A good all-round smartwatch at a great price
Not long ago, people weren’t sure whether smartwatches would catch on. In fact, there were many articles that confidently claimed that not only was the smartwatch failing to catch consumers’ attention, but that they were dead.
But smartwatches have confused expectations. From Fitbit and Garmin to Apple and Samsung, there are so many to choose from.
The disadvantage? It can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. So what makes the Huawei Watch GT 3 so interesting?
As smartwatches go, the GT3 has good all-around appeal. It offers you a decent amount of health and wellness features, smartwatch notifications, and a bunch of sensors to measure everything from barometric pressure to altitude. It even has a personalized running coach if that’s what you need.
It has a built-in microphone so you can make and take calls on your wrist if you need to, and music controls, at least for Android users.
Huawei offers the watch in 42mm and 46mm sizes, targeting those who prefer a smaller face. This smaller version also has a smaller battery, as expected; It lasts seven days with normal use and four days with heavy use – including GPS-tracked runs – compared to the 14 days you squeeze out of the larger model. Seven days is still reasonable though, and there are good reasons to go for the 42mm model, including the design.
The version provided by Huawei for review is the 42mm version with a silicone strap. It features a 1.32-inch AMOLED color screen with rounded edges. The screen, which supports touch and swipe gestures, is sharp and bright, making it readable even in bright sunlight. On the side is a digital crown and a single button to interact with the watch’s menu.
The watch runs on Harmony OS 2.1, Huawei’s own operating system, and not Google’s Wear OS. That in itself is not unusual; Samsung also had its own Tizen operating system for its watches. However, this means there is a lack of third-party app support.
To get started, you’ll need to install the Huawei Health app on your phone, which you can get for both Android and Apple users from their respective app stores – although the Android version required an update that’s available through the Huawei app Gallery came. This allows you to pair the watch, add your personal information, choose your ideal watch face, and set some goals.
Watch GT3 can also be your key to healthy living, reminding you of everything from activities and steps to sleep and even smiles. It shows your progress on the shamrock for healthy living on the watch and app.
This sets the general tone for the clock. The GT3 is fitness oriented, with multisport tracking.
Some of the most popular sports are loaded onto the watch including running, jogging, swimming and cycling. You can even track a triathlon live. But if your sporting passion lies elsewhere – martial arts, dance, roller skating, tug of war, even laser tag – you can add them via the watch’s custom option.
There are also AI running plans that create a training plan for you based on your goals and current fitness level. There are also more general running plans based on goals like cardio fitness, endurance running, or fat burning.
It can also measure your running ability. It’s an arbitrary number, but it gives you a baseline measurement to start from and see how you progress.
In addition to this running ability index, the Watch GT3 measures your blood oxygen, stress level, skin temperature, VO2 Max and heart rate, giving you a comprehensive picture of your health.
The greatest appeal of the GT3? its price. For €229, it offers the looks of a higher-end smartwatch without breaking the bank.
The Huawei Watch GT3 has a number of useful sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, optical heart rate sensor, barometric pressure sensor, and temperature sensor. Combine it with the sports tracking and AI running coach and you have a decent health and fitness wearable.
It also looks great. The curved screen of the 42mm version gives it a premium look and the screen is crisp and clear even in low light.
The not so good
While not an essential feature, the lack of contactless payments is a downside. You get this on most other smartwatches, and if you’re used to not carrying your phone on runs then having to carry it with you for contactless payments is a hassle.
Music control and streaming is only available for Android users, and having to go through the app gallery is an extra step and a bit of a chore.
There aren’t too many third-party apps available in the Huawei App Gallery – for Android users – that would be of use to Irish Huawei owners. However, you can download an app to control your Philips Hue lights, a Google Maps viewer and some puzzle apps.
If you’re looking for a new smartwatch but don’t want to spend a fortune, the GT3 should be on your list.