(Pocket-lint) – The Huawei Spotter GT 3 is a very solid offering for those who want a smartwatch that’s predominantly for tracking health and fitness – that’s how it separates itself from the more than premium pitched Spotter three range.
In fact, you could almost see information technology as a more premium alternative to the lighter, more plasticky GT Runner. Both have very similar hardware, features and operation, but the GT 3 has that look of a real watch almost it, which will certainly entreatment to a lot of people.
Our quick take
In many ways, the Huawei Watch GT iii makes more sense than the premium Watch three range. It has a longer-lasting battery, information technology’s a much ameliorate fitness tracking (especially for runners) and it costs less, as well. Its only direct contest, we think, is the GT Runner, which is slightly cheaper-looking but is super lightweight and has a unique antenna system for more reliable GPS tracking.
If it had support for third-party offline music playback for services like Spotify, proper interactive notifications, and a contactless payment arrangement, then it would arguably be the all-time smartwatch for Android users.
If Huawei added those features to a watch with a phenomenal battery similar this 1, with this level of fit and finish and the fantastic do tracking, then at that place would be no contest. As information technology stands, all the same, it’s currently just a very well-designed fettle tracker that goes for ages on a full accuse.
Huawei Lookout GT 3
- Long battery life
- Bang-up display
- Stunning watch design
- Fitness tracking capabilities are excellent
- No decent third-political party apps
- No contactless payments
- No Spotify/music streaming
Love at first sight
- Dimensions (46mm): 45.9 (diameter) x xi mm (thickness)
- Case sizes: 46mm or 42mm options
- 5ATM waterproof (to 50 metres)
- 22mm quick-release strap
- Stainless steel case
- Weight: 42.6g
If there’s i thing that can be said for Huawei’due south contempo crop of fitness-focused smartwatches, it’due south that they’re very proficient-looking. There’s a shine and smoothen to them that yous don’t become from most of the other tech manufacturers. While many await like watches designed as pieces of tech starting time, Huawei’south expect like
watches. Maybe the simply exception to that dominion is the plastic, light, sporty GT Runner which launched a few months after the GT iii.
It’s the decisions made in shaping and materials that do it for united states, especially here in the 46mm model. The larger of the two watch sizes features a single piece of glass on top, featuring an indexed, angled bevel all the way around the display. The apartment gives way seamlessly to the bezel, which then slopes downward and joins the polished stainless steel case. Information technology’s an exercise in precision – and one that’due south extremely attractive.
Opt for the smaller 42mm model and you’ll go an entirely different shape, one that’south much more similar the standard Huawei Watch 3. This smaller model has a curved glass lens, giving information technology a much rounder appearance.
The only downside to the design of the 46mm model is that it will be a bit as well large for some wrists. This reviewer didn’t find its size an issue at all, only we imagine it’d look quite oversized on some smaller arms.
Despite that, it withal retains a sleek and slim look and feels. It doesn’t look comically large every bit it’s non at all bulky. Compared to the chunkier Watch 3 Pro it seems very slim.
Taking its influence from the Watch 3 series, the Watch GT 3 has ditched the GT ii’southward ii-button layout and adopted the rotating crown. This is well-positioned at the elevation of the instance’due south side, acting as a scroll wheel for various parts of the interface. That ways you’re non forced to employ the touchscreen all the time. The lesser button is a slim, depression-profile back button, that’due south also set (by default) to launch into a workout tracking session.
Because of their positions at the top and bottom of the round instance, these buttons never arrive the way. And we’ve never had any incidents of pressing them by blow when our wrist is aptitude dorsum. It’south well considered – and that’southward not something every manufacturer gets right.
Turn the GT 3 over and there’southward a similar level of attention to detail on the underside. Again, something a lot of manufacturers don’t particularly seem to care almost. It’due south polished, near seamless in the fashion the rear casing ramps up to the dimple in the middle that contains the neatly positions LEDs and sensors (which measure out diverse center/blood-related metrics).
There are no exposed pins or contact points considering the watch charges completely wirelessly using a magnetic disc that snaps hands onto the back.
Even the quick-release design of the straps, bands and watch lugs are well designed. One lug on either side of the watch has a tiny groove in it, and so you can anchor the watch strap’s pin on the opposite side and simply push the other into place to let the spring-loaded pin exercise its thing and popular into identify. You don’t demand to sit fiddling for ages to get it into the right position.
As for ring and strap compatibility, again that’southward no worry. The Lookout man GT 3 is compatible with any 22mm strap, so if Huawei’due south own straps don’t take your fancy then it’due south very easy to notice i elsewhere that works for you lot. Saying that, the brown leather strap that shipped with our ‘Classic Edition’ model is elegant and works well with the shiny silver example. Other variants include the ‘Active’ model with a fluoroelastomer strap and the ‘Elite’ version with a stainless steel link band.
- 1.43-inch round AMOLED screen (46mm model)
- 466 ten 466 pixel resolution
- HarmonyOS ii.1
In some ways, the completely circular AMOLED display on the Scout GT 3 is i of the all-time smartwatch screens on the planet right now. Because of its impressive sharpness, colour and brightness, information technology just looks proficient all of the fourth dimension. The contrast is high too, which means you can read it clearly in pretty much whatsoever condition.
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While not the fastest and smoothest effectually, the refresh rate isn’t as poor as y’all’ll detect on earlier GT models. Animations are mostly fairly smooth here. Of form, when you come from having used 90Hz/120Hz smartphone screens day-in and day-out for the past 12 months, you do spot some very slight stuttering – merely it’s never to the point of being painful to see.
Being a relatively large screen also means enough of room for information and detail. That means there are lots of dissimilar options available to watch-confront designers for index and complexity designs, which also means there’s plenty of room for data during exercise sessions too.
