Huawei Watch 3 vs Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro: What's Changed
This page has been translated using AI and machine learning.
(Pocket Ribbon) – Huawei's latest watch has been announced and is the first to officially launch HarmonyOS, the new cross-category operating system designed to seamlessly connect multiple devices.
The manufacturer has been building some great fitness tracking watches lately, including its previous flagship watch: the Watch GT 2 Pro. So, what has changed between the last watch and the Watch 3? Let's dive in.
GT 2 Pro: 46.7 x 46.7 x 11.4mm – 52g Watch 3: 46.2 x 46.2 x 12.15mm – 54g Watch 3 Pro: 48mm x 49.6 x 14mm – 63g GT 2 Pro: titanium, sapphire glass and ceramic Watch 3: Stainless steel, tempered glass and ceramic Watch 3 Pro: titanium, sapphire glass and ceramic All: Waterproof to 50m
All Huawei watches are completely round and basically they resemble each other. They share similarities, such as having the same ceramic bottom, with the same design for the optical sensors for reading your heart rate and oxygen saturation in the blood.
Where they differ is in the glass, the metal and the shape of the lens. For example, both the GT 2 Pro and the Watch 3 Pro have completely flat sapphire glass screens and titanium housings. The standard Watch 3 has curved tempered glass on top of stainless steel.
While all three have two buttons on the side, only the new Watch 3 and Watch 3 Pro have a rotating crown that works similarly to the Apple Watch's Digital Crown. You can turn or press it to control various functions and interface elements.
They are all waterproof to a high level (up to 50m) and all three are charged wirelessly with the same magnetic plastic holder.
Another thing worth noting is that the Watch 3 is the more compact of the three, but not huge. With a 46 mm housing, it is hardly small. At 14mm, the Watch 3 Pro is clearly the thickest and also the largest.
GT 2 Pro: 1.39-inch AMOLED display Watch 3 and 3 Pro: 1.43-inch AMOLED display GT 2 Pro: 454 x 454 resolution – 326ppi Watch 3 and 3 Pro: 466 x 466 resolution – 326ppi
As mentioned, all three watches have fully circular screens and are all AMOLED and have the same pixel density. There is a difference in size, though, with both new Watch 3 models sporting a 1.43-inch panel versus 1.39-inch on the older one. That means thinner bezels, not a bigger watch.
More importantly, though, they have refresh rates of up to 60Hz, meaning you get smoother and more graphically rich visuals and animations on them compared to the GT 2 Pro. That also means – of course – that it consumes more battery (more on that later).
With a peak brightness of 1000 nits, this means that the watches can also be seen better in daylight. From a hardware perspective, this is the biggest – or at least most notable – upgrade over the Watch GT 2 Pro.
Software and fitness tracking
GT 2 Pro: LiteOS Watch 3/3 Pro: HarmonyOS All: GPS, heart rate, spO2, steps, sleep and stress tracking Watch 3/3 Pro: Temperature sensor Watch 3 Pro: Accurate dual GPS location All: Compatible with iOS and Android via Huawei Health
The Watch 3 and 3 Pro are the first watches to feature HarmonyOS, meaning a few things have changed when it comes to the interface and software, but the key elements have remained the same.
The controls are similar, although you can now view apps in a grid and even use AppGallery to install them right from your wrist. The other addition is a fall detection feature that can be set up to call an emergency contact if you fall and don't respond within a certain time frame.
From a fitness and health perspective, the three watches are largely similar and can be tracked throughout the day for things like heart rate, spO2, stress, sleep and steps. With the new sensor on the Watch 3 series, the skin temperature can also be measured.
As for the Pro, it has a dual-GPS mode that allows for much more accurate tracking during runs and outdoor sessions to give you a more accurate distance reading and mapped route.
All three are compatible with Android, iOS and HarmonyOS devices that use the Huawei Health app.
Performance and battery
GT 2 Pro: 14 days battery life Watch 3: 3 days in smart mode, 14 days in Ultra-long Watch 3 Pro: 5 days in smart mode, 21 days in Ultra-long GT 2 Pro: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Watch 3/3 Pro: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and eSIM/4G
The interesting thing about the Watch 3 series is that it has – essentially – two modes. You can use it as a regular smartwatch and get three or five days of battery life, or you can put it in ultra-long mode and get two or three weeks of battery life.
What this roughly does is toggle the software and capabilities so that it is very similar to the Lite OS software running on the Watch GT 2 Pro. Thanks to the lightweight software, Watch GT 2 Pro can run on a full battery for up to two weeks.
Watch 3 has – in addition to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth like the GT 2 Pro – eSIM support. This enables 4G connectivity on networks that support it, so you can stream music, answer calls and see notifications. The only downside to this is that it is only supported by a few Chinese networks that currently have no news of any planned expansions worldwide.
GT 2 Pro: £249 Watch 3: £349 Watch 3 Pro: £499
With its advanced internal hardware, updated software, higher refresh screen and eSIM support, it's no surprise that the Watch 3 starts at a higher price than its predecessor.
In the UK, the standard Watch 3 starts at £100 more than the original price of the GT 2 Pro at £349. As it is no longer new, you can now find the GT 2 Pro even cheaper without too much trouble. The Watch 3 Pro is a £500 shortfall.
When it comes to fitness and health tracking, there's little reason to go for the Watch 3 over the Watch GT 2 Pro. It usually does the same things which are then displayed in the same way on the watch and in your smartphone app.
Where the Watch 3 comes into its own is when it comes to the display and the richer graphics and interactions on that screen. It's starting to look a lot more like a real smartwatch and less like a rebadged fitness tracker. With a built-in eSIM and the ability to stream music and answer calls without your phone, that's a freedom you won't get from the Watch GT 2 Pro. Unfortunately, however, that is not yet available outside of China.
Written by Cam Bunton.