I’ve always been on the fence about Smartwatches. I can absolutely see the appeal, but I have always been somewhat of a traditionalist in that I want my watch to be a watch, and that’s it. I have a modest collection of watches that I can wear on any given day, but no smartwatches. I’ve dabbled in brands like Fitbit, but Smartwatches never stuck for me. Until now, that is. I got the opportunity to review the HUAWEI Watch GT3 and I jumped in with both feet.
The stainless-steel band and beautiful face/screen greeted me once I opened the box, I was impressed right away. When trying it on, I quickly realized that it would need to have a link or two removed to fit my wrist. Thankfully, HUAWEI has made it very simple to add or remove links from the band on the Watch GT3, simply by sliding the pin of the link to the side and slipping it out. One link removed from either side of the face, and I was welcoming a snug fit and beautiful look.
The Watch GT3, and indeed all the other smartwatches in HUAWEI’s lineup, need the HUAWEI Health app to pair with on your mobile device. It’s available on both iOS and Android operating systems, requiring iOS 9.0 or later, or Android 6 or later. The watch itself, however, runs on HUAWEI’s Harmony O/S.
Speaking of the Harmony O/S, I really like the interface it affords on the Watch GT3. It’s easy to navigate, and easy to read everything, despite being on a watch screen. There was no point where I wanted to do more than I could. But, because the Watch GT3 runs on Harmony O/S, there are a couple of drawbacks if you look close enough.
“The Watch GT3, and indeed all the other smartwatches in HUAWEI’s lineup, need the HUAWEI Health app to pair with on your mobile device.”
The first of these drawbacks is that a lot of the apps you may be used to on your iOS or Android device, like Google Maps, or Spotify, are not available. There is an app gallery available on the watch, but it is very limited in selection at the moment.
The Watch GT3 is a strictly Wi-Fi powered watch, so responding to messages, emails, etc. is not possible. This is fine for me since I always have my phone with me anyway. I like the ability to check my watch when I get a message notification and decide if I want to answer it or if it can wait. According to HUAWEI’s website for the Watch GT3, the watch can make and receive phone calls, as long as the device is connected through Bluetooth to your phone.
However, my experience with this feature was less than ideal. Sounds on calls being made or received were not heard at all. Any call that I made or answered on the watch were automatically sent to my phone, where I’d have to change the source to the phone instead of the watch. This is a bit of a letdown, but since HUAWEI’s cellular phones have not been available in Canada for some time now, it’s hardly surprising.
“The screen on the HUAWEI Watch GT3 is immaculate. I received the 46 mm version, which boasts a resolution of 466×466, and has a PPI (pixels per inch) of 326 in the 46 mm version (352 in the 42 mmm version).”
The screen on the HUAWEI Watch GT3 is immaculate. I received the 46 mm version, which boasts a resolution of 466×466, and has a PPI (pixels per inch) of 326 in the 46 mm version (352 in the 42 mmm version). At no point did I ever see a picture that was grainy, or out of focus. Everything appeared crisp and vibrant. The Watch GT3 has an AMOLED colour screen that supports full-screen swiping, pressing, tapping, holding, etc. so your navigations on the watch are beautiful as much as they are simple.
My absolute favourite feature of the Watch GT3 would have to be the sleep tracking. As someone who just doesn’t get a lot of sleep, being able to quantify and measure the sleep that I do get went a long way to helping me figure out why I was tired on a given day. Not only does the watch monitor your sleep, but there are built-in features to measure your heartrate, stress level, oxygen saturation, and track your steps for the day as well. You can even track your exercise with swimming, skiing, mountain hiking and a plethora of other activities, or keep up to date on the current moon cycle if that’s your thing. The HUAWEI Watch GT3 is extremely versatile.
The watch face is customisable, so you aren’t stuck with the same watch face day in and day out. Over the first three days I had the Watch GT3, I must have changed the face four times. There is a shop where you can apply any of the free watch faces, of which there are hundreds, or purchase any of the others.
“Not only does the watch monitor your sleep, but there are built-in features to measure your heartrate, stress level, oxygen saturation, and track your steps for the day as well.”
In addition to all the cool features I mentioned earlier, there are some really great fitness tracking elements as well. HUAWEI has developed a tracking system called Healthy Living, where you can select a goal that you are trying to reach, and the watch will remind you to do an activity to further that goal, as well as track the progress you make while doing so. For example, I am trying to stay hydrated, so I set one of the goals to be to remind me to drink water throughout the day.
All of this is great, but if the device spends more time on the charger than on your wrist, is it all that great? Thankfully, HUAWEI has installed an incredible battery into the Watch GT3. I have had this device for just shy of three weeks (at time of writing), and I have had to charge it once, and that was after around 12 days of use. HUAWEI says that the battery should last around 2 weeks, and it seems to be pretty accurate based upon my usage. Not only does the battery last for a really long time, but it also doesn’t take ages to charge fully as well. I took the watch off when it had 2% battery one afternoon and plugged it in to charge. Two hours later, I came back, and it was fully charged to 100%, which is in keeping with what HUAWEI has promised.
HUAWEI has developed a brilliant piece of hardware with the Watch GT3, and an equally brilliant O/S with the Harmony O/S. I can say that in the near three weeks (at time of writing) I’ve had this device, the longest it was off my wrist were the two hours it was charging. I can’t recommend the Watch GT3 enough, especially given the comfort and ease of use it features.