What we like about Huawei’southward own interface – based on HarmonyOS two.i – is how simple it is to empathise. In that location are custom cards – or widgets – to the correct of the watch confront, each with a simple and attractive interface. Yous can choose upwardly to six of these cards, which include features such equally atmospheric condition, moon phase, your daily activity, eye rate, and sleep data.
A practiced screen is cypher without decent watch faces. In this department, nosotros detect the Huawei something of a mixed purse. On the plus side, there are hundreds and hundreds available to install on the watch. Many of them are paid for, though, but there are plenty of free options as well.
Where Huawei misses some other play a trick on is in customisation options. Fifty-fifty with its bootleg styles, at that place’s just very little customisation bachelor. Some faces will let y’all alter the information shown in the complications and that’south it. No irresolute colours schemes, alphabetize styles or accents. Other faces don’t allow you modify anything. It’s a far cry from the customisation abilities of the Apple Watch or Samsung’s Wear Bone-based Galaxy Watch four.
And that’s non all that’southward missing from Huawei’s smartwatch kit handbag. The GT 3 may prove you smartphone notifications, but that’s all it really does. Y’all can’t really interact with them all that much on the screen. If all you use your smartwatch for is to read your notifications, that’due south not a problem, merely yous will need to pick upwards your phone to actually reply. Unless you’re happy to choose from a list of preset quick replies, at least.
Huawei’s watch is likewise missing contactless payment support (in the UK anyway, where we’re based), also as any back up for 3rd-party music platforms. You tin manually put music on by sending music files across from the app, merely yous can’t install Spotify, Deezer, Tidal or Apple tree Music.
Given that at that place’s a full-colour AMOLED screen – similar with near current smartwatches – that ways it’s off most of the time in order to maximise bombardment life. The heighten-to-wake functionality is generally reliable, so you can come across the fourth dimension whenever y’all like just by raising your wrist. Notwithstanding, you lot tin can always activate the always-on way, which shows the time all of the time – merely also therefore negatively impacts the bombardment.
- TruSeen 5.0 sensor
- HR/SpO2/Sleep tracking
- Running Ability Index
- Advanced running plans
If there’south 1 standout surface area for the Huawei Sentry series, information technology’due south in fitness and practise tracking. Not only because of the hardware capabilities of the watch itself, merely as well because of the versatility of Huawei Health and its offerings. But while Huawei boasts nigh 100+ workout modes, information technology’southward actually the runners who will do good the most from Huawei’s lookout.
The GT 3 has more than light sensors in its heart/blood monitoring system, which has fabricated information technology more than reliable and accurate than previous models. In daily use, you lot might not see a huge difference in results between this product and the Watch 3 series, just compare information technology to older Watch GT models and you’ll come across improvements.
The Watch GT 3 can runway your heart charge per unit all day, every mean solar day, while also constantly tracking your claret oxygen saturation (if you enable information technology). Best of all it can practise both of those without significant battery drain. It’southward too got dual-band GPS for more precision in route and distance tracking during running/outdoor exercise.
Nosotros’ve compared it to Garmin’s Fenix 7 and Epix – which we wore on our other wrist during testing – we found the Huawei tracked distances, heart rate and cadence consistently. As you’d expect, the information didn’t exactly match between the watches, simply information technology was very close. Heart rate was but 1 or two beats per infinitesimal different, every bit was cadency (in steps per minute). When information technology came to altitude, the difference was down to mere metres.
There are added benefits for runners in the GT 3 also. New for 2021 is what Huawei calls a ‘Running Power Index’, which takes your data – like distance, heart charge per unit, effort, pace – and determines how strong a runner you are, and then gives you something tangible that you can utilize as a metric for improvement. And if yous don’t know how to improve, you can have advantage of Huawei Wellness’southward preparation plans for distances from 5km up to a marathon.
When it launched the GT Runner, Huawei besides enabled a new feature in its Huawei Health app that allows you to take those training plans sync to your watch. What’southward more, the plans dynamically arrange week-on-calendar week based on your own operation. Information technology’s something that sets the Watch GT iii and GT Runner autonomously from the Watch 3 and Scout three Pro. Sadly, for those with those latter two watches, Huawei told Pocket-lint that it currently has no plans to introduce that feature on them.
Performance and bombardment
- ARM Cortex M processor, 4GB storage, 32MB RAM
- xiv-24-hour interval battery (46mm model)
- Wireless charging
Most smartwatches will dice after about 36 hours away from their charger. For the most part that means you have to charge them every night which, in turn, also means you can’t wear them to track your sleep. Huawei’s watches are different though.
A full battery on the Huawei Picket GT 3 volition get you virtually two weeks (14 days) on a full accuse when beingness used in its regular smartwatch way. That’due south based on average usage with the ever-on display switched off, and information technology’s not some impossible-to-attain battery life promise. It’s a realistic impression.
After a full week of using the GT 3, our battery was downwardly to 48 per cent. That’southward using it with its 24/7 heart rate and SpO2 tracking enabled, and having used information technology for iii running sessions (ane of which was 50 minutes long). During the nights nosotros wore it to bed, too, so information technology tracked our sleep throughout. It’s then good, you’d take to try really, really hard to get information technology to die within a week.
Essentially, you lot go Garmin Fenix levels of battery life, merely with a full-color AMOLED touchscreen. Granted, it’s with a screen that’s off until yous raise your wrist to wake information technology, but it’due south impressive nonetheless.
In many ways, the GT 3 makes more sense than the premium Watch 3 range. It has a longer-lasting battery, is as good a fettle tracker – if not amend – and it costs less too. If only it had decent third-political party apps, contactless payments and music streaming information technology’d be pretty much perfect.