Huawei Band 3 Pro review

Huawei’s latest fitness tracker is the Huawei Band 3 Pro. The new wearable packs built-in GPS, a long-lasting battery, and a similar design to its predecessor — the Band 2 Pro. But this time around, there’s an AMOLED color touchscreen display and, unlike the Band 2 Pro, it’s also available for purchase in the U.S.

At $70, the Huawei Band 3 Pro is meant to be a versatile device that can be worn both day and night while also providing advanced fitness tracking when you need it. But with very few differences from its predecessor, is it worth the upgrade? Let’s take a closer look.

Standard design, frustrating touchscreen display

The Huawei Band 3 Pro has an ergonomic design that curves comfortably all the way around. At 11mm thick, it’s a little chunky but not enough to bother us. It fits better than the Fitbit Charge 3, which has a concave back that doesn’t mold as well to the wrist. We had to secure the Band 3 Pro’s wrist band on the second or third to last notch to ensure a snug fit, so it may be a little large for those with smaller wrists.

When it comes to working out, the device feels extremely lightweight. The silicone rubber band doesn’t irritate our wrists when we sweat, either. If we hadn’t been glancing at our stats during our exercise, we would have forgotten we were even wearing it.

The Huawei Band 3 Pro comes in three different color options — black, blue, and gold. Our review unit was black and we found it tough to incorporate into our everyday lifestyle when we weren’t at the gym. While we didn’t get to review the Band 2 Pro, we actually prefer the look of it over the new design.

Made of metal and high gloss UV coating, the Huawei Band 3 Pro feels well-made and looks good for its price. But there’s nothing that makes it stand out from other fitness trackers on the market in terms of design. We wish it came with interchangeable straps so that we could customize it to suit a variety of occasions — whether that’s at work or during a night out.

If you’re really set on the Band 3 Pro, we recommend opting for the white colorway. It has a gold trim around the display that makes it look less like a fitness tracker. It’s not as plain as our black unit and has a more stylish look to it that should prove more versatile.

The Huawei Band 3 Pro has an ergonomic design that curves comfortably all the way around.

The Band 3 Pro features a 0.95-inch color AMOLED touchscreen display, which is bigger than last year’s 0.91-inch display. With the Band 2 Pro, you had to use a button to navigate the display through a series of short and long presses, but with the Band 3 Pro, you can just swipe to get around. There’s still a home button at the bottom that you can tap to get back to the home screen. If you’re in an app, you can also swipe to the right to go back to where you were before.

At 120 x 240 pixels, the display on the Band 3 Pro is sharp and it gets extremely bright. We had to lower the brightness and kept it at level two out of the three available. Unfortunately, there’s no auto-brightness feature but you can toggle on “Lower brightness at night.” We didn’t have trouble viewing content during the day or night, and all the colors were extremely vibrant.

Huawei Band 3 Pro review Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

Unfortunately, the touchscreen can be frustrating. When we didn’t manage to turn it on by flicking our wrist, we had to tap it multiple times before it came to life. The same issue occurs with the home button — sometimes, we had to tap it more than once to get back to the home screen. But scrolling through the menu feels swift and the apps do load quickly.

Similar to the personal dashboard on the Fitbit, the Band 3 Pro allows you to see a few stats at a glance. With the watch face we used, we could see our distance, calories burned, and steps taken. The other watch face shows steps taken, along with the weather and battery status. We do wish one of them displayed heart-rate.

Huawei Band 3 Pro Compared To

Disappointingly, there are only two watch faces to choose from — both of which have a lot of information on the display that can sometimes feel overwhelming. It’s also hard to ignore the fact that the interface looks outdated. The only customizability on the display is done through the app, where you can switch the order of the functions like daily tracking, sleep monitoring, and heart rate.

Huawei Health app

To sync the data on your Band 3 Pro, you have to download the Huawei Health app which is available for both iOS and Android. This is where you store all your data and see a history of your fitness metrics. The interface is clean and straightforward. We didn’t have any issues navigating it or finding specific information.

