has now been in the smartwatch game for over five years. However, until recently, the brand’s wearables had relied upon third-party and more basic operating systems. All of this changed with the release of HarmonyOS
for the Huawei Watch 3
Since Huawei’s first smartwatch came to the market in 2015, the company has relied on Android Wear from Google and its own LiteOS offering for operating systems. There’s little to fault with Android Wear, now called Wear or WearOS
since Google changed the name three years ago. Huawei’s first stab at its own platform, LiteOS, has always left something to be desired.
Huawei initially unveiled HarmonyOS back in 2019 for Honor-branded smart TVs. Yet, it wasn’t until this summer that HarmonyOS for smartphones and tablets was announced. This announcement was then quickly followed by news that the operating system would also come to Huawei’s next generation of wearables.
Of course, HarmonyOS coming to the Chinese multinational technology giant’s line of wearables is only part of the story. That’s because there’s also a new Huawei smartwatch on which to enjoy it. Simply called the Watch 3, it largely follows the brand’s existing naming convention and ultimately replaces the Watch 2.
Elsewhere in the existing lineup, there’s also the Watch Fit and Watch GT. But what about the all-new Watch 3? Let’s take a closer look.
Huawei Watch 3 With HarmonyOS
Huawei’s latest smartwatch comes in two versions – the Watch 3
and the Watch 3 Pro
. Not dissimilar in appearance to Watch 2 models, there are plenty of similarities in terms of functionality, too.
Existing sensors for tracking heart rate, sleep, and various activities are borrowed from the earlier Watch 2. That said, the Huawei Watch 3’s built-in temperature sensor is an entirely new addition.
support also returns from the outgoing Watch 2’s Pro version. What this means is that the Huawei Watch 3 can be operated independently from a smartphone as long as it has its own cellular connection.
A circular display and rotating crown will be familiar to existing Huawei Watch owners. The 1.43-inch OLED featured on both the Watch 3 and Watch 3 Pro is crisp and bright. The edge-to-edge display also helps them to feel very much like the premium products that Huawei promises them to be.
A choice of rubber, leather, and metal bracelets make the Huawei Watch 3 nicely customizable, although not to the extent of alternatives like the Apple Watch
Huawei Watch 3 Price
U.S. prices have yet to be announced. However, the standard Huawei Watch 3 gets a European launch price of €369. That’s around $435, so slightly more expensive than Apple’s $399 Watch 6. This could make the Huawei Watch 3 a hard sell unless official U.S. pricing is later revealed to be lower.
By further comparison, Samsung’s similar-looking Galaxy Watch3
costs as little as $349. It, too, does nothing to help sell the idea of the Huawei Watch 3 at over $85 more expensive.
Huawei’s second-newest smartwatch model, the Watch GT 2
, can also be picked up for under $200 now. With many of the same features, those looking to go with the Chinese manufacturer may prefer to take the two-year-old GT 2 instead and save themselves over $200.
Huawei Watch 3 Battery Life
The Huawei Watch 3 touts a three-day battery life under normal use. Anyone who opts for the Watch 3 Pro will reportedly get up to five days.
If you switch off the watch’s most resource-intensive smart features, you can get between 14 and 21 days of juice in what Huawei calls ‘ultra-long-lasting mode.’
When the battery does run out, Qi wireless charging is supported on both Pro and non-Pro models.
HarmonyOS for Huawei Watch 3
So, what about HarmonyOS itself? Huawei promises a significant improvement over LiteOS and aims for HarmonyOS to be a suitably feature-packed alternative to WearOS from Google. The operating system borrows heavily from both, adding nicely to LiteOS in the process.
In wearable guise, HarmonyOS features a redesigned home screen. Also taking inspiration from watchOS
in this particular regard, a new grid layout—unlike LiteOS’s list view—feels very Apple-like. Die-hard Huawei fans who prefer the old list view can, they’ll be pleased to hear, switch back to this style should they wish.
Die-hard Huawei fans who prefer the old list view can, they’ll be pleased to hear, switch back to this style should they wish.
HarmonyOS also introduces video calling to Huawei’s smartwatch lineup for the first time. Available exclusively through Huawei’s dedicated MeeTime service
, it remains to be seen at this stage if the likes of WhatsApp and Skype will also be supported.
Indeed, right now, there’s still a huge question mark over whether or not third-party apps will be supported at all. Huawei’s press materials for both HarmonyOS and the Watch 3 have hinted at varying degrees of support for apps from other providers. As of yet, though, there’s no official confirmation.
While a lack of third-party app support is unlikely to bother many buyers in China, it’s hard to imagine that the same could ever be said for the U.S., European, and other global markets. With that, it’s possible that HarmonyOS may bring a new degree of third-party app integration to Chinese customers. Alternatively, Huawei’s latest OS could differ between markets in terms of its full capacity.
Huawei Watch 3 buyers can upgrade their devices’ standard manufacturer-provided limited warranties by purchasing Huawei Care
coverage. Offering additional protection for Huawei products, the scheme extends the company’s limited warranties for new Huawei smartwatches, phones, laptops, tablets, and more for one year.
Prices vary, and Huawei Watch 3 extended warranty coverage includes fault diagnosis, repairs, spare parts, and labor. However, accidental damage isn’t included. Several other restrictions also apply.
Alternatively, Huawei Watch 3 buyers can purchase a superior level of coverage from Upsie
. Their plans will save you up to 70% compared to extended warranties sold by manufacturers. Upsie’s smartwatch warranty
coverage also includes protection for:
- Screen cracks
- Manufacturing faults and defects
- And more!
Upsie customers can choose to protect both new and used smartwatches
for either two or three years. Claims are unlimited up to the purchase price of a smartwatch with a deductible of just $25. Further, repairs can be carried out locally or at Upsie’s central facility – free round-trip shipping to and from is included.
Best of all, if your smartwatch becomes faulty or is damaged and cannot be repaired, Upsie will replace it with a new one at no extra cost.
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