Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro review - Complete package in titanium
The GT 3 Pro is the top model of Huawei's smartwatches. The expectations for workmanship and functionality are correspondingly high. The watch is available as a women's model with a diameter of 43 millimeters (~1.7 in) and as a men's model with a diameter of 46 millimeters (~1.8 in). Not only the size, but also the design of the case differs slightly. Our test unit is the men's version in titanium gray with a titanium bracelet. Alternatively, the watch can also be ordered with a gray leather or black rubber strap. These two variants are significantly cheaper than the test version in full titanium. Technically, all three watches are identical; there is no LTE variant.
Case and features - Watch GT 3 Pro with titanium case
Huawei goes all out with the Watch GT 3 Pro. The material feel and workmanship are convincing all along the line. The watch looks and feels high quality. The 1.43-inch display is covered by sapphire glass, and the rest is made of brushed titanium with a matte surface. The case of the watch and the strap have exactly the same color. The link bracelet comes with individual links, so the circumference of the strap can be adjusted as desired. Thanks to small lugs on the elements, this adjustment succeeds without tools. The entire band can also be changed without tools. The connection corresponds to the 22-millimeter (~0.9 in) standard, which means that there are countless interchangeable straps on the market, regardless of the manufacturer.
Huawei states a weight of 54 grams (~1.9 oz) for the watch without the band. We measured with the band and arrive at a total weight of 95 grams (~3.4 oz). Thus, the watch weighs considerably more than other smartwatches, even from the company itself, such as the Huawei Watch GT Runner, which only weighs 55 grams with the band. The weight makes the watch noticeable when worn, but it does not become uncomfortable in the process. During the test period, the watch proved to be very robust; there were no scratches or signs of wear at any point.
The Watch GT 3 Pro does not have any charging contacts because it is charged wirelessly via the Qi standard. On the right side, there are two function keys, one of which is a crown. The casing also houses a speaker and a microphone. This makes phone calls possible as long as a paired smartphone is nearby, because the Huawei smartwatch does not accept a SIM card. An NFC sensor is also on board. However, the smartphone app reports that the watch does not currently support payments.
A suitable Qi charging cable (USB-A) is included, as well as individual links for extending the wristband and a quick start guide. However, a power adapter is missing.
Setup and operation - App Gallery and Health app
The watch only works in conjunction with the Huawei Health app. The watch is set up via the software and all data ends up there. iPhone users can download the app from the Apple App Store for devices with iOS 9 or later, Android users have to take the detour via the Huawei App Gallery due to the existing sanctions, because the current version of the app is not available in the Google Playstore. If the Huawei app gallery is installed - for example, via the QR code in the manual - the Huawei Health app can be downloaded via it. However, the user has to agree to an installation from unknown sources on the phone. Once this hurdle is cleared, updates via the app gallery run automatically. However, the user still has to grant the Health app various permissions, such as access to contacts and the right to send messages.
Above all, the user can set what is displayed on the watch itself. The watch faces can be changed, the always-on display can be turned on and off, and the style can be changed. The various maps, which are scrolled through by swiping sideways on the watch, can also be selected on the watch and changed in sequence without having to use the smartphone. However, all of the described actions can also be performed via the app. More extensive settings are also possible there, such as activating the various sensors for sleep, heart rate measurement, automatic stress tests, SpO2 measurement and checking the skin temperature. In addition, other apps can be installed on the watch via the Health app. The selection is growing slowly, but well-known fitness apps like Strava, outdoor apps like Komoot or music streaming services are still missing. However, music can be stored on the watch via the Health app to listen to music independently of the smartphone on the go, for example during sports. Pairing with Bluetooth headphones worked smoothly in the test.
