Honor Watch GS 3 vs Xiaomi Watch S1 Active: Smartwatch Comparision

Honor Watch GS 3 vs Xiaomi Watch S1 Active

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a smartwatch. But if you’re looking for something that’s durable and packed with features, then you might want to check out the Honor Watch GS 3 or the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active. In this article, we’ll compare these two watches so you can decide which one is right for you.

See detailed review of: Xiaomi Watch S1 Active


Honor Watch GS 3Xiaomi Watch S1 Active
BrandHonor Xiaomi
Release Status2020, Oct2022, Mar
Internal Memory4GB, eMMCUnspecified storage
Card SlotNoNo
OSHuawei wearable platformProprietary OS
Battery lifeUp to 25 days battery life
Up to 48 hours battery life with GPS enabled
Li-Po 470 mAh, non-removable battery
Wireless charging
Display Size1.39 inches1.43 inches
Resolution454 x 454 pixels466 x 466 pixels
PPI~462 ppi density~326 ppi density
Display TypeAMOLED Capacitive touchscreen, 16M colorsAMOLED Capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Weight45.5 g 36 g
Dimension56 x 47.5 x 12.3mm46.5  x  47.3  x  11 mm
ColorsCharcoal Black, Marl White, Camo BlueMoon White, Space Black, Ocean Blue
Body TypeGlass front, plastic back, stainless steel bezel ringGlass front, plastic back, aluminum frame
WaterproofIP68 up to 50 MetersIP68 up to 50 Meters
Bluetooth5.0, LE5.2, A2DP, LE
SensorsAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate, SpO2Accelerometer, gyro, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2
GPSYes, with GLONASSYes, with dual-band. GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS
3.5mm JackNoNo

The Honor Watch GS 3 comes in a white box with a front-facing product image. Depending on the version you selected, a different version of the watch is shown here. You have the option of “Midnight Black,” “Ocean Blue,” or “Classic Gold.” The latter two, with their blue and brown leather straps and silver and rose gold cases, are both elegantly designed.

The Xiaomi Watch S1 and S1 Active are two new smartwatches from the Chinese smartphone manufacturer. There’s a “normal” S1 and an “Active” S1 model. The functions are largely the same.


Like most of the current smartwatches, the Honor Watch GS 3 is also in the form of a classic wristwatch. The front of the watch houses a round display with a diagonal of 1.43 inches, which is surrounded by narrow edges. With dimensions of 56 x 47.5 x 12.3 mm and a weight of 43.6 grams (without wristband), the watch is rather suitable for wider wrists, but it is also pleasantly light. Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not offer a smaller version.

Honor Watch GS3

The Honor Watch GS3 Wrist 5 display glass, made of Gorilla Glass, is rounded towards the edges and merges smoothly with the highly polished stainless steel case. The shiny metal looks chic at first glance, but it is much more susceptible to scratches in theory. On the right side of the watch, the case houses the only two controls. The two buttons sit firmly in the case and offer a pleasant pressure point. On the underside, the watch ends with a plastic base, which also houses the heart rate sensor.


The Honor Watch GS 3 is ultimately a high-quality smartwatch that does not have to shy away from comparison with the premium competition. All the parts merge smoothly into each other, and you will look for conspicuous gaps in vain. Of course, the watch is also protected against water penetration according to 5 ATM. This means that the watch does not have to be taken off even when washing your hands or taking a shower, and you can also swim with the watch. Another plus point is also that the bracelet is connected to the case of the watch via a classic connector of 22mm width. Thus, you do not have to rely on proprietary solutions when selecting additional straps.

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The Xiaomi Watch S1 and Xiaomi S1 Active differ most in design. The S1 comes with a stainless steel case and particularly scratch-resistant sapphire glass. The Active model, on the other hand, has a case made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic. The S1 Active’s case looks much sportier in comparison. The two control buttons on the right side of the case on the elegant S1 are reminiscent of analog stopwatches, as they are round pushbuttons that protrude slightly from the case. On the sporty model, the two buttons have a different design and are recessed further into the case. The cases of both watches are water resistant to a depth of 50 meters.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Active 2

The Xiaomi S1 Active measures 46.5 × 46.5 × 11 millimeters. The Watch S1 is available in two different colors: black with a black leather strap and a black silicone strap, and silver with a brown leather strap and a gray silicone strap. It is very positive that Xiaomi includes two different wristbands. The Watch S1 Active is available in black, white, and blue. Only one silicone strap in the case color is included with this model. 

