Huawei Watch 3 Pro review: Fitness and finesse - it just needs more third-party apps

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(Pocket-lint) - With its Watch 3 range, Huawei opted to spell with the regular and Pro exemplary divided that we've seen enactment truthful good crossed aggregate merchandise categories. The Watch 3 is the cheaper model, whereas the Pro costs much but comes with a fewer further features. 

The Pro is bigger, features a antithetic design, longer artillery life, amended determination tracking technology, and is much durable. But is immoderate of that capable to warrant the beauteous steep asking price? 

Design and dimensions

  • Dimensions: 48 x 49.6 x 14mm / Weight (excl. strap): 63g
  • 22mm leather oregon metallic quick-release strap options
  • Waterproof to 50m (5ATM rated)
  • Titanium and ceramic case

The regular Watch 3 featured an elegant plan with rounded solid curving seamlessly into a polished alloy lawsuit connected the front. The Watch 3 Pro is an wholly antithetic animal. Yes, it's wholly round, but isolated from that superior lawsuit shape, everything other is level lines and angles. 

From the screen's solid lens, to the bezel astir it, adjacent the strap lugs, everything features the aforesaid benignant chamfered edges. It's attractive, successful a brutally minimalist way. The metallic lawsuit has nary radiance to it either. It's made from titanium, truthful has that dull grey and brushed look. Arguably the cleanable worldly for this shape. 

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Titanium besides has the payment of being lightweight and durable. It's a sensible prime for a ticker that's connected the ample side. With its 48mm case, it's decidedly not 1 for smaller wrists. However, erstwhile connected the wrist it doesn't feel large and bulky, nor heavy. It's comfy to deterioration each day. 

To complement that classic, azygous grey case, there's a elemental circular achromatic bezel astir the surface with classical 24-hour scale markings connected it. Similar successful attack to the Tag Connected bid of smartwatches. 

Like the modular model, determination are 2 buttons connected the watch. The apical 1 is simply a round, rotating integer crown that tin beryllium turned to scroll done elements connected the screen, oregon clicked to either motorboat the app grid oregon to spell home. The bottommost fastener is neat, acceptable retired of the way, and clicks to spell back. 

The Classic exemplary connected reappraisal ships with a brownish leather strap. It's a classical option, conscionable arsenic the sanction says, but we're near questioning the styling. It starts disconnected being 22mm astatine the lawsuit end, but tapers down and becomes narrower. We deliberation it looks excessively narrow, truthful a spot mismatched with the lawsuit being truthful big. Like a rhino balancing connected a unicycle. We deliberation Huawei should person gone with rather a wide strap - much akin to the flexible fluoroelastomer options it besides has, which clasp their width each the mode along.

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Thankfully, you're not lumped with this skinny leather strap forever. It features a quick-release mechanics that makes it truly casual to region and swap retired for immoderate different 22mm strap that mightiness instrumentality your fancy. 

We swapped the leather retired for the wider flexible strap to usage during moving session, and ended up utilizing that arsenic the superior strap astir the full clip due to the fact that we similar the look. As mentioned, it's truly comfy to deterioration each time and holds the ticker securely too, which is perfect erstwhile you're connected a agelong tally and don't similar the consciousness of your smartwatch shifting up and down arsenic you lb the pavement. 

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It didn't substance what upwind we took it retired successful either, acknowledgment to the 5ATM waterproof rating. Its water-resistance to 50 metre depths ensures that it's not going to beryllium enactment disconnected by the sweatiest workouts oregon being caught successful a rainfall tempest portion you're attempting to champion your 10K time. You could adjacent spell for a swim.

Display and software

  • Round-shape 1.43-inch AMOLED display
  • 466 x 466 solution (326ppi)
  • HarmonyOS 2.0.0

Huawei's ticker displays are superb, particularly the AMOLED sheet connected the Watch 3 Pro. It's vibrant and bright, with precocious opposition levels, which means it's casual to spot successful astir lighting conditions - adjacent erstwhile outside. It adjacent has creaseless refresh rates to guarantee on-screen animations don't stutter similar they utilized to connected the older Huawei models. 

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You get plentifulness of colourful ticker faces to show connected this gorgeous vibrant surface too. Huawei has created dozens of options, portion besides offering a marketplace wherever you tin wage to instal those created by others, which features what seems similar hundreds of different options - astir costing little than £1. 

Our lone disappointment with the pre-installed ticker faces is that - dissimilar Apple, Samsung and adjacent Garmin - you can't bash overmuch successful the mode of customisation. Some volition fto you take antithetic information to show successful complications, but there's nary tweaking accent colours oregon ticker look styles here.

Like Huawei's ain smartphone level minus Google, there's intelligibly a batch of ambition and clip going into the improvement of HarmonyOS for its smartwatches. Thankfully the deficiency of Google Services present doesn't needfully detract from the cardinal features of having a smartwatch. 

For instance, it'll archer the time, amusement you your notifications, springiness you upwind reports, wrist-based navigation connected Petal Maps, positive way fittingness and health. But it's inactive missing a fewer things that would enactment it connected par with Apple and the caller combined Samsung/Google platforms. 

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As an example, successful the UK and Europe, there's presently nary contactless payments disposable connected the watch. You besides can't instal immoderate fashionable euphony apps similar Spotify oregon Deezer to it. Instead, you're constricted to Huawei's ain euphony service, which isn't each that great. And portion it does person a wrist based mentation of Huawei's App Gallery for installing apps to the watch, the fig of utile apps is small. The lone utile app we recovered was Petal Maps which - erstwhile connected to a Huawei telephone with Petal Maps installed - volition usher you step-by-step arsenic you navigate. 

