It’s challenging to find a smartwatch that appeals to Android consumers in the same way that Apple does for iPhone users. With its Galaxy Watch range, Samsung has attempted to address that gap, and the Galaxy Watch 3 is the star of the show in 2020. This smartwatch is essentially the whole shebang for Android users, but is it worth the $399 starting price? Let’s speak.
Hardware | A REFINED DESIGN BRINGS BACK SAMSUNG’S BEST FEATURE Up until the release of the Galaxy Watch Active in 2019, Samsung’s smartwatch designs hardly changed. That wristwatch does away with several of the Gear S series’ and the original Galaxy Watch’s design cues, including the spinning bezel that was its trademark. With the Galaxy Watch Active 2, Samsung brought that concept back a year later, but with the Galaxy Watch 3, Samsung is bringing back the rotating bezel in its proper form. It makes navigating menus really simple and straightforward, and Samsung’s Tizen software is designed to capitalize on that interaction.
Of course, despite being slimmer than in the past, that feature still feels great. It doesn’t jiggle when pressed, but it still creates a nice click as it revolves around the display. This watch’s construction is simply of the highest caliber, right down to the side buttons and spinning bezel. The stainless steel chassis also offers the feel and appearance of a high-end watch.
Everything you would anticipate is also present. The Galaxy Watch 3 has a conventional heart rate sensor, a 5ATM water resistant rating, and optional LTE. Samsung also included the necessary sensors and software to monitor stress levels, blood oxygen levels, and even to take an ECG. But since ECG isn’t currently enabled, one of the Watch 3’s most impressive features just isn’t functional.
Additionally, it makes use of an OLED display with vibrant colors and a bright enough panel for visibility outside. In all honesty, it would be difficult to find a display that would work better with this smartwatch.
Samsung did an excellent job of making the Galaxy Watch 3 a smaller gadget in terms of bulk. In comparison to the previous generation, the 45mm version I tested seems much thinner and smaller. The Watch 3’s 45mm version is only 11.1mm thick as opposed to the original’s 13mm thickness. Additionally, it is thinner than the majority of Wear OS watches, giving Samsung a clear advantage. Additionally, Samsung added a larger overall display on top of all of that.
Although the Galaxy Watch’s hardware is amazing, there are a few significant software-related problems.
TIZEN LACKS GOOGLE, BUT NAILS THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE IN SOFTWARE Let’s begin with the positive. Tizen understands how the rest of the smartwatch experience should function, despite its security flaws and lack of useful Google services. It offers a simple user interface with a watchface that may be customized in the middle, notifications to the left, and widgets from apps to the right. Its tried-and-true UI accomplishes the task. It is just so well tuned for the rotating bezel design of this smartwatch, as was also described.
On Tizen, the app situation isn’t great. Although it has some well-known brands, such as Spotify, it pales in comparison to the Apple Watch and even Google’s Wear OS. Regarding Samsung’s wearables, I feel like I just keep stating that. Samsung Pay is a great nice app for mobile payments that many people will find helpful. Sadly, this wristwatch is missing MST, which is necessary hardware to utilize Samsung Pay with any card reader. It’s unfortunate, but at least NFC is becoming more and more accessible.
I’ve always believed that Wear OS and its several partners, including Fossil, have provided superior watchface designs than Samsung. Even yet, the Watch 3 does pull off a few clever tricks in this situation. A new watchface is available that displays hourly forecasts in place of analog numerals as well as real weather conditions with stylish animations. Although it’s a great concept, I choose to use the Analog dashboard watchface for my review time. Beyond that, you’ll discover several of Samsung’s standard faces, some with fresh paint.
IF YOU HAVE PATIENCE, SAMSUNG HAS A STRONG FITNESS OFFERING. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 comes with a variety of health features, much like any other smartwatch. However, you’ll discover that Samsung, at least compared to the Fitbit Sense and Apple Watch, offers one of the greatest fitness watch options available today.
