Huawei Watch 3 Hands-on Review: The Smartwatch, Harmonized | Gadgets Console

The Huawei Watch 3 isn’t simply one other smartwatch, it’s one of the vital merchandise to return from Huawei shortly. The Watch 3 ditches the outdated software program used on the Watch GT2 for HarmonyOS 2.0, Huawei’s self-developed working system we’ve heard lots about, however till now haven’t had an opportunity to make use of.

The Huawei Watch 3 is the primary cellular gadget to formally launch with the software program onboard and is subsequently our first correct real-world expertise with the software program that may outline Huawei’s future gadget vary. Huawei has chosen to debut HarmonyOS on a gorgeous smartwatch too, emphasizing how a lot it must make a superb impression. I’ve been carrying the Watch 3 for a few days, not sufficient for a full assessment but, however greater than sufficient for an in-depth hands-on.

Software program synthesis, and familiarity

HarmonyOS is Huawei’s response to being unable to make use of Google Providers on its cellular merchandise, because of restrictions launched by the U.S. authorities, making it unimaginable for U.S. firms to work with Huawei. It’s a complete software program ecosystem, designed to work on, and seamlessly throughout, every part from internet-of-things {hardware} to smartphones.

Huawei hinted the primary main product, exterior of televisions, to launch globally with HarmonyOS can be a smartwatch after I spoke to the corporate on the finish of 2019, and now it’s right here. Let’s discuss the very best components first. The pace, fluidity, and smoothness are astonishing. It’s completely nothing like Google’s Put on OS on this regard. There aren’t any pauses and no slowdown, simply instantaneous response, a beautiful “bounce” impact when swiping between screens, and severely quick scrolling.

It’s additionally attractively designed, with shiny colours, massive icons, clear textual content, and a few fairly watch faces too. I rapidly slipped into utilizing HarmonyOS 2.0 on the Watch 3 with none interval of adjustment or a necessity to study new layouts or icon kinds. Whereas this can be a good factor, there’s additionally a superb purpose exterior of the first rate design — HarmonyOS on the Watch 3 is a “biggest hits” of wearable software program.

Huawei Watch 3 menu
Andy Boxall/Gadgets Console

The foremost menu, accessed by urgent the crown, is offered as a grid of round icons and appears identical to Apple’s WatchOS. You’ll be able to even twist the crown to zoom out and in of the grid. That is the default setting, however it may be modified to a extra customary listing format when you’d desire. Dig into different menus, just like the exercise listing accessed utilizing the decrease button on the case, and choices are proven as a vertically scrolling listing that stretches and adapts to the round display, reminding me of Tizen on the Galaxy Watch 3. Swipe left on the display and also you get info panels, identical to Put on OS and Huawei’s personal LiteOS on the Watch GT2.

There are solely restricted design and ergonomic instructions you possibly can take with software program on such a small display, which must be used with one finger, however the out-of-the-box similarity to WatchOS particularly doesn’t do it any favors. It’s a disgrace as a result of that apart, HarmonyOS is quicker and extra nice to make use of than WearOS, and even Tizen typically too, and at no time does it really feel like a primary launch.

Watch design accomplished proper?

Tech firms discover smartwatch design fairly exhausting, and infrequently provide you with something you’d need to put on all day, daily. The Huawei Watch 3 is gorgeous, and a major step ahead in wearable design for Huawei. The 1.43-inch AMOLED display is roofed in a curved piece of hardened glass, and it’s a pleasure to swipe and to really feel below your finger. The full lack of bezel means your finger has the whole entrance to swipe over, making it simpler and extra exact to make use of than some others, and the glass itself is heat to the contact with a top quality end.

The Huawei Watch 3's Classy watch face
Andy Boxall/Gadgets Console

The display is connected to a 46mm case made out of 316L stainless-steel, with a ceramic case again. The use of ceramic is essential as a result of it feels so good in opposition to your pores and skin. It seems very stylish and doesn’t get sweaty or itchy like plastic. Huawei has made three variations all differentiated by the kind of strap. The leather-based strap seen within the images is joined by a cloth strap, a silicone strap, and a metallic bracelet. Huawei has additionally introduced a bigger 48mm Watch 3 Professional with sapphire crystal over the display, and a titanium case.

On the facet of the case is a single button on the 4 o’clock place which by default opens the exercise monitoring mode, however might be modified when you desire, plus a crown on the two o’clock place. The crown rotates to maneuver by means of menus, has a texture to make it simpler to grip together with your fingertip, and Huawei Watch branding etched on it. It’s nearer in operation to Apple’s Digital Crown on the Apple Watch — full with some haptic suggestions — than it’s to rotating crowns on Put on OS smartwatches, with higher responsiveness and really feel.

