple Watch.
What I also like about this watch is the automatic workout detection the watch can pick up if you have started doing any of the following:
- Outdoor Running
- Outdoor Walking
- Indoor Walking
- Indoor Running
- Cross Trainer
- Rowing Machine
You just need to confirm you are doing that type of exercise by a simple press of a button and when finished just tap the end button like normal. It also offers high precision multi-mode GNSS which supports GPS to receive more satellite data for positioning, making the recording more reliable and motion trajectory more accurate. You can also share the data on social media if you wish.
The Huawei Watch 3 comes with the hardware you come to expect when monitoring your health such as TruSeen 4.5 Optical heart rate monitor which is set up to improve heart rate monitoring technology. Heart rate monitoring is greatly improved on this model compared to previous models. The heart monitor can also generate SpO2 measurements and this is done throughout the day.
You also have a stress monitor that performs 24/7 based on the Huawei TruRalex. If you record high stress the watch via the Huawei health app offers a breathing exercise designed to reduce stress.
Once you get to the end of a busy day the Huawei Watch 3 still supports and monitors when you’re sleeping it does this via using TruSleep 2.0 monitors throughout the night. It does this by combining with Huawei AI technology that accurately identifies sleep issues and provides suggestions of how to fix the issues such as deep sleep guided exercises, relaxation or meditation.
Other newer health monitors include skin temperature. Personally, I am a naturally hot person. I did not find it very useful but some users might find it handy to understand their health conditions but don’t just use that as it’s not regulatory approved just more for understanding.
Other new firmware updates when health is involved are Fall detection and the SOS Alert Features. When a fall is detected the watch will automatically enter SOS mode so the user can select 3 options:
- Emergency Call
- I fell but I’m Fine
- I did not fall
If you select an emergency call, it will ring your primary emergency contact and send a message for help with your current location. Now if the user is in an emergency SOS mode can be triggered by pressing volume up 5 times.
Another health-related feature on this watch that can be quite handy due to the current pandemic is a 20-second hand washing timer. The built-in mic can detect handwashing and duration and offer a note to indicate when you have finished washing your hands. Ideal if you can’t count to 20.
Huawei Watch 3 – Health App
With all the health and fitness tracking and monitoring Huawei uses its app to record all the data from running to how many hours sleep you can see everything.
It’s a great app and offers a range of monitoring tools and Huawei are also planning to add additional features such as Petal Maps to offer a different kind of navigation to improve the whole experience.
Huawei Watch 3 – Verdict
Would I upgrade from the Huawei GT 2 Pro to the Huawei 3? Well, you do get a better balance of sports and health tracking. However with a decrease in battery life and the fact you do not have NFC functionality you’re unable to use it for contactless payments. If you can live with the reduced battery life the Huawei Watch 3 offers an excellent option for your smartwatch needs.
- Design: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
- Features: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
- Health & Fitness Monitoring: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
- Battery Life: 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
- Value for Money : 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Overall Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
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