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Huawei is building out its wearables portfolio and has released its first watch made from a zirconium alloy, and building it to be more durable, more waterproof, more corrosion-resistant and more powerful than previous models. It does share a lot of features with the Watch GT 3 Pro, however, so exactly how do the two models compare?
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Huawei Watch Ultimate
Huawei Watch Ultimate is the company's attempt at an ultra-premium smartwatch, made from zirconium alloy and ceramic, and featuring some advanced fitness tracking abilities. It can dive to 100m, and features a dedicated expedition mode.(Video) Huawei Watch Ultimate vs Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro | Is It Worth Paying More?
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro
With the Watch GT 3 Pro, Huawei built a watch from premium materials with sleek styling, great durability and some epic fitness tracking abilities, all in a watch that's pretty affordable by smartwatch standards.
Design and durability
- Ultimate: 48.5 x 48.5 x 13.0 mm - 76 grams - 10ATM waterproof - ISO 22810 and EN 13319 certified for 110m dives
- GT 3 Pro: 46.6 x 46.6 x 10.9 mm or 42.9 mm × 42.9 mm × 10.5 mm - 54g or 50g - 5ATM waterproof - EN 13319 certified for 30m dives
- Ultimate: Liquid metal/amorphous zirconium case - ceramic back and bezel - sapphire glass lens
- GT 3 Pro: Titanium or ceramic case - sapphire glass lens
It's in the design you'll find the most significant differences between the Huawei Watch Ultimate and its predecessor(s): the two versions of Watch GT 3 Pro. With the older models, Huawei released versions in two distinct materials. The larger 47mm case model is made from titanium, whereas the smaller 43mm version is all ceramic, including the strap. Both are smaller, slimmer and lighter than the new Huawei Watch Ultimate.
The new model is made from liquid metal, or amorphous zirconium alloy. This - along with the thicker sapphire crystal glass over the display and additional waterproofing layers - means it's designed to survive at greater depths with greater pressures, and is more corrosion resistant, so it's more suitable for diving in seawater. With the ceramic bezel around the display, we expect it to be a bit more pricey than the GT 3 Pro too although - exactly how much - we don't know.
As mentioned, the waterproofing and durability has been upgraded. Specifically, the watch is rated as waterproof to 10ATM, which is double the 5ATM rating of its predecessor. More crucially, it's also been dual rated as ISO 22810 (like Apple Watch Ultra) and EN 13319 certified, which means it can cope with dives to 110m, and has been tested to survive up to 24 hours. Watch GT 3 Pro has a strong rating too, with certification to survive down to depths of 30 metres.
Even the strap has been designed to be more durable than previous models - at least on the black version - with Huawei swapping out Fluoroelastomer for Hydrogenated Nitrile Rubber (HNBR) to make it more resistant to aging, even in extreme situations. The silver model ships with a titanium link bracelet, and will support 22mm quick-release straps of all kinds. You also get an extra long strap for fitting over your dive suit.
Likewise, the titanium version of the Watch GT 3 Pro is good with 22mm quick-release straps, while the ceramic model has compatible lugs for smaller 20mm straps.
Display and software
- Ultimate: 1.5-inch LTPO AMOLED - 466 x 466 - 1000 nits peak - Dark light mode
- GT 3 Pro: 1.43-inch or 1.32-inch AMOLED - 466 x 466 - no peak published
- All: HarmonyOS 3.0
With both Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro versions featuring sharp AMOLED panels with high resolutions, we should find the Watch Ultimate is very similar in daily use, since it also has a 466 x 466 AMOLED screen. Where it differs is in brightness and size.
Huawei Watch Ultimate has the largest screen of the three models, with a large 1.5-inch panel taking up space on the front of the watch. It can also reach peaks of up to 1000 nits. Huawei hasn't published official figures for brightness on the Watch GT 3 Pro, but we should find the newest model is about twice as bright.
It's designed to be seen clearly in conditions where visibility is low: whether that be because light levels dropped, there's fog, snow, rain, or any other conditions that could hamper visibility. To help further, the Watch Ultimate has a Dark Light mode that shows bright orange text on a black background for easy visibility.
All watches support HarmonyOS 3.0, although the Watch GT 3 Pro did launch running the previous version of the software.
Fitness and health tracking
- All: multi-band GPS, all-day HR, SpO2, steps, sleep and stress tracking
- All: running coaching plans, running ability index, 100+ activity modes
- Ultimate: Advanced diving mode and expedition mode
Huawei's TruSeen platform has been the basis for its fitness and health tracking on watches for the past few years, and the latest system on the Ultimate is virtually the same as what's in the Watch GT 3 Pro. You get accurate, responsive heart-rate tracking whether you're switching through the gears in a workout or just wanting to track your heart-rate throughout the day.
It's all underpinned by the Huawei Health app - which you can download on Android or iPhone - and it gives you a lot of insight into all of your health metrics, with some in-depth analysis for runners. The Running Ability Index looks at your running fitness, pace and effort to judge how strong your running performance is. You can also sign up for running coaching plans at varying difficulties - depending on whether you're a beginner, or want to train for a 5k, 10k or marathon.
All watches here also have a multi-band navigation system too, and that means when you're tracking an outdoor activity, the location and route tracking is accurate. That becomes more important when you're using the Huawei Watch Ultimate's Expedition mode which drops markers as you explore the great outdoors, giving you the ability to track those breadcrumbs back to the starting point if you get lost.
The Watch Ultimate also has advanced diving tracking software which can not only track your depth and duration but also be customised to show data most useful to you. More importantly, you'll get ascent rates to help you climb back to the water surface at a safe rate. For free divers, there's a hover timer.
Lifestyle and performance
- All: Smartphone notifications, Bluetooth calling, calendar and weather
- Ultimate: 14-day battery life - 60-minute full charge
- Watch GT 3 Pro: 14-day battery life (titanium) - 7-day battery life (ceramic)
Battery life is pretty similar when you compare the Watch Ultimate with the Watch GT 3 Pro. At least, it is if you compare the Ultimate with the larger 47mm titanium version of the GT 3 Pro. Both can do about two weeks on a full charge with "typical" use.
The ceramic model GT 3 Pro has a smaller battery, and so lasts only about half that time, topping out at seven days of typical usage on a full charge. All models charge using a magnetic wireless charging disk.
Features are pretty similar on all models as well. You can pair to a smartphone, get notifications, calendar and weather on your wrist, and it'll work whether you use an Android phone or iPhone.
There are limitations compared to some other platforms, however. You don't get offline music from popular streaming services, you have to manually drag and drop music files on to the device. You also don't get contactless NFC payments, and you don't get to type or dictate replies to messages.
Unless you really need a new watch with extreme diving and expedition functionality, we suspect the watch that makes sense for most people is the Watch GT 3 Pro. We expect the liquid metal Ultimate model to be more expensive than the Watch GT 3 Pro. Watch GT 3 Pro is great value for money, especially now that it's been discounted and it comes in two distinct sizes and styles. So if you want small, luxurious ceramic watch, you have that option too.