Huawei’s Watch GT 3 Pro brings a new level of style and battery life

The wearable's only downsides are compatibility and its premium price tag

Huawei’s latest wearable impresses me on multiple fronts. The Watch GT 3 Pro features three major strengths that have me enamoured. But it also has a couple of faults that could make it an imperfect choice for some.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been using the Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic, the smaller, more elegant variant of the GT 3 Pro series. There’s also a titanium version, but its size was too large for my dainty wrist.

Let’s get into it.

The three major strengths

The smartwatch’s design is what I like most about the Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic. The device sports a 42.9mm case size; not the smallest on the market, as the Galaxy Watch 4 comes in a 40mm casing and the Apple Watch Series 7 features a 41mm casing. However, I recently got my hands on the Watch Series 7 in its 41mm size and thought it was too small.

I like the size of the Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic and think a casing between 42mm and 43mm is optimum for me. It also weighs 50g, which isn’t the lightest smartwatch out there, but it’s manageable for someone like me who doesn’t typically wear a watch.

The device looks like a high-end elegant smartwatch thanks to its golden accented stainless steel bezel, crown, and white ceramic body with a matching ceramic strap. The bezel itself is pretty unique as it also features what Huawei calls a Shell-printed design.

“Inspired by the ripples of time, 24 shell curves rise and fall witnessing the change of day and night,” reads the company’s site. I don’t buy into that flowery description, but I do think it adds an extra flair to the watch’s design. That said, I keep trying to rotate the bezel like it was Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, but I’m unsuccessful and disappointed each time.

What is rotatable is the ceramic gold accented crown that doubles as the power button. The rotating bezel allows you to scroll through the watch’s display, but I also find it fun to just play around with.

While I believe the smartwatch is fashionable with its white nano-ceramic body and sapphire glass screen, the material also protects the watch from annoying scratches. I’ve reviewed several Galaxy Watch devices in the past, and unfortunately, I’ve scratched a few Gorilla Glass displays in the process. I thought this was my fault, but I’ve yet to scratch the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro screen with Huawei’s sapphire glass. Apple’s Watch Series 7 also uses this same glass technology.

From a fashion standpoint, I like the look of the Watch GT 3 Pro. I’m no expert in this field, but it is something I’ve been trying to improve, and I’m happy that I have a watch that adds to my outfits.

As for the actual display of the smartwatch, the GT 3 Pro sports a 1.43-inch display with a 466 x 466-pixel resolution. This is pretty standard for smartwatches. Personally, I don’t care about how good a smartwatch’s display is, and it’s not like I’m watching videos on it. I have a picture of myself and my partner for my watch face; it looks good, but it’s only a watch, so I’m not expecting fantastic quality.

Crazy battery

Another strength of the Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic is its battery life. The smartwatch can survive up to a week with Always On Display turned off. The device comes with this feature off to optimize battery life. I kept the display off for testing purposes, but I’m typically someone who prefers to turn it on. With Always-On Display functionality turned on, the device survived for about three days.

It’s worth mentioning that I tested the battery with constant heart rate, skin temperature, SPO2, and sleep tracking turned on. If you want to experience a better battery life than me, I would turn these features off. However, even with these features turned on, the Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic is outliving most other smartwatches on the market.

For the tech-heads, the Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic features only a 292mAh power cell. Huawei says that with Harmony OS, the wearable can get optimum performance from its battery, which is how it survives so long. The Titanium variant offers a 530mAh battery that’s reportedly able to get almost double the battery life as the Ceramic version, although I haven’t tested this.

Sleep tracking, skin temperature measuring and saltwater

The Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic has a ton of functionality and can track sleep, exercise, stress, SpO2, blood pressure, skin temperature and more. Unfortunately, the watch doesn’t offer ECG in Canada because Health Canada hasn’t approved the feature. Once Huawei gets the go-ahead, it says it will release an update. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch series recently received approval, so hopefully, Huawei’s device won’t have to wait too long.

