Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro is a nice smartwatch that not many of us can buy

Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro is a nice smartwatch that not many of us can buy

Last year, while Google and Samsung were changing the Android smartwatch space, Huawei also announced that it would launch the Huawei Watch 3 with a new proprietary operating system called HarmonyOS 2. Then it followed with the Huawei Watch GT 3. So it’s not a huge surprise. That Huawei is back again with the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro.

Last year’s Watch 3 was a good try and reminded me a lot of Samsung’s Tizen smartwatches. And while I haven’t had a GT 3 Pro for a long time, what I’ve seen so far continues that general feeling. The GT 3 Pro comes in two versions: a titanium model and an all-ceramic model. The former features a 46.6mm case with a 1.4-inch OLED display while the latter is a smaller 42.9mm with a 1.3-inch screen. Both also feature sapphire glass, have an IP68 water and dust resistance, and are swim-resistant to 5ATM (164 feet). Battery life is estimated at up to 14 days for the titanium model and up to 7 days for the ceramic model.

The all-ceramic model is smaller at 43mm.
Photo: Huawei

In terms of specs, both watches also have all the sensors you’d expect to see on a premium smartwatch. This includes an optical heart rate sensor, SpO2 sensors, accelerometer, and gyroscope. It also features a barometer, temperature sensor, and magnetometer. In terms of new capabilities, the watches have a new free-diving trial mode and built-in GPS. It also has ECG capability – although only in countries where Huawei has received the appropriate clearance from regulators.

Huawei is in a strange place when it comes to consumer technology. Thanks to an executive order issued by former President Donald Trump in 2019, the company is prohibited from using US technology in its devices. It includes Android and Wear OS – hence, the proprietary operating system. So, while I can test the Watch GT 3 Pro, it’s not a smartwatch that I can actually buy in the US. (However, you can if you live in Europe).

The titanium model has a case measuring approximately 47 mm.
Photography by Victoria Song/The Verge

It’s a shame because Huawei has been in the wearable space for so long and has made some excellent smartwatches along the way. I’ve been playing with the titanium version of the GT 3 Pro, which is a nice smartwatch. The screen is lively, apps load quickly in HarmonyOS 2, and while the watch’s aesthetic isn’t my thing, it will appeal to people who like a watch with a more masculine, traditional look. However, I will get a replacement belt to work. Metal straps don’t handle sweat well and tend to be looser, which isn’t great for heart rate accuracy. Also, the links are difficult to adjust, and it took an absurdly long time for the watch to reach the size that fits my wrist.

But I can also tell that it has some of the same issues that occurred when I tested the Huawei Watch 3. i.e. I can see the bones of a good smartwatch, but because of where I live, I can’t make the best of its features. For example, I can’t use the voice assistant. This is because HarmonyOS 2 does not use Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. It uses a special assistant called Celia that requires you to have a Huawei phone – which I also can’t buy. Likewise, I’m stuck with Huawei’s proprietary apps as there is no real support for third-party apps, which makes this more of a fitness tracker than a real smartwatch. It kind of feels like Fitbit is elevated with a Much More outstanding build quality and smoother operating system to boot. Hell, I imagine if it was a Fitbit Act Coming up with something similar, it will be popular.

HarmonyOS 2 has many of the same pros and cons as Samsung’s Tizen OS.
Photography by Victoria Song/The Verge

However, a lot of this won’t matter once Fossil and other watch makers hit Google Wear OS 3. Like Samsung’s Tizen watches, Huawei wearables are locked into its own ecosystem. When Wear OS 3 becomes more widely available, other third-party watchmakers will have access to Google services and popular apps like Spotify. That would be great for Android users in general. But Huawei watches will still be the best for people who have Huawei phones.

In short, Huawei watches are stuck in limbo. I could see a lot of people digging into the lightweight performance, health tracking, and analog aesthetic – even if the third-party app ecosystem didn’t exist. But, at the same time, none of its watches have been so revolutionary that they evoke wearable vomo. At the end of the day, you are not missing out who – which Much.

2022-05-18 12:35:13

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.