The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro has a 1.43-inch capacitive touchscreen that is used to operate the watch. A swipe from the bottom to the top opens the notification menu, all messages are displayed there, and they can be opened by tapping on them. A swipe from the top down opens the quick settings with access to the alarm clock and do not disturb mode. The screen can also be set to permanent mode for a few minutes or ring the smartphone if you are searching for it. A swipe from right to left leads through the individual tiles, which can show readings like heart rate or stress, the weather, moon phase, sleep quality and much more. Which content is shown at which position can be set both on the watch and in the app. A swipe to the right of the GT 3 Pro, from the home screen, takes the user to Huawei Assistant TODAY, where the voice assistant is started, the current weather and possibly running media on the smartwatch or paired smartphone are shown.
In addition, the watch offers two buttons on the right side, the upper one is designed as a pressable and rotatable crown. Pressing the crown opens the app launcher, which is designed as a grid. The user zooms in and out of the display by turning the crown. Pressing this button always takes the user back to the home screen when in the launcher or a menu. Turning the crown is also a very convenient way to scroll through menus. The lower button can be assigned in the menu itself. In the factory settings, pressing it opens the training menu. However, the button can also open a special app or a measurement, such as the heart rate. The button also has a sensor that is used to measure arterial stiffness, for example.
The positioning of the keys is good; there were no incorrect inputs in the test. The pressure point is also convincing, and the keys do not have any play. Turning the crown can be felt via the vibration motor if desired.
Telephony and notifications - Unfortunately, only short answers at Huawei
The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro does surprisingly well during phone calls. The speaker of the watch is loud enough that you do not have to hold it directly in front of your ear when making a call. The voice transmission succeeds without delays or annoying background noise. The other person in the test could not tell whether the call was made from a smartphone or the Smartwatch in a quiet environment. However, communication becomes more difficult with increasing background noise. Incoming calls are displayed on the watch and can be accepted directly there. Making calls with the watch is a bit more difficult because there is no access to the full phonebook. Instead, the watch shows a list of recent calls, and the contacts listed there can be clicked and thus called. You can also create your own favorite contacts on the watch, which can be dialed directly.
The Watch GT 3 Pro is less convincing when it comes to notifications. The smartwatch informs about incoming messages and emails, but it cannot display pictures or emojis. On the other hand, the watch can display emails in full and not just the subject line, which we criticized in our review of the Watch GT Runner. However, nothing has changed in the answering options, which are very limited. The wearer only has the choice between emojis - the watch can display them when sending - and stored short responses. At least these short answers can be edited in the Health app in terms of content and order.
Voice assistant - Celia only, only with EMUI
Huawei relies on the in-house voice assistant Celia, which is called via Huawei Assist Today or by pressing the lower button for a long time. However, the voice assistant only works with devices that run EMUI as software, which is usually Huawei devices. In the test, however, it was also possible to pair it with the current Honor Magic4 Lite 5G, while the assistant refused to work with a Pixel 5.
However, the assistant is rarely convincing when a suitable smartphone is paired. The range of functions seems to be very limited compared to Alexa or Google Assistant, and many functions require a precisely formulated voice command. Alternatives to Celia cannot be installed on the Watch GT 3 Pro.
Health and Fitness - Huawei Measures Arterial Stiffness
All data from the watch converges in the Health app and is clearly displayed there. But the wearer can also get an insight into various body parameters and their development on the watch itself. The watch and app also display past training sessions. The data is combined in the daily activity goals, but is also displayed individually. In addition, preloaded running courses for different performance levels can be selected directly via the watch. The app has to be used for personalizing the courses and training plans that go beyond jogging.
The watch reminds you to stand up and stretch when sitting for long periods of time. It also alerts when it detects irregularities in heart activity. The Health app offers two widgets under Android, but they only provide rudimentary information, such as steps walked, kilometers and calories burned. The two widgets do not differ in their functionality, but only in their look. Clicking on the widget opens the Health app. Unfortunately, it is not possible to synchronize the data between the Health app and Google Fit without a third-party app.
The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro provides a good overview of steps run, time in motion, and training hours in the known circles. In addition, the watch also provides information about the stress level, blood oxygen saturation, sleep behavior, and heart rate. The step goal is created in the Health app, and the watch congratulates when the value is reached. In addition, the watch prompts for exercise after an hour of sitting.