Xiaomi Watch S1 Active 1

The S1 Active is a bit too soft. There are also no excessively large gaps. Overall, both watches look very high-quality. However, the normal S1 is a bit ahead due to the high-quality materials and can easily keep up with much more expensive watches, such as a Fossil Gen 6 or a Galaxy Watch 4.


The Honor Watch GS 3 has a 1.43-inch AMOLED screen, just like the Huawei Watch 3. The diagonal of Xiaomi’s Watch S1 is the same, and the resolution is 466 by 466 pixels in all models mentioned. This results in a pixel density of 326 ppi, which means that individual pixels cannot be seen with the naked eye.

The watch’s display impresses with its vibrant colours, high viewing angle stability, and AMOLED-like contrasts. Maximum display brightness is also very good. Even in direct light reflections outside, the watch’s content can be read with a measured 980 lux. In comparison, Xiaomi’s Watch S1 offers only 450 lux. It is also possible to activate an always-on display, which comes in a variety of designs.

The display of the Watch GS 3 is activated automatically when the user raises his arm and turns the watch towards him, as is customary for smartwatches. In the test, movement was always reliably and quickly detected. The touchscreen, which works very precisely and well, is the primary mode of operation for the watch. However, because your finger usually covers a large portion of the small display.

The Xiaomi Watch S1 Active comes with a 1.43-inch AMOLED display. The display has a 466 x 466 pixel resolution and a refresh rate of 60 hertz. While 60 Hz displays are out of date for smartphones, they have a clear advantage for smartwatches: The majority of smartwatches only have a 30 Hz display.

The Xiaomi Watch S1 Active has a maximum brightness of just under 450 lux. This allows for outdoor reading. However, it can be challenging in direct sunlight. The viewing angles are extremely stable, and the display colors are vibrant with high contrast. The black levels are perfect thanks to AMOLED.

The watch’s brightness can be adjusted in five steps. Alternatively, automatic brightness can be set, in which case the watch adjusts the brightness based on the lighting conditions. To turn on the display, press the upper of the two physical buttons or raise your arm. When the always-on display (permanent digital display of the time) is enabled, the display can also be activated by double-tapping the screen. Touch inputs on the display work well, and incorrect inputs are rare. To navigate through the menus, you must swipe across the screen, and there is no rotating crown or bezel.

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The Honor Watch GS 3 has a manageable set of sensors and wireless standards. In particular, it only has Bluetooth 5.0 and GPS. There is no LTE connectivity. In addition, unlike the Chinese version of the watch, there is no Wi-Fi module on board. However, because the watch cannot load apps and data is only transmitted via Bluetooth to the smartphone, a Wi-Fi antenna in the Watch GS 3 would be redundant ballast. The well-functioning GPS module, on the other hand, serves its purpose by tracking the user’s position reliably and accurately via BDS, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS, allowing for precise recording of sports activities. 

The Watch GS 3 uses Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone or Bluetooth headphones. As previously stated, music can be downloaded from the smartphone to the watch via the Honor Health app, allowing the smartphone to be left at home while jogging without sacrificing music. This is a fantastic feature for me, even though only a few users still use music files on their smartphones and instead stream via Spotify and other services. Due to the lack of an Internet connection, the Watch GS 3 cannot do this, but you can control the music playback on your smartphone from the watch.

The Watch GS 3’s compact case also houses a speaker and a microphone. As a result, the watch can also be used to make phone calls.

The watch can also track stress and sleep quality. The heart rate should be used to determine stress. The smartwatch also counts steps and reminds you to move when you sit for an extended period of time. The air pressure sensor also allows for precise detection and recording of altitude.

As a result, the Watch GS 3 includes the usual sensors and connectivity standards. The only thing lacking is an NFC.

Xiaomi Watch S1 (Active): Bluetooth 5.0 LE is used to connect to the smartphone (Low Energy). Notifications appear on the watch immediately. In addition, the clock can connect to the WLAN and use it to connect to the smartphone. As previously stated, incoming notifications are not interactable, images are not displayed, and emojis can only be displayed partially and in black and white. So, for everything else, you have to take your smartphone out of your pocket (viewing pictures, reacting to messages, etc.). When making calls, however, the smartphone is not required. When you are called, the watch rings or vibrates, and you can answer calls with the watch. If you want to call someone, on the other hand, you must use your smartphone to dial.

