The Huawei Watch 3 is the first smartwatch to run on the brand’s Harmony operating system - an OS that proves a definite upgrade over its predecessor, offering smooth and fast performance. The Watch 3 also features an impressive and crisp AMOLED display, as well as GPS tracking, voice controls and more. But can it compete with the wrist-based tech of Apple, Google and Samsung? What’s The Best’s Isabel Martins takes it for a spin to find out.
|Charging||Wireless charging 10W|
|Resolution||466 x 466 pixels|
|• Crisp, high resolution||• Accurate GPS tracking|
|• Seamless voice controls||• Blood oxygen monitor can be difficult|
|• Sleek design|
An overall brilliant smartwatch, the Huawei Watch 3 envelops a sharp, high-resolution display with plenty of useful features and seamless on-screen navigation. It boasts precise GPS tracking and calorie readings, as well as an extensive array of fitness tools. Topped off with a sleek, lightweight design, the Huawei Watch 3 is a delight to use and carry around.
Nonetheless, it is lacking in the number of apps available, or the accuracy of the heart rate monitoring, meaning it falls just short of competing with the Apple Watch and premium Google-powered Android watches.
• Sleek and lightweight
• Sharp resolution and graphics
• Sturdy, well built
The Huawei Watch 3 makes a brilliant first impression, with a polished box and clear to follow instructions. Unpackaging and getting to grips with it was brilliantly straightforward. The eSIM compatibility is another handy feature, which I found particularly useful and time-saving.
I was also impressed with the sharp graphics and bright AMOLED display. With a 1.43 inch screen, a 46mm case and a pixel density of 326ppi, the result is ultra-crisp graphics and intense, vivid colours. For such a compact screen this is certainly an impressive feat!
In terms of design, it's a significant upgrade from the Watch 2, the Watch 3 boasts a much more sleek and lightweight design, yet despite this, it still possesses a relatively sturdy feel. The silicone band is also very comfortable, although this can be switched to another band if you'd prefer.
I tested the all-black design option, and I have to say I love its cool aesthetic, in fact, I'd prefer to keep the silicone band rather than replace it.
• Relatively seamless user usability
• Comfortable, ergonomic design
• Haptic feedback and bright display
Included in the box is a QR code for the Huawei Fitness app. Simply scan it, download the app onto your smartphone and voila! You're ready to start enjoying the Huawei Watch 3.
In terms of seamless usability, one of the most impressive new features of the Huawei Watch 3 is the 3D rotating crown, which is used for navigation. This crown replaces the top right button, and once I got to grips with it, I found it much more intuitive and easy to use - it makes scrolling through texts and menus a breeze.
The Watch 3 has only two physical controls, a button on the top left that you can use to look through menus or to go to the home screen, and the aforementioned 3D rotating crown. The rest of the operation is undertaken via the touchscreen.
These physical controls mean that when taken on rainy walks or runs, you can easily use the Watch 3 with wet or gloved hands. Furthermore, the whole watch is up to 50m water-resistant, meaning any light water splashes won't affect it. I can confirm this, as, throughout the three week period in which it was tested, I did several runs in the rain and despite some water droplets reaching the watch, it continued to operate smoothly.
I found typing on the on-screen keyboard to be quite tricky and fiddly, despite its autocorrect feature, but personally, that's due to the screen size rather than software useability.
• Battery lasts for 14 days on power-saver mode
• Heart-rate, blood oxygen saturation,
• Support for 90 different types of sport
One of my all-time favourite features on the Watch 3 is the "ultra-long battery life". Once the battery percentage drops below a certain amount, you will be notified of the option to enable the "ultra-long battery life" feature. This does mean that some features don't run as smoothly, but I found that if you're in a pinch and you need the watch to stay switched on, this is extremely useful. When you do get back to your charger, it recharges fairly quickly too.
The software bundled with the Watch 3 is heavily focused on fitness, which is a huge plus for me. As someone who regularly attends the gym and is passionate about fitness, this watch was incredibly useful for tracking sleep and calories and monitoring heart rate for specific activities.
As someone who uses other calorie trackers, I can safely say the Huawei Watch 3 was brilliantly accurate - I tested it on runs, high-intensity training as well as good old fashioned resistance training. It's also very precise when monitoring your heart rate, too.
The Huawei Watch 3 boasts quite a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, including swimming, running and cycling. You can also customise the options, so the ones that you prioritise show up first.
Unfortunately, I did have some issues with the blood oxygen saturation measurements, even when holding perfectly still the watch had difficulties measuring it. What saved me was fastening the watch extra tight so it sat very tightly on my wrist.
In terms of the battery, if you put it on saver mode, it will last up to 14 days. However, if it's just on the regular mode, it will last between two to three in my experience. The charger is magnetic, so there's no knocking it off by accident, which is a definite plus.
The Huawei Watch 3 has an RRP of £349.99, but can be regularly found for around £280. This is slightly cheaper than the price of the Apple Watch Series 6, with its RRP of £379.99. If you're looking for more of a fitness tracker, and don't require the extra features the watch comes with, then we'd recommend having a look at our best Fitbits article or reading our review of the Huawei Watch Fit Elegant.
The Huawei Watch 3 is an excellent product, from its accurate calorie and heart rate tracking, to the 3D rotating crown feature, and how smoothly it runs on the new Harmony operating system, there's very little not to love. I especially enjoyed how fitness-focused it was, particularly the variety of indoor and outdoor activities it boasted.
|•Excellent battery life||•Blood oxygen saturation measurement isn't seamless|
|• Comfortable, ergonomic design|
|• Crisp, vibrant display|
How we tested it:
I tested the watch over a period of three weeks. From the moment I got it, it accompanied me during gym workouts, fitness classes, runs and tracked my sleep. I used it with gloves and wet hands (thank you British weather) to ensure Huawei's claims that the 3D rotating crown would despite those factors.