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Huawei Watch 3 Pro: Smartwatch With Harmony OS

The Huawei Watch 3 Pro is the first smartwatch with the new HarmonyOS operating system. In contrast to the Watch GT models, which ran with LiteOS, Huawei now also uses the in-house operating system called HarmonyOS for smartwatches. It is an operating system used on smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and many other devices.

The watch is definitely not a bargain. Everyone has to answer for themselves whether the high-quality materials and the impeccable quality justify the high price.

The watch case is made of titanium, and the bottom is made of ceramic. The display is also protected by scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. In addition, the Elite model comes with a very nice titanium link bracelet (+ a replacement bracelet made of skin-friendly silicone).

PROSCONS
eSIM, Wi-Fi, dual GPSDoes not support 5G
NFC and speaker are availableStill weak app offering
High quality materials
Wireless charging

It looks quite massive on delicate wrists. This is because it has a diameter of a full 50 millimeters, including the black bezel (exclusive to the Pro model).

On the other hand, the watch body is quite thick and, at 63 grams, not exactly light. Why is it like that? Well, it is mainly due to the fat 790 mAh battery, which enables a good runtime. It has to be housed somewhere. More about the battery life can be found almost at the end of the review.

The Huawei Watch 3 Pro is operated via a colorful and bright 1.43 inch AMOLED display with 466 x 466 pixels. In addition, there is a rotatable and pushable crown on the right side. The Apple Watch probably inspired Huawei. The crown also provides pleasant haptic feedback (vibration).

Next to the crown, we find another button a little further down. You can freely assign a function, for example, opening the training mode. Both the crown and the button have a very comfortable pressure point and are of high quality. A nice detail: “Huawei Watch” is engraved on the crown.

Key Features

Huawei Watch 3 Pro
BrandHuawei
ModelWatch 3 Pro
Release date2nd June 2021
Shape SurfaceRound
OSHarmonyOS 2.0
Display TypeAMOLED
Screen Resolution466 x 466 pixels
Touch TypeAMOLED
Dimension48 x 49.6 x 14 mm
Weight63 grams
Body MaterialTitanium
ColorsBlack, Silver
CompatibilityAndroid + iOS
AvailabilityAvailable

Huawei particularly highlighted the thermometer at the presentation. In fact, the watch can also measure skin temperature. A function that I don’t think is available on any other smartwatch. However, everyone has to decide for themselves whether it makes sense or not.

Huawei packs a lot of technology into the massive watch body. Incidentally, this is waterproof up to 5 ATM or 50 meters. For our fans of technical details: The HiSilicon Hi6262 processor clocks under the hood and is flanked by 2 GB of RAM. The internal storage space amounts to a whopping 16 GB. The processor also offers a 4G modem. Thanks to eSIM support, the smartwatch can operate independently without a smartphone.

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Other sensors include an accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, heart rate monitor, an SpO2 sensor. The heart rate, the oxygen content in the blood (SpO2), and the skin temperature can be continuously recorded on request.

For the first time, Huawei is using what is known as dual GPS to determine position. It should enable an even more precise recording of workouts outdoors. We have, of course, taken a very close look at this for you. You can find out more about this under “Activities & Workouts.”

The watch connects to your smartphone or an accessory in the form of Bluetooth headphones or chest straps via Bluetooth 5.2. There is also an NFC chip in the watch. However, since there is no payment app available for it, the NFC chip does not really make much sense at the moment. Or, to put it another way: it is there, but you cannot use it.

Huawei has integrated a microphone and loudspeaker in the case. If the smartphone is not at hand or the watch is used independently via the integrated 4G modem, you can also use it to hold calls. However, you shouldn’t be surprised that the sound quality of the speaker was only partially convincing.

And what is still missing? Well, to be honest, I was hoping that Huawei would also put an EKG sensor in the Huawei Watch 3 (Pro). It’s a feature that I think is really very useful. But that’s exactly what is missing from the latest Huawei smartwatch for some reason. Too bad.

Technical Specifications

ExecutionElastic bracelet
Internal memory16 MB, 600 hours of training time
SensorsAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate,
barometer, compass, SpO2, thermometer
Wi-FiYes
Bluetooth5.2
BatteryLi-Ion, non-removable
Battery LifeUp to 21 days
Wireless chargingWireless charging 10W
Water resistance5 ATM

Harmony OS

The new HarmonyOS is better than LiteOSs used on the previous Huawei smartwatches of the GT series. But it’s not perfect yet – not at all.

The setup is simple as usual or is based on the previous model. Before you start, you have to ensure that you have the latest Huawei Health app installed on your smartphone (Android or iOS). You don’t get them in the Google Play Store but in the AppGallery.

In fact, the version on the Google Play Store is out of date and has not been updated for a long time. As we learned from Huawei, it’s not their fault; it’s Google. Allegedly, Google is preventing a direct update via the Play Store due to the US sanctions. Let’s stand like that.

HarmonyOS runs smoothly and stably on the Huawei Watch 3 Pro – especially since the last software update. Operation is simple and, in my opinion, implemented intuitively. Anyone who already had a Watch GT smartwatch will find their way around quickly. Yes, even the pre-installed apps are identical.

The main menu is opened by pressing the crown once. The main menu is very reminiscent of the look of the Apple Watch. We don’t find it tragic but rather practicable. If you prefer to have a list view, you can, of course, select this in the settings.

