Huawei is pretty much still in the game. They may not be in the forefront of smartphones and technology like they were a few years ago, but it is really exciting to see what they’re doing in the technology space. Their latest offering available to us is the HUAWEI Watch 3. Featuring E-SIM technology to let you always be connected, a suite of health features, and its own App Store, the watch is nicely poised to compete with the ever so popular Apple Watch.
Now, it must be stated that the watch will work best with Android phones, and even better with Huawei phones, but I had to be that guy who tries this out with an iPhone. Somebody has to! This means that some features I tested may not be fully working, so the review might feel a bit harsh, but it is true on the day of publishing.
HUAWEI Watch 3 – Features
- Fitness watch with built in blood oxygen, heart rate and skin temperature monitoring.
- Up to 3 days battery life in smart mode, and up to 14 days use in Ultra Long Battery Life Mode
- eSIM feature means it can be used as a stand alone communication device. Make calls, play music, download apps, without needing another phone.
- Fitness tracker with over 100 sport modes, built in GPS, and apps to go with.
- Smooth controls featuring a highly sensitive touch screen, side button and fully rotatable crown.
- Comes with lots of pre-installed watch faces, including animated faces. Lots more to choose from the HUAWEI Watch Face store.
- Watch dimensions: 46.2 mm x 46.2 mm x 12.15 mm, 54g without the strap
- 1.43″ screen, AMOLED, 466×466 pixels, full touch screen
- Suite of sensors including barometric pressure and temperature, as well as fitness sensors such as heart rate.
- 16GB ROM/2GB RAM
- Wireless Charging
- Water resistant to 5ATM
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi, 4G via eSIM, NFC, GPS
- Built-in speaker and microphone
In the box
- Watch x 1
- Charger(Including charging cable) x 1
- User Guide & Safety Information & Quick Start Guide, Safety Information, and Warranty Card x 1
Like most Huawei and Honor watches, this relies on the Huawei Health app. If you have never set up an account before, you will need to set one up, or log into your old account. Then you head to Add Devices tab, choose your watch, and that should lead you through rest of the process.
Look and feel
If you want something to look good, the HUAWEI Watch 3 is your watch. The display is absolutely beautiful, and the so is the overall build of the watch. The screen shows off its colours brilliantly, and is bright enough to see properly in bright sunlight (at least by British standards).
The one thing where it does feel different is how heavy it is. At 54g, without its bands, it is more than one and a half times compared to my usual watch, the Garmin Forerunner 45 at 32g, or the Apple Watch (Series 6 comes at 34g). At 12.2mm thick, it is also slightly thicker than the Apple Watch at 10.7mm or the Garmin at 11.4mm.
Having said that, it packs in way more pixels and pixel density than the Apple Watch.
The watch, software and the app carry a whole suite of fitness features. You have skin temperature (not to be confused with body temperature), SpO2, constant heart rate monitoring, fatigue, and much more. All this means that this watch should make a good fitness watch.
What lets it down is the GPS performance. It took me a minimum of 5 minutes of standing about outdoors away from buildings (in a residential area, not a high rise building area) before I could get a GPS signal. This was after the latest software updates. Before the last few, I also had times where GPS would kick in and out at times, but this seems to be better now. Having said that, it does mean that if you only have half an hour to squeeze a lunch or a fitness session in during work, those 5 minutes might be too precious.
Another interesting aspect is that when you are off for a run, the watch will shout your data at you. And by shout, I mean shout, ie, it has a speaker which announces to everyone that you have done so many miles, your heart rate, etc. Obviously, this could be changed by turning sound off or disabling the feature. In comparison, at least with the Garmin, this comes in through the headphones.
The data is available through the Huawei Health app, which doesn’t seem to sync with Apple Health any more. This means that if you use anything like Strava, Runkeeper, etc, it won’t appear there either.
Another way the HUAWEI Watch aims to impress the whole suite of apps available on the device. Unfortunately, the current collection of apps is not entirely impressive, and misses the absolute basics. For example, Strava, as I mentioned above, doesn’t exist, and there isn’t a clear way to sync your data with it. Huawei’s own suite of apps is obviously available, but most popular apps aren’t.
This is a shame as this could potentially be a game changer, but it is what it is for now.
Battery life is supposed to be theoretically around 3 days for this, and much more in Ultra Battery Saver Mode. In normal mode, I got more than a day comfortably, but that was about it. Obviously, during the day, the watch is used and accessed many times, as well as a fitness thing thrown in or two (generally 20-40 minutes per day).
Daily usage and verdict
In terms of daily wear, the watch is a good one. It looks good, has impressive watch faces, and also offers good fitness data. It being that little bit heavier definitely feels on your wrist though, and the battery life means you will have to charge it every other day, if not daily.
Notifications group by app, but come through properly.
Connectivity with the Apple Watch is decent, but you might have to reconnect it at times via the app.
Overall, it is a decent watch, but the price tag presents it as a bit of a challenge.
HUAWEI Watch 3 – More information
More information for the HUAWEI Watch 3 can be found on the Huawei Website.
You can buy it online at various locations, such as Amazon. It started at around £350, but it can be found under £300 now.