Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is a full featured smartwatch released in August 2020. Samsung has been manufacturing smartwatches for over 7 years and have made evolutionary  improvements on their watches over that time. The Galaxy Watch 3 is an upgrade to the 2018 original Galaxy Watch (note there was never a Galaxy Watch 2). This review is on the Bluetooth version (an LTE version also exists) and the 46mm size (a 42mm option also exists).

The Galaxy Watch 3 is using a Exynos 9110 processor. This is the same processor found in the original Galaxy watch. A bit disappointing that they haven’t updated the processor in 2 years. That being said, the watch performs very well with no noticeable lags.

This watch is using Tizen OS, the proprietary operating system for Samsung smartwatches. While there are some available apps, the number is minimal and you do not have access to a 3rd party app store such as the Google Play Store. This is a significant disadvantage and is common drawback for any smartwatch using a proprietary operating system.

Design

The Galaxy Watch 3 has a circular watch face design and is quite sleek and attractive. The watch is available in the following colors: black, silver. The case is stainless steel. This smartwatch is not too big at 46.2 x 45.0 x 11.1 mm and weighs 53.8g. The watch is slim with a thickness of 11.1 mm. It is comfortable and can be worn while sleeping. The watch is a bit smaller, thinner and less bulky than the original Galaxy.

The Galaxy Watch 3 comes with a 22 mm leather interchangeable strap. The leather strap is very nice quality and suits the design of the watch well. For fitness activities, a silicone band may be preferred by some but we find the leather band quite comfortable.

You can interact with the watch using the touchscreen, 2 physical buttons, rotating bezel. The rotating bezel is one of the best features of this watch. It works very well to scroll through items and is a pleasure to use. The touchscreen is also excellent with no lag. Fonts, menus and icons can easily be read and navigation is not too complex.

The Galaxy Watch 3 has a 5ATM water resistance rating which allows for swimming and showers. Unlike many smartwatches that exaggerate their water resistance, the Galaxy Watch 3 performs as advertised and does well in pools and showers. The watch comes with a water lock mode that disables the touchscreen and wake up gestures. The watch also has an eject water feature to help clear out water from your watch.

Screen

Samsung is known for great screens and the screen of the Galaxy Watch 3 is excellent. The 1.4″ AMOLED Touchscreen, with 360 x 360 pixels delivers a high-quality visual experience. Indoors the display is excellent and outdoors it is good as well.

The Galaxy Watch 3 uses Corning Gorilla Glass DX to protect the screen. Even though this is not a rugged watch, it has passed the MIL-STD-810G military specification for durability. A strong positive, hence we expect this watch to be quite durable.

The watch has an always on screen option but this has a significant impact on battery life. The watch allows for custom watchfaces which is a nice feature.

Battery

The Galaxy Watch 3 comes with a 340 mAh battery. Samsung claims that typical usage battery life is 2 days. Real world battery life is a bit less with many people getting just over 1 day with normal usage. This is ok for a full featured smartwatch but is very poor when compared to some of the simpler smartwatches that have battery life measured in weeks not days.

Connectivity Features

From a connectivity perspective, the Galaxy Watch 3 has good functionality and can receive and respond to notifications from the watch.

There are 2 versions of this smartwatch, a Bluetooth one and an LTE version. Most people opt for the Bluetooth version to complement your smartphone. The LTE version is a good option if you are looking to completely replace your smartphone with your smartwatch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE vs Bluetooth

The Galaxy Watch 3 has both a speaker and a microphone and has the ability to both answer and place calls via Bluetooth.

The speaker and microphone work well for both incoming and outgoing calls. The speaker can be used to play music stored on the 8GB internal memory. The Galaxy Watch 3 does not have a camera. The front facing camera can be used for selfies and video calls. The side camera can take photos as well. While the photo quality is good for a smartwatch, it is below average when compared to most modern smartphones.  The  Galaxy Watch 3 does not have cellular connectivity.

On the positive side, it does come with built-in GPS. GPS connectivity is fast and accuracy is good.

