Essentially, with the Watch 3 you blend in style with fitness features, as long as you don’t mind the 10g of extra weight compared to the Active 2. We have other concerns, however. Battery capacity is only two days – compared to four to five days on the original Galaxy Watch – and all health sensors, like ECG and blood pressure monitoring, will not be active in the whole world at launch.
How will the Galaxy Watch 3 perform day to day? That’s what we’re putting to the test here, ahead of our full review.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 price and release date
The Galaxy Watch 3 release date is Thursday, August 6, 2020 and it instantly becomes Samsung’s flagship smartwatch for 2020, completely ignoring the non-existent name of “Galaxy Watch 2”. A sequel is finally here – but it sure doesn’t come cheap.
The only thing Samsung hasn’t slimmed down is price. It costs $ 399 / £ 419 for the smaller 41mm Galaxy Watch 3 and $ 329 / £ 429 for the larger 45mm version (the version we recommend due to its larger battery). Versions with LTE connectivity further increase the price: $ 449 for the 41mm version and $ 479 for the 46mm version in the US.
Now compare the Watch 3’s base price – $ 399 / £ 419 for the 41mm size – to the original Galaxy Watch base price of $ 329 / £ 279 for the 42mm size. It’s quite the increase, especially if you’re in the UK, and we’re seeing a similar price increase for all versions. Samsung’s smartwatch got pricey over the next two years, although the company can say its watch is still cheaper than the Apple Watch 5 at most prices.
Design and display
Samsung’s design team has crafted another smartwatch masterpiece: The Galaxy Watch 3 is 14% thinner than the original Galaxy Watch, while maintaining the same circular screen shape and size. attractive. The ornate bezel that also serves as a way to navigate on-screen menus also remains, albeit in a less bulky state.
You get the same 1.2 inch (41mm) or 1.3 inch (45mm) circular Super AMOLED panel, with an always-on color display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass DX (for some reason, not DX + like the original watch – we don’t know why or what this means and we asked Samsung).
The Galaxy Watch 3 is shrunk in all dimensions and ends up being 15% lighter than the original in the case of most versions – there is a new model in extra-light titanium only in the 45mm size that weighs 43 g, compared to 53.8 g 45 mm stainless steel model. We expect titanium to cost more, of course.
There is no 41mm titanium edition, but the smaller of the two Galaxy Watch 3 sizes is the only one to come in the Mystic Bronze color. In the right light, this copper tone appears to be a darker shade of the rose gold option of the original Galaxy Watch. The 41mm and 45mm sizes are available in the Mystic Silver color, while Mystic Black is exclusive to the 45mm size.
If you go for the 45mm titanium version, black is the only color option – you also get a metal strap, while the stainless steel options come with a leather strap in the box. You can always replace the default strap with a third party 20mm (41mm) or 22mm (45mm) strap.
Health, fitness and software
Here’s where we’ll have fun with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 before our full review: testing fitness capabilities and automatic activity tracking. There are new sensors on board, and this smartwatch borrows a lot from the fitness-focused Watch Active 2.
Seven activities will automatically trigger the Galaxy Watch 3 fitness tracker whether or not you forget to start the tracker, which is very convenient. They are: running, walking, swimming, cycling, rowing, elliptical workouts and dynamic workouts (mostly aerobics or anything that involves big movements).
A total of 40 workouts can be followed, either manually or via voice command. Samsng’s Bixby voice assistant is aboard the Watch 3, and we’re going to be paying special attention to how he picks up our “Bixby, start a run” commands halfway through, because that stuff is important. If this proves frustrating, as in our previous encounters with Bixby, Samsung has helpfully outfitted the Watch 3 with stress tracking, factoring in maximum heart rates and suggesting breathing exercises – we expect to see that appear a lot.
Brand new here is drop detection, which we’ve seen on the Apple Watch 4 and Apple Watch 5, as well as VO2 Max readings on demand. The latter is the ability to calculate the maximum amount of oxygen your body can absorb during exercise, and it’s something that has recently moved from high-end fitness trackers to mainstream smartwatches.
Sleep tracking on the Galaxy Watch 3 looks promising, although companies often use this feature at the last second. Samsung touts a partnership with the US National Sleep Institute, which is supposed to offer more in-depth information on REM cycles. The watch will also automatically track sleep cycles and greet you each morning with sleep quality reports and tips on how to get better quality sleep.
The first Galaxy Watch was a beast. Its thick bezel was rotatable so as to act as a unique menu navigator, its traditional-looking lugs on the top and bottom fooled people into believing it was a real wristwatch, and it lasted between four and five days on a single charge – at least when we first took it out of the box. If you bought it then like us you might find that you need a new battery or an upgraded smartwatch. Well, perfect timing.
The new Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 thins the original watch without erasing what we liked about the old design. That ornate rotating bezel? It’s still there, but with a cleaner, more understated build, and Samsung has extended the fitness functionality. We can’t wait to wear this one as much as we are ready to put it through several fitness tests.
Our hesitation remains evident, especially at this stage of the first glance. Specifications show a small battery capacity of 247mAh (41mm) or 340mAh (45mm), with Samsung promising two days of charging. We lived comfortably with the Galaxy Watch’s 270mAh (42mm) and 472mAh (46mm), delivering twice the power out of the box.
The higher price of the new watch is also going to make us judge it a bit more difficult. It’s really Samsung’s counter-product to the Apple Watch 5, both in terms of price and new features.