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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 assessment: the brand new king of Android smartwatches

Samsung’s newest, the Galaxy Watch 3, is an all-round refinement of its earlier very good smartwatch efforts – slimmer, lighter and with a bigger display screen.

The £399 Galaxy Watch 3 is available in two sizes (41mm or 45mm), two colors and without or with 4G, aiming to be the Apple Watch of Android, right here reviewed in black with a 45mm case. It sits along the smaller, fitness-focused Galaxy Watch Active 2 and works with any emblem of Android with get right of entry to to the Google Play Store in addition to an iPhone working iOS 9 or more recent.

The Watch 3 takes the design of 2020’s Galaxy Watch – there was once no quantity two – and slims down its stainless-steel frame in all dimensions whilst including a bigger display screen. The result’s a skinny, sexy traditional-looking round watch that’s best 11.1mm thick and 53.8g in weight.

samsung galaxy watch 3 review
The Watch 3 is 1.9mm thinner, 2.8mm narrower around the wrist and 9.2g lighter than its predecessor. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The 1.4in display screen is huge, crisp and shiny. It copes neatly with low and shiny gentle, adjusting brightness accordingly, together with a super-bright outdoor mode that comes on mechanically. You can set the display screen to be on at all times with a big array of sexy watch faces to be had, maximum of which can be customisable. There are 1000’s extra within the Galaxy Store, too.

The rotating bezel across the display screen acts as a jog controller for navigating the interface. Two buttons maintain again and apps purposes. Press and dangle the highest apps button to turn on Samsung Pay and the ground again button to turn on Bixby or your selection of app. Double press the ground button to peer lately used apps.

The Watch 3 is waterproof to 50 metres, the display screen is roofed in scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass DX and the straps are same old 20mm or 22mm bands with quick-release pins. It ships with a high quality leather-based strap this is a lot more supple and nicer than the ones that include maximum watches.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
The rotating bezel is the most efficient smartwatch controller to be had; more uncomplicated and extra enjoyable to make use of than even the virtual crown at the Apple Watch. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Specifications

  • Screen: 1.2in or 1.4in AMOLED (364 ppi)

  • Case measurement: 41 or 45mm

  • Case thickness: 11.3 or 11.1mm

  • Band measurement: same old 20 or 22mm

  • Weight: 48.2g or 53.8g

  • Processor: Samsung Exynos 9110 dual-core 1.15GHz

  • RAM: 1GB

  • Storage: 4GB

  • Operating device: Tizen 5.5 (One UI 2)

  • Water resistance: 50 metres (5ATM)

  • Sensors: barometer, gyro, HR sensor, gentle sensor, microphone, speaker, NFC, GPS

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5, wifi n, NFC

Slick efficiency, 1.5-days battery

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
A cluster of sensors is at the again of the watch in addition to the hidden wi-fi charging coil, directly to which the charging puck snaps by means of magnets to fee the watch. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Samsung has used the similar in-house Exynos 9110 processor in all of its contemporary smartwatches to nice impact, together with Watch 3. It has relatively extra RAM at 1GB and double the garage at 8GB when compared with the Watch Active 2 however plays very in a similar way.

The interface is slick, snappy and lag-free. Screens and widgets whizz by means of as rapid as you’ll be able to flip the bezel. It could be very just about the efficiency you get out of Apple Watch and a ways, a ways higher than any Wear OS watch.

Battery lifestyles may be cast however relatively lower than the two days of the former Galaxy Watch, principally as a result of the lower-capacity battery. With the display screen on at all times I robotically made it from 8am to nighttime with a minimum of 40% left. On some lighter-use days I made it to mattress with 50% left. The unique Galaxy Watch would finish the day with nearer to 60% battery left.

A 20-minute run with high-accuracy monitoring fed on 6% of the battery, whilst sleep monitoring for eight hours tired the battery by means of 9%. That intended the watch lasted slightly below 36 hours of continuous dressed in between fees.

Fully charging the watch takes about two hours, 10 mins with the wi-fi charging puck, attaining 40% from lifeless in an hour.

Sustainability

Samsung does no longer supply an anticipated lifespan for the battery within the Watch 3 however supplies a one-year guaranty. Similar batteries most often final a minimum of 500 complete fee cycles whilst keeping up a minimum of 80% means.

Unlike many smartwatches the battery within the Watch 3 may also be changed by means of permitted carrier centres. The Watch 3 may be one of the extra repairable smartwatches to be had, scoring a seven out of 10 with restore experts iFixit, however Samsung didn’t touch upon using recycled fabrics within the building of the watch.

Tizen 5.5 with One UI 2.0

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
You can now set the default tune carrier for the controls at the watch whilst a brand new floating icon seems while you play tune to your telephone that takes you directly to playback controls when tapped. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Samsung makes use of its personal running device on its smartwatches known as Tizen, right here in its newest shape with One UI 2.0. The company gives tool updates for its smartwatches for prolonged sessions, which has ended in watches four years previous or extra receiving updates lately and bodes neatly for the Watch 3.

Tizen is based totally round a rotary interface, taking complete good thing about that rotating bezel and round display screen, nevertheless it will also be swiped and tapped with palms at the display screen.

