Huawei challenges Apple and Garmin with its latest fitness-focused smartwatch

Tennis player wearing Huawei Watch GT 3
(Image credit: Huawei)

Huawei has launched a new fitness-focused smartwatch with updated training tools that’ll be familiar to Garmin watch users, and design tweaks that are reminiscent of Apple’s latest wearables.

The Huawei Watch GT 3 has the same round face as previous GT watches, but now comes in two sizes: 42mm and 46mm – the smaller of which has a curved glass lens that uses refraction to give the illusion of a larger face, not unlike the Apple Watch 7.

The AMOLED display has a higher resolution than that of the Huawei Watch GT 2, which launched in 2019, or the titanium-bodied GT 2 Pro, which arrived in 2020. That means you can see more data on screen at once, and the icons – which are now laid out in a grid rather than a long list – are easier to select.

You won’t be tapping and swiping that screen so often though, because the Huawei Watch GT 3 also has a rotating crown – something the company first introduced with the Huawei Watch 3, and which will also be familiar to Apple Watch owners.

Huawei Watch GT 3 46mm and 42mm versions

The Huawei Watch GT 3 comes in a variety of colors, in 42mm and 46mm case sizes (Image credit: Huawei)

This hasn’t just allowed the designers to thin down the watch’s bezels, it will also make the new watch easier to operate during sweaty workouts, while swimming, or when wearing gloves, reducing the need to use the touchscreen.

Custom coaching

There are also big upgrades on the fitness tracking front, with a new optical heart rate sensor for improved accuracy. The TruSeen 5.0+ sensor has twice as many light receivers, and an updated algorithm for better light detection

The back of the watch has an arched design that helps ensure better skin contact – particularly during sweaty workout session – and has a new micro-nano optical film that Huawei says will reduce signal interference. During benchmarking tests, the company said the GT 3 was accurate to within 5bpm, which was a very narrow margin of error compared to the Apple Watch 6 (it hasn’t yet carried out the same tests with the Apple Watch 7, but we’d expect the results to be the same since it has the same sensor).

On the navigation front, there’s now a dual-band positioning system with support for GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, and QZSS. The GT 3 also has a new feature similar to Garmin’s TracBack, which helps you navigate back to the start during a run, walk, or bike ride.

Another tool that’ll be familiar to Garmin users is the ability to create personalized training plans that can adapt on the fly. Previously, Huawei’s training plans would give runners a schedule of workouts to complete in order to achieve a certain goal, but these would be general-purpose rather than tailored to you specifically.

Now, the app will factor in your past running performance as well as your height, weight and gender to create something specifically for you. The plan will also update dynamically based on your efforts as you work your way through the training sessions.

Healthier habits

Finally, the Huawei Watch GT 3 has a new feature called the ‘Healthy Living Shamrock’, which works a little like the rings on an Apple Watch. The leaves of the shamrock icon fill with color to represent factors such as steps count and sleep.

The watch will also give you daily lifestyle tips to take exercise, hydrate, relax, and refuel throughout the day – with stress monitoring and abnormal heart rate alerts to warn you if something looks amiss.

Overall, it’s a package that seems to straddle the boundaries between smartwatch, running watch, and fitness tracker. You can read our full impressions in our Huawei Watch GT3 hands-on review.

The Watch 3 GT is available to pre-order direct from Huawei in the UK until November 9, with prices starting at £209.99 for the 42mm version, and £229.99 for the 46mm model. We have yet to receive details of pricing and availability in other countries, but we'll keep you updated when we do.

You might also want to check out Apple Watch vs Garmin comparison.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)