Huawei Watch GT 3 review TL;DR: A fabulous smartwatch with impressive features and accurate sensors. What more can you ask for?
Huawei is killing it with its wearables these days. Different Huawei models are featured across a multitude of T3 buying guides, including the best smartwatches, best fitness trackers and more. Considering the new fitness features of the Watch GT 3 (i.e. AI Running Coach), we might soon have to add a Huawei watch to the best running watch guide.
The Huawei Watch GT 3 has more to offer than just a new running mode, though. It's a well-rounded smartwatch that tracks all your health stats to understand better what's going on inside your body. Not to mention, it looks premium AF. Read on to find out how the Huawei Watch GT 3 performed under various testing conditions and whether you should buy one for yourself.
Huawei Watch GT 3 review: Price and availability
Due for release on 10 November, the Huawei Watch GT 3 will be available to buy in the UK directly from Huawei for a recommended retail price of £229.99. US/AUS prices TBC.
Huawei Watch GT 3 review: Build quality
Huawei keeps on impressing me with watches and trackers. I keep forgetting these are not generally expensive wearables; you wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at them.
The tested 46 mm version weighs approx. 56 grams, which is not terribly heavy, although not as light as some running watches (i.e. Coros Pace 2). For comparison, the titanium (i.e. lighter) version of the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro weighs around 72 grams. In conclusion, the Huawei Watch GT 3 isn't heavy but not the lightest one either.
The Watch GT 3 has a stainless steel case and a plastic back and comes with a brown leather strap. There are other strap options, including the fluoroelastomer strap (also used in the Withings ScanWatch), which I'd recommend if you're planning to use the Watch GT 3 for running.
It's not like the leather strap is terrible, but it's not the best material for sports. Fluoroelastomer feels premium enough on the wrist without the caveats of actual later (e.g. sweat stains).
The 1.43-inch AMOLED display is a true joy to look at. It reminded me of the Garmin Venu 2, one of the best fitness watches I tested in 2021, in a good way. The Watch GT 3's screen is bright, detailed, and very responsive to the touch. The new HarmonyOS provides a smooth user experience; I take my hat off to the designers and developers at Huawei.
There are two buttons on the side of the case, a push button and a watch crown. Watch crowns that don't work are my pet peeves; many brands include fake watch crowns on their watches that only work as push buttons, but I'm happy to report that in the case of the Watch GT 3, the crown is fully functional! Delightful.
Huawei Watch GT 3 review: Battery life
I'm not sure how the Huawei Watch GT 3 can have up to two weeks of battery life with such a colossal AMOLED screen and many sensors, but it does. In the four weeks I used it, I charged it maybe twice to try the wireless charger and check the charge speed. (For the record, it charges fast.)
Officially, the battery can last for 14 days under these circumstances: 30 minutes of Bluetooth calling every week (who would even do this), 30 minutes of music playing every week (you might do this more often if you prefer to run without a phone), heart rate monitoring enabled, HUAWEI TruSleep enabled for sleeping, 90 minutes of working out every week (GPS enabled), message notifications enabled (50 SMS messages, six calls, and three alarms a day), the screen is turned on 200 times a day.
That's pretty intense use if you ask me. I imagine the Watch GT 3 would last longer than two weeks if you don't use the GPS often and don't abuse the onboard music player. But even if you do, it'll last 10 times longer than your average Apple Watch.
Huawei Watch GT 3 review: Health features
Much like any decent smartwatch in 2021, the Huawei Watch GT 3 has a slew of health features to monitor every single process in your body. These include respiration tracker, blood oxygen (a.k.a. SpO2), stress, skin temperature monitoring and more.
From what I can tell, these all work perfectly fine. That said, it's hard to determine conclusively how accurate either of these is; it's not like I walk around with a skin temperature sensor all day just to double-check the accuracy of the watch's sensor. The Watch GT 3 is not a medical device, so I wouldn't rely on the skin temperature sensor exclusively to know if I have a fever, for example.
