Huawei Watch Fit 3 review: Back to basics wins the day

Fit 3 might be derivative – but it works
Wareable Huawei Watch Fit 3 review: Back to basics wins the day photo 11
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
Huawei Watch Fit 3
By Huawei
With good features, a slim build and a great price the Huawei Watch Fit 3 gets our approval. If you’re looking at the likes of a Pixel Watch 2/Apple Watch SE it’s a really strong competitor. But like Huawei’s strong lineup of smartwatches, it’s good but not great. Sleep tracking accuracy is passable, and the ecosystem is basic. But this will suit plenty of people.

  • Good workout tracking
  • Lovely price
  • Slim and light
  • Sleep tracking accuracy could be better
  • Basic watch faces and UI design 
  • Lack of apps/services

Huawei has redesigned its Fit 3 range, and it might look a little familiar. The company has dispensed with the upright, rectangular design of the Fit/Fit 2 in favor of something with more than a little Apple Watch style.

It makes sense. While the Fit 2 got rave reviews here for its features, its size was a little awkward (especially for women) and it was hard to differentiate between the Band 8. Was it a fitness tracker or a smartwatch? 

The Fit 3 makes no pretenses. It’s a smartwatch that packs in plenty of fitness and wellness features, decent battery life, and an attractive £139 price tag. Huawei has been doing good stuff in wearables, and much of it is presented here.

Let’s dig in and discover if the Fit 3 is your perfect smartwatch.

Design and build

WareableHuawei Watch Fit 3 review: Back to basics wins the day photo 6

The Huawei Watch Fit 3 is designed to be unisex and slim – and it pretty much achieves that in style.

I reviewed the silver case with nylon velcro strap (which was my preference) and loved the combo. The nylon strap was easy to get a great fit, and at 18mm will suit slim and female wrists. Chunky male wrists will likely find it a tad small, but at 26g it’s so light to wear.

It has an aluminum case at 9.9mm thick, so it feels slim – and not cheap and plasticky.

The screen is an AMOLED panel that certainly doesn’t pale against the likes of the entry level Apple Watch SE 2. It’s not as strong as the edge-to-edge Series 9, but comparable to the Pixel 2. You can see the black bezel around the panel on some screens.

The Fit 3 also gets a rotating crown (hello Apple Watch) which offers some nice tactile control.

WareableHuawei Watch Fit 3 review: Back to basics wins the day photo 3

Huawei has also aped watchOS with a design overhaul of many of its data screens, using color gradients that look great. But Huawei needs a design update across Harmony OS, as many of its data screens and menus feel quite low budget and cheapens the experience. The same can be said for watch faces, which seems a simple area for Huawei to invest. There are simply not enough classy options.

It has a 5ATM water resistance rating, which means it can be used in the pool for swimming, as well as taken into the shower.

But Huawei’s industrial design strength has led to a lightweight smartwatch, that stands up to competition 2x or 3x its price.

Health and wellness features

WareableHuawei Watch Fit 3 review: Back to basics wins the day photo 4

Now a core part of the smartwatch experience, the Huawei Watch Fit 3 has a strong suite of wellness features, although holds its top health one for its Watch 4 and Watch GT 4 devices. That means no ECG, respiratory checking, arterial stiffness, or other top-end features.

Heart rate tracking (via TruSeen 5.5) performs admirably and there’s sleep tracking via its TruSleep 4.0 algorithms.

Heart rate accuracy stacked up well. My resting heart rate was in line with my established baselines and matched up to Whoop and Oura, so there are no question marks over accuracy there.

Sleep tracking

WareableHuawei Watch Fit 3 review: Back to basics wins the day photo 10

Then there’s the sleep tracking. On the surface Huawei sleep tracking is excellent, with a singular sleep score, which is augmented with data on stages, and ratings for metrics such as deep sleep continuity, consistency, breathing regularity, etc. It’s data-heavy, but if you like that kind of detail, then you're well-served.

But a recent trip to China revealed laid bare my issues with Huawei’s sleep tracking perfectly – and it comes down to sensitivity. 

On the outward flight the Fit 3 registered no sleep (Oura registered four hours. And on the way back the Fit 3 said I'd slept for 3.5 hours (with Oura and Whoop calculating around 6.5 hours).

When sleeping in a bed, Huawei will nearly always register longer sleep than Whoop and Oura, by around 30 minutes per night.

Huawei’s sleep scores are sensitive enough to still identify poor sleep patterns and lifestyle factors such as alcohol or stress, so it's not bad. 

But it suggests that its algorithms are simply less sensitive than the best sleep trackers out there.

Does that matter? If you’re serious about using your smartwatch to sleep better then yes – it matters. 

If you want to keep an eye on sleep out of passing interest, it works well.

Huawei has introduced calorie tracking enabled by food logging, if you like that kind of thing. It’s just as laborious as most other apps that do the same thing – and it’s never really that easy to get your food loaded. 

