Over the past couple of years, when we’ve been reviewing more rugged smartwatches, it has fortuitously coincided with a trip to the farm. We had it with the Hublot Big Bang e and the TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4, and again recently with the new Huawei Watch GT 3 SE.
As the name suggests, the GT 3 SE is a Special Edition.
Within the rugged black exterior is the beating heart of the Huawei Watch GT 3 and GT 3 Pro with a few options ‘unticked’. There’s no NFC and no Body Temperature monitoring – things I didn’t think about until I didn’t have them at hand.
On the plus side, the Thermoplastic Polyurethane strap and the solid Polymer Fibre casing are super rugged and durable. I can see them lasting for years.
I mentioned I was off to the farm when the Watch GT 3 SE arrived. What I didn’t foresee was plunging the Watch GT 3 SE into half a metre of mud after bogging a brand new Honda Pioneer 1000 Side-by-Side ATV up to the doors! We take our testing very seriously at Sonny Dickson!
A simple wash and drain, and the watch was ready for the next job.
Other innovative features on the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE are plentiful – almost as if they were built for farmers and tradies.
For the more active user, there are 100+ workout modes designed to follow you from the living room to the great outdoors; you can run, cycle, hike, or get moving whenever and however you please. HUAWEI TruSleep 3.0 identifies deep, light, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, naps and wake-up times to give you a clear sense of how well you sleep. I find the haptic alarm the most effective way to wake in the morning.
The tempered glass is recessed below the bezel by 0.5mm, reducing the impact of careless collisions with hard surfaces. The five-minute increment numbers on the bezel are raised by 0.5mm, providing further protection. The bezel is fixed in position even though it has machine-precise knurled edging.
The buttons are also chunkier on the Watch GT 3 SE. The crown has slightly larger knurling similar to the Watch GT 3 Pro, with a decorative red ring on our test model.
The crown, however is another of the features that has had its function reduced on this model. Whereas the Watch GT 3 and GT 3 Pro allows you to scroll the screen via the crown, the GT 3 SE does not. All scrolling is via the 1.43-inch AMOLED screen, which again was frustrating whilst wearing gloves whilst working on the farm.
Below the crown is a much larger drain slot than you will find on the Watch GT 3 and GT 3 Pro. As I found after successfully retrieving the ATV, a quick rinse and drain and the Watch GT 3 SE was good as new.
The TPU strap has notches along its entire length, ensuring you can find a perfect fit no matter the size of your wrist or what you are wearing.
Huawei continues its impressive battery life with the Watch GT 3 SE – with easily 10 days between charges. And when you need some more electrical juice, all you need is a Qi spec wireless charger.
The Watch GT 3 SE mates perfectly to the latest version of the Huawei Health app that has had a significant upgrade in recent months. The app is a lot more responsive and the Bluetooth connection suffers from fewer drop-outs.
The Devices section provides access to a growing number of custom watch faces, although installation remains frustratingly slow. The faces now come with a Power Level indicator that lets you know if your face has a little too much going on and will negatively impact battery life. Clever!
If you’re looking for a smartwatch that’s going to withstand some harsh treatment, this is what you’ve been looking for. Super rugged, waterproof to 50m, and with built-in GPS capabilities – the Huawei Watch GT 3 SE combines clever engineering and styling with lightweight durable materials that will last for years.
You will find the Watch GT 3 SE at Huawei.com/au for around $270. A perfect Christmas gift!
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