Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: long runtime with titanium, ceramic and HarmonyOS

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With the Watch 3 Pro, Huawei's own HarmonyOS ecosystem is now also found on the smartwatch. However, the Huawei Watch 3 Pro has to contend with long-term consequences after avoiding the clinch with Google. At least the battery life is convincing. However, the system lacks that certain icing on the cake.

Table of contents

  1. 1 Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test
    1. Size is not everything
    2. Technically at the forefront
    3. The operation leaves a lot to be desired
  2. HarmonyOS does not take care of anything for harmony
    1. Already the coupling causes frustration
    2. Otherwise functional and dreary
    3. Also great health app
  3. < li> Sensory and vital values ​​

    1. Values ​​
  4. Duration as a prime discipline
  5. Conclusion
    1. Prices and availability

Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test

Huawei's latest smartwatch offspring inherits several previous series. If the previous watch series relied on Android Wear or Wear OS by 2018, this has been history since the US trade restrictions at the latest. With offshoots of the Watch GT series, Huawei tried to keep its smartwatch business and its own wearable operating system LiteOS alive. ComputerBase took a close look at this in the form of the Huawei Watch GT (test) at the end of 2018 and came to the conclusion that the software is still missing a lot and the watch is more likely to be sabotaged. The following test will show whether Huawei has learned from this.

Size is not everything

When you first look at the Huawei Watch 3 Pro and then put it on, one fact inevitably catches the eye: the size. The smartwatch is not only very wide with a diameter of around 50 mm, but also extremely high with a case height of 14 mm. The watch quickly looks out of place on slender wrists. The wrist circumference of the editor entrusted with the test is around 18 cm, which could seem too small for the Watch 3 Pro, depending on your taste.

Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: Powerful appearance
But apart from the massive appearance, the Huawei Watch 3 Pro leaves a consistently good image on the outside. With the titanium case and ceramic case back, materials are used that are otherwise only found in well-known watch manufacturers or occasionally in special smartwatches. The workmanship is excellent, with the bracelet in particular having to be highlighted. In the Elite Edition presented in the test, it consists of titanium links and a folding clasp. The latter is made very thin and exactly as thick as the links of the bracelet, so that the folding clasp does not interfere with putting your hand down. The bracelet measures 20 mm in width and can be changed using the snap fastener. It's also great that the link bracelet can be lengthened and shortened. If you need to go to the watchmaker or at least a little bit of premonition and tools on link bracelets, there are small spring bars on the lower links of the Huawei Watch 3 Pro. The watch comes with a total of four links for individual adjustment. A silicone bracelet with a pin buckle is also included. The Classic Edition of the Watch 3 Pro uses a leather strap instead of the titanium link bracelet.

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Huawei Watch 3 Pro tested
Huawei Watch 3 Pro tested
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: Rotatable crown
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: folding clasp
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: folding clasp
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: Titanium link bracelet can be adjusted by yourself
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: Titanium link strap can be adjusted by yourself
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: A silicone bracelet is included
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: case height of 14 millimeters
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: case height of 14 millimeters
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: Case height in comparison (Withings ScanWatch, Huawei Watch 3 Pro, Rado Silverstar)

Huawei certifies that the Watch 3 Pro is water-resistant to 5 ATM. As is the case with almost all smartwatches on the market, Huawei also declares this to be suitable for swimming. In the small print, the manufacturer states that this only applies to shallow waters. According to the ATM standard, however, certification according to 5 ATM only permits wearing it while showering. This is due to the fact that voltage peaks can quickly occur when swimming, which damage the watch.

Technically at the fore

On the hardware side, the Watch 3 Pro offers almost everything that is currently possible. The previously unknown SoC HiSilicon Hi6262 serves as the heart. The main memory is 2 GB and the flash memory is 16 GB. The team performs all tasks of the clock without delay.

The AMOLED display measures 1.43 inches and has a resolution of 466 × 466 pixels at 326 ppi. The colors are extremely crisp, lively and rich in contrast. There was not a single moment during the test for criticism. Even in direct sunlight, the screen can be read at any time thanks to its high brightness, although the advertised brightness value of 1,000 cd/m² is questioned.

eSIM without provider constraints

When it comes to mobile data transmission, the Huawei Watch 3 Pro has a special feature. Connected to LTE via eSIM, other smartwatches require certain cellular providers. Not so with the Watch 3 Pro. It is compatible with O2, Vodafone, Telekom and 1 & amp; 1. Activation should take place in just a few steps without an additional app. It offers GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou and QZSS for localization. With regard to the remaining connectivity, WLAN b/g/n, NFC and Bluetooth 5.2 are on board.

