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Huawei’s ceramic watch isn’t just a pretty face, it’s got more features than I have time to use

I’ve never been a watch person. Even when I was in primary school, I would hate putting on a watch because it felt so stifling. And as someone who sweats a lot, I didn’t like the sticky way the band would start to feel after a while.

So, when my Managing Editor encouraged me to write a hands-on (wrist-on…?) review on the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic, I was truthfully hesitant at first.

Yet, I was also somewhat excited underneath the surface. On top of trying out a smartwatch for the first time, I was impressed by the elegant look of the 43mm ceramic model.

Here’s what I learnt about it through this experience.

Gearing up for the watch

Setting up the smartwatch was easy enough. I simply downloaded the HUAWEI Health app on iOS and tinkered with my Bluetooth, and the smartwatch was connected. Calls and notifications immediately started popping up on the watch.

However, the trickier part came when we needed to adjust the band’s size. Contrary to the usual way you would adjust a leather or silicone strap, on this watch, I needed to add on a few extra ceramic links to the band to accommodate my wrist.

The smartwatch’s box comes with the necessary tools such as a magnetic screwdriver and extra links and screws, but do be warned, the screws are tiny and easy to lose, so adjustment is best done on a table.

Adjusting the size is a rather delicate job

Once the watch fitted comfortably on my wrist, I changed my watch face to the “Clouds” design, which looked classy but simple, even when it changed to dark mode after sunset.

Speaking of which, this classiness is simply exuded by the entire watch thanks to its clean white shade and smooth nanocrystalline ceramic body.

The ceramic material felt modern yet the watch still exuded a timeless (pun intended?) charm to it. Ceramic’s hardness means it’s hard to scratch, which helped reassure me because I tend to brush up against walls or furniture while walking.

Exploring various options for the watch face

If you’re worried about the crisp white colour of the watch, you can also rest easy knowing that ceramic is also resistant to corrosion, and colour-fading. This delicate-looking watch is definitely sturdier than it appears.  

I also really liked the gold accent around the watch face and on the crown. It’s subtle enough not to be flashy, but it adds a charm to the already unique watch.

The ceramic material felt nice and cool as I clasped it around my wrist. After spending a few hours with the watch, it remained rather cool, though it was a bit warmer around the watch face.

Since I don’t wear watches, I don’t have a good understanding of what typical watches weigh (Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic is 50g without its straps). To be honest, it wasn’t all that heavy. It felt sturdy, but I can see how it might feel heavier than other watches, especially for those who want to work out with it.

Not just a beautiful face

Beyond the watch’s visually appealing aesthetics, it was also very functional. It took me a bit of time to familiarise myself with how the crown and the second side button work, but they’re pretty intuitive.

The crown acts as a home button and a scroller, while the side button is a shortcut for the workouts (though that can be customised). The AMOLED screen is vibrant, responsive, and easy to use. The screen is also clear and visible at various viewing angles and in different lighting.

The screen is still visible even under the glare of the sun

I was impressed by how calls went through the watch smoothly with minimal delays and decent audio and microphone quality.

The data collected by the watch seamlessly translates onto the Huawei Health app on my phone, allowing me to swipe through the history easily.

In terms of battery life, the 43mm smartwatch can last up to seven days under typical usage and four days for heavy usage. Charging it with the wireless cradle was pretty speedy—it charged to full after showering and drying my hair.

I did notice that the watch often showed two dashes instead of telling me the weather, but I believe that’s due to the location and privacy settings on my iPhone.

Due to the sheer number of features available on the watch, one issue I had was memorising what the different icons meant. Sure, there were a few obvious ones (heart for pulse, thermometer for temperature), but there were a few that I found confusing, such as the green, running man (running ability). Although, I could put all this down to my unfamiliarity with using a smartwatch.

Keeping watch of your health

I spent some time toying around with the all-day health monitoring, which measured my oxygen levels, heart rate, stress levels, and my wrist’s skin temperature. I’m glad to report that throughout my time with the watch, I didn’t spot any anomalies.

The watch now offers over a hundred workout modes, with some new additions such as free diving (the watch supports up to 30m of free diving).

I’m not the most active person, so I haven’t tried out exercising with the watch, though it tells me to get up and move every once in a while, and I oblige.

I’ve also used the breathing exercises on the app whenever I notice my stress levels rising, and one difference I’ve noticed since wearing the watch is how it enables me to take conscious breaks.

On the left is my heart rate after climbing the stairs, on the right is the reminder to move after a few hours of sitting in front of my laptop

The watch is also capable of conducting electrocardiography (ECG) tests, but the features aren’t available in the Malaysian market for now. A Huawei spokesperson told us that they’re working on getting approval from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority, and the ECG feature may be available by the end of the year through an update.

But what I really wanted to try was the sleep record. I personally pride myself on exquisite sleep quality. I can zonk out whenever I want and sleep peacefully and dreamlessly until it’s time to awake. All this to say, I was ready to ace this sleep test.

However, since this was my first time wearing the watch to bed, I was quite conscious of the foreign weight on my wrist, so it took me longer than usual to fall asleep.  

I’m not going to lie; I was disappointed when I found out my sleep scored 75 points and only beat 39% of other users. One night, it also noted that I had woken up three times, even though I can’t remember doing so.

The watch’s data served as a wake-up call—my sleep isn’t as great as I thought, but the watch does provide some suggestions and recommendations to improve it.

Verdict

For those using iOS devices, some things to note are that the third-party apps on the Watch AppGallery in the Huawei Health app aren’t supported, and neither is the import of music from your iOS device to the watch.

After wearing the smartwatch for a few days, I’ve started to realise the value of doing so. First of all, it makes me feel professional and put together, which is further amplified by the beautiful visuals of this RM2,399 ceramic smartwatch.

Not to mention, its features do enhance your quality of life, or at least, make you more aware of what steps you can take to achieve better health and wellness goals.

My editor can now easily call me to chase me on my deadlines

In an age where we’re busier than ever due to how digital technology is integrated with daily life, it’s convenient to have a device that’s meant to enhance your wellbeing, whether it’s through a full-on workout plan or just by reminding you to stand up and take a quick walk.

ProsCons
The ceramic material is anti-scratch, beautiful, comfortable, and provides a cooling fitThe watch is on the heavier side
Large variety of features, particularly for those with active lifestylesLacks support for third-party apps
Clear speaker and microphone for calls 
Bright, responsive AMOLED screen 
  • Learn more about Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic here.
  • Read other VP Verdicts we’ve written here.

VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page

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(UEN 201431998C.)

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