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I’ll be honest, at first glance, I wasn’t a fan of the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE’s look. It was a bit too masculine for my taste, and I didn’t like the numbers and red arrowhead on the bezel.

Covered with long and thin notches, the strap didn’t appeal to me either. Once again, it was too sporty for my liking, which makes it not as versatile as, say, a more subtle look.

The notches are quite loud

It’s definitely a more rugged style, not like the usual sleek or even chic looks that most new smartwatches seem to opt for.

Yet, after a week of using the watch, I’ve actually grown to appreciate it. I love how lightweight and airy the watch feels, and I’ve come to like the edgy flair it adds to my look. The black colour at least keeps it quite versatile, though I’m sure there’s an audience for the other sage green colourway too.

Even the bezel is quite charming to me now, as well as the crown. They both add an extra bit of texture and tactility to the watch that makes it stand out.

It’s definitely not as elegant or feminine of a watch compared to, say, the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro Ceramic

Although the watch is still a little too big for me due to the huge 466 x 466p screen, it’s thin enough that it doesn’t feel obtrusive or clunky, since the watch does sit on a hollow 35.6g body.

But regardless of the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE’s appearance, it’s really how it performs that matters at the end of the day. So, here’s how it did.   

Compatibility, check

The thing about Huawei watches that I really like is that it’s compatible with both Android and iOS, unlike, say, Samsung or Apple watches.

Maybe that says something about its own ecosystem, but as an iPhone user, I’m definitely not complaining.

All I needed was the Huawei Health app and set up a Huawei ID, and I was able to start using the 1.43-inch AMOLED screen as an extension of my phone.

Other than tracking all your health and fitness data on the app, you can also change the watch faces there.

A feature of this watch that Huawei highlights is its variety of watch faces. However, I felt like the majority of the accessible (i.e., free) watches were all too edgy and dark. I would’ve preferred if there was a free lighter option included in the mix.

But if it really bothers you that much, you can always opt to buy a watch face through the app, which ranges from RM3.49 all the way to RM26.94.

While I personally don’t see the need for a custom watch face, I did find some super adorable watch faces —particularly the ones with pets on them—that really tempted me.  

Testing the waters

With a water resistance of 5ATM, I felt totally comfortable with bringing the watch into the pool for a quick swim. But if you’re not a swimmer, the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE supports over 100 different workout modes, so there are plenty of other options for you.

Just a quick water check first, though

Selecting the pool swim mode, I was given an option of 25m or 50m, as well as a custom option. To be honest, I didn’t really know how long the pool was, so I just went with the 25m.

I noticed the watch wasn’t detecting my heart rate at first, but that was because my swimsuit was in the way. Underwater, the screen was still nice, vibrant, and responsive, with all the key figures such as the timer and my heart rate available to me at a glance.  

Checking the app afterwards, I was given a wealth of information on my swim. The basic information such as the distance, duration, and calories burnt was recorded, as well as the number of strokes, stroke rates, and laps.

There was also a chart given to show my heart rate and also my heart recovery rate (which did not drop at all for two minutes. Should I be concerned?).

I should probably be more active

All of this info is also conveniently available on the watch under the workout records. But unique to the app is the “Segments” tab that showed me all the different types of styles I supposedly used.

Interestingly, it indicated a few minutes of butterfly stroke, but trust me, that’s not a stroke I can replicate. Needless to say, its stroke detection isn’t totally accurate.

I don’t have auto-detect workouts on, so it wasn’t logging the first few minutes of my swimming session. But, you can access this setting on the watch and turn it on, though I believe this will affect the battery life.

Some details of my swim

A fortnight of juice

Another highlight of the watch is its two-week battery life for typical usage or seven days for heavy usage.

So far, I can attest that the watch is indeed pretty long-lasting. I haven’t really had to charge it at all, though I did in the beginning just to get it full.

The watch powered through my swimming session easily

The watch is also fitted with Huawei TruSleep to identify how well you slumber every night.

The features of this watch are comparable to the Huawei Watch GT 3 of the same size which has a slightly more expensive price point of RM1,099. Meanwhile, the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE is RM899. However, the Huawei Watch GT 3 does feature an added temperature sensor.

Overall, all of the features on the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE are fairly standard. There aren’t a lot of added frills and whatnot; rather it gives you all the essentials you’ll need from a smartwatch (except for making payments, that is), and it does it well.

Those looking for a basic and well-rounded smartwatch will find pretty good value in this Huawei watch. Bonus points if you prefer a more sporty and rugged look.

Compatible with Android and iOS devicesBig watch face might not be suitable for smaller wrists
Very lightweight, especially for its sizeNot a huge variety in the types of free watch faces it offers
Long-lasting battery life
  • Learn more about the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE 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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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)