It is also pleasing that the Watch 3 Pro can be used with Android from version 6.0 and with iOS from version 9.0.

The operation leaves a lot to be desired

In addition to touch and voice gestures, the Watch 3 Pro uses a quick-dial button and a rotatable crown for operation. The crown is primarily used to navigate through the menu. While turning, the watch gives haptic feedback via slight vibrations. The implementation of the crown is good, but a little smooth. For a better feeling of turning, a little more resistance or a kind of grid would be very desirable here. The placement in the upper area is also well chosen in view of the case, as the crown is not accidentally actuated when supporting the hand, for example.

Celia only hears what she wants

In contrast, the voice control, including the voice assistant, turns out to be a minor disaster. The voice control can be started with the command “Hey Celia” or by pressing and holding the speed dial button. Huawei's language assistant Celia doesn't seem to be really mature. The activation command “Hey Celia” is followed by silence. Even manually operated, the experience is rather sobering. The simplest commands such as “What day is it today?” Or “What time is it?” Are understood and written down on the display, but Celia does not understand the content of the questions and cannot answer. The same applies to “special” questions about everyday things such as the Federal Chancellor or the latest soccer results. Other commands such as “set an alarm clock …” or “how will the weather be today?” Are recognized and answered.

HarmonyOS by no means ensures harmony

Huawei's way out of the Google dispute is called HarmonyOS . At least on the smartwatch, this inevitably leads to a compromise when setting up the Watch 3 Pro. Memories of the Huawei Watch GT (test) quickly come back to life – is the software sabotaging the great smartwatch again?

Already the coupling causes frustration

The operating system, the structure and the graphics are very similar to the aspects of previous Huawei watches under LiteOS. But just getting there creates frustration. To set it up, the watch asks the user to download the Huawei Health app. No sooner said than done and the app on the OnePlus Nord (test) used for the test causes confusion. Initially, the latest watch series was not listed in the device list of the Huawei Health app. The list was only updated after several attempts and reinstallations of the app. After the watch was listed, there was another error that the model was not supported. The user is referred to the App Gallery by means of a note – and this is exactly where the big catch is.

Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: pairing causes frustration
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: pairing causes frustration

Unsuspecting users are now looking for an update of the Huawei Health app in the Play Store. However, since the app was last updated on July 20, 2020, the project is in vain. Users who want to switch on a smartwatch, connect it and simply use it, could already despair and throw in the towel. The only solution is some research, which refers to the Huawei App Gallery. The Google Play Store does not offer this, however, whereupon the user has to search for and install the app manually using the SDK file. The Google clinch is leaving its mark here as well. It is also unpleasant that two apps are required for operation.

However, the Huawei Watch 3 Pro cannot yet be fully used. Many functions are currently still missing and will only be gradually distributed via OTA updates. For example, there is currently no gesture control, for example, with which calls can be accepted by closing the fist, and Huawei Music.

Otherwise functional and trist

The basic structure of HarmonyOS was apparently taken over from LiteOS. The menu is structured intuitively, but it can be described as a uniform mash. That certain something is missing. A functioning voice assistant would be the first step here. The ability to respond to incoming notifications would also be great, at least on Android. Thanks to the microphone and loudspeaker, you can still make free calls.

Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: menu structure
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: menu structure

The pre-installed applications are limited to the essentials such as alarm clock, calendar and the overviews of the vital sensors. Additional apps can be downloaded directly from the clock in the App Gallery. The selection is still very manageable and only a few well-known apps can be identified. Huawei grants more choice with the dials. There are around 100 available on iOS devices. On Android, the number rises to 1,000, with most ads priced from EUR 0.49 to EUR 3.99 first having to be purchased.

Still great health app

We already liked the health app when we tested the Huawei Watch GT (test) and nothing has changed about that. Compared to back then, a little prettier and tidy, the application can impress with its simplicity. Everything is self-explanatory and the most important parameters are quickly at a glance.

Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: Health App

Sensory and vital values ​​

With the built-in vital sensors, the Huawei Watch 3 Pro offers almost everything that is currently available on the market, apart from an ECG that the Withings ScanWatch (test), the Samsung Galaxy Watch and the last Apple watches bring. In addition to the obligatory acceleration, gyroscope and heart rate sensors, a barometer, ambient light sensor and temperature sensor are also installed.

The latter is not used as an instrument for measuring fever, but measures the temperature of the skin surface and is supposed to provide information about overheating and stress. The optical heart rate sensor can also analyze blood oxygen saturation (SpO2).

