With the announcement that HarmonyOS is ready to come to smartphones, tablets, and other devices, comes further reveals from Huawei of new devices that will be featuring its new operating system. And first up is a look at the next Huawei Watch 3 and 3 Pro – which originally ran on a “Lite” version of Google’s WearOS, but will be running HarmonyOS.
Based on screenshots shown by the company though, the OS looks similar to Huawei’s existing wearables, with a newly redesigned home screen and a watchOS-grid of apps perhaps the biggest obvious cosmetic changes. It will reportedly also support video calling through Huawei’s own MeeTime service and can run multiple kernels. This allows it to operate the LiteOS kernel on low-powered devices and still maintain excellent battery life despite the new graphical features.
As for the watches, they feature the same circular 1.43-inch OLED display with a 60Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, with an edge-to-end display and no rotating bezel. Instead, it is controlled by a rotating crown, similar to the Apple Watch. The watch is available in a couple of different styles including an “active” model with a rubber strap, a “classic” model with leather, and an “elite” version with a metal bracelet.
The new watch will feature many of the same sensors as previous models, including heart rate tracking, a SpO2 sensor, and sleep tracking, along with supporting many workout modes, ranging from running to climbing, cycling, and swimming. The watch will also feature a temperature sensor that can continuously track the temperature of your skin throughout the course of the day. Something which is important in the days of Covid-19 where checking one’s body temperature remains a necessary task.
Perhaps, more exciting for many is seeing how the OS will run on tablets and Huawei was more prepared to show this off with its new MatePad Pro tablets. Outside of hardware specifications, Huawei isn’t ready to go into detail on how the OS looks on these devices just yet. The MatePad tablets will come in three different sizes, a new 12.6-inch MatePad Pro, a smaller 10.8-inch MatePad Pro, and a new MatePad 11, with the two smaller devices running Snapdragon chips from Qualcomm rather than the Huawei-designed Kirin processors.
According to The Verge who got to play around briefly with the new devices and see a portion of the Harmony OS in action, it works very similar to previous versions of Android, though packs in a few more features inspired by Apple too, with a dock for your most-used apps and a new FreeNote feature that lets you use the M-Pencil to write into dialog boxes and see your handwriting automatically turned into typed text. Huawei’s screen-mirroring technology also returns with the new MatePad Pro.
HarmonyOS certainly sounds promising and with great new devices to run it on, it has a good chance of growing rapidly in the mobile game. I would expect a few teething problems initially, but it appears Huawei is confident that its high level of hardware design is carrying through on the software side of things. Let’s hope so. The new tablets and watches will be released in China next week, with no international release dates confirmed yet for these exciting new products.
Last Updated: June 4, 2021