However, the sensors provide a good overview of what state your body is in at any given point. There is no ECG (you can get the Fitbit Charge 5 instead if you're keen on that feature), but the Watch GT 3 can 'measure' stress and sleep, which I think are more important from an everyday usage point of view than ECG.
Sleep tracking works exceptionally well, and you'll find a detailed analysis of your slumber in the Huawei Health app. Thankfully, Huawei hasn't jumped on the 'paid-for premium membership service' bandwagon just yet, so you can access all your sleep data and recommendations without having to pay extra.
A new feature called Healthy Living tracks five metrics (wake-up time, breathing, activity levels, steps and sleep) to make sure you're on track to 'live a healthy life'. Here, you can set goals (e.g. do one breathing exercise a day) that might help form new habits for some people.
Huawei Watch GT 3 review: Fitness features
There was a big emphasis in the Huawei Watch GT 3's marketing materials on fitness features, so obviously, I was keen to put these to the test. I took it for runs and also did a few weight training sessions to see how accurately it can track heart rate during physical activities.
I was genuinely impressed by how well the Huawei Watch GT 3 performed for running. The heart rate chart from the Huawei Health app was almost precisely the same as in Garmin Connect (I used the Fenix 6 Pro combined with the HRM Pro heart rate monitor for that). The average heart rate was exactly the same in both apps (151 bpm), and the max heart rate was only two beats off (Garmin: 171 bpm, Huawei: 173 bpm).
To my surprise, GPS was ridiculously fast; it picked up the signal almost instantly. The route was tracked accurately, although it's worth mentioning that I ran in a park with not many obstructions that might block satellite signal; still, the Watch GT 3 took notice even when I crossed the street.
The AI Running Coach feature is a funny thing. For one, it's pretty loud, so I would recommend turning the volume down or pairing the Watch GT 3 with Bluetooth running headphones before heading out for a jog. I'm a confident runner, so it's hard to tell how helpful the Running Coach is, especially over the long term, but it does give you a lot of data as you run, which beginner runners might find helpful.
As for tracking strength sessions, the Watch GT 3 performed equally as well for running. The difference between Huawei/Garmin data was somewhat more considerable (avg. HR 127/124, max. HR 163/159) but not to a level where I would declare the Watch GT 3 inaccurate. Quite the opposite, actually.
Huawei Watch GT 3 review: verdict
The Watch GT 3 is a brilliant update over the Watch GT 2, and considering the modest retail price, you would be a fool not getting one today. Initially, what attracted me the most to the Huawei Watch GT 3 was its robust fitness features and the fact that the battery life is just insanely long for a watch with such a huge and bright AMOLED display.
But once I familiarised myself with the watch, I realised it has so much more to offer, not to mention how good it looks. I wish I had the chance to try the fluoroelastomer strap as that is much better suited to people with an active lifestyle, such as myself.
Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed testing the Huawei Watch GT 3. I can wholeheartedly recommend it to people who aren't keen on getting a diehard running watch but would like to have the option to track their physical activities accurately nevertheless.
Huawei Watch GT 3 review: Also consider
Much like the Watch GT 3, the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS feels premium without the premium price tag and is a great alternative to pricier adventure smartwatches such as the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro or the Suunto 9 Baro Titanium. Better still, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 and Mobvoi dual-processor system somehow makes me not want to rip my face off when using a Wear OS smartwatch.
Alternatively, you might want to consider the Apple Watch Series 7. It uses its bigger screen to great effect, giving a genuine upgrade over older models or the Apple Watch SE. It's a beautiful, fast and truly useful premium smartwatch, and is easily the best of its kind for iPhone owners. However, battery life is still terrible.
Build quality aside, the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is a decent cheap smartwatch that offers plenty of functionality for a budget-friendly price. It might not be able to take on similarly-priced Huawei or Fitbit watches, but it's well worth considering as a low-cost option.