If you're an Android phone owner, the Huawei Watch GT 3 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 that deserve to be high on your list.
While Huawei's watch does also play nice with iPhones too, they both feel like watches made for the Android clan.
Both performed solidly in our testing, and are great options for those that live in Google's ecosystem.
Full reviews: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review | Huawei Watch GT 3 review
If you're eyeing up a new smartwatch and have the GT3 and the Galaxy Watch 4 in your sights, we've broken down the key differences between the two along with our testing experiences to help you decide which one is best for you.
Huawei Watch GT 3 v Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Pricing
The GT 3 and the Galaxy Watch 4 come in multiple sizes and model options, and while Samsung's smartwatches are widely available, it's trickier getting hold of Huawei's smartwatches in the US. That's down to the ongoing trade issues Huawei still faces in the US.
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Both the 46mm and 42mm Huawei Watch GT 3 both come cheaper than the cheapest Galaxy Watch 4 model.
Samsung's smartwatch does offer more size options and the option of LTE connectivity for more money, which you don't get with Huawei's watches.
Design and comfort
Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and the Huawei Watch GT 3 adopt round designs, but those circular looks do sit differently on the wrist.
We found both comfortable to wear and for the money, you're paying, the materials, screens, and straps are high quality, whichever one you go for.
Samsung's smartwatch comes in two versions - the sportier-feeling Galaxy Watch and the Galaxy Watch Classic, which aims to offer more traditional watch styling. So on the Classic, you're getting a more pronounced bezel that can physically rotate, and the regular Galaxy Watch is lighter and nicer to work out with.
There are metal casings and straps that are swappable, though we design of the straps used on the Galaxy Watch will make it trickier to throw on any third-party strap.
The GT3 comes in two size options (46mm and 42mm) and gives you a mix of stainless steel and plastic in the case and the option to pair up fluoroelastomer, leather, or a steel strap.
Those straps are also easily swappable, just like Samsung's so you can mix up looks. We'd say the GT3 sits somewhere in between the Galaxy Watch and the Galaxy Watch Classic in terms of look. It's fine to wear for exercise, but it does also have the sort of styling that makes it more than suitable to wear on more smart occasions.
Huawei Watch GT 3
Where these two watches do not let you down is what you get in the screen department.
All of the Samsung and Huawei models use AMOLED displays and while they differ slightly in terms of size and resolution, they're great examples of smartwatch displays. They're bright, sharp, and colorful, and offer good viewing angles indoors and outdoors too. You can use them in always-on display modes, but that will have a noticeable impact on battery life.
There's little to separate them on the durability front either. Both carry 5ATM waterproof ratings, making them safe for showering and swimming up to 50 meters depth. You've also got both pool and open water swimming profiles to cover swim time indoors and outdoors too.
Samsung's watches additionally carry a MIL-STD-810G military rating, which means you get something that's a little fitter for some knocks and bumps if you're planning to take it out on a lot of adventures.
Ultimately, these are two very nice-looking smartwatches. We'd be inclined to say we prefer the look and feel of the Galaxy Watch as it feels better suited to all-day wear and exercise, but you can certainly get a similar experience from the GT 3, and we think you'll be happy with what you get on the design, screen and build front.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 using Google Maps
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is undoubtedly the winner when it comes to standard smartwatch features, such as notifications, apps, and day-to-day smarts.
It's crucial to remember that, unlike previous Samsung smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch 4 only works with Android phones.
The GT 3 works with Android and iOS, though it offers a more complete experience when paired with an Android phone. With an iPhone, you miss out on being able to use the built-in music player.
On the software front, Samsung uses Google's Wear OS, which replaces its own Tizen platform and gives you access to Google's Play Store and native apps.
That also includes access to popular apps like Strava, Google Maps (shown above), Spotify, and more, which are being rebuilt by the new version of Wear that Samsung helped to build.
Samsung also drops its own Touch UI on top of Wear, which does make it feel like you're still using a Samsung smartwatch. The improved app support though does help and adds to Samsung's already rich smartwatch features. It offers good notification support with the ability to respond to notifications.
You now have the choice of Samsung Pay or Google Pay, you will have the choice between Bixby and Google Assistant and you do have a built-in music player with offline support for the apps like Spotify.
