Alongside the pricey Mate Xs 2, Huawei announced the Watch GT 3 Pro, which takes a lot of what it has learnt over the past few years of smartwatch design and refines it into a rather classy, more fashionable experience.
On paper, the company has done a great job with its new smartwatch by using premium materials, a sensor-packed chassis with a great display and offering a strong battery life. In real-world use though, does it live up to the company’s word?
Should you drop your money on this now or wait to see what comes with Wear OS 3? Let’s find out.
A quick heads-up to iPhone users
I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. As you can see, I’ve scored the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro quite highly, but I’m going to suggest that if you use an iPhone, you shouldn’t buy this watch.
Let me be clear: this is not because it’s a bad watch. But Apple has quite a hold over its own ecosystem, to the point that while the GT 3 Pro does work with iOS, it doesn’t offer the seamless integration of an Apple Watch.
For example, the universal media controls in the music player do not work with your iPhone, there seems to be no way to automatically transfer your contacts over (just manually select a few “favorite contacts”), and you can’t directly interact with notifications such as messages.
Sure, you can share your fitness and health data with Apple Health (better than what you see on other Android-centric watches), but you are limited in what you can really do with the GT 3 Pro with an iPhone, especially when compared to Android users.
So, consider this a review of the watch when paired with an Android phone — the OnePlus 10 Pro, to be specific.
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro availability and price
The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro comes in two finishes: Titanium and Ceramic. While we don’t have any US pricing (because of a certain ban), we can make some educated guesses based on the costs in the UK.
You can pick up the Titanium GT 3 Pro for £299.99 (around $375), and it will be available from May 30, 2022.
Interestingly, the smaller version of the Watch GT 3 Pro — the Ceramic edition — costs more than the larger titanium version with an RRP of £429.99 ($530). In addition to being pricier, it's also coming slightly later — June 8, with pre-orders available now.
In the UK, both editions will be available from the Huawei Store (opens in new tab) and selected retailers including Amazon and Currys.
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro design
Whether you go for Titanium or Ceramic model, you’re getting a fashionable timepiece in the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro.
The shape and the metallic edges all look unmistakably premium and while the shiny ceramic finish of the white model has split me and my partner between looking upmarket and looking cheap (her words: “you’ve got to be careful when using shiny white as a core part of your design ethos”), I’m more of a fan. But I’d love to see a matte ceramic in the future to compare.
As for the Titanium, that 46mm face can look gigantic on smaller wrists, but this is definitely the more aeshetically-refined model that’s going to work with whatever you wear. Both this and the ceramic link straps don’t pull on your hairs, and the fit is customizable to ensure it’s not too tight or loose.
Let’s look at those dimensions further. The 46mm Titanium model watch module measures in at 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.4 inches with a weight of 3.6 ounces (including the strap). That’s actually a touch smaller than the Huawei Watch GT Runner, but still quite hefty out of the box.
It gets even more interesting with the Ceramic 43mm model (and no, there’s no way of getting a 43mm titanium model) — coming in at 1.7 x 1.7 x 0.4 inches, but actually weighing more at 3.9 ounces.
This is symptomatic of the material, but I think in this model specifically, we’re starting to go a little too heavy, to the point that long-term wear can cause a little fatigue. Yes, I’m fully aware I’m quite a weakling with small wrists, but that’s what this smaller design is sort of built for.
All in all, while both are sleek, they can be slightly cumbersome in size or weight, respectively, and this problem could be answered by giving us a 43mm titanium model, too. Additional bands should also help with potential weight issue, and I will update this review on those soon.
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro display
One place where Huawei does not miss, though, is the stunning display. In the GT 3 Pro, you’re getting either a 1.32 or 1.43-inch AMOLED panel with an up to 466 x 466-pixel resolution — leading to crisp watch faces that explode with vibrant color.
Touchscreen responsiveness is lightning fast, to the point where it is very easy to whip straight past what you’re looking for, but that’s on me becoming an old man with slower reflexes. Over time, you will get used to it.
And yes, you can use an always-on display mode, but do you really need it? In my experience, the on-board sensors accurately detected when I raised my wrist and turned on the panel immediately when I started looking. Unless you’re planning on showing off that lovely display, just save yourself the battery.
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro fitness tracking
Huawei has gone all out on its fitness tracking credentials with over 100 tracked workouts. It’s getting to the point now where you can feel comfortable that whatever workout you do, the GT 3 Pro probably already has a program ready for it.
Run tracking matched the distance I was going perfectly with very accurate GPS, and the on-board speaker loudly and clearly identified when I had passed each kilometer, complete with cool down and yoga training for a nice chill out stretch.
If you fancy it, the watch also accurately tracks an entire triathlon, but that’s far beyond my ability. All of the data is entered into the Huawei app with trackable trophies and nice bits of encouragement, to help keep you going.
One workout I didn’t try, which is one of the big ones the company’s promoting, is free diving up to 30 meters. If anyone else is brave enough to do so, then be my guest! Plus, it is very specific about the kinds of free diving it will track — all of which I don’t really have access to in my landlocked part of England, unless I wish to die of several horrible diseases by jumping in the nearby river.
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro health tracking
As for health tracking, there is a pretty decent suite here including your standard array like heart rate, sleep tracking and blood oxygen level measuring, alongside mindfulness integrations like stress level tracking and more warmly welcomed inclusions of a menstruation tracker and even a lactate threshold scale (to see just how much oxygen your body can take in during intense workouts).
One glaring omission is the electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity for any irregularities. The GT 3 Pro does have the technology and while in China you can access this feature, it’s not yet available in the UK due to certification issues, which have persisted for well over a year now.
Will this be resolved? Potentially, but I’m not going to score this review on the promise of new features/updates coming to the watch.
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro features
Of course, speaking of its fitness and health credentials, the on-board technology and build quality match what is needed to make these work: IP68 water resistance, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, optical heart rate sensor, barometer and a thermometer.
As I alluded to before, all of this information is entered into the Huawei app, which does a great job of displaying your data in a simple, easy-to-process manner. This is also your portal to new watch faces (some of which you have to pay for), and apps through partnerships with the likes of Adidas and Strava.
For the on-watch experience, you’ve got Harmony OS 2, which feels like the operational middle ground between the multi-face UI of Wear OS and the app cloud of Apple’s watchOS.
It’s slick, but while there is a wealth of customization, you can’t escape the cloud of the Google ban — resulting in off-brand apps like Petal Maps rather than Google Maps. They all work, don’t get me wrong, but if you’ve already built up your data profile in these more universally-used apps, then it’s a bit of a pain to start all over again.
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro battery life & charging
A shining jewel in the crown of the Watch GT 3 Pro is its battery life, as this thing can last for days.
Huawei promises up to seven days for the ceramic, with the titanium going up to 14 days and in casual use (a couple workouts a week, sleep tracking, taking a few calls and controlling music), I comfortably hit those targets.
Sure, you can kill it faster if you are more intense with your usage. When I upped the time I made calls, listened to music and did a lot more fitness tracking in a day, you can drain the Ceramic model in two days. But that’s still quite a ways ahead of what you can achieve on the Apple Watch Series 6 (in personal experience), and the Apple Watch Series 7.
So, let’s state the obvious. The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro is a pretty damn good smartwatch for your Android phone.
It’s a stylish timepiece that is bursting at the seams with tracking tech, a big battery and a gorgeous display with a rather smart UI.
But the size of the titanium model and the weight of the ceramic edition is not for everyone, the price you’re set to pay is a little costly and there is the looming specter of Wear OS 3 devices quickly approaching.
Put simply: it’s good, but I’d save my money until we find out more about what’s coming soon.