Since their original smartwatch running Android Wear was released in 2015, Huawei have had some of the best looking smartwatches on the market. That tradition continues with the Watch GT 3 series, which have now hit Australian stores.

There’s three watches in the Huawei Watch GT 3 series, with the Watch GT 3 available in either 42mm or 46mm, or in the Watch GT Runner edition. Huawei has sent over a 46mm model in Black with an active band to try out.

Priced from $449 in the 46mm size with a black steel case and active band, the price is right for a good looking smartwatch, but can it do all the things you need? Well, I’ve been using the Huawei Watch GT 3 for two weeks and here’s how it went.

Hardware and Design

The Huawei Watch GT 3 series is a set of great looking watches no matter what model you decide on – but for me, with larger wrists, the 46mm option fits and looks best on my wrist.

Huawei has redesigned the rear of the watch to sit, and fit, better on your wrist.  This new fit has a dual purpose of allowing their expanded sensor ring on the back to sit closer to your skin letting you get better SP02 and Heart rate readings, as well as just being more comfortable to wear overall.

On the front there’s a large 1.38” AMOLED touch display which melds seamlessly into the bezel. The bezel can’t be spun around but it does have 1-minute interval markings for easy timing. 

The display is excellent and very bright in both indoors and outdoor lighting….something to consider if you don’t engage the Do Not Disturb mode before going to bed, which then allows you to blind your partner at 3am when you raise your wrist and it activates – but it also makes it very easy to see the display during the day.

The body of the watch features newly designed lugs at each end to fit a 22mm watch band. The included band, a black ‘skin-soothing fluoroelastomer’ is quite comfortable to wear, even for long periods even if you work up a sweat. The bands are easy to swap out for something more to your personal taste though, with a quick-release pin letting you mix up your looks with any standard 22mm band you can find – but some of the options Huawei offers are pretty nice.  

There’s two buttons on the right hand side of the watch, with the crown at the top sticking out and the bottom button sitting flush with the case. The top button can have some accidental presses while doing overhead weights at the gym, but are mostly out of the way. The most used button is the crown which rotates and presses to navigate the watch UI which zooms in and out as you wind it. The crown includes haptic feedback as you wind it, though it is very subtle and could do with a little more oomph.

The second button provides fast access to your health and workout section by default though you can change this in settings. The faster access lets you get into a workout faster, and I regularly used it to begin workouts.

The case itself is water resistant up to 5 atmospheres (they say waterproof up to 50m on their site) so you can definitely wear it in the shower each day, or even go for a swim with complementary activity modes included for both pool and open-water swimming.

The mix of large face, improved lug design and more comfortable fit, makes this a big winner for me in the looks and wear department.

There is a lack of NFC on-board, which makes buying a drink or snack at the end of a run difficult if you leave your wallet and phone at home. However there’s also no eSIM available in the watch, so if you want to leave your phone at home while going for a run, ride or some other exercise you aren’t contactable. 

You can pair a set of bluetooth headphones to answer calls or listen to music if you transfer the MP3 files to the watch {Android only}) but as there’s no eSIM in the watch, you can’t receive calls or stream music – so you may as well take your phone with you anyway.

Charging and Battery

Huawei has listed a 14-day battery life with the 46mm model of the Watch GT 3 – with some fairly standard use. Huawei’s definition of standard use is:

The battery can last for 14 days in the following situations: 30 minutes of Bluetooth calling every week, 30 minutes of music playing every week, heart rate monitoring enabled, HUAWEI TruSleep™ enabled for sleeping, 90 minutes of working out every week (GPS enabled), message notifications enabled (50 SMS messages, 6 calls, and 3 alarms a day), screen is turned on 200 times a day

In terms of real world use, I went for a GPS tracked 1-3km walk with the dog each day, I also allowed notifications from most apps on my phone and even got in a workout or 2. After 9 days I needed to charge. Now, it’s under the 14 days advertised but I used it far more than the defaults listed and considering most smartwatches require a charge each day, that’s excellent battery life.

Charging is simple, and you can use either the supplied wireless puck charger, or any available Qi wireless charger. Charging can be quite fast with 5 minutes getting me 10% charge, or enough to get through a workout, or you can do a full charge on the supplied charger which takes a little over an hour from dead flat.

Software and Health Tracking


To use and sync your data from watch to phone you’ll need the Huawei Health app. For iOS users, this is simple, the app is available in the iOS app store. For Android users, you’ll need to jump through hoops. You can either download the Huawei App Gallery – their equivalent of the Google Play Store – and install it through there, or nab the APK directly from Huawei on your phone.

The app is fairly easy to use once installed, with easily digestible info about your health and activity, including any recent routes you’ve travelled, steps taken, current weight etc. – all easily displayed. You can customise the tiles to show more or less information if that’s a little overwhelming. 