The Health app also offers a separate overview on the topic of healthy living. Goals for the day are defined there, such as getting up in a certain time window, an appropriate stress level that can be lowered with breathing exercises, sufficient times for activity and rest breaks, taking a sufficient number of steps, and falling asleep in a certain time window. In this way, the app and watch aim to accompany the entire day. The achievement of the various goals is displayed with corresponding values as well as in color.
The Watch GT 3 Pro can also measure arterial stiffness, and the data is divided into three categories. The watch does not support an ECG measurement at the time of the test.
Heart rate, heart rhythm and blood oxygen saturation
The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro convinces with great accuracy in heart rate measurement. The comparison with the Polar H10 chest strap reveals a deviation of 0.9 percent in the performance measurements, and the resting pulse is indicated exactly the same in both devices. The test watch achieves this high accuracy despite the link wristband, which makes it a reliable companion for everyday use as well as sports.
Sleep tracking - Watch GT 3 Pro without smart alarm clock
The Huawei smartwatch's sleep tracking is convincing in the test. Wake times are recorded correctly, and the watch does not even miss a nap during the day. Sleep is divided into four areas: deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep, and wake phases. The values can be displayed for single days or nights as well as for weeks, months and years. In addition to the total sleep time, the time in the individual sleep phases is also given, as well as a percentage breakdown of the phases and a classification of the values. Total sleep is also assessed, and the app also provides tips for improving sleep quality.
Unfortunately, the Watch GT 3 Pro does not use the collected data for a smart alarm function. The Watch GT Runner had this option, but the app does not offer a corresponding option for the test model.
Training recording - Smartwatch waterproof up to 30 meters depth
Huawei has introduced two innovations in the Watch GT 3 Pro's workout recording, two special modes for golfers and and divers. In total, the watch supports more than 100 different sports. The special feature for diving is that Huawei releases the smartwatch for dives to a depth of 30 meters (~98 feet), even in salt water. The watch indicates the current depth as well as the maximum depth and the ascent speed. We did not test it at such depths, but the GT 3 Pro survived swimming and showering without any damage.
Another special feature is the golf mode. According to Huawei, the "driving range function" offers virtual maps of over 300 golf courses and real-time information on distances and wind strengths. In addition, the watch provides instructions for different grip variations on the club and a sample video for the appropriate swing. Due to a lack of course experience, we were not able to try this out in the test.
However, the "AI Running Coach" introduced with the Watch GT Runner was also convincing on the Watch GT 3 Pro. The software provides information about the current training status, the training load of the past seven days and VO2Max, and it also indicates rest periods that should be taken before the next workout. In addition, the program calculates the probable running times for distances of five, ten, 20 and 42 kilometers (~3, 6, 12 and 26 mi) based on the available training data. However, the watch only offers these functions when jogging. If desired, the watch can also automatically recognize when a workout has been started, it then asks whether the data should be recorded. However, this only works when running and walking or on the cross trainer or rowing machine. In addition, the watch gives an intermediate status during the workout according to fixed times or distances. Data about the past section and the training as a whole is given. Unfortunately, the corresponding announcements are only available in English.
GPS and navigation - Huawei and Komoot coupled
Huawei's Petal Maps app can be installed on the Watch GT 3 Pro, but navigation cannot be started via the watch. The smartphone always has to be used to enter the destination. If you start a navigation with Petal Maps on a smartphone, you are asked whether the route should also be displayed on the watch. If the answer is yes, navigation arrows and a small map view are displayed on the smartwatch, and voice output is also possible. In addition, the watch offers rudimentary reverse navigation during training sessions. The completed path is displayed on a small map so that the athlete can roughly estimate when he has to turn in which direction. However, arrows or further information are missing. The watch also does not refer to maps, for example, to finish a circuit in order to return to the starting point. The watch only shows the same way back that you came.