Huawei Watch GT 3
Flipping over to the Watch GT 3 and Huawei's watch runs on its own LiteOS, which is slick and power-efficient to ensure the watch can last for around 2 weeks between charges, as opposed to a couple of days, which is the case on the Samsung.
It does work with both Android phones and iPhones and that gets you the latest UI look Huawei has introduced to the platform along with features like notifications (not actionable), weather forecasts, a nice mix of watch faces a not-so-fantastic Celia smart assistant, and access to Huawei's AppGallery app store.
While that app store offers third-party apps, it's no match for what you can get on the Google Play Store right now. So if you want access to third-party services, it's the Samsung you want.
We need to talk about connectivity here too. Samsung does offer LTE options for its Galaxy Watch while Huawei doesn't with the GT 3. If you want LTE, you'll need to pay more for the Huawei Watch 3.
Our take is that Samsung is a better smartwatch, but it does of course only work with Android phones. The GT 3 offers the staples, which do work well, but you get a richer, fuller experience on the Galaxy Watch.
Health and fitness features
Both of these watches promise to track things like runs, indoor workouts, and swims and can also monitor heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and more.
If you want a smartwatch that offers a good mix of health and fitness features, it's the Galaxy Watch 4 you want. If you're happy with solid sports tracking features, the GT 3 will serve you well.
That's because the Huawei watch offers a lot for the money. You're getting features like continuous heart rate monitoring via Huawei's latest 5.0 TruSeen sensor, which can deliver blood oxygen monitoring. You're also getting a skin temperature sensor to monitor temperature highs and lows, although this didn't feel useful or perform well in our testing period.
On the sports tracking front, you've got over 100 modes to track and for outdoor use, there's some basic route back navigation support too. Huawei has included dual-band, five-system GNSS support, which means you have outdoor tracking that can grab signals from multiple satellite systems including GPS, to improve tracking accuracy.
The Huawei Watch GT 3 is better suited to runners, however. There's its new running-focused AI coach and advanced running metrics, which are also available on its Watch GT Runner watch.
It will of course track steps, and sleep just like a fitness tracker, though the support and features built around it a pretty basic.
Samsung's smartwatch does plenty as well. It has loads of sports modes and includes GPS to track outdoor workouts. For runners, it also includes its advanced running metrics, which offer extra stats that usually require an additional foot pod to capture them.
You can also track steps and sleep with Samsung like Huawei, offering rich sleep metrics. We found both held up well on the sleep tracking accuracy front, though didn't quite match what we've experienced on Fitbit, Whoop, and Oura devices.
When you delve into health, Samsung has better equipped for serious health monitoring. It has a regulatory-approved ECG sensor, and the ability to track blood pressure once you calibrated (and continue to calibrate over time) the watch with a cuff-style blood pressure monitor. It also includes a BIA sensor, to deliver the kind of body composition analysis you'd usually have to grab from a set of smart scales.
If you want a smartwatch that performs like a sports watch, from our testing Huawei is the better of the two.
We found more reliable data and a better experience in general when tracking runs and workouts – and now that you can pair up a heart rate monitor, you can get useful heart rate data to fuel the many heart rate-based training insights Huawei offers.
Samsung is a better smartwatch for health tracking and general fitness tracking in our eyes. It has more serious health monitoring sensors and features and fitness tracking feels more motivating than Huawei's approach to it.
So for fitness choose Huawei, but for health, it's Samsung all the way.
Bottom line, if you want more battery life, the Huawei Watch GT 3 wins hands-down.
The GT 3 can go for up to 14 days with the 46mm version, which drops to 8 days in heavy usage. Go for the smaller 42mm GT 3 and you get 7 days in normal mode and 4 days in heavy usage.
In contrast, Samsung doesn't quote numbers, but we found in our testing it was 2 days without the screen set to always-on, and one day when it was turned on. That's more comparable with smartwatches such as the Apple Watch – but will be a serious bugbear for a lot of people.
Which should you buy?
It's not a straightforward choice, but these two smartwatches do excel in different areas.
Buy Huawei Watch GT 3 if...you want good sports tracking, week-long battery life, and a design that feels like a mix of sporty and smart.
Buy Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 if...you want stronger smartwatch features, access to the Wear OS ecosystem of apps, motivational fitness tracking features, and ECG support. You'll have to compromise with just short battery life.
How we test