Image Courtesy: The Verge
The Huawei Watch 3 and Huawei Watch 3 Pro are the company’s first smartwatches that run its proprietary HarmonyOS operating system. In principle, it is the third operating system Huawei has used for its smartwatches, which previously ran Google’s Android Wear (now Wear OS) before installing its own LiteOS software with more current models.
Despite the new operating system, the Watch 3 retains many of the same functions as Huawei’s prior wearables. There is also support for video calling via Huawei’s own MeeTime service, as well as a new home screen that now consists of a watchOS-style grid of applications rather than a list.
Moreover, in spite of being labelled as a HarmonyOS device, the Watch 3’s high battery life implies that its operating system is fundamentally different from the version of HarmonyOS. Huawei is deploying on its new tablets, and may have more in common with LiteOS on earlier Huawei watches. Huawei declined to comment on any similarities between HarmonyOS and its existing operating systems.
The design of the Watch 3 is similar to that of Huawei’s prior smart watches. It has a 1.43-inch circular OLED display with a refresh rate of 60Hz and a peak brightness of 1000 nits. Because the display is edge-to-edge, this smartwatch does not have a rotating bezel. Instead, it is controlled by a spinning crown, much like an Apple Watch. The watch comes in several forms, including an “active” variant with a rubber strap, a “classic” model with leather, and a “elite” model with a metal band.
The watch has several of the same sensors as earlier versions for activity monitoring, such as heart rate tracking, a Sp02 sensor, and sleep monitoring. This version, though, has a temperature sensor, similar to Fitbit’s Sense wristwatch from last year. According to Huawei, this sensor can continually monitor your skin’s temperature throughout the day. According to Huawei, the watch supports a hundred various training modes, including running, climbing, cycling, and swimming.
Further, the Watch 3 retains eSIM functionality from the Watch 2 Pro, allowing it to be used independently from a phone with its own 4G LTE connection. The watch can make voice calls directly, and it can also make video calls using Huawei’s MeeTime service. With 4G switched on, Huawei claims three days of battery life from the Watch 3, but that can be extended to 14 days if you’re willing to disable 4G and use the phone in “super long lasting mode.” Even in this low-power mode, Huawei claims that you should be able to track your activities and exercises, and that the watch faces will remain animated.
In addition to the Watch 3, Huawei is introducing the Watch 3 Pro today, which has a battery life of up to 5 days with 4G turned on and up to 21 days in its long battery life mode. Other enhancements include a higher-quality titanium structure and more precise GPS tracking. Third-party app support remains a major unknown for Huawei’s first HarmonyOS watches. As usual, Huawei promised to collaborate with developers to bring their apps on its handsets, and displayed a variety of app logos, including one for Emirates Airlines. There were no app logos for providers I recognized, and Huawei has not verified support from any of the big music streaming providers.
However, Huawei has yet to confirm price or release dates for the Huawei Watch 3 and Watch 3 Pro, but has stated that an announcement would be made shortly.