For the most part though, most of my interactions were on the watch, and it’s a pretty nice interface to navigate.

As a Smartwatch

After multiple generations, Huawei and the Huawei Watch has a good sense of what people need from a smartwatch. You get all the basics like hundreds of watch faces to choose from and all the basic apps, as well as fitness tracking.

For the Huawei Watch GT 3 though, the UI has been refined from previous generations with a new zooming UI tied to the rotating crown. The crown allows you to smoothly scroll in and out of the app grid and find your app quickly. You can change it back to the more familiar scroll of apps if you want but the new zooming UI is very easy to use and feels like natural. 

In terms of smartwatch apps, Huawei has always offered a good range of timers, alarms and watch faces with various complications displaying information, as well as a very comprehensive health and fitness tracking app. 

The Huawei Health app lets you accurately track and record your SPO2 and Heart Rate  all day which is handy, as well as your workout and your daily step count, you can even track your skin temperature, though I found that a little hit and miss.

For more advanced users the watch supports 100 Workout modes, with the option to auto recognise 6 workout modes. There’s also 18 professional workout modes, + 85 customised workout modes – including the Running Coach which is slowly getting me back into shape to run a 5K after a couple of years of gym avoidance due to COVID.

By default you get a lot of workouts included, but not all of them. You can add workouts on the watch by going to the Health app, then scrolling to the bottom and hitting ‘Custom’, then tapping the big ‘+’ button. This list allows you to add to the default workout list, letting you add such sports as Jazz or ballet Dancing, Volleyball, Tennis and even more novel activities including Darts, Laser Tag or Kite Flying.

Of course with any workout tracking, you have to tell the watch to start tracking it – but Huawei has always offered an excellent auto-recognition mode which can detect when you’ve started doing an activity then works out what the activity is, how long you’ve been doing it for and then alerts you with an option to begin recording your workout. It’s a handy option as I’ve forgotten before a workout a number of times. 

The auto-recognition isn’t bulletproof, with an outdoor walk being recognised about 10 minutes into a walk, but only tracked for five of those ten minutes. Still, it’s a lot better than forgetting to track a workout completely.

In the latest Huawei Watch, tracking your workouts, stats and other metrics has been brought together in the Huawei ‘Healthy Living Shamrock’, a single place to give you a wholistic view of your health. It takes into account activity including exercise, but also rest periods including sleep and your water intake, and even breathing. It’s a good place to get a view of your overall health goals during the day.

The Shamrock is a good overview, but you also get a good view of your overall daily progress by just checking the synced data in the Huawei app on your phone or on the watch.

While the default apps cover a lot of what you want to do with a smartwatch, there’s also the option to install apps through the Huawei App Gallery. Unfortunately you won’t find a lot of the big name smartwatch apps like Strava, but you will find Runtastic and some other fitness tracking apps in the store. 

Previously you could export data from the Huawei Health app to external services like Google Fit, however this doesn’t appear to be an option in this version, with Data Sharing only allowing you to link accounts with Komoot and the adidas Running app. There are third-party options like Health Sync in Google Play (In-App purchase required after trial but syncs data to and from a load of different services), but it’s fairly convoluted to setup with permissions and really makes you want a simpler, built-in solution.

The lack of third-party service sync as well as limited third-party apps is disappointing when you have such a beautiful and capable piece of hardware on your wrist. It’s also disappointing as an Android user to have to go to the Huawei App Gallery for setup – but the trade ban by the US Government has forced Huawei’s hand – though I’m still confused as to why Apple can have the app in their store, yet Google can’t.

Android users do get the benefit of being able to sync music to the Huawei Watch GT 3, though it’s fairly slow to do so and I had to work to get some MP3s to transfer as I normally just stream music from Pandora or YouTube Music – but as those, and other music streaming services don’t offer an app for the Harmony OS, you don’t have the option to stream music so you may as well just take and use your phone if you want to listen to music while exercising. 

Should you buy it?

The Huawei Watch GT3 is one of the best looking smartwatches on the market in my opinion, and it also comes with superb battery life and excellent fitness tracking capabilities for a decent price. 

There are still some rough patches with installing the app, and syncing data to your favourite service, but there are workarounds available.

As a standalone smartwatch though, the Huawei Watch GT3 offers a brilliant option for anyone looking for a classic looking watch that can track all your fitness stats, with a great battery life, beautiful display and won’t cost the earth. 

The Huawei Watch GT 3 46mm is priced from $449 with the active band, or $499 with a leather band. You can find them at JB Hifi, Amazon, The Good Guys, MobileCiti and of course, the Huawei Experience Store.