Huawei Watch GT 3 SE Lightning Review: No Frills, No Problem
Last November, Huawei introduced yet another entry to its Watch GT 3 series with a new SE variant. Though lacking the fancy cosmetics offered by its siblings, rest assured that it still comes with a majority of features from the line-up.
For this review, I’ve spent several weeks both familiarising myself with the smartwatch, as well as evaluating its offerings. Also worth mentioning that I’ve been using it together with my daily driver, which happens to be an iOS device instead of an Android or a Huawei/Harmony OS smartphone.
With that out of the way, let’s proceed with the review.
What Is It?
To summarise it nicely, the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE can be considered as the full-on sports edition of the series. This is made even more clearer by its no-frills and more rugged-ish design, which contrasts its siblings’ elegant and premium-esque looks. For this review, Huawei has passed me the Graphite Black colour variant, which comes with a default black and red analog-inspired watch face that matches the watch’s own colour scheme.
Specs-wise, the smartwatch is only offered in a 46 mm size, which comes with a 1.43-inch AMOLED full-colour touchscreen and a 5 ATM water-resistant polymer fibre casing. Additionally, onboard are GPS and Bluetooth supported connectivity, microphone and speakers, HarmonyOS interface, as well as various built-in health rate sensors for heart rate and even Sp02 measurements. Take note that this variant lacks the temperature sensor that’s found on the Watch GT 3 and Watch GT 3 Pro.
Is It Any Good?
Starting with its design, the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE looks like a typical sports smartwatch, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It has a large display that’s surrounded by slim bezels that doubles as minute markers, while its case feels sturdy yet light at the same time. The latter of which makes the device very comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time.
The full-colour touchscreen is perhaps the thing I like the most from the Watch GT 3 SE. Its large size and decent resolution is excellent for viewing on-screen information such as health and workout stats, as well as message notifications. The framerate is also pretty high, which makes scrolling through the different built-in modes very satisfying.
Features such as sports and health tracking are as you’d might expect from a smartwatch of this calibre – coming in with over a hundred workout modes, as well as sleep, heart rate, and SpO2 monitoring capabilities. For swimmers, you’ll be glad to know that the device also comes with a drainage feature that helps you check whether there’s any water caught in its speakers.
Not forgetting the option to make voice calls through Bluetooth, thanks to the Watch GT 3 SE’s onboard microphone and speakers. They’re loud and clear in terms of call and sound output, but don’t expect them to outperform the quality of any dedicated audio device in the market. And if you prefer to have your wearables muted, you’ll be glad to know that the Huawei smartwatch comes with vibrating motors for notifications and such.
Next is its battery, which is definitely another highlight. Throughout my testing, the watch managed to last close to two whole weeks without needing to be charged, which is very impressive. Of course, this mainly applies for general day-to-day use, whereas actively using its tracking capabilities and GPS for workouts will certainly shave off hours or even days from its overall longevity.
The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.
While the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE does allow you to import songs to its onboard 4 GB storage and use it as a standalone music player, this feature is only offered to Android and Harmony OS users. Also unavailable to iOS users is the ability to reply to messages on the smartwatch itself. Granted, there’s a slim chance that iPhone users would use a wearable that’s outside of Apple’s ecosystem. Regardless, consider this a heads up to those under that particular userbase who have been considering to pair their devices with Huawei’s smartwatch for whatever reason.
Another drawback I should mention is the limited amount of personalisation that’s available on the device. Even though the choices of watch faces through the Huawei Health companion app and its built-in store are plenty, most of them come with a price tag attached. Free ones are available, but those are limited to the options that are already included with the Watch GT 3 SE. Furthermore, there’s no way for you to customise each theme, so you’re stuck with the colours that came with them.
Should I Buy It?
Limited features for iOS users and dull personalisation options aside, the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE is still worth considering for those looking to upgrade from an entry-level or midrange wearable. This is mainly thanks to its large and responsive display, high-end performance, as well as numerous onboard features.
At RM 899, it’s undeniable that the device’s asking price could appear intimidating for some. However, it is actually still affordable when compared to other competing smartwatches within the same spec range – including its own siblings.
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