Finally, Near Field Communication (NFC) is supported and you can use this smartwatch to make payments using Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay is another big benefit for this smartwatch. While Wear OS does offer Google Pay, many smartwatch competitors do not offer NFC or a payment option.

Health and Fitness Features

The Galaxy Watch 3 comes with 7 sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient light, Barometer, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2). These cover quite a bit of fitness functions and even some health areas. These sensors allow you to track the following 13 metrics: Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Incidental Fall, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming, VO2 Max.

Also included are 40 different sports modes. While heart rate monitoring and GPS are not 100% accurate, they do a good job for the casual owner. Fitness tracking and health tracking are quite good. In addition the sleep tracking is better than many other smartwatches.

One of the biggest complaints with the Galaxy Watch 3 is that ECG (approved by the FDA on Sept 23, 2020) only works if you are connected to a Samsung smartphone. This is could be a major drawback for some purchasers.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 ECG

Galaxy Wearable App

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 uses the Galaxy Wearable app, which is very good particularly for fitness and sports tracking. The app is not cluttered, easy to navigate and works quite well.

Known Issues

As this watch has just recently been released, there are no common known issues.

Verdict

A very nice all around smartwatch. Price is high given the drawbacks such as battery life, not the most accurate sensors and limited 3rd party apps. If you are looking for a premium smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 3 is a reasonable, albeit expensive, choice.

Specifications

General

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Watch Type Full Featured Smartwatch
Gender Men
Release Date August 2020
Operating System Tizen
App Galaxy Wearable
Supported Devices Android 5.0+, iOS 9.0+
Processor Exynos 9110

Design

Shape Circular
Case Size 46.2 x 45.0 x 11.1 mm
Case Material Stainless Steel
Weight 53.8g
Strap Width 22 mm
Strap Material Leather
Interchangeable Strap Yes
Watch Colors Black, Silver
Input Touchscreen, 2 Buttons, Rotating Bezel
Water Resistance 5 ATM

Screen

Screen Size 1.4"
Screen Type AMOLED Touchscreen
Resolution 360 x 360
Pixels per Inch Not disclosed
Always On Yes
Custom Faces Yes
Screen Protection Corning Gorilla Glass DX

Battery

Typical Usage Battery Life (Days) 2
Watch Mode Battery Life (Days) Not disclosed
GPS Mode Battery Life (Days) Not disclosed
Charging System Wireless
Capacity 340 mAh

Features

Notifications Recieve Notifications and Respond
Bluetooth v5.0
Bluetooth Calling Receive and Place Calls
Bluetooth Music Yes
Speaker Yes
Microphone Yes
Camera No
Cellular 4G LTE Version Available
GPS GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), BeiDou (China), Galileo (EU)
Near Field Communication (NFC) No
Payments No
WiFi Yes
Voice Command No
Memory 8GB
Sensors Accelerometer, Altimeter, Ambient Light, Barometer, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2)
Tracking Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Incidental Fall, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming, VO2 Max
Sport Modes 40
Automatic Workout Detection Yes
Warranty 12 Months

Summary

Unique Features Rotating bezel input
Fall incident detection
Advantages Excellent screen
Can receive and place calls with the watch when paired to your phone
Wireless charging
Disadvantages Disappointing battery life
ECG only works with Samsung Smartphones
Heart rate and GPS sensors are not the most accurate
Limited 3rd party apps
Bixby assistant does not work well
No compass
Verdict A very nice all around smartwatch. Price is high given the drawbacks such as battery life, not the most accurate sensors and limited apps. If you are looking for a premium smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 3 is a reasonable, albeit expensive, choice.

Published: December 11, 2020

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 - WatchSmarty
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is a nice all around watch. Price is high given the the drawbacks such as battery life, not the most accurate sensors & limited apps.

Product SKU: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Product Brand: Samsung

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 400

Price Valid Until: 2023-01-01

Product In-Stock: SoldOut

Editor's Rating:
6.3