On the positive side, the ticker bundle has astir of the halfway features that you'd request to entree astir days. You tin presumption your calendar agenda, grounds dependable notes, oregon cheque connected your wellness vitals. Whether it beryllium bosom rate, accent levels, temperature, oregon adjacent motorboat into a breathing exercise. It's each there. 

Fitness and wellness tracking

  • 100+ workout modes
  • 19 ‘pro' tracking options
  • HR, SpO2 and somesthesia sensing
  • Ultra-precise GNSS determination sensor
  • Barometric pressure, compass, gyroscope and accelerometer

When it comes to fittingness tracking, peculiarly for running, it's apt the archetypal institution you deliberation of is Garmin. But implicit the past fewer years Huawei has shown itself to beryllium precise bully astatine monitoring wellness vitals and tracking activities. That's ne'er been much existent than with the Watch 3 Pro - which has each the sensors you could privation for and knows however to usage them. 

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On the underside of the ticker you'll spot the bosom of what makes a batch of it tick, the TruSeen 4.5+ sensor system. It features six LEDs and 4 photodiodes for capturing airy information, each of which alteration close all-day bosom complaint monitoring.

In our all-day measurements and during workouts the strategy surely seemed close and consistent. It was a reliable metric to usage for determining however hard a peculiar workout was, and measured wrong a bushed oregon 2 per infinitesimal of what our trusty Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire was showing astatine the aforesaid time. 

It'll besides measurement your SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation), and tin beryllium acceptable to bash truthful astir the timepiece if you want. It volition drain the artillery more, but it's beauteous businesslike and won't wholly ruin it. Especially apt for 2021, the ticker tin besides beryllium utilized to measurement your tegument temperature. Again, that's thing you tin alteration each time if you want.

As with immoderate bully fittingness tracker, you get each the basics too. It'll measurement your question and steps during the time to springiness you an overview of however progressive you've been. Plus, if you deterioration it astatine nighttime clip it adjacent does a bully occupation of tracking sleep. When you aftermath up successful the greeting you tin dive into the wellness app and spot however good you've slept.

Huawei Health volition springiness you an wide slumber prime people and besides amusement you periods of the nighttime wherever you entered antithetic stages of sleep. There are elaborate breakdowns of elements similar heavy sleep, the fig of times you were restless, awake, oregon up retired of bed. 

As for dedicated workout tracking, it's accomplished present too. We utilized it to way moving sessions implicit a fewer weeks alongside the Garmin Fenix 6 and recovered - successful astir instances - it tracked akin figures. Even connected our longest 15.5km session, determination was lone 100m quality betwixt the two. 

The improved GPS show the Pro offers implicit the regular exemplary besides means it's quicker to fastener connected to location. Sometimes adjacent giving america the greenish airy up of the Garmin. It was akin erstwhile it came to bosom rate, cadence and pace, tracking wrong 2 oregon 3 beats, steps per infinitesimal oregon minutes per kilometre. 

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We similar the mode the Huawei Health app displays the information afterwards too. There's a large map, which you tin usage to make a amusive animation of your moving route, with different tabs that fto you dive deeper into immoderate of the accustomed metrics. 

If you're stuck for ideas connected however to exercise, oregon lacking the information to determine connected a route, Huawei Health tin assistance you retired present too. You tin motion up to commencement a coaching program for a acceptable distance, specified arsenic 5km. And then, astatine the extremity of each month, it gives you a breakdown of however you've done implicit the past mates of months, showing you immoderate idiosyncratic achievements, however acold you've run, and however progressive you've been. All successful all, it's a well-rounded offering. 

Performance and battery 

  • 5 time artillery beingness (typical use)
  • Wireless magnetic charger
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC
  • 16GB storage
  • 2GB RAM

There's nary denying that artillery beingness is apt the biggest gully for the Watch 3 Pro. Despite having that full-colour screen, plentifulness of features, and all-day wellness tracking, it volition inactive marque it done a workweek without needing to beryllium recharged.

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Given our acquisition with it, we'd accidental that's beauteous accurate. We'd regularly spell astir a afloat week betwixt charges with the always-on show switched off. In fact, it's casual to hide that it does request charging - which is simply a satellite distant from emblematic smartwatches, specified arsenic the Apple Watch Series 7, that often needs charging. And erstwhile it's bare the Huawei snaps easy and securely onto its magnetic wireless charging disc. 

Verdict

The Huawei Watch 3 Pro is an absorbing proposition. On the 1 hand, it's crafted good from premium materials, is simply a large fittingness companion, and tin past astir a week connected a afloat charge. On the other, erstwhile you comparison the level to that of Samsung/Google and Apple, it comes up a small abbreviated connected features - which mightiness marque the terms tag a small hard to swallow. 

With that said, determination aren't galore smartwatches retired determination which tin outlast the Huawei Watch 3 Pro connected a afloat charge, and fewer that springiness you the aforesaid extent and consistency of accusation erstwhile you usage them to way moving oregon different workout sessions. In a way, it straddles the satellite betwixt Garmin and Samsung, offering thing in-between, a fusion of fittingness and style, which is not a atrocious spot to beryllium astatine all. 

With third-party euphony enactment and amended third-party app offerings, the Watch 3 Pro would beryllium practically perfect. 

Also consider

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

If you're an Android user, the 2021 Galaxy Watch offers a overmuch much compelling smartwatch-like experience, with affluent graphics, customisation, contactless payments, and interactive notifications. 

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Huawei Watch 3 

Huawei's 'standard' exemplary arguably makes much consciousness fixed the terms difference. It's an elegant ticker with astir of the aforesaid important fittingness and wellness tracking features too.

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Writing by Cam Bunton. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 20 October 2021.

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