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A swipe down opens the quick settings, and a swipe up opens the notifications. Pleasing: The Huawei Watch 3 (Pro) finally also supports emojis. However, it is not yet possible to reply to messages today, although a keyboard app is already on board.

In addition to the ability to reply to messages, Huawei should generally look at the notification function. The problem: If notifications are read on the smartphone, they remain on the watch – and vice versa. Other manufacturers have solved this better.

The AppGallery is preinstalled on the Huawei Watch 3 (Pro). This is what Huawei calls its own “app store.” However, anyone who expected a large range of apps will quickly be disappointed. So far, there are no inspiring apps in the AppGallery – at least not for me.

Overall, the offer is still very sparse and, therefore, manageable. There are no streaming apps of any kind, such as Deezer, Spotify, Tidal & Co. There are also no sports apps such as Strava or Adidas Running (Runtastic) available for HarmonyOS.

Of course, the range of apps can still improve in the coming weeks. After all, the watch has only been available for a few days. However, it will not be that easy to convince the app developers for a smartwatch, which is (yet?) Not very widespread.

Activity Monitoring

Step CountYes
Heart Rate MonitorYes
CompassYes
CalendarYes
Alarm ClockYes
Date & Time DisplayYes

In terms of activities, the Huawei Watch 3 leaves little to be desired. The watch reliably records all your activities (steps, activity minutes, etc.) and vital data (heart rate, SpO2, temperature, and sleep quality). These values ​​are then synchronized with the health app, enhanced with diagrams and additional information.

The Health app for Android and iOS not only shows you all the relevant fitness and health data, but you can also use it to transfer new watch faces (dials), manage the notifications, and determine whether the heart rate, the oxygen content in the blood and the temperature measurement are continuous should be measured.

 

There are over 100 different sports to choose from for the workouts. You can start the workout using the lower button, provided you have not assigned another function to the button. In addition to the classic sports such as running, cycling, or swimming, there are also less popular training modes for, for example, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) or kendo.

During the training, the smartwatch nicely prepares all relevant data. There is also a “virtual” language coach who keeps you updated on how you are currently on the move. However, this only acts in English, which may bother some of you.

The Chinese manufacturer offers dual-channel GPS support for the Watch 3 Pro. As a result, Huawei promises, on the one hand, a faster position determination and, on the other hand, an even more precise recording of the distance covered. But is that also true?

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The Huawei Watch 3 Pro was able to determine my exact position very quickly outdoors. There are still deviations in the recording in the forest in the running training, but they are noticeably lower than with the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro – without dual GPS.

The heart rate measurement values ​​are a little less accurate in workouts. Here the Watch 3 Pro holds back a little too much so that the value is ultimately too low. I compared the values ​​with a Polar heart rate belt. Huawei absolutely needs to make improvements here.

Speaking of running: In the settings under “Security and data protection,” fall detection with an automatic SOS emergency call is hidden. Priority must be given to determining an emergency contact via the health app. The user can also store additional data, such as allergies or blood groups, for example.

The smartwatch has automatic training detection. As soon as active, the fitness tracker recognizes whether you are training based on the activity intensity and reminds you to start the respective training. This works fine for running, walking, cross-training, and rowing.

The training sessions are, of course, synchronized directly with the health app on your smartphone. It works well and seamlessly. Unfortunately, Huawei still doesn’t offer direct integration with third-party apps like Strava. Unfortunately, the workouts cannot be exported as GPX or similar files.
Thanks to the Health Sync app iff you want to transfer your training from the Health app to Strava, you can still do s. This works very well as long as you follow the instructions for the Health Sync app.

Battery

The 790 mAh battery is definitely noticeable. What does that mean in concrete terms? With an activated Always-on-Display (AOD), the continuous measurement of the heart rate, the oxygen content in the blood, and the temperature measurement. You will get get exactly two days of running time.

Another two days of running time can be tickled by switching off the always-on display from the Huawei Watch 3 Pro. Isn’t that enough? Then you can switch the watch to energy-saving mode. If this is activated, the watch switches to a restricted mode. This is reminiscent of LiteOS from the Watch GT series. Although heart rate & Co. is still recorded, time can extend the runtime up to 14 days.

The Huawei Watch 3 Pro is charged via induction wireless charging. The scope of delivery includes a small charging station that is magnetically attached to the watch. A complete charging process from 0 to 100 percent, therefore, takes about three hours.

Conclusion!

The Huawei Watch 3 Pro Elite is an extremely chic premium smartwatch, which shines with excellent quality and high-quality materials. That has its price. The Chinese manufacturer is charging 599 francs for its latest piece of jewelry. This price is understandably a deterrent.

But the watch only convinces with its extremely chic and high-quality design but also offers a lot of technology under the hood. Thanks to the many integrated sensors, the user gets a comprehensive overview of his vital data. Here, however, we would have liked an EKG sensor.

Otherwise, the watch can be used without a smartphone thanks to the integrated eSIM – albeit with restrictions. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to reply to messages directly via the watch – not yet.

HarmonyOS for smartwatches (and also for smartphones) is not yet ready. Apps and services are still missing, such as a payment app like Google Pay / Apple Pay or a map like Google Maps or Petal Maps. At least the latter is planned, as Huawei has assured us.

Yes, Huawei still has numerous assembly sections to take care of. And yes, maybe Huawei should have waited a few more months before releasing the Watch 3-Series to complete all of its planned apps and services first.

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