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  • Cheryl Tan

Huawei Watch GT 3 Review: Still The Best Choice for Battery Life

Smartwatches have definitely come a long way in the past few years, with additional health-tracking features like continuous blood oxygen measurements, skin temperature and even body fat measurements being implemented. All these come at a cost though: reduced battery life.

Smartwatches like the Apple Watch Series 7 need to be recharged every day, and even smartwatches that boast longer battery life usually only last three to four days. Well, Huawei has stood out in this regard. The Watch GT 2 Pro, Watch 3 Pro and now the new Huawei Watch GT 3 all have excellent battery life, with 14-day claims by Huawei.

Of course, it's rare to get all 14 days when all the health tracking features are turned on, but it's still possible to get up to eight or nine days, which is much more than most other smartwatches out there.

Huawei Watch GT 3 42mm Credit: Huawei

The Huawei Watch GT 3 comes in two sizes, 42mm and 46mm, with a battery life of seven or 14 days respectively. I mainly tested the 46mm for this review, and after around 10 days of use, the watch is still currently at 37% battery life, which is much better than I expected, with Huawei TruSleep, continuous heart rate monitoring, automatic stress test, automatic SpO2 measurement and continuous skin temperature measurement all turned on. Notifications get pushed to the watch as well, so it's not as if there was nothing else going on. Overall, I'm incredibly impressed.

The 42mm comes with an estimated seven days, which would most likely be closer to 5.5 or six days in my guess, which is still excellent.

As for design, the 46mm and 42mm models have one major difference, and that's the bezel. The 42mm is a slimmer, sleeker design without the bezel that the 46mm has, and it's an option for a more elegant look. Personally, I much preferred the look of the 46mm. There are two variants for each size for different strap options: The 46mm comes with either a brown leather strap or a black fluoroelastomer strap, while the 42mm comes with either a white leather strap or the same black fluoroelastomer strap.

The watches are also pretty lightweight, at just 42.6g for the 46mm and 35g for the 42mm models. On the wrist, they're comfortable and there's no skin irritation either thanks to the stainless steel used.

On one side (the right, if you're wearing the watch on your left hand) is the rotatable crown that's very responsive and a button that's mapped to open up workouts by default.

With the same 1.43-inch AMOLED display, it's the same size as the Watch 3 Pro, which means text is easily legible even under bright sunlight. The Watch GT 3 is lighter than the Watch 3 Pro, although it's still quite big on a smaller wrist like mine.

The same magnetic charging puck is used across Huawei's smartwatches, and I think it's great, especially for people who might be upgrading from the Watch GT 2. Compatibility with accessories from previous generations is always a good thing.

This watch does have some missing features compared to the Watch 3 Pro of course, notably the eSIM support, but that's not really a big deal.

Left: Huawei Watch GT 3

Right: Apple Watch Series 7

As for health tracking, it's still quite accurate, with the exception of step tracking. Huawei's smartwatches have a tendency to overcount steps, and it's something that I've experienced previously with the Watch GT 2 and Watch 3 Pro, so it's not that big a surprise to me. Thankfully, the difference isn't all that much, just a couple hundred steps usually.

Left: Huawei Watch GT 3

Right: Apple Watch Series 7

Heart rate tracking is pretty accurate, I wore both the Apple Watch Series 7 and Huawei Watch GT 3 to do heart rate measurements at the same time, and it was usually the exact same rate, or with a difference of 1bpm.

Left: Huawei Watch GT 3

Right: Apple Watch Series 7

Sleep tracking is, as always, excellent on Huawei smartwatches, but the company has changed it so that "awake" periods are now changed to "falling asleep". It's petty semantics, but I'd have preferred the label to continue as "awake" since when I wake up in the middle of the night, it's not because I'm "falling asleep". Aside from that, no complaints at all here.

Skin temperature was first introduced with the Watch 3 series and it's definitely nice to see it included here in the Watch GT 3. It's not a feature that everybody will need or use, but who's going to say no to added features?

I will say though, that I'd like to see what features Huawei comes up with for next year's lineup of smartwatches. Personally, I'd be very happy if Huawei could figure out how to include a body fat percentage checker like what Samsung did with their Galaxy Watch 4.

Credit: Huawei

But the major problem is still the inability to reply to notifications on the watch itself for iOS devices. I feel this is going to continue to be a problem that will impede Huawei's ability to really penetrate the smartwatch market, because, as the name implies, the watch needs to be smart. Yes, it can push notifications through, but then you'll still have to take out your phone to reply if you're using an iPhone. If Huawei could figure out how to get this ability working, paired with the insane battery life of th0eir watches, I think the smartwatch market would definitely have one more powerful contender.

As of now, it's only possible to recommend Huawei's watches as something you'll want to get if you just need something that has a long battery life and you're fine with not being able to reply to messages on WhatsApp and the likes, and not as an all-around excellent smartwatch.

The Huawei GT 3 starts from S$298 for both the 42mm and 46mm models with fluoroelastomer straps, while the leather straps will come in at S$348 for both models. Preorders start from 11th December 2021 with general availability from 18th December onwards. Each preorder will also receive a HUAWEI FreeLace audio neckband worth S$98, while stocks last.

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