Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Comparing the two smartwatches

Discover the key differences between these two Apple Watch alternatives
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Comparing the two smartwatches
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The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and the Huawei Watch GT 3 are two smartwatches we've had very good experiences with. They're packed with features and offer a good all-around experience, meaning they're both ideal candidates for those who don't want an Apple Watch.

We've lived with both and have an expert understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. So, if you've been eyeing up these two smartwatches and wonder which one is the best fit for you, we're here to help.

This is our take on how the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 compares to the Huawei Watch GT 3.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Pricing

Pricing will understandably play a big part in picking between these two watches. So let's have a look at the breakdown of those numbers:

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 40mm: $299 / £269, $329 / £319 (LTE)
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 44mm: $329 / £289, $369 / £339 (LTE)
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: $449/£429, $499 / £479 (LTE)
  • Huawei Watch GT 3 42mm: $N/A\From £209.99
  • Huawei Watch GT 3 46mm: $N/A\From £229.99

There are a few things to talk about from that pricing breakdown. The first is that getting hold of the Huawei Watch directly from Huawei in the US is tricky business due to the ongoing sanctions put in place on the company.

You also can't pick up the Huawei in an LTE version like you can with the Galaxy Watch 5 / Watch 5 Pro. You can, however, pick up both Huawei models for less than $200 / £200, so it's definitely the cheaper option between the two right now.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Design

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Comparing the two smartwatches

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

These two smartwatches offer pretty understated looks, great AMOLED screens and a mix of touchscreen and physical controls.

The Watch GT 3 comes in 42mm and 46mm sizes, while the Watch 5 comes in smaller 40mm and 44mm sizes. Huawei offers the GT 3 in Active and Elegant editions, depending on whether you want something dressier or closer in look to a sports watch.

The Watch 5 Pro comes in at 45mm, so sits somewhere in between the two Huawei size options. There's also the Huawei Watch GT Runner, which is essentially a sportier version of the GT 3 with a lighter case design and a more running-focused look.

Huawei opts for a stainless steel and plastic case compared to Samsung's aluminum one or the titanium case you get on the Watch 5 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Comparing the two smartwatches

Huawei Watch GT 3

Both offer physical buttons, though the Huawei features a traditional crown, letting you twist to scroll through screens. The Watch 5 and 5 Pro alternatively include a digital bezel you can swipe to navigate through the software, though you don't get this feature on the Watch 5 Pro.

Watch bands are changeable on both watches, though we'd say you'll have more luck picking up cheaper, unofficial ones for the Huawei Watch based on the lug connector design of the two watches.

Both watches offer good-sized AMOLED screens, which can be used in an always-on mode. Samsung adds sapphire crystal to add protection against scratches and the Watch 5 Pro includes a raised bezel to further protect that touchscreen display.

We'd say the Samsung screens are a touch more vibrant than Huawei's, but both are really strong quality in terms of brightness and offer good visibility indoors and outdoors. We'd also say Huawei offers more responsive raise-to-wake gesture support, as well.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Comparing the two smartwatches

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

If you're a swimmer or want to keep your watch on in the shower, then you're getting the same level of protection here. They're both waterproof up to 50 meters in depth.

From a design point of view, we'd say they're evenly matched. Both offer minimalist-style looks, similar case materials and screens with the Samsung perhaps feeling a little daintier of the two. Huawei does offer that more elegant, dressy model, which you don't get with the Watch 5, even if you can match it up with more formal-friendly bands.

They feel suitable to wear day-to-day and for exercise, so either of these watches should serve you well in the looks and comfort department.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Smartwatch features

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Comparing the two smartwatches

Huawei Watch GT 3

Both the Watch 5 and Watch GT 3 offer a good array of smartwatch features, but Samsung's smartwatch certainly gives you the most complete experience.

Compatibility-wise though, Huawei's model does work with Android and iOS, whereas Samsung's watch only works with the former. With some features off limits to iPhone users on the Huawei Watch, these both still feel like strong options for Android users.

The Galaxy Watch runs on the latest version of Wear OS with Samsung's UI overlaid on top. That means you're getting features like notification support that can pull through images, a music player and music controls, with support for offline syncing with the likes of Spotify and YouTube Studio.