WareableHuawei Watch Fit 3 review: Back to basics wins the day photo 7

But the Huawei Health app and Fit 3 will show your calorie deficit or surplus (above) on a neat graph, and the act of food logging is proven to boost accountability. So it’s got the makings of a useful system if you're prepared for the admin of logging every meal.

The Fit 3 doesn’t have tons of health features but it tracks SpO2, which is presented on the dashboard. 

Stress monitor

There’s also a stress monitor, which produces a score on daily stress. You can do guided breathing if you feel your score is too high, guided by the watch.

The day before traveling to China I was stressed about the admin and the journey, and this was picked up in the tracking, which was around 50/100 when it's usually 25/100 – so there’s certainly something here.

You can view stress trends over the long term (weeks and months) which is also a good implementation. As ever, it’s hard to attribute stress to specific events, so it’s best used over longer periods. In this regard, I believe the Watch Fit 3 can be effective – but the onus is on the individual to work it out – and that's where so many wearables fall short. 

Fitness features

WareableHuawei Watch Fit 3 review: Back to basics wins the day photo 8

The Fit 3 really earns its corn as a workout tracker – and comes recommended.

With built-in GPS, you can track outdoor workouts – and it has a heap of other workout profiles too.

Despite not packing multi-band GNSS tech, the running accuracy was excellent, and we used it extensively against Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Garmin Fenix 7S – and we had no issues with distances.

Heart rate accuracy also stood up against a chest strap, aided and abetted by the nice firm fit enabled by the nylon strap. We’d recommend that option, and it wasn’t affected by sweat or moisture either.

We ran several sessions against a chest strap and saw a close correlation between a Garmin HRM-Pro and the Fit 3. Peaks of hill runs were closely mapped with 1bpm difference in average and peak HR – so there's no reason to doubt the underlying data of all the Huawei metrics.

Huawei Health is a good place to review workout data, but most importantly, runs, swims and cycles can be automatically synced to Strava, thanks to a burgeoning number of third-party integrations. That’s a huge plus for Huawei and makes the Watch Fit 3 a decent running smartwatch, which makes its price tag all the more appealing.

WareableHuawei Watch Fit 3 review: Back to basics wins the day photo 9

There’s also a good number of fitness analytics as well. It gets the Running Ability Index (a score based on how good you are at running) which is interesting, although how it's calculated is opaque. It’s the kind of meaningless metric that I enjoy improving, so it gets my seal of approval, regardless of what it means.

Likewise, it also tracks VO2 Max – which one could/should argue is the REAL running ability index. This was calculated higher than Garmin, which I’ve found to be the most accurate system after previous VO2 Max tests.

Then there are predicted finishing times. The 5K and 10K finishing times were all a little slow, while the marathon finishing time seemed far too quick. Given that it estimated my VO2 Max as 52, but a 5K time of 24 minutes, there seems to be a disconnect between its own data.

At Wareable, I really kick the tyres on this kind of stuff, so it really comes down to how much you care. These metrics aren’t as accurate as Garmin’s – fact. But if you want that level of accuracy, pay £400 for a watch instead of £139. It's hard to be overly critical, of what is essentially a decent fitness smartwatch at a good price. 

Smartwatch features

WareableHuawei Watch Fit 3 review: Back to basics wins the day photo 5

The Huawei Health app experience which is central to the experience for Fit 3 has improved dramatically over the past few years and it’s now a solid place for viewing health and fitness data, and also managing your smartwatch.

But Huawei doesn’t have the same level of integrations and apps as rivals thanks to its ongoing disputes with the US.

So it uses Harmony OS, which means you don’t get proper third-party apps, and there’s no support for Western banks for Huawei Pay. So the experience as a smartwatch is far more limited than you’d get on any Apple Watch.

Huawei does allow a certain amount of granularity to its notifications, and I could turn on any (or all) calls, SMS/iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and (weirdly) Netflix.
Everything else, including Apple Mail, comes under ‘Other’. It’s better than having no control and having to drink from a firehose of notifications on the wrist, but it could be a little more granular.

I hate smartwatch notifications so I took advantage of Do Not Disturb. But it's a functional smartwtatch, that does the basics just fine.

Battery life

You can’t argue with battery life on Huawei smartwatches, and the Fit 3 is no different. 

Huawei quotes 7 days of heavy use. I wore it for two weeks, with two cycles with the always-on display disabled and then enabled. Seven days of use is easily achievable. with the always-on display off. If you turn that on, expect around 4-5 days. That includes a few hours of GPS-tracked workouts in the week, and sleep tracking every night. I also had the blood oxygen tracking turned on.

The numbers speak for themselves when the Apple Watch SE 2 and Pixel Watch 2 will last a single day – at double the cost.

TAGGED Wearables

How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

Related stories