Samsung has incorporated the usual heart rate monitoring, step counting, sleep/stress tracking, and more into the Galaxy Watch 3. On this hardware, the essential, anticipated package is completely supported and even includes some extras. The pre-installed Samsung Health app can track calories, water and caffeine intake, daily objectives, and even menstrual cycles.
Additionally, there is automatic exercise tracking, which I personally found to be quite hit or miss. Even though my wife and I were moving fairly quickly on an admittedly brief walk, it took the watch a while to register that I was outside. I also discovered that it frequently began producing false positives. For instance, using a push mower to cut the grass was identified as cycling numerous times.
Although it is a nice tool to have, it isn’t very effective. Speaking of, the Galaxy Watch 3 can also detect blood oxygen levels, but it does so very ineffectively. At least, it is where the functionality is founded. Despite being completely up to date, my device wouldn’t display the feature for some reason.
ECG assistance is the last option. Apple was the first company to promote the ability to take an electrocardiogram on its smartwatch, and it is still the only one in the US to do so. Samsung has not yet made the feature available, despite receiving FDA approval to use it in the US. Early buyers are faced with an unpleasant early adopter fee for a $400 watch because the ECG feature has not been arrived, which is one of the main selling points.
Samsung is demonstrating that it intends to compete in this market even though its execution isn’t ideal. With its own Wear OS, Google isn’t really accomplishing that.
BATTERY LIFE: A HUGE MISTAKE The battery life of the first Samsung Galaxy Watch, which was released in 2018, was its biggest selling point in my opinion. Depending on your usage, the smartwatch might easily last four to six days on a single charge, which was ludicrously fantastic.
Because of this, it’s really unfortunate that the Galaxy Watch 3 fails miserably in this area. On the Galaxy Watch 3, I often get around two days out of a charge, but occasionally I run out of battery as the end of that second day draws near. Although it’s not entirely terrible, that is a far cry from that 2018 release. Are the larger screen and slimmer body worth the trade-off? Really, that’s a difficult decision. If you ask me, Samsung should have accepted the fact that the Galaxy Watch 3 is still not very compact and kept pursuing the battery crown.
The biggest error Samsung made with this watch seems to be its battery life at this moment. Really, there is no reason to choose this watch over a Wear OS watch that will cost you considerably less than $400 if you aren’t interested in the fitness capabilities. The Moto 360 that I evaluated earlier this year is at just $179 now . Both the Skagen Falster 3 and the Fossil Gen 5 cost only $295. Yes, they might only last for one day, but given that the second day is frequently cut short, you’ll probably be charging the Watch 3 every night anyhow.
I also need to mourn the charger for a moment. Samsung is transitioning to the puck-style charger used with the Active series with Galaxy Watch 3. I’ll use the cradle from one of my old Samsung watches since this one’s cradle is terrible and doesn’t properly operate here. any time.
THESE ARE GREAT WATCHES, BUT $400 IS A LOT TO ASK, IN MY OPINION. So, where does the Galaxy Watch 3 stand once all is said and done? Samsung, like its forerunners, has produced what is likely the greatest overall package for the majority of Android users, particularly those using a Samsung phone. It has excellent software, a nice design, and helpful fitness functions. Although battery life has decreased from earlier generations, it is still rather decent.
Pricing is the lone factor remaining. Do you really want to spend $429 on a slightly larger smartwatch instead of $399 on a smaller one? I, for one, wouldn’t. For about $249, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 provides a virtually same package. Wear OS, in my opinion, provides some very decent solutions if you also need better appearances. Heck, you could purchase a Moto 360 for aesthetics and a Watch Active 2 for fitness capabilities, and still end up paying less than the current price of a Galaxy Watch 3.
However, if the Galaxy Watch 3 does fit your needs and tastes, it is currently offered by a number of stores, with the LTE variant being sold at Verizon , T-Mobile , and ATandamp;T .
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