Huawei Watch 3 review, HarmonyOS is serious!

Huawei Watch 3 review, HarmonyOS is serious!

Huawei Watch 3 review

After the launch of Huawei's new operating system called HarmonyOS only a few days ago, we finally got to try the first product that comes directly with this OS installed: Huawei Watch 3.

The expectations were very high (the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro had made me fall in love), the curiosity towards the new operating system was great and Huawei once again managed not to disappoint. Doing better than the latest premium smartwatch was difficult but the brand has really created a spectacular product.

But no more chatter, let's find out together in the complete review of the Huawei Watch 3 if we are finally facing a worthy opponent for the unstoppable Apple Watch!

The most beautiful smartwatch ever

I'll go straight to the point: in my opinion Huawei Watch 3 is the most beautiful smartwatch ever.

The version that we received in test has the code name Galileo-L21E and it is specifically the model with stainless steel case and brown leather strap. The case captures a lot of fingerprints but, with the right care, it really makes a beautiful figure. The ceramic back is smooth on the skin and will protect the watch from being filled with scratches by being placed on the base for recharging.

The design with soft lines closely resembles that of a classic watch but at the same weather includes modern elements. At first glance, it might seem like a strange mix between a Galaxy Watch Active 2 and an Apple Watch, improving the only feature of the latter that I have never been able to endure: Huawei Watch 3 has in fact a round shape instead of a square ( exactly how a real watch should be Ed.).

In case the genuine leather strap is not to your liking, even if it is really high quality and its closure on the wrist is finely adjustable, you can always replace it with any standard 22mm strap of your choice. br>
Huawei Watch 3 is not the lightest and thinnest wrist product we've ever come across, yet the amount of technology inside justifies its size. Although I have a fairly thin wrist, the smartwatch never felt overly large. The weight without strap is 54g, it will certainly be felt if you are not used to keeping any watch on your wrist.

The construction of this product is impeccable, the level of quality that the company is truly incredible is managed to achieve over the years. There are few comparable products in circulation. Despite the openings dedicated to speakers and microphones, Watch 3 is resistant to the ingress of water up to 50 meters or 5ATM.

On the right side there is a digital rotating crown that also acts as a button for navigating the system , under it a second reprogrammable button. The vibration that accompanies the rotation of the crown is very pleasant even if it still does not reach the feedback level of that of the Apple Watch. Generally the vibration for notifications is quite dry and easily draws the attention of the wearer.

A real jewel of technology

The display, protected by a curved glass at the edges which facilitates the navigation gestures in the software and gives the watch a more refined look, it is made with a 1.43 ″ AMOLED panel with a resolution of 466 × 466 pixels, enough to make any image, icon or text very sharp. The maximum brightness of 1000 nits makes the Huawei Watch 3 readable in any situation.

Huawei allows the activation of the Always-on Display function and the switching on of the display when the wrist is rotated. They both work very well but really increase battery consumption considerably, much more than on other competing products according to what I have been able to verify. It is probably a question of the youth of the software that can be solved with an update, but to date the problem is there and you should never buy a product based on a potential future update.

Inside the smartwatch is installed a HiSilicon Hi6262 chip along with 2GB of RAM, more than enough for HarmonyOS unlike WearOS products, and 16GB of internal memory for all your apps and music tracks.

The chip allows you to take advantage of the Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity for connection to the smartphone, Wi-Fi, GPS for outdoor training, NFC (even if there is currently no function for payments in our country) and even an eSIM for calls and 4G LTE internet connectivity. In practice, Huawei Watch 3 is perfectly capable of operating completely autonomously, as long as you have a compatible smartphone available for the first configuration.

In addition to the complete connectivity suite, all the sensors you would expect are accommodated from a top-of-the-range modern smartwatch, and maybe even a few more! We find accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, altimeter (atmospheric pressure sensor), a heart rate monitor that can also estimate blood oxygenation SpO2 and a new thermometer for skin temperature, really interesting but which I found a bit inaccurate.

Speaker and microphone will allow you to receive and make calls from your wrist and interact with the voice assistant Huawei Assistant. The smartwatch has always received our commands well, during the calls the interlocutors confirmed the quality of the microphones, and the good quality speaker has a very high volume. Via software it is even possible to initiate a procedure for expelling liquids from the holes for the speaker, just like on the competing Apple product.

Autonomy a little below expectations

Huawei for its non-Pro smartwatch promises 3 days of use with 4G connectivity active and 14 days if the energy saving mode is activated. Unfortunately, my experience was not so pleasant and, although I always had the watch connected to my smartphone and no eSIM installed, I could not reach more than two days of use with Always-on Display active, a function that is essential for me on a smartwatch. .

