Huawei Watch GT 3 in the test: more smartwatch than fitness watch?

Huawei Watch GT 3 in the test: more smartwatch than fitness watch?

With the Watch GT 3, Huawei remains true to the concept of its predecessor: With the new fitness watch, the Chinese manufacturer finally wants to let wearers enjoy the benefits of a smartwatch. xiaomist editor Sarah describes in a detailed test how well this worked.

I have to admit that I'm a little late on the subject of smartwatches. The Huawei Watch GT 3 is the first smartwatch I've ever worn on my wrist. So far I have been more of a fan of analog clocks so as not to constantly increase my cell phone time with an allegedly mere glance at the time. But since Huawei's smartphones have always convinced me so far, I was now also interested in the new smartwatch.

Huawei Watch GT 3: conclusion and rating

xiaomist rating: 7.9 / 10

Compared to the GT 2, the biggest innovation of the successor is, above all, the operating system and the ability to download third-party apps. The Huawei Watch GT 3 is therefore worthwhile for anyone looking for a smartwatch with a focus on fitness . If you don't let the hesitant touch function perturb you, the various tracking functions are definitely fun. Likewise, when it comes to battery performance, they really haven't been promised too much.

Although a lot has been screwed into the HarmonyOS 2.1 operating system compared to the Watch 3 Pro, it is still not exhausted . You should be aware that some updates are still required and that individual apps are only gradually coming onto the German market. But with all these points, I think the price of just under 250 euros is really fair .

Advantages:

Sustainable packaging Quick and easy setup Sharp and bright display App installation thanks to HarmonyOS 2 Outstanding battery performance

Disadvantage:

Software and operation not fully developed in places. Inaccurate information on water resistance. English voice output

Packaging based on the motto "less is more."

The GT 3 arrives in a black and gold box, which not only looks high-quality at first glance, but has also made it possible for Huawei to use sustainable and recyclable packaging. There is only one plastic bag and it is compostable. The packaging waste is therefore limited - a point that has already made a good first impression on me.

In addition to the smartwatch, you will find an instruction manual enclosed, which is almost obsolete because the smartwatch is already ready for use and makes it very easy for users to set up, but more on that later. In addition, a charging station with a USB-C connection was included, on which you can place the watch. The charging cable is supplied without a power supply unit , i.e. you should already have a corresponding plug. If not: The Anker Power Port Mini would be an option.

Speaking of which: if you should forget or lose the small charging station, there is the option of charging the watch via your smartphone, provided it has the reverse wireless charging function. This has been possible with Huawei smartphones since the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Different designs depending on usage

Let's get to the watch itself: As usual, Huawei distinguishes between a 42 mm (1.32 inch) and 46 mm (1.43 inch) case. I am currently wearing the 46mm black Active Edition. Due to the material, this bracelet is recommended for sports. Again, in addition to the sporty look, a leather strap (available in brown and white) and a metal strap ensure an elegant appearance.

In addition, the larger version has a lot more power than its little brother. Although the difference between the two models is only 4 mm, the difference in terms of the battery is enormous: If you use the 46 mm watch "only for the bare essentials" (according to the manufacturer: activated message notification, 30 minutes of Bluetooth calls and music playback per week, heart rate measurement, activated Sleep mode, 90 minutes of training per week, display activated 200 times a day.) The battery should last a full 14 days , but only seven days are specified for the 42 mm under the same conditions.

But before I go into the inner workings of the little everyday helper, a few words about wearing it: The watch is big, very big. Since I have a narrow wrist, the smartwatch spans the entire width and therefore looks quite clunky on me. I suppose that even 42 mm wouldn't do much differently, because in the end it is only four millimeters less. Apart from that, the size goes hand in hand with the weight: According to the manufacturer, my model weighs a proud 42.6 g even without a bracelet and you can tell.

Easy to set up, but idiosyncratic touch function

As I hinted at above, setting up the GT 3 is no magic, on the contrary. The smartwatch immediately instructs the wearer via QR code to download the "Health" app, which is used to activate the smartwatch. The app is an indispensable tool because you can basically control everything with it and view the data recorded by the smartwatch (number of steps, heart rate, etc.) in detail. I will go into more detail on the app below.