You have access to the Google Play Store and the option of smart assistants and payment support from Google and Samsung. You also have the option to add LTE in the mix, if you're willing to spend more.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Comparing the two smartwatches

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

The Huawei Watch GT 3, in comparison, runs on Huawei's own HarmonyOS operating system and offers notifications, but won't pull in the same amount of information as Samsung's notification support. There are music controls and a music player, but the latter doesn't work with third-party music streaming services.

You do have an app store to delve intio, but it's no match for the Google Play Store that Samsung's smartwatches can access. It lacks a lot of big names apps as well. LTE is only available on Huawei's Watch 3 smartwatch and isn't up for grabs on its GT series if you want that extra connectivity.

The smartwatch experience on the Huawei isn't bad, but, if you want something that's a much better match for what you get from an Apple Watch, then it's the Samsung you'll want on your wrist.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Health and fitness tracking

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Comparing the two smartwatches

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

The way we'll break things down simply here is that if you care about sports tracking, go for the Huawei. If you want something that offers a stronger fitness tracker experience, as well as serious health monitoring, it's the Galaxy Watch 5 you want.

The Galaxy Watch 5 can track heart rate, blood oxygen and stress, and will eventually monitor body temperature when the support is turned on. On top of that, it can analyze body composition for those keeping an eye on their weight.

It also offers ECG-based heart rate monitoring and blood pressure tracking after you've calibrated with a dedicated monitor, and continue to do so around every four weeks.

Huawei's smartwatch can also offer heart rate, blood oxygen and stress tracking, but doesn't include those additional sensors that Samsung offers. For aspects like continuous HR and stress monitoring, you're getting similar levels of accuracy on both of these watches based on our testing.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Comparing the two smartwatches

Huawei Watch GT 3

The GT3 does offer sports modes plenty, built-in GPS and a new dual-band mode to improve outdoor accuracy, though it didn't perform fantastically well for us. For runners, there are training plans and some largely reliable advanced training insights. Like Samsung, it now offers official support for sharing data with the popular app Strava. You can track heart rate during exercise and unlike Samsung, Huawei does offer the ability to pair up an external heart rate monitor to improve accuracy.

Sports tracking in general feels more accurate on the Huawei, whether it's for runs or swims or tapping into additional features like the plans and making use of the ability to upload and follow routes. You can only do that on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, making the same functionality available on the Huawei for less.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Comparing the two smartwatches

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Samsung does include some features you won't get on the Huawei, like hydration recommendations based on sweat loss during workouts and recovery recommendations after cardio workouts. Ultimately, though, the core sports tracking experience is better on the Huawei.

Both can behave as fitness trackers, counting steps, monitoring sleep and nudging when you don't move. We'd say Samsung's approach is a bit more user-friendly, but elements like sleep tracking support feel similar.

Samsung does offer sleep coaching and sleep training plans, which you don't get on the GT3. If you want something that can reliably count steps and sleep, both perform well, but we'd be inclined to say that Samsung's overall approach feels nicer.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: Battery life

There's only one winner if you care about big battery life and that's the Huawei. The GT3 has the capability to go for up to two weeks or 7 days if you go for the smaller 42mm version. In heavier usage, that drops to 8 days or 4 days respectively.

The Watch 5 manages up to 40 hours, while the Watch 5 Pro can deliver up to 80 hours, so just over three days.

While the pure numbers tell you the Huawei will give you more when in between charges, it also doesn't drain as bad when more power-hungry features are in use. So GPS, continuous heart rate monitoring or when the always-on display is in use.

If you want the best battery available, grab the Huawei Watch GT 3.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 v Huawei Watch GT 3: The lowdown

We've established that the Galaxy Watch 5 and Huawei Watch GT 3 have very clear strengths and weaknesses and overall offer good smartwatch experiences.

If you've got to pick between the two, here's where we think the biggest gains are:

Buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: If you want a more complete smartwatch, the ability to like monitor serious health conditions or have access to a richer app store, go for the Galaxy Watch 5.

Buy the Huawei Watch GT 3 If you want considerably bigger battery life, richer and more accurate sports tracking and better value for money overall, go for the Huawei Watch GT3.


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