The Xiaomi Watch S1 Active can connect to Bluetooth devices such as headphones. However, because no personal music can be stored on the watch, this is of little use. The installable radio app essentially serves as a remote control for the “myTuner” radio app. As a result, the app must also be downloaded on the smartphone, and the sound comes from the smartphone; there is no way to play the sound through the speakers of the watches. 

The ability to store music on the watch would be appealing to me. When participating in sports, such a feature would allow you to leave your smartphone at home.

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Honor Health App

The Honor Watch GS 3 requires the use of the Honor Health app. Currently, this app is only available for Android devices and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store as usual. The structure and appearance of the Honor Health App are nearly identical to those of the Huawei Health App, so users who are already familiar with it should have no problem navigating it. That Honor wearables were previously linked to the Huawei app isn’t surprising. It’s also worth noting that the Watch GS 3 needs to be set up and connected to an Honor account in order to work.

Honor App

Health, Sport, Device, and Account are the 4 sections of the app. Your current health data, such as steps, heart rate, SpO2, and sleep quality, can be found in the “Health” section. Statistics on how much time you’ve spent exercising can be found in the “Sport” section instead. However, the “Device” tab conceals all of the features related to your smartwatch.

Mi Fitness app

The operating system is MIUI Watch 1.0. This operating system is Xiaomi’s in-house system for watches. The “Mi Fitness” app is used to establish the connection, complete the setup, and customize the default settings (formerly Xiaomi Wear).

Mi App

The watch can display notifications from the smartphone, but it is not possible to reply to messages sent via WhatsApp or other messaging apps

The sports modes can only be accessed by pressing the bottom button. With the most recent upgrade, Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant, Alexa, was added to the system. To get started, hold down the top button for a few extra seconds or open the app from the menu. In the beginning, only a few watch faces are pre-installed, but the app offers access to nearly 200 more.

Using the Mi Fitness app, one could theoretically add additional apps to one’s phone. Currently, there are a total of only three apps available for download in this region. A calculator, a radio app, and a number game. Whether Xiaomi will continue to deliver in the future is still an open question

Mi Fitness App is known as “Xiaomi Wear” to a large number of people. The “old” app has a new look as well. The app has undergone a major facelift, making it appear more modern and clean. The home page gives you a quick rundown of your day’s events (steps, calories burned, exercise duration). Here is a breakdown of your daily activities and the quality of your sleep. In addition to displaying information on blood oxygen levels and stress levels, the app provides additional information.


The Honor Watch GS 3 battery capacity is also unknown by Honor. Instead, the manufacturer claims that the battery lasts 14 days undertypical usage conditions” and that a day’s worth of battery life can be obtained in just 5 minutes of charging. According to the manufacturer’s website, the battery only lasts 30 hours with the GPS turned on.

A single charge of the smartwatch can last for nearly a week if you don’t use the GPS module too frequently, but it doesn’t last the promised 14 days in everyday use. It’s a good deal, even though it’s a little lower than Honor. The quick charge feature is equally impressive, allowing you to recharge enough electricity for an entire day in just five minutes. When fully charged, it takes about an hour.

A standard 470 mAh battery capacity is standard on the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active. Using “typical smartwatch use,” Xiaomi claims a battery life of up to 12 days for the watch. I was able to get almost 4 days of battery life in my daily activities.

The Bluetooth-enabled watch displays notifications and incoming calls as well as automatically dims the screen when the smartphone is out of range. A battery that can last for four days at a time is impressive. Wear OS-based watches are outclassed! The advantage of watches that run their own operating systems can be found in this area.


After comparing the Honor Watch GS 3 with the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active, it’s clear that both watches have their pros and cons. The Honor Watch GS 3 is a great option for those who want a durable watch with GPS tracking and a long battery life. However, it doesn’t have a color screen or a heart rate monitor, which might be deal breakers for some people. The Xiaomi Watch S1 Active is a good choice for those who want a more affordable watch with a color screen and a heart rate monitor. However, it doesn’t have GPS tracking and has a shorter battery life than the Honor Watch GS 3. Ultimately, the decision on which watch to buy comes down to personal preferences.