It’s unquestionably a really snug watch to put on. The 65-gram weight, supple leather-based strap, and that ceramic case again imply it doesn’t get annoying in your wrist, whereas the place of the crown and nearly flush-to-the-case button guarantee they don’t dig into your wrist at any level. From the straightforward swiping display to the wise use of top quality supplies, the Huawei Watch 3 integrates lots of the design points which have made Huawei telephones so nice to make use of, then neatly packages it inside a smartwatch that feels surprisingly near a traditional watch.

How in regards to the know-how?

I can’t absolutely assessment the Huawei Watch 3 but as a result of I haven’t spent lengthy sufficient utilizing it when related to a cellphone. However I can inform you what’s notable, and the large function right here is an eSIM for related use with no cellphone. eSIM know-how remains to be fairly new, and getting one on your Watch 3 does contain somewhat further work, and within the U.Okay. at the very least most eSIMs are solely accessible on a contract reasonably than a less complicated pay-as-you-go plan.

Notifications on the Huawei Watch 3
Andy Boxall/Gadgets Console

The Watch 3 makes use of Huawei’s App Gallery app retailer, streams music by means of Huawei Music, and tracks exercises utilizing Huawei Well being. It’s a part of the rising Huawei ecosystem which is so vital for the corporate, and comparable caveats apply right here as they do on its current telephones. Some apps and providers might not be accessible, however that maybe gained’t make a lot of a distinction on a wearable. Mapping is an efficient instance of the place issues are totally different, as there isn’t a pre-installed steerage app, and clearly no possibility to make use of Google Maps.

Huawei has packed the Watch 3 with sensors. There’s a coronary heart price sensor on the again, a blood oxygen (SPo2) sensor, and a pores and skin temperature sensor too. Just lately seen on the Mobvoi TicWatch GTH, a pores and skin temperature sensor isn’t actually appropriate for monitoring core temperature, however might be useful in understanding total well being over time. Nonetheless, it’s equally as area of interest as an SPo2 monitor. There are 100 totally different exercise modes, auto fall detection, and all-day exercise recording.

Heart rate reading on the Huawei Watch 3
Andy Boxall/Gadgets Console

Huawei claims the battery will final for 3 days when utilizing the eSIM for a 4G connection, or 14 days with the “extremely lengthy” battery mode lively. I’ve not used the watch lengthy sufficient to evaluate battery life with out an eSIM connection. The Watch 3 Professional has a bigger battery and is anticipated to get 5 days 4G use, and 21 days from the extremely lengthy battery mode.

Utilizing the Watch 3

I’m solely a short while into utilizing the Watch 3 related to a cellphone, however do have just a few preliminary ideas. Notifications from an Android cellphone are the identical because the Watch GT2, with clear textual content however no method to work together with the messages. They’re additionally sporadic, and never all apps ship a notice to the Watch regardless of being on the accredited listing. The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi vary is sort of quick, however the Watch 3 does rapidly reconnected to each when it’s again in vary.

Arrange for me required the set up of the Huawei AppGallery to get the newest model of Huawei Well being, because the Google Play model didn’t discover the Watch 3. This may increasingly change following launch although. Concerning the battery life, with the always-on display lively, and all-day coronary heart price and SPo2 monitoring, I doubt it’ll final various days earlier than needing a recharge even with out 4G connectivity.

HarmonyOS’s spectacular efficiency and design tweaks haven’t made the Watch 3 function all that in another way from the Watch GT2. It’s clearly a extra highly effective gadget, with some pretty animation on the numerous watch faces and reminders to rise up and stroll round, simply don’t anticipate it to really feel revolutionary when you’re coming from an older Huawei smartwatch. This isn’t a draw back, it’s proof Huawei’s wearable software program has all the time accomplished issues proper, and it sensibly didn’t throw all that current information out.

How a lot?

On the time of writing Huawei has not confirmed the value and availability of the Watch 3. At launch, the Huawei Watch GT2 Professional price 300 British kilos, or about $425, and it’s unlikely the Watch 3 will dip below this determine contemplating it has 4G connectivity. That probably places it up in opposition to the smartwatch heavyweights — the Apple Watch Collection 6, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, and the Mobvoi TicWatch Professional 3.

The design is considerate and engaging, the watch is snug to put on and simple to make use of, and the know-how is correct on the high finish of the dimensions with the health-related sensors and the eSIM. The Watch 3 can also be massively vital to the corporate, because it reveals off HarmonyOS publicly for the primary time. Nonetheless, the Huawei Watch 3’s success could find yourself being ruled by the value, regardless of how achieved or vital to the model it’s. We’ll replace right here when Huawei confirms the small print.

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