Huawei GT 3 Watch Review
Huawei’s new GT 3 watch gets a clean 10 out of 10 from PAT PILCHER for ticking all the boxes and sporting amazing battery life to boot.
Huawei’s wearables have built up a devoted following with good reason. Not only have they garnered their fair share of accolades from the tech media, but they score well when it comes to usability, design, and features. Now Huawei is back with the GT 3, which runs their own in-house developed Harmony OS.
The GT 3 comes with tonnes of workout modes, but that isn’t the big news. Like its predecessors, it’s a highly competent smartwatch with some nifty health tracking smarts and a design that’s pleasing to the eye.
The Huawei Health (Android/iOS) app is needed to pair the GT 3 with your phone, and while you can access an older version of the health app on Google Play, it won’t detect the GT 3. For that to happen, you need to download the latest version using the Huawei AppGallery (which can be done via your phone’s browser). While it’s a gotcha for the uninitiated, it’s no biggie once you figure it out.
The review unit was the larger 46 mm version (a smaller 42 mm version is also available). Weighing in at just 56 grams, the GT 3 is light enough that you’ll often forget you’re wearing it. The review unit came with a silicone strap, steel body and plastic back. If you’re not looking to use the GT 3 for sporty stuff and swimming, a dressy version has a silver body and leather strap. It has a decidedly sporty look too. The use of premium materials in its construction means that its slick design doesn’t hint at its affordable $449 sticker price (which is cheaper than Apple and Samsung Galaxy Watches).
When powering it up, the first thing I noticed was its gorgeous 1.43-inch AMOLED display, which is both bright and super vivid. In use, I found the GT 3 to be responsive. Where Huawei’s Lite OS in the earlier GT 2 was efficient with battery life, it sometimes lagged. With HarmonyOS, Huawei’s engineers have worked miracles. The UI is silky smooth and lag-free, and you get incredible battery life. Driving the GT 3 involves using a push button and a crown. Like the Apple Watch, the crown can be pushed and rotated to zoom in or navigate on-screen menus, plus the GT 3’s screen is touch-sensitive. Everything feels super intuitive, even if the Apple Watch-like, icon-laden home screen initially felt a tad cluttered (it can be switched to an easier on the eye list view too).
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Like previous GT Watch models, the 46mm GT 3 will run for up to two weeks between charges. Other competing watches can’t even come remotely close to this. Apple’s timepiece manages a paltry single day, as does its Samsung counterpart. Speaking of charging, the GT 3 comes with a charging puck that magnetically attaches to its underside. It’s also Qi charging compatible, so if you have a phone charging stand, it should play nice with that too.
The battery life of the GT 3 is especially impressive when you factor in all the functionality on offer. When paired with a phone, you can use its built-in speaker and mic for Bluetooth calling. It can also store/play music using paired Bluetooth earbuds. It has continuous heart rate, sleep, blood oxygenation, skin temperature and stress level monitoring. There’s a built-in GPS, and it can display/vibrate message notifications to which you can make quick replies.
The GT 3 comes with over 100 workout tracking options. Runners will like its ‘AI trainer’. With it, you can set a workout goal, and it’ll craft a workout plan that’ll adapt to your performance. According to other reviews, the GT 3’s heart rate tracking is comparable to other dedicated heart rate trackers.
The built-in mic and speaker are also a real boon, allowing you to make/receive calls without reaching for your phone. That said, expect some sideways looks as you chat to your wrist!
Sleep tracking also works well. I got a daily analysis of my sleep via Huawei Health. Unlike Fitbit, all sleep information is available for free. You’re not squeezed to cough up yet more cash in the form of a “premium membership” so you can gain access to all your sleep data. There’s also a function that Huawei calls Healthy Living. It tracks wake-up times, breathing, activity levels, step count and sleep.
A frequent criticism levelled at previous Huawei GT Watches has been the lack of additional installable apps. This wasn’t lost on Huawei. They’ve taken advantage of Harmony OS’s Android roots, adding an app gallery to the Health app so you can install apps from a small (but growing) library. Installing Petal maps, I could get navigation directions on the GT 3 (which vibrated and told me to turn right/left/go straight ahead). Very cool!
The GT 3 is a brilliant update over the GT 2. Not only is it far more capable, but it also sports a modest $449 sticker price, for which you get a hell of a lot of bang for your buck. It takes what was already good with earlier models, wrapping it up in a new OS and a stylish design. Add in battery life that competing smartwatches can’t match, and it isn’t hard to see why I gave it a well-deserved 10/10.