To control the clock, you have the touch display on the one hand. This really offers a very sharp and bright display , regardless of the angle and sunlight. However, the touch sensitivity is very idiosyncratic and does not always work. You can really expect more from a third-generation smartwatch. In the GIF below you can see how the system ... well, it just doesn't work. The same applies to the clock display, by the way. Huawei had thought that this would be activated as soon as the arm is angled or lifted, but unfortunately the display often stays black for me so far.

If these functions should ever let you down, this is not a problem, since on the other hand there is a so-called "crown" that serves as a quasi home button. With one click on the wheel you get to the watch display and with another click on the app selection of the smartwatch. You can also turn the wheel to make various settings.

Another button below the clock leads you directly to the training menu of the smartwatch, which really leaves nothing to be desired. You can choose between numerous sports that the watch then tracks, from aerobics and crossfit to hula hoop training and various martial arts.

At this point I want to go into the water resistance again, which in my opinion is a bit vague. Huawei states that the smartwatch is waterproof to the 5 ATM standard (i.e. waterproof to 50 m) and can be worn for swimming. Nevertheless, high water pressure should be avoided, i.e. saunas, hot water showers, diving and so on. I find these normalizations a bit confusing.

In this article we have summarized the various scales regarding water resistance. "5 ATM" therefore allows a film of sweat on the skin and showering . The clock has definitely survived a shower. To really be on the safe side, there is the "Drying" function with which the Smartwatch cleans itself while vibrating.

Thanks to HarmonyOS 2.1 finally a liquid software?

With the Watch 3 Pro, Huawei was able to test the HarmonyOS 2.0 operating system on a smartwatch for the first time. While our assessment of this in our test of the Watch 3 Pro was not very positive, with the Watch GT 3 we are offered the successor HarmonyOS 2.1. You benefit from a sophisticated app gallery that allows you to install multiple apps, including those from third-party providers. The installation and transfer to the smartwatch always worked very quickly for me, a further improvement on the previous operating system.

But: So far, I had to download each app twice, on the one hand via the Health app to transfer it to the smartwatch, and on the other hand via the AppGallery for installation on my mobile phone. Easier handling is definitely required here.

As with its predecessors, the Watch GT 3 also allows you to track sleep, (skin) temperature, blood oxygen and you have useful tools such as a flashlight, an alarm clock, a route planner and a camera that you can use with your smartphone uses. Personally, I was very pleased that, thanks to HarmonyOS 2.1, a cycle calendar can be installed, so that I can always see when the next period is approaching.

However, the Huawei Watch GT 3 is not a fitness watch for nothing. You can either download a corresponding app to start a workout (for example "Fitify Workouts" and "Workouts at home") or use the existing training plans. It struck me negatively that despite the German language setting, the voice output is in English during the training . This has already been criticized for the Watch 3 Pro.

Impressive battery performance and Bluetooth connection

Huawei hasn't promised too much when it comes to battery performance. As of this writing, I've already been wearing the watch for a good week and the battery is still at 52 percent. It should be noted that I only really use the app, as stated by the manufacturer, not very intensively.

In addition, the Bluetooth connection works without any problems, even over a longer distance . Even if the Watch GT3 is not connected to the mobile phone, it records the tracking data; the Bluetooth connection is only relevant for the evaluation. I found this very useful for my run. Since the smartwatch had challenged me well, I was able to measure not only the distance but also my heart rate while jogging without having to take my smartphone with me.

You can also receive notifications via Bluetooth (but not answer them) and take calls. While I would like more functions for the user for the former, the connection remains stable during a call, only the quality sounds a bit tinny.

The music can also be controlled via Bluetooth. On the watch itself, I could only play the songs downloaded on the smartphone. You cannot access apps like Spotify directly with the Watch GT 3, you can only control the track list. Here, too, more options would really be desirable.

By the way: you don't necessarily need an Android smartphone to use the GT 3. This is also compatible with the iPhone, provided that the operating system is iOS 9.0 or later .

Category Rating (max. 10) Design and workmanship 8 Sustainability 7 Display 9 Wear comfort and operation 7 Software 6 Fitness modes: 9 Battery 9 Total 7.9

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