Huawei Watch GT 3 Review: Sleek smartwatch with long battery life

The latest smartwatch from Chinese tech giant Huawei comes in the form of the Watch GT 3 (from S$298). And it is available in two watch case sizes of 42mm and 46mm. The 42mm has a round 1.32-inch AMOLED screen, while the 46mm’s screen is slightly larger at 1.43 inches.

Huawei Watch GT 3 46mm Classic Edition. (Photo: Huawei)

For each size, you can choose between the leather or the fluoroelastomer (silicone) watch strap. In this review, we test the 46mm Classic Edition that comes with a brown leather watch strap.

SPECS
PRICE: S$348 (Classic Edition), available in Lazada and Shopee
DISPLAY: 1.43 inches AMOLED, 466 x 466 pixels
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
WATER RESISTANCE: 50m
WEIGHT: 42.6g (without watch strap)

DESIGN
If looks can kill, the Watch GT 3 Classic Edition is definitely the killer. It is simply one of the best looking smartwatches around. Especially for its modest price tag of only S$348.

This is really one good-looking smartwatch. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

The Watch GT 3 has a super sleek stainless steel watch case sporting classic lugs and thin black bezel with numeric markers. Its rear is black and shiny, and I cannot believe it is actually made of plastic instead of glass. The brown leather strap is also super comfortable, which I have no qualms wearing it to sleep.

There are only two buttons on the right side of the watch case – a pushable rotating crown at the 2 o’clock location and another side button at the 4 o’clock position. The crown is the home button and offers haptic feedback when turned, while the side button offers a shortcut to the Workout menu.

The Watch GT 3 has a rotating crown and a button on its right side. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

The round AMOLED screen is really gorgeous and will make any watch face or content displayed look. Plus, the display is responsive to all your touches. Swipe up will bring up the notifications, and swipe down lets access the settings menu.

Swiping right leads the weather, while swiping left moves you through several widgets including physical activities, heart rate, SpO2, moon phase and sleep record.

Running on HarmonyOS, the Watch GT 3 features an Apple watchOS-like user interface (UI) via a grid launcher app menu. You press the crown to bring up the app menu. Rotating the crown will let you zoom in or out of the UI. It is pretty intuitive.

The app menu on Watch GT 3. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

PERFORMANCE
For this review, the Watch GT 3 is tested predominantly with a Huawei P40 Pro via the Huawei Health app. While the smartwatch can also be used with any Android smartphone, you have to download Huawei’s AppGallery first before getting Health app from there. Apple iPhone users can download the Huawei Health app via the App Store to pair with the smartwatch.

But with the iPhone, you lose the ability to buy watch faces and access to Huawei Music. Even on AppGallery, there are limited apps and watch faces to download compared to huge library of Google’s Wear OS.

FOR
+ Sleek looks
+ Affordable
+ Accurate steps tracking and GPS-tracked runs
+ Excellent battery life

AGAINST
– Inconsistent sleep tracking
– Lacks some smartwatch functions

While Huawei said third-party apps on Watch GT 3 will be growing, I can only count 31 apps available at the time of this review. Most of these apps look alien to me with only a Calculator app looking remotely useful.

Not to mention, the Watch GT 3 lacks many smartwatch features like replying to a WhatsApp message directly from a notification on the smartwatch’s display. It also lacks contactless payment and support for other music platforms like Spotify or Deezer.

The Watch GT 3 is supposed to have over 100 workout modes. But I seriously doubt anyone will be using it other than jogs, walks and swims.

In terms of fitness tracking though, this smartwatch really shines. The readings of step tracking by this smartwatch vary by only around 2.5 per cent from my calibrated Apple Watch Series 7.

For GPS-tracked runs, it took only 10 seconds for the smartwatch to get a GPS fix on the first try. Many smartwatches usually take around 30 seconds or more for the first time. Furthermore, the GPS-tracked distance is only off by 10m on a 4.2km jogging route along a park connector. The heart rate recorded is also consistent to that of Apple Watch Series 7.

The GPS-tracked runs by Watch GT 3 are pretty accurate. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

As previously reported when reviewing the Huawei Watch 3, there is still a loud voice notification that sounds off at every kilometre during a run. But this time before I start running, I know how to disable the sound first by swiping to the End Workout screen to access that option. Unless you want the whole world to know your workout progress, I highly recommend disabling the sound.

Sleep tracking used to be really accurate with many Huawei smartwatches I reviewed. But this smartwatch is a tad disappointing.

This is one of the more accurate sleeping tracking metrics, but it shows me being awake three times that I have no recollections of. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

While it is still able to pinpoint the time I went to bed and woke up, it seems to always indicate the I “woke up” a few times during the night even when I didn’t. In addition, there are times when I left the watch on the table and it registered as sleep. I hope this is just a firmware issue, and not the device’s issue.

BATTERY LIFE
The 42mm Watch GT 3 model is said to last a week, while the reviewed 46mm model is rated to have a 14-day battery life on normal usage.

I found the advertised battery life to be pretty spot-on. The Watch GT 3’s battery level dropped to 40 per cent by the end of a week, with the smartwatch constantly connected to the Huawei P40 Pro, tracking sleep daily as well as a 4.2km jog and a 2.4km walk thrown in.

In other words, you can pretty much forget about charging the Watch GT 3 for a week and only do it every Sunday. By comparison, my Apple Watch Series 7 still needs to be charged daily.

Not to forget, while the Watch GT 3 comes with its own charging puck, it can actually be charged via any Qi-compatible wireless charging pad (as shown below) or any smartphone that supports wireless reverse charging.

You can charge the Watch GT 3 on any Qi-compatible wireless charging pad. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

VERDICT
The Huawei Watch GT 3 is an affordable-yet-capable smartwatch that belies its modest price tag with its sleek looks, excellent fitness tracking features and superb battery life. This is especially so for those using Huawei or Android smartphones.

RATINGS
FEATURES: 8/10
DESIGN: 9/10
PERFORMANCE: 7.5/10
BATTERY LIFE: 10/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 9/10
OVERALL: 8.5/10