Sleep tracking seems to work well, and while the wearable doesn’t offer much information other than to say how long you slept. The Huawei Health companion app can give you more detail, including REM Sleep, deep sleep, light sleep, how many times you wake up throughout the night and breathing quality. The watch will also tell you your sleep range. It told me that I wake up too often throughout the night, and my deep sleep continuity is low.

You can get even more information about the issue and how to improve it. I can’t say how accurate everything is, however. Recently, I did a sleep study that said my breathing quality when I sleep on my back is poor and that I require a CPAP machine. It’s possible that I don’t typically sleep on my back, which is why the watch isn’t reading that my breathing isn’t all that bad. The sleep study also said my deep sleep is on the low side but still within regular limits, as shown on the watch.

Workout-wise, the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro can regularly recognize when you’re starting exercises like walking, cycling, swimming, jumping rope or using the elliptical. I tested this out when I went to the gym and started using the elliptical, and the device could automatically tell that I was on the machine and asked if it wanted to start capturing the workout. On one occasion, I activated the watch’s workout feature when I was sweeping in the backyard, which I thought was pretty funny.

The heart rate, skin temperature, and SpO2 tracking all seem good, but it’s difficult to tell if the data is accurate, just like it is with all wearables. I hope it is because I’m doing well on both accounts. The Huawei Health app offers more details about SpO2 so you can understand exactly what it means.

A big selling point of the device is that it features 5ATM water resistance, which lets you go up to 50m underwater with the watch for up to 10 minutes. As I never plan on going that deep, I’m happy the watch offers the ability to measure diving and laps. Unfortunately, the swimming pool at my gym is closed, so I haven’t gotten the chance to test it out. Another cool feature is that the device works in saltwater. Early next month, I plan on being in and out of pools and the ocean, so I’ll report my findings very soon.

Play nice

Huawei’s GT 3 Pro is a great device, and I like it a lot — it offers great features, is beautiful and offers an appreciable battery life, but there are negatives. The downside isn’t Huawei’s fault, but how other companies interact with the brand.

For instance, for the most part, I’ve been using the Huawei GT 3 Pro with my iPhone 13 Pro, and while both devices play relatively nicely with one another, I’m missing out on some functionality. I can’t download any third-party apps because that requires Huawei’s AppGallery online store, and that’s only available on Android. I also can’t reply to text messages or control my music on iOS, which is frustrating. Thankfully, most of the other features work with the GT 3 Pro and connecting the smartwatch to my iPhone was quick and painless.

I also connected the device to a couple of Android handsets as well. Oddly on Android, adding the watch is a bit more complicated. Not only do you need to download the Huawei Health app, but you also are forced to update the app through the App Gallery, which requires you to allow a variety of permissions. This process took a bit longer than connecting the watch to my iPhone. Next, on Pixel 6 Pro, I couldn’t allow notifications on the Watch due to restrictions on Google’s part. This wasn’t a problem on my TCL 30 handset. Android gives you access to Huawei’s AppGallery, though you can download Petal Maps and the My Workout app, which all work with your smartwatch. You can also control your music and reply to texts on Android.

It’s great to see that Huawei’s Watch GT 3 Pro works on Android and iOS, as Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 only works with Android devices and the Apple Watch only works with iOS handsets. However, I’d like to see these companies work with Huawei so that the device functions as intended on either platform.

The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic is a luxury device, and its Canadian price reflects that. The Ceramic model costs $798, which is definitely more than most people are looking to spend in Canada for a smartwatch. Further, Huawei is offering a free Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick with the purchase of the GT 3 Pro, saving you $350, if you’re in need of wireless earbuds.  The Watch GT 3 Pro Titanium costs $548.99, which is more affordable but has a larger form factor that’s not as stylish.

I liked the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro; it works well and does almost everything I need a smartwatch to do. If other companies worked better with Huawei’s wearables, it’d be an exceptional smartwatch, but its battery life and design still excel.

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