Fall detection is also offered. If the wearer falls quickly from an elevation, an emergency contact can be called with just one click on the display. Without a connected eSIM, a connected smartphone is required nearby.

values ​​

The evaluation of the vital signs is mixed. The Huawei Watch 3 Pro masters at least step and pulse measurement with ease. The 1,000 counted steps are displayed with a value of 1,004. The heart rate analysis also showed no measurement errors, and showed only minimal deviations from the Polar H7 chest strap used in all three test measurements.

Heart rate measurements, in s/min Huawei Watch 3 Pro reference deviation 66 66 0.00% 121 123 1.63% 111 112 0.90%

The SpO2 measurement, however, seems a bit strange, as it always showed a saturation of 100 percent regardless of the situation in the test. Although this would be encouraging, previous tests with other smartwatches showed that this is mostly 98 percent for the tester and sometimes fluctuates. In addition, the measurement process is extremely sensitive. Despite laying down the arm, several measurements were aborted with the instruction not to move. It was also noticeable that the location takes a very long time to determine one's own location or that the location was sometimes not found at all.

Duration as a parade discipline

Huge display, many sensors – and yet the Huawei Watch 3 Pro can come up with a very long runtime. The manufacturer himself speaks of up to five days. This cannot quite be achieved in the test, but it takes four to four and a half days on average. The test was carried out without an LTE connection, i.e. only via a Bluetooth connection to the smartphone. That may not sound like much, but the competition usually has to be plugged in after two days.

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Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: Wireless charging dock
Huawei Watch 3 Pro in the test: Wireless charging dock

The completely wireless charging dock is also a rarity. Without any contact, the watch can be put down for charging from any direction.

Conclusion

A conclusion to the Huawei Watch 3 Pro is extremely difficult. The difficulties with the coupling are extremely frustrating, but can only partially be blamed on the manufacturer. Nevertheless, he should better point out the solution here. Having mastered this, HarmonyOS is a rather dreary operating system. It's easy to understand and easy to use, but it lacks a touch of freshness. Huawei has to quickly deliver the missing functions such as the extended gesture control via update. It would also be great, at least on Android, to be able to reply to incoming text messages. Huawei also has to lend a hand with its voice assistant Celia, who can neither implement and answer everyday questions, let alone the simplest commands.

The flagship of the Huawei Watch 3 Pro is the runtime of an average of four days. But the manufacturer also delivers a decent exterior with the model. The case and bracelet made of titanium and a ceramic underside are a rarity in the smartwatch sector. Furthermore, the watch is characterized by excellent workmanship, an excellent display, good step and pulse analysis and a great app. From a subjective point of view, the massive size must be pointed out. A diameter of 50 mm and a height of 14 mm are not something for every wrist, and regardless of that, nothing at all for doing sports. Even the smaller Watch 3 offshoot would be too bulky for this at 46 mm.

In summary, the Huawei Watch 3 Pro could be a terrific smartwatch. All elements for this are available, but the little blunders have to be fixed as soon as possible and a little pep in the system.

prices and availability

The Huawei Watch 3 is already available in several versions. What they all have in common is the hardware used and the eSIM compatibility. The differences are limited to size, materials and battery capacity. The display size remains the same with all offshoots at 1.43 inches in diameter. As an introduction, buyers will receive the wireless in-ear headphones Huawei FreeBuds 4 (test) for free.

Huawei Watch 3 (Pro) Model Material Size Price RRP/price comparison Huawei Watch 3 – Active Edition stainless steel, ceramic
Silicone bracelet 46.2 × 46.2 × 12.15 mm 369.00 euros/from around 347.00 euros Huawei Watch 3 – Classic Edition stainless steel, ceramic and leather bracelet 46.2 × 46.2 × 12.15 mm 399 .00 euros/from around 363.00 euros Huawei Watch 3 – Elite Edition stainless steel, ceramic and stainless steel link bracelet 46.2 × 46.2 × 12.15 mm 449.00 euros/from around 439.00 euros Huawei Watch 3 Pro – Classic Edition titanium, ceramic
leather strap 48 × 49.6 × 14 mm 499.00 euros/from around 449.00 euros Huawei Watch 3 Pro – Elite Edition titanium, ceramic and titanium link bracelet 48 × 49.6 × 14 mm 599.00 euros/from around 589.00 euros

ComputerBase has borrowed the Watch 3 Pro from Huawei for testing. The manufacturer did not exert any influence on the test report, and there was no obligation to publish it. There was no NDA.

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