There’s one thing Huawei always gets right: and that’s wearable design and aesthetic. Of all the smartwatches available on the market, the Huawei Watch 3 is one of the best-looking. It’s also the company’s first wearable to natively run its own HarmonyOS in lieu of Android/Google WearOS.
And you know what? We were pleasantly surprised by its snappy performance, health tracking capabilities and activity tracking functionality. New operating systems always bring about higher levels of doubt — but HarmonyOS feels sleek, well-designed and mature for its age. Of course, you may run into niggles here and there — especially when it comes to third-party app support.
If you’re a compulsive fitness monitor, you’d miss integration with a few key apps, like Strava, and even Spotify for music streaming. You’re limited to Huawei’s AppGallery for any additional apps, and the store is fairly bare for now.
We’re happy to report that the Watch 3 (and the Watch 3 Pro, we reckon) is compatible with all Android devices, as well as iPhones — granted, there’s bound to be some workaround and the installation of at least one or two apps. But once it’s up and running, the Watch 3 is an absolute joy to wear and sync to your device.
You get all the expected health tracking and sensors, including heart-rate tracking, sleep, step counts and SpO2 blood oxygen monitoring. We found these to function decently — always take the reports with a grain of salt, and if you suspect a serious health issue, speak to a doc.
Then there are workouts. It features a decent range of workout modes according to your needs. The onboard voice assistant during workouts sounds a bit obnoxious, but that’s a personal preference. Overall activity tracking, including while running and swimming are good. It offers GPS, WiFi connectivity and eSIM support, which means you don’t have to take your phone along on runs.
Huawei Watch 3 Verdict
If you’re after a stylish watch with easy controls, sleek navigation and a host of fitness features, this one’s a good buy at R8,000. Granted, it’s a bit more expensive than some of its competitors, but it’ll look better on your wrist, guaranteed.
There’s a lot of potentials here — HarmonyOS is still in its infancy when it comes to consumer tech, and it functions much better than we expected it to, in all honesty. The AMOLED display is bright and brilliant, offering the perfect window into Huawei’s new OS. All it needs now is better integration and more app functionality.