Huawei's Watch GT series has emerged as a great alternative to the likes of the Apple Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch.
After a few indifferent years trying to recreate the good feeling it had with the first Huawei Watch (2015), its decision to move away from Google's Wear OS to deliver bigger battery life and put a greater emphasis on health and fitness tracking seems to have paid off.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 ‚Äď which also includes the sportier GT 2e and the more luxurious Watch GT 2 Pro and GT 2 Porsche Design ‚Äď represents the best that Huawei currently has to offer in connected smarts for the wrist.
The Chinese tech giant will no doubt already be feverishly working on what comes next and how it it can make the Watch GT experience even better.
There have been some hints already as to what could come next for Huawei's smartwatch. We take a look at the very latest and try to get an idea of when we might get our hands on the new Huawei Watch GT smartwatch.
Huawei Watch GT 3 release date and price
So when could we see the new Huawei Watch GT 3? If we look at the launches of all four versions, the GT 2 arrived first in September 2019, which was followed by the Watch GT 2e in March 2020. The GT 2 Pro arrived on the scene in September 2020 with the Huawei Watch GT 2 Porsche Design parking up last in October 2020.
We think it might be safe to assume that September will be pegged as the time we will see the next Watch GT. Though with a pandemic still very much on the scene, Huawei's plans could well change.
As far as pricing goes, well, the Huawei Watch GT 2 didn't get an official launch in the US.
But it quickly established itself with a price around $179.99 when it eventually hit the US, after an initial rollout in Europe and Asia.
It also has a habit of quickly dropping below that price when it hits other retailers, so we think Huawei will probably stick to the same kind of pricing plan. Especially if it has its sights set on launching Watch GT 3e and 3 Pro models too.
ECG goes global
At the back end of 2020, we got news on the arrival of a new version of the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro. It brought a big health monitoring feature that's already made its way onto the Apple Watch, the latest Samsung Galaxy Watch and Fitbit's Sense smartwatch.
Huawei announced a GT 2 Pro that added an ECG sensor into the features mix, offering the ability to take more accurate heart rate readings from the wrist. It was a China-only release though, likely due to the fact it had acquired the appropriate regulatory approval for it to be put to good use.
The move to add ECG hopefully signals a move to launch it in its watches on a more global scale. Like Apple, Samsung and Fitbit, it will need to be given the green light by the appropriate medical governing bodies to offer the feature. It may take the same approach by adding the functionality in and then seeking out that approval before turning it on.
Music streaming service support
When it came to core smartwatch features, the Huawei GT 2 was a bit of a mixed bag. For starters, it offers an inconsistent experience across Android and iOS devices, so here's hoping that's something Huawei can address.
One feature it offered on the GT 2 series watches was a built-in music player. Unfortunately, it relied solely on you piling on your own music to make use of it.
What Huawei really needed was a music streaming service tie-in with offline playlist support for its global version, just as Apple, Samsung and Fitbit offer on their smartwatches.
Maybe that support could be on the way. At the start of the year, Radioline launched an app for the Watch GT 2 Pro global model letting users listen to stations and save favorite programs, stations and podcasts.
It could be the beginning of tentative steps to improve the music features on Huawei's watches, which we think would definitely be welcomed.
Celia smart assistant
Celia is Huawei's answer to Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. Currently its own smart assistant is only available through Huawei smartphones, though we know that's set to change.
Back in July 2020, Duan Mengran, director of the all-scenario solution department at Huawei told Wareable that it was going to bring its new smart assistant to its smartwatches.
It was tipped to arrive within a few months, but didn't appear on the Watch GT 2 Pro, which was announced later in the year.
The AI-powered smart voice assistant works in a similar fashion to its rivals, offering the ability to use voice to check the weather, performing image searches and setting alarms. It would need a microphone and speaker to make that possible, which was present on the GT 2.
So it's entirely feasible that Celia on a Huawei Watch GT will happen in 2021.
Advanced running stats
Now there hasn't been a huge amount of chatter about this kind of addition to Huawei's smartwatches. We do know though that Huawei has offered running-centric features, and useful ones, with its running guides and training plans.
These features were well integrated into the tracking experience, especially when it came to explaining the sessions and plans if you're were an absolute running novice.
Samsung introduced advanced running metrics on the Galaxy Watch 3, which moved the watch from simply tracking your stats to looking much closer at running form and technique, with designs to make improvements without additional hardware.
It showed promise as a feature and Huawei may well follow suit in offering richer running metrics that look toward helping you run better as well as making sure you can accurately capture those runs.
Harmony OS 2.0
Huawei swapped Wear OS for its own Lite OS to run the software show on its smartwatches, which has been a positive move on the whole.
Back in 2019, it formally announced Harmony OS, its own proprietary operating system, and talked of smartwatches running on the new software. At the back end of 2020, there was some speculation that Huawei intended to launch a Harmony OS-packing smartwatch, but unnamed sources then pointed to a 2021 release.
It's not clear whether or not the Watch GT 3 will be the watch that features it. Huawei was also spotted to have applied to trademark 'Nova Watch' in China, which could be that new device. Either way, it seems likely 2021 will be the year of the Huawei Harmony OS smartwatch.