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Huawei's new Watch GT 3 takes aim at the Apple Watch Series 7

It features major improvements in health and fitness tracking.
By
October 21, 2021
huawei watch gt 3 on wrist 45mm
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • The Huawei Watch GT 3 is the company’s latest premium smartwatch, built for fitness and casual users.
  • The smartwatch comes with Huawei’s new TruSeen 5.0 Plus heart rate sensor, running ability evaluations, and more fitness features.
  • Available in two sizes, the Huawei Watch GT 3 will be available starting at €229.

The smartwatch landscape is heating up. Apple’s Watch Series 7 offers significant design improvements, and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 is an excellent showcase of the new Wear OS. Huawei hopes to be another contender in the high-end space with the new Huawei Watch GT 3.

The GT 3 comes in two sizes, and there are quite a few differences in hardware depending on which model you choose. The larger 46mm model has a 1.43-inch AMOLED display with a high resolution of 466 x 466. It’s just 11mm thick and weighs 42.6g without the strap. You’ll get better battery life out of this model, as it’s supposedly able to last up to 14 days with “typical” use or eight days with heavy use.

If you’re after a more compact model, the 42mm version brings a 1.32-inch AMOLED display (Huawei hasn’t provided the resolution). It weighs 35g without the strap and measures 10.2mm thick. Huawei says this model can last up to seven days with typical use or four days with heavy use. Both models support wireless charging.

Big heart rate sensor and GPS accuracy claims

huawei watch gt 3 42mm on wrist 2
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority
Huawei Watch GT 3, 42mm

Most of the improvements to the Huawei Watch GT 3 are aimed at the fitness crowd. The smartwatch comes with Huawei’s new TruSeen 5.0 Plus heart rate sensor. The improved sensor and algorithm should mean more accurate numbers during rest and workouts, thanks to double the number of light signal receivers and a new optical film that reduces signal interference.

During a briefing, Android Authority was shown slides that compared the Watch GT 3’s new heart rate sensor against the Apple Watch Series 6. In intervals of 5bpm, the Watch GT3 provided ~3% more accurate heart rate data during sprinting compared to the Series 6, ~1% more accurate data during swimming, and ~3% more accurate data during a rope-skipping session.

Apple’s last-gen smartwatch is one of the most accurate wrist-based heart rate sensors we’ve ever tested, so this is quite a bold claim from Huawei. Regardless, we’ll need to wait and see for ourselves when we test the Watch GT 3 out in our full review.

Also read: The best fitness trackers you can buy from Garmin, Xiaomi, and more

GPS accuracy should be much improved with the GT 3. The watch offers dual-band GNSS, with support for GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, and QZSS. Huawei says positioning speed has improved by more than 50%.

Another GPS-related feature added to the Huawei Watch GT 3 is route-back navigation. If you’re an avid hiker, you’ll understand how crucial this feature can be.

Winning over the running crowd

huawei watch gt 3 46mm on wrist 1
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority
Huawei Watch GT 3, 46mm

Huawei attempts to win over the running crowd by introducing Running Ability Evaluation, or dynamic running plans that change based on your historical running data and personal information. These training plans for runners will adjust based on your performance. For instance, if you’re in the middle of training for a marathon and you had an easy-going week, the “trainer” might suggest that you increase your intensity to stay on track with your plan.

Many companies offer dynamic training plans, but this looks like a first for Huawei. Garmin Coach, for instance, lets you train for a 5K, 10K, or half marathon as long as you have a compatible Garmin device.

After you finish a run, your Huawei Watch GT 3 will display useful post-workout analysis like condition updates (or training index), VO2 max estimates, Running Ability Index, aerobic/anaerobic training effects, and recovery time estimates. Notably, Huawei uses its own algorithms for these data sets, not Firstbeat’s, as it has in previous Huawei watches.

More: The best running watches available

Apple has its activity rings, Samsung has its activity heart, and Huawei now has something called a Healthy Living Shamrock. Shaped like a three-leaf shamrock, you’ll be rewarded with daily health achievements that include your exercise, lifestyle, and sleep stats. Each shamrock “leaf” grows the more you spend time fulfilling a particular metric.

Like other Huawei watches, the GT 3 will track your all-day stress, sleep at night, on-demand blood oxygen, abnormal heart rate during sedentary periods, and your menstrual cycle.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you’ll be happy to hear the Huawei Watch GT 3 will provide sunrise and sunset times, tide times, moon phases, and bad weather alerts.

The Huawei Watch GT 3 runs Harmony OS, and it’s only the second smartwatch to do so. It comes with a basic set of applications pre-installed, and you can download more third-party apps from Huawei’s wearable app store. You might not find all the best first-party apps like Spotify or Strava, however.

Huawei Watch GT 3 specs

Huawei Watch GT 3
Display
46mm: 1.43-inch AMOLED, 326ppi,
466 x 466 resolution

42mm: 1.32-inch AMOLED, 352ppi,
466 x 466 resolution
Dimensions and weight
46mm: 45.9 x 45.9 x 11mm
42.6g w/o strap
Fits wrists 140-210mm

42mm: 42.3 x 42.3 x 10.2mm
35g w/o strap
Fits wrists 130-190mm
Colors and materials
46mm
Color: Black/Steel
Material: Stainless steel and plastic
Watch straps: Black fluoroelastomer strap, brown leather strap, stainless steel strap

42mm
Color: Black/Gold
Material: Stainless steel and plastic
Watch straps: Black fluoroelastomer strap, white leather strap, gold Milanese strap
Battery
46mm: Up to 14 days of "typical" use, 8 days with heavy use

42mm: Up to 7 days of "typical" use, 4 days with heavy use

Wireless charging
Processor
ARM Cortex-M (unspecified)
RAM
32MB
Storage
4GB
Hardware
Speaker
Microphone
Connectivity
Dual-band GNSS
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, and QZSS
Bluetooth
Sensors
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Geomagnetic
Optical heart rate sensor
Air pressure
Temperature
Durability
5ATM
Software
Harmony OS
Compatibility
Harmony OS 2 or later
Android 6.0 or later
iOS 9.0 or later

Huawei Watch GT 3 price and availability

huawei watch gt 3 active
Huawei Watch GT 3
Huawei's best smartwatch, made even better
The Huawei Watch GT 3 is for fitness and casual users. It comes in a variety of color options and sizes, so most people will find one that suits their style. Huawei also touts the GT 3's upgraded heart rate sensor, which it claims rivals the best out there.

You won’t have to wait long to get your wrists on either device. Both Huawei Watch GT 3 models will be available for pre-order starting Thursday, October 21, with the official release date slated for Thursday, November 11. The 42mm Watch GT 3 will cost €229/£209 with an elastic strap, €249/£229 with a leather strap, and £279 with a Milanese strap. The 46mm model will cost €249/£229 with an elastic strap, €269/£249 with a leather strap, and £299 with a Milanese strap.

If you pre-order either device, you’ll receive a free pair of Huawei FreeBuds 4 and a premium membership to Adidas Running for 12 months.