Honor has announced the Watch GS 3, a mid-price smartwatch, for markets outside of China. The company first unveiled the watch in mid-January, but until now it was a China-only wearable.
The basics of the Honor Watch GS 3 are the similar to those of the Honor MagicWatch 2. It’s a good-looking and relatively simple watch that is more fitness tracker than smartwatch.
Its screen surround and front are stainless steel, the back is plastic — much like the similar-looking Huawei Watch GT 3.
The Honor Watch GS 3’s screen tech is excellent. It’s a 1.43-inch OLED panel with maximum brightness of 1000 nits, 466 x 466 pixel resolution and 326ppi pixel density, according to Honor. Such high brightness should make outdoors visibility a non-issue.
Big changes for this generation are found in its GPS and heart rate sensor. The watch has dual-band GPS, which Honor says is 167% more accurate than the previous generation. And the optical heart rate sensor now uses an “eight channel” design.
This is not a standard metric for consumer PPG sensors yet, but Honor’s diagrams suggest eight light sensors are arranged in a ring around the center of the watch’s back. It allows for a greater number of data points to be collected, for better error correction.MORE FROMFORBES ADVISORByAmy DaniseEditorByAmy DaniseEditor
Honor claims 97% heart rate accuracy, measured over a multiple situations including running and sitting still. Looking at the fine print, Honor says “average 10bpm differences accuracy is over 97%” — it’s a fairly loose interpretation of the term “accurate”, but it’s good to see potentially meaningful accuracy improvements in a moderately priced watch.
The PPG array can also record SpO2, blood oxygenation, readings. Water resistance is the same as the last generation’s, the category standard of 5ATM.
Don’t expect scores of apps here, just a handful of tools, but the Honor Watch GS 3 battery will last up to 14 days, matching the Honor MagicWatch 2. And, much like the longer-lasting but uglier Honor GS Pro, it is packed with 100+ tracking modes.
At present only European pricing for the Honor Watch GS 3 is available. It costs 229 Euro for the Midnight Black model, 249 Euro for the Ocean Blue and Classic Gold versions. The price disparity is down to the strap rather than the color. Black versions have a silicone strap, blue and gold ones a leather strap.