The company can certainly still optimize the watch to improve its autonomy, however be aware that at the moment the 450mAh cell does not allow this concentrate of technology to exceed two days of use. The fluidity, speed and completeness of functions and hardware all have their weight on the resistance.

The wireless charging base is able to recharge the watch at 10W and the magnetic connection between it and the watch is very strong, it is practically impossible to miss the right position for charging unlike the RedMagic Watch we tried recently…

A small note to make to Huawei: the charging base does not have a cable Removable USB, a definite step back from the Watch GT 2 Pro which had a standard replaceable USB Type-C cable to connect to the charger. In case you should damage the cable, the only solution is to trash the entire charging base and buy a new one.

HarmonyOS is convincing!

But surely you all want to know is one thing: how is HarmonyOS?

First of all, do not expect who knows what graphic novelties compared to the previous wearables of the brand: the interface is quite standard and the various icons, graphics and other elements of the UI are taken from the smartwatches that preceded this one.

The list of apps changes, now also visible in the form of a zoomable grid with the rotating crown, and transparencies have been inserted in some system elements such as quick settings or the notification panel.

However, it is the feeling that changes. Many animations have been added, the interface and apps move in perfect harmony and fluidity, 60fps are practically always guaranteed. Huawei has done an excellent job with the refinement of this HarmonyOS 2.0.

There is even a screen of recent apps accessible with a double click of the crown, from there you can switch between the various open apps or close them to save battery.

One of the biggest news is the presence of AppGallery in a version designed specifically for watches. The apps present can be counted at the moment on the fingers of one hand but we are sure the catalog will grow quickly.

It is therefore possible to download new apps and update those on the watch in perfect autonomy, regardless of the connected smartphone. Speaking of connecting to the smartphone, at least for the first configuration the company requires the use of a device equipped with Android 6.0+ or ​​iOS 9.0+. Of course, I imagine it is also possible to use a HarmonyOS 2.0 smartphone.

The voice assistant called Huawei Assistant has a female voice that can probably be improved but, except in some special cases, it is quite natural. Its usefulness is relative when compared to Google Assistant or Siri but we are sure more and more advanced features will arrive over time. The basics are all there and, when we ask for something that the assistant is able to do, the watch responds immediately.

The Huawei Watch 3 software is therefore passed almost with flying colors. Why "almost"? Unfortunately I happened to find a couple of annoying bugs that could be fixed soon but that undermined the otherwise great user experience with this product a bit.

Also turning off auto brightness and setting a value by hand , for example, the clock at each switching off and on of the display would set the value again according to the ambient light sensor.

Another small bug that affected my unit is the disconnection from the internet network: after a recharging, using an Asus ZenFone 8 as a connected smartphone, notifications are always delivered punctually on the smartwatch but from Watch 3 it seems impossible to access the internet even by connecting directly with Wi-Fi until both devices are restarted.

Anyway, if this is the start for HarmonyOS on smartwatches, I honestly can't wait to find out what the future holds!

As for the fitness features, Huawei Watch 3 does not differ much from the other smartwatches that preceded it: a big point in its favor, if you ask me.

There are over 100 training mode 24-hour tracking of heart rate, blood oxygenation and stress, with the new addition of continuous tracking of body temperature. There is no lack of sleep tracking functions even if given the shorter battery life compared to previous models it is more complicated to use unless you remember to recharge the watch every two days and then wear it again before going to bed. >
Data display is possible directly from the watch, but if you are interested in going into detail, it is the Huawei Health application on your smartphone that you have to go and look at. The application is really well made, complete and functional.

At the time of our test the version of Huawei Health available on the Google Play Store was not yet the most recent compatible with pairing with Watch 3 and we were forced to download AppGallery and then update the application from there, a problem that I believe will already be solved by the arrival of the watch in stores.


Huawei Watch 3 is a smartwatch that I loved it, one of the best if not the best I have had the opportunity to try in many years. True, there are still some details to file but HarmonyOS shows an enviable level of completeness and cleanliness.

Compared to the previous top model, Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro, this new wearable is more complete and pleasant to use. even though the battery life has significantly decreased. Sure, maybe the Watch 3 Pro variant with almost double the capacity can do better, but depending on the model chosen it can cost anywhere from 50 euros to 150 euros more than the more expensive base model that is already not cheap. The Huawei Watch 3 Classic that we received in test has a price tag that is not for everyone: 399.00 euros. However, if you are looking for elegance and power but don't want an Apple Watch this is practically the product that comes closest to it. We really want to congratulate Huawei for being able to bring such a product to the market despite the difficulties it has been going through for some time now.

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