It is positive that routes can be exported and imported via the Health app. Gpx, tcx and kml file formats are supported. A Komoot account can be directly connected to the Health app. Already completed routes as well as planned routes can be imported from Komoot and saved on the watch via the Health app. The routes can be executed in all sports and the smartwatch navigates via voice as well as with a map display during training.
A cycling lap with our comparison device, the Garmin Venu 2, shows that the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro does not track the curves as accurately as the Garmin watch. The exported routes show that the Huawei smartwatch indicates its position next to the actual path. With a total length of almost ten kilometers (~6 mi), the two watches show a difference of 140 meters (~459 ft). The watch supports dual GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS. There were no disconnections in the test. The satellite connection is established within a few seconds when starting a workout.
Display - Watch GT 3 Pro bright and colorful
The display of the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro convinces across the board. The 1.43-inch AMOLED panel has a perfect black value due to its design, and Huawei specifies a resolution of 326 ppi. Our measurements revealed a maximum display brightness of 495 cd/m² when the brightness sensor is turned off. When the sensor is enabled, the display achieves 584 cd/m². Thus, the watch was very legible under all test conditions. The position sensor reliably detects wrist movements, and the display is activated quickly. Huawei also offers an Always-On display on the smartwatch that can be customized in different styles. The Always-On display has to be actively ended by pressing a button to access other functions. The brightness sensor also regulates the luminosity of the Always-On display convincingly. However, the display always remains active at night, which can be annoying and reduces the battery life significantly. The Do Not Disturb mode has no influence on the Always-On display, and it is also not possible to limit the display's time.
Performance and runtime - Fast and enduring
Huawei uses a chip from STMicroelectronics in Switzerland in the Watch GT 3 Pro. However, further information about the SoC is missing. There is also no information about the internal storage, but Huawei installs 4 GB in the Watch GT Runner. This storage can be used for apps, routes and music.
The system performance is very good. Apps start quickly, and there were no stutters when using the watch during the test. Since the watch does not have a browser, benchmark measurements were not possible.
The Watch GT 3 Pro's battery life strongly depends on the use of the individual sensors and especially the Always-On display. We achieved a minimum battery runtime of 5.5 days when using all sensors, wearing the device for 24 hours, activating Always-On-Display and doing some sports with the GPS activated. The smartwatch also manages 10 days until it has to be recharged when the Always-On display is deactivated. However, we did not reach the 14-day runtime promised by Huawei.
Charging is wireless via Qi standard, and the watch supports fast charging with 10 watts. A charging process from 10 to 100 percent takes 70 minutes. Thanks to the Qi standard, the Watch GT 3 Pro can also be charged by smartphones that support reverse-wireless charging.
Conclusion - Huawei's expensive complete package
The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro is a great premium-class smartwatch. Therefore, you have to look for shortcomings. The limited options for responding to notifications are noticed negatively in the test. The in-house voice assistant is also not on par with the competition from Google and Amazon, if the buyer has a compatible smartphone with EMUI at all.
On the other hand, Huawei's smartwatch convinces with sophisticated materials, accurate sensors, a comprehensive software package, and a great display.
The Watch GT 3 Pro is a chic everyday companion and a smart training partner for sports.
The software in the app gallery is growing, albeit slowly, and Huawei's watches gain in functionality via connections with other manufacturers, such as Komoot. Thanks to the few weaknesses, the Watch GT 3 Pro does not have to hide behind rivals like the Galaxy Watch4, but it scores with the significantly better battery life in this comparison. A Xiaomi Watch S1 is considerably cheaper, but it is also of lower quality and less finished in terms of software.
Price and availability
The Watch GT 3 Pro in titanium is Huawei's top model and has an MSRP of 499 Euros (~$505). It is sold via the manufacturer's store, but also from Amazon and other retailers. Those who can do without the titanium link bracelet and choose leather or plastic instead can save 150 Euros (~$152). The range of functions of the watches is identical.