It operates precisely the similar because the Galaxy Watch Active 2 with minor enhancements and slicker animations. Notifications seem as tiles to the left of the watch face and may also be tapped to increase, actioned or answered to out of your wrist. Widgets for quite a lot of issues are to the best.

Swipe down from the highest for fast settings or press the apps button for a listing of apps. There are just a handful of fine third-party apps, however they come with Strava and a few different health monitoring apps, plus Spotify with offline tune downloads and playback.

Samsung Pay and Bixby

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Bixby seems excellent however it may be gradual and does no longer fit the extent of polish implemented to the remainder of the tool at the watch. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Watch 3 has Samsung Pay for contactless bills, which goes neatly if just a little clunkier than Google Pay, however UK financial institution fortify is proscribed. I use a Curve card, which is supported by means of Samsung Pay, to bind my unsupported credit cards and use them thru it. Samsung lately introduced its personal model of the Curve card known as Samsung Pay Card, too.

Bixby is Samsung’s good voice assistant. It works fantastic for easy duties comparable to environment timers and different bits however is usually a bit gradual to turn on and perceive what you’ve mentioned. It is extra dependable than the former model however remains to be the least polished little bit of the Watch 3.

Samsung Health

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Blood oxygen saturation is one of the brand new measurements the Watch 3 could make, both manually or in a single day all through sleep. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Samsung Health has the similar complete fitness and health monitoring options because it does at the Watch Active 2. It is one of probably the most whole suites of normal fitness and health similar tracking on a smartwatch, together with sleep monitoring with blood oxygenation, rigidity and center fitness, rivalling that from Apple and a ways higher than Wear OS or opponents.

Running monitoring has new dynamics research, providing you with a breakdown of your shape, together with asymmetry, foot touch time, flight time, regularity, vertical movement and stiffness. I’m no longer certain they’ll persuade hard-core runners nevertheless it’s an enchanting characteristic to have. Vo2 Max – a moderately commonplace measure of cardiorespiratory health – matched my long-term readings from quite a lot of Garmin gadgets on first run, which bodes neatly.

The one damaging is that it’s tough to peer when the watch has a GPS lock when getting ready for a run, because it simply tells you to spark off. That ended in it lacking out on 200 metres of a run when compared with a Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar.

The Watch 3 has the {hardware} to accomplish an electrocardiogram (ECG) and to watch blood power nevertheless it has but to be activated in the United Kingdom pending regulatory approval, which was once lately granted in the United States.

Observations

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Notifications pop up on the best of the display screen or are to be had to the left of the watch face. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • Occasionally the watch would get caught in out of doors display screen mode for somewhat on max brightness

  • The quick, sharp vibrations for notifications are probably the most best possible out of doors of the Apple Watch.

  • The Watch 3 can be utilized with an iPhone however there are important obstacles round Messages notifications and replies, loss of Samsung Pay, some Health and different purposes.

  • Pairing and arrange is quicker on a Samsung telephone however all of the purposes paintings simply fantastic with any trendy Android telephone.

Price

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is available in 41mm variations with a RRP costing £399 or 45mm variations costing £419. Versions that fortify 4G networking in addition to Bluetooth and wifi value an additional £40.

For comparability, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has an RRP of £269, the Fossil Gen 5 prices £279, the Fitbit Versa 2 prices £199.99 and the Apple Watch Series 5 prices £399.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is the most efficient smartwatch for Android by means of some margin, taking the crown from the already very good Watch Active 2.

It combines a slender, gentle and tasty normal watch design with the very good rotating bezel controller, a slick tool revel in, cast battery lifestyles and a shiny, crisp and lovely always-on display screen.

Its health-tracking options are up there with the most efficient. Notification dealing with on Android is excellent. There is a gigantic number of watch faces and whilst third-party apps are slender at the flooring, they do come with some key ones comparable to Spotify and Strava.

Samsung gives long-term tool fortify, the watch is repairable and the battery may also be changed if wanted. But the Watch 3 isn’t absolute best. Bixby nonetheless isn’t nice, Samsung Pay fortify is proscribed in the United Kingdom and whilst it has the {hardware} to fortify them, the ECG or blood power purposes are nonetheless pending approval.

I additionally wouldn’t wholly suggest the use of one with an iPhone as there are important obstacles when compared with an Apple Watch of a identical worth.

It is fairly dear but when you wish to have a super smartwatch on your Android telephone, the Galaxy Watch 3 is it. If you wish to have one thing inexpensive, the Watch Active 2 is nearly as excellent.

Pros: slender and tasty normal watch design, large and shiny display screen, bezel regulate, slick efficiency, cast battery lifestyles, very good health and fitness monitoring, 50-metre water resistance, same old 20mm/22mm straps, lengthy tool fortify, battery may also be changed, go platform.

Cons: few UK banks fortify Samsung Pay, Bixby is susceptible, can’t show animated photographs in good digicam notifications, restricted capability with an iPhone, can’t use ECG/blood power but.

samsung galaxy watch 3 review
There are a lot of high quality watch faces integrated with the watch however there may be an enormous library of third-party faces to be had within the Galaxy Store. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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