For two weeks, I had the Huawei Watch 3 Pro smartwatch for a review.
When the media receive a press review unit, it is customarily furnished with an A4-size sheet lettered with fine prints that exhort you to take reasonable care of the product and provide a fair evaluation of it some weeks later.
Therefore, I feel compelled to publicly acknowledge that I am a Huawei smartphone user. The phone isn’t sponsored, in case you wonder, as I had to fork out a moderate sum for it. Though the phone is reliable and well supported with constant updates, in no way, this supposed conflict parents a subconscious or even conscious urge in me to take a parochial, fanboy-ish stand. Rest assured, this review is as fair as fair comes.
The smartwatch in question, the Huawei Watch 3 Pro, was launched mere weeks ago, with a few unique selling points. The fulcrum is the HarmonyOS 2, featuring a UI surprisingly suitable for the tiny screen of the smartwatch with clear grids and a seamless transition between zooming in and out through the rotatable and pushable crown.
Setting up the smartwatch is pretty straightforward, but there are a couple of things you should be aware of. It is important to ensure the Huawei Health app is updated to the latest version prior to pairing. Otherwise, you may encounter instances where it says the device is not supported.
The single best feature of the Huawei Watch 3 Pro is the addition of eSIM. What it means for consumers is that the smartwatch can have its own individual “phone number”. This enables the smartwatch to operate independently of the phone. In that sense, the smartwatch is a phone in its own right. It doesn’t hinge on the parasitic relations with the phone and is paralysed when it isn’t paired with the phone.
The smartwatch can make and receive calls. It performs the many activities you carry out on your phone like playing music. The audio emitting from the smartwatch is on par with that of the phone. It is not nearly as loud, but it is clear, rich and crisp. Equipped with 4G and Bluetooth technologies, the smartwatch can also stream your favourite music via earbuds. It doubles as a weather station, alarm clock and fitness tracker. But crucially, it also means you can leave home without your phone.
The fitness offering doesn’t pale in comparison to the best fitness-oriented sports watches present in the market. The GPS lock-on based on my experience is faster than its contemporaries. To elaborate, the types of pre-set exercises you can embark on with the Huawei Watch 3 Pro include outdoor and indoor runs and walks, mountain and normal hikes in addition to trail running, and more.
Due to lockdown, I only managed to squeeze in a few outdoor runs. While running, the watch notifies you of your progress. It reads aloud the pace, heart rates and more. You can hear the announcement even in a noisy environment, for example, by the side of an artery teeming with vehicles. It is that loud and I welcomed it because it kept me from glancing at the smartwatch and helped me focus on the road ahead.
But in the event, you accidentally suffer a fall, the smartwatch can detect such an incident. It will prompt you if you require emergency assistance.
The lifestyle aspect of the smartwatch goes beyond working out, sleep tracking and heart rate measuring. You can wear it during office hours to keep a record of your stress level and skin temperatures.
While other smartwatches are made from PVD-coated steel or aluminium, the Huawei Watch 3 Pro is crafted from titanium. Compared to steel and aluminium, titanium is more robust, durable and resistant to wear and tear. The AMOLED screen is vibrant and so bright that the smartwatch functions exceptionally even in direct sunlight.
Just as impressive is the battery life. If you stay off LTE and while enabling the rest including WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC and a range of health-monitoring functions, don’t be surprised that you are only required to recharge the smartwatch once or twice a week. In my two weeks of familiarising with the Huawei Watch 3 Pro, I only ever charged it for a total of 3 times.
If concerns over geopolitics are putting you off any Huawei product, don’t be. This is a bloody awesome smartwatch. If adversity does lead to greater product innovation, the Huawei Watch 3 Pro is a paragon of that statement.
It seems that in the face of mounting perils, Huawei comes out swinging with one of the most impressive and exciting – refraining from the oft-used “the best” expression out of diplomacy – smartwatches you can get today. It’s well rounded, arrayed with thoughtful features that are genuinely useful and reasonably priced for what it is.
The Huawei Watch 3 Pro is available for preorder until July 7. For more info on the price, click here. All images by Huawei.