Huawei GT 3 : Is The GPS Tracking Accurate?

The location sensors built in the Huawei GT3 are very impressive.  You have access to 5 different satellite systems, with the inclusion of the L1 and L5 dual band frequency.  All of which should be good for the user and level of accuracy.  

In this article I will be explaining the level of accuracy and what affects it.  Two important scenarios that will no doubt benefit you as the user.  Also I will be testing the level of accuracy in three different test scenarios and share those results to you, including the battery life.

As a disclaimer I will be only testing the GPS accuracy via hiking or outdoor walks.  GPS tracking via running or cycling provides a different result because the average speed is far greater than walking or hiking which can cause some discrepancies in accuracy.

Let’s Talk About The Location Sensors First

The number of location sensors built in the Huawei GT 3 is very impressive.  Those satellite navigation systems are

  • GPS Navigation (American)
  • GLONASS (Russian)
  • Beidou (China)
  • Galileo (European)
  • QZSS (Japanese)

Because I live in New Zealand this does not mean I have access to all satellite systems, as there are limitations.  If you take my location as an example New Zealand will be able to access American, Russian, European and Japanese satellite navigational systems.  Why?, well the American, Russian and European satellite systems are global, the Japanese satellites cover the pacific ocean.  Beidou only covers Chinese territories only, so from New Zealand we don’t get access to that.

Having access to multiple satellite systems does not mean accuracy is guaranteed.  I want you to know that because you don’t know what satellites are available to you at a certain time.

Also the availability of dual band frequency.  The L1 Band is your normal commercial navigational frequency.  The L5 Band which is typically used in aviation, where precision is a requirement as a person’s life depends on it.  I will be looking forward to testing this out.

My First Route : Level of Difficulty is Easy

In my first route, I am going to do a test where the Huawei GT3 should pass with flying colours.  I picked a route that had no coverage, with the sky clear in sight.

  • Distance 1.10 kilometres
  • Duration 15 minutes
  • Battery usage 1% (fantastic)
  • GPS tracking difficulty : Easy
  • Result : 100% agreement, which is a pass.
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At the start of my route, it took a while to connect to a satellite, but apart from that, the easy test went well.  With so many built in location sensors including the dual band frequency my expectations were very high.  There were no tall buildings, or tall trees through the planned route, so anything less than 100% agreement would be a fail.  However The Huawei GT3 passed the easy test with flying colours.  You can see on the map that I tracked, it perfectly aligned with the path that I took so That was a very good result.  One other positive too is I only used up 1% of my battery life.  GPS tracking can be a massive battery drain so I was very surprised with that one.

My Second Route : Level of Difficulty Medium

In this test, I will be walking a route that will have tall objects like powerlines and trees along the way.  I can still see the open sky but the tall objects are likely to offset the tracking route, but to my surprise it didn’t.

  • Distance 1.0 kilometres
  • Duration 18 minutes
  • Battery usage 1%
  • GPS Tracking difficulty medium
  • Result : 100% agreement, which is a pass.

Like the first test, it took some time to connect to the GPS but eventually connected in the end.  The power lines and trees are very close to the path I walked but to my surprise the Huawei GT 3 tracked it accurately.  I did pass in some areas of the route which is why this test took 3 minutes longer than the first one.  To my surprise 100% agreement was achieved so I was pretty happy with that test outcome.

My Third Route : Level of Difficulty Hard.

With this example, I have chosen a route that will go through our small town.  At least 90% of the route will be covered and I will be walking under awnings.  Once again I was surprised with the result.

  • Distance 600 metres
  • Duration 10 minutes
  • Battery usage 1%
  • GPS tracking difficulty Hard (90% of route is under awnings)
  • Result : 80% agreement, which is still a pass
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This test was really going to test the location accuracy of the Huawei GT 3.  Walking under awnings and alongside tall buildings would be difficult to track.  The route I took,I could not see the sky above me.  As I was getting close to the end point of my route, the Huawei GT 3 was warning me that my GPS signal was getting weak.  In the end I managed to get a stronger signal, which reflected in my tracking.

All though it had 80% agreement., I think it is still a pass mark to me, so for places like going into the bush may be a worthwhile test next time to test its level of accuracy.  However I am very impressed that it tracks very well in a very difficult route.

Inside the red rectangle is where the weak GPS signal occurred. But still tracked nicely in a difficult test.

My Fourth Route : Extra Hard

To my surprise in the second test I thought I would go up another level. We have a local track that I like to hike and so I will be taking a planned route the native bush

  • Distance 800 metres
  • Duration 13 minutes
  • Battery usage 1%
  • GPS tracking difficulty extra Hard
  • Result : 45-50% agreement, through the whole track.

Now this time the Huawei GT 3 struggled to get a signal, especially when I went through the bush part area. Especially around the thicker tree area’s where you cant see the sky above you. I was surprised how quickly I gained a GPS signal. Especially around the lesser tree areas and see the sky above me.

Would I give a pass mark? from a hiking perspective I would say yes. I can only speak for my self, but as a person who has done so many hiking journeys, I would never rely too much on technology. I always trusted my instincts, and have a map on hand. I would only use technology to get a sense of direction only. Although it didn’t track 100% of the time, at least I get a sense of direction. This is important for your safety.

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See image below for more detail. The blue line is my recorded track and the light grey broken line is the actual track. I have imported my hiking route into my Komoot account so you can see the overlay a lot clearer.

Blue line is my recorded track and the grey broken line is the actual track

Final Conclusion 

After testing the accuracy of the Huawei GT 3, I am very impressed with the accuracy.  Here is a recap of my results

  • Test 1, Passed with 100% agreement at easy level
  • Test 2, Passed with 100% agreement at medium level.
  • Test 3, Passed with 80% agreement at hard level.
  • Test 4, Didn’t do too well and got around 45-50% agreement
  • Overall result is a pass.

Please note that the results were based on outdoor hiking workout mode.  If you were using running or cycling mode, your results may be different.  But apart from that I am very happy with the results.

Just be aware that running nearby tall buildings, trees, dense tree or through tunnels can have an impact on the level of accuracy from your device. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot see the sky, then the device will find it hard to track. So you can expect the result to be less accurate. Which is why I dont rely on it too much when I am hiking in the bush. Always have a map on hand as a safety precaution.

If accuracy is important to you, then maybe plan your route in a more open area without any tall buildings or objects surrounding you.

So is the Huawei GT 3 accurate for GPS tracking? Definitely yes if you are using hiking or outdoor walk workout modes. One last mention too is the battery consumption was fantastic.  Normally when using GPS and heart rate tracking at the same time, it can really drain your battery life.

Anyway thank you so much for reading and I hope you found this article useful, also if you have a Huawei GT3 and wants some help to set it up, go check out my tips and tricks playlist.

Huawei GT 3 Tips and Tricks