At the top, you’ll find your current metrics — steps, calories, and distance. Below that is where you can see your last workout and a history of previous workouts. There’s also a section to keep track of your heart-rate, which shows your beats per minute based on resting, minimum, maximum, and the latest BPM. When you tap on the card, it’ll show you a visual graph of your heart-rate throughout the day and you can also tap to see how it fluctuated throughout the week, month, or year.

If you’re planning on participating in any type of marathon or just want to work on your running, Huawei’s Health app also offers the ability to create a training plan specific to your goals. It’ll then provide you with a neatly organized plan of which days you should run and days you should rest.

Towards the bottom, you can also see your sleep score and a brief description of how well you slept the night before. When you tap on it, you’re provided with an in-depth graph of your REM sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, and how long you were awake for. Scroll down and you’ll see additional metrics like breathing quality, deep sleep continuity, and whether or not you took any naps.

We like that the Huawei Health app informs you of recovery times after each workout.

If you tap on the “Discover” tab at the bottom, you’ll see an overview of the day’s fitness data and the option to start a workout from the app. You can access third-party services like MyFitnessPal and HealthKit Share with an iPhone. By tapping on the “Training Plan” icon, you can see your training history.

As for the devices tab, this is where you manage all the wearables you have under the Huawei Health app. It’s also where you check on the status of the battery. We recommend always keeping the app open (similar to the way you have to with the Wear OS app for smartwatches), otherwise the Band 3 Pro will disconnect from the app and you won’t receive notifications.

Advanced fitness tracking, limited third-party apps

Huawei’s Band 3 Pro may look basic on the outside, but its sensors keep track of a lot of data, including a V02 max sensor which measures the maximum amount of oxygen you use during an intense workout.

It also includes Huawei’s TruSeen 3.0 precision heart monitoring system which we found to be extremely accurate. After a workout, we measured our heart-rate at 152 BPM and the Band 3 Pro measured the exact same number. Throughout the day, you can have the Band 3 Pro measure your heart-rate automatically or manually. If you want automatic readings, you have to turn them on from Huawei’s Health app.

Huawei Band 3 Pro review Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

When measuring heart-rate manually, it does take a little more time than we’re used to with Wear OS smartwatches or the Fitbit. It prompts you to stand still as it reads your heart-rate, and then it fluctuates until it gets a final reading. The information then syncs to the app for you to reference later.

On the device itself, the Band 3 Pro doesn’t have many workouts to choose from. When you’re ready to start, you can choose from outdoor run, indoor run, outdoor walk, outdoor or indoor cycle, pool swim (where it can detect calories burned, number of turns, and more while swimming), open water, or free training. Once you choose one, it prompts you to choose your target mile or goal and when you’d like to be alerted.

There’s no way to store music on the device, so we had to rely on our smartphone apps.

For example, during our run we set one mile as our target and wanted to be alerted when we reached half a mile. Other goals you can choose as a target are calories and duration or none at all. Throughout our run, we were able to glance at stats like heart rate, distance, calories burned, and time. When you’re done with the workout, long press on the home button to pause it or officially end it. The Band 3 Pro is also capable of auto-detecting workouts, but we preferred manually choosing.

The built-in GPS allows you to run without your smartphone — meaning it can track how far and how long you run. The information then syncs to the app for you to review. While it’s great to not be tethered to a smartphone, we had to take it out with us anyways for music.

Huawei Band 3 Pro review Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

There’s no way to store music on the device, so we had to rely on our smartphone apps. There were also no third-party music apps to download. Anyone seeking a fitness tracker that you can store music on, should check out the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro.

We like that the Huawei Health app informs you of recovery times after each workout. Following our run, we checked our app to look at stats and found a section that told us the exact time and date we should work out next to ensure we’re not overexerting ourselves.

