Maybe it’s because I spend all day writing about it, but very few new smartwatches excite me. However, Huawei is in the process of announcing a new wearable that does – at least a little, and while I definitely won’t be buying it, that’s fine because it’s not for me.
The Company has announced that it will unveil the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro on April 28, and its teasers for the watch all focus on one thing – the wearable’s water resistance.
According to Huawei, the upcoming wearable has all kinds of certifications and water resistance ratings, including IP68, 5ATM and an EN13319 diving certification. In fact, its diving credentials are the most notable part of this whole water resistance as the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro appears to be capable of deep water free diving to a depth of 30 meters.
This is an upgrade from the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro, which was only designed for shallow water activities. It’s also an upgrade over the vast majority of other smartwatches, which tend to have decent water resistance so you can take them in the shower or even a pool in many cases, but aren’t generally suited to deep-water use are.
I don’t want it, but someone will
As someone who hasn’t even set foot in a swimming pool in well over a decade, I’m not at all interested in this feature, but it will be of interest to divers and probably surfers, sailors and anyone else who just wants a little more certainty wish their smartwatch could save an encounter with the sea.
That’s probably still a very small percentage of people, but it’s a percentage of people who probably wouldn’t have looked twice at the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro without this feature, so it’s probably a smart approach for Huawei. In fact, I would argue that most smartwatch makers could learn from this, as too few smartwatches stand out.
With a few exceptions, they all have basically the same functionality – notifications, music controls, timers, and in some cases access to apps and voice-activated assistants like Google Assistant or Siri.
Some high-end models like the Apple Watch 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 add extra features to the mix, like an EKG, and these models inevitably stand out more. But even then, they’re rarely alone in offering these features, and their manufacturers won’t add significant new features with every new model.
So we end up with a few vaguely interesting (albeit slow) smartwatches at the top end, and then a sea of largely interchangeable devices below. But if more of that sea were aimed at filling a niche, like the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro does, then they would have a unique selling point and at least catch the eye of some people.
While any company could learn from Huawei’s approach here, it makes particularly good sense in the case of Huawei itself, as the company’s smartwatches arguably need to clear an extra hurdle to differentiate themselves.
Huawei’s wearables often impress, with the Huawei Watch GT 3 and Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro, for example, both scoring four stars in TechRadar’s ratings, but like other Huawei devices, they’re not available in the US, which their potential audience already knows restricts.
Additionally, they don’t run Wear OS or watchOS – the two main smartwatch operating systems, which can mean they’re limited in terms of apps and familiarity.
So Huawei really needs something to grab the attention of a potential buyer, and in the case of the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro, that something is diving products. But even if you don’t dive, don’t write this smartwatch off just yet, as there may be other USPs out there. We’ll find out on the 28th.
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