The Band 3 Pro also offers in-depth sleep tracking. From the device itself, you can only see how many hours and minutes you slept for. The app is where you find all the in-depth information about how you slept. You also get a “sleep score,” and over time you’ll receive recommendations for how to improve sleep quality. We’re still in the early stages, but it’s convenient to see at a glance on our smartphone how well we slept the night before.

Basic smartwatch notifications

The Huawei Band 3 Pro can receive smartphone notifications. Once you sync the fitness tracker to the app, any notifications you receive on your phone will also be sent to the wearable. But there’s no notification page — while each alert shows up on the display at first, you have to go to the messages app on the device to access them afterwards. A number appears near the messages icon to indicate how many you have.

When you tap on a notification, you can read a preview of it. As soon as you swipe right to exit, it clears from the messages app. While it’s useful to have smartphone notifications, we found that they were often delayed. By the time we got to them on the Band 3 Pro, we’d already cleared them from our smartphone.

Huawei Band 3 Pro review Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

As for phone calls, the Band 3 Pro will notify you whenever someone is calling. On the display, you’ll see the name of the contact and feel it vibrating. You can swipe up to reject the call or tap on the green phone icon to answer it straight from the device.

It’s important to remember to turn the feature on through the app, since it’s turned off by default. You have to go into Device > Notifications Management and then toggle on Message alerts. Since the Band 3 Pro tracks sleep, you won’t receive any notifications when you’re asleep or when you enable Do Not Disturb mode.

Long-lasting battery

The Huawei Band 3 Pro packs a 100mAh battery which is expected to last 12 days with typical use and seven hours with GPS. Like the Fitbit Charge 3, we didn’t have to worry about charging it every night, which is something we can’t say about the Apple Watch or Google’s Wear OS smartwatches.

We charged the Band 3 Pro on Friday and by late afternoon on Monday it was at 60 percent. That’s with notifications and heart-rate monitor turned on, and after tracking a workout on Sunday evening. We also wore it to bed to track our sleep habits through the night. By Tuesday afternoon, we were at 40 percent. But we did use it a bit more than we normally would for testing purposes, so we’ll continue to monitor the battery to see how many days it lasts.

We wish the charging dock wasn’t such an annoyance. It comes with a charging cable that takes some fiddling around to place into its two-pin charging port (we prefer magnetic). It also comes with an extremely short Micro USB cable that can really only be used to charge from your laptop.

Price, availability, and warranty information

The Huawei Band 3 Pro is available for purchase at Amazon, Newegg, and B&H and will set you back $70. It comes in black, blue, or gold.

Huawei offers a two-year warranty on the device, but the charger and battery are only covered for six months. The warranty covers any defects, but it doesn’t cover accidental damage.

Our Take

The Huawei Band 3 Pro doesn’t distinguish itself when it comes to style, but it offers in-depth fitness tracking, built-in GPS, and a long-lasting battery all for under $100.

Is there a better alternative?

There’s one better alternative but it’s going to cost you. There’s the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro for $200 which comes with built-in GPS, a heart-rate sensor, and a larger 1.5-inch display. It also boasts the ability to store over 500 songs and stream music from Spotify.

If you’re willing to sacrifice a few features for a basic fitness tracker, there’s the Garmin Vivofit 4 with a pulse oximeter and a v02 sensor but no built-in GPS. It’s also $10 more than the Huawei Band 3 Pro.

For $150, there’s the Fitbit Charge 3. It’s a lot more stylish than the Band 3 Pro with interchangeable watch straps and a much sleeker look. There’s no built-in GPS on the Charge 3 either, but it does come equipped with a heart-rate sensor and Fitbit’s interface has a better look to it than Huawei’s.

How long will it last?

The Huawei Band 3 Pro should last you the full two-year warranty or more. Since it’s waterproof up to 5 ATM, you also don’t have to worry about damaging it. Even though the battery lasts for days at a time, it’s important to consider that it will deplete over time. Hopefully, Huawei will also continue to release updates to the device.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you’re looking for an affordable fitness tracker that doesn’t skimp on features the Huawei Band 3 Pro is a solid choice.

Digital Trends

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