For Android smartphone users, the hunt for a decent smartwatch can be frustrating. While iPhone users take great pride in the Apple Watch, Google doesn’t offer a Pixel-branded smartwatch yet. The closest to the perfect Android smartwatch is the Samsung GalaxyWatch 3, but it doesn’t even run Android WearOS. But it is still cheaper than Apple Watch and packs quite a punch.
Galaxy Watch 3 Review
- Galaxy Watch3 combines powerful technology with a premium, customizable design so you can manage the day-today from your wrist, beautifully.
- Keep an eye on wellness with advanced health monitoring, and go for days without charging.
- Keep an eye on your fitness and health with SpO2, VO2 max, and heart-rate monitoring. Help is just a tap away if you stumble. And track your cycle in an easy and discreet way. *This device and related software are not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease. SPO2, VO2 max and running coach features not available at the time of launch, will become available during Q3. Features will require a software update. **This device and related software are not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease. ***Trip detection recognizes falls when engaged in dynamic motion, not when still. Requires network connection to notify emergency contact. GPS accuracy may be affected by obstructions to satellite signal such as buildings.
- Galaxy Watch3 combines style—two sizes, three colors, 50,000-plus watch faces and premium leather bands—with military-grade durability and water resistance.
- Leave your phone at home. Galaxy Watch3 gives you the freedom to call, text, stream music and get notifications via LTE connectivity.
- Spend your time moving while Galaxy Watch3 tracks seven popular activities automatically. Get more out of each movement thanks to a built-in run coaching.
Related Post: Oppo SmartWatch Review
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Specs and software
For testing purposes, I paired the Watch 3 with my Pixel 3 XL, which is an Android phone. The Watch can also be paired to iPhones, but I advise you not to use the Watch 3 with an iOS device.
Samsung sent me the Galaxy Watch 3 review unit with LTE but I chose not to activate the service on it. The LTE, even though it costs more than a regular GPS model, gives you the freedom to make calls from the watch without having a phone nearby.
Watch 3 runs Samsung’s own TizenOS. The user interface is easy to understand and there is no learning curve to it. You need to use the scroll bezel or use the touchscreen to navigate and use the different widgets and apps. Tizen takes advantage of that rotating bezel and circular screen, which in my opinion is the best part of Watch 3. It’s so much more convenient to rotate the screen rather than swiping on the screen.
What also works in the favour of the Watch 3 is the fluid navigation, thanks to the capable hardware. Under the hood, the Watch 3 is powered by an Exynos 9110 dual-core processor, has 1GB RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. It also has an accelerometer, a barometer, a gyroscope, an ambient light sensor and NFC.
That’s not to say everything is perfect. Samsung has done a great job with the user interface, but the same cannot be said about apps. You may or may not agree, but the Watch 3’s app selection is not comparable to what you get with the Apple Watch. There are no navigation apps or leading publications available on the Watch 3, but you do get Spotify. Using Spotify is so much fun, as you can download playlists directly to the watch. If Samsung can work on more such partnerships, it would bring more users to the Watch 3 or future versions of Galaxy Watch.
Interacting with and replying to notifications and seamless integration with your Android phone makes the Watch 3 so much better than many rival smartwatches, including Fitbit Versa 2.
Did I mention that Samsung offers more than 80,000 watch faces in the Galaxy Store? Samsung has done a good job with third-party watch faces for the Watch 3. There are some great digital and analogue options to choose from.
Samsung Pay on your wrist is a great feature. Bixby, the voice assistant on the Watch 3, is a hit and miss.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Fitness and health
I am sure many of you want to know how good or bad is Watch 3 in tracking your fitness activities, especially at the time of Covid-19. Look, the watch does a fairly decent job in tracking basic activities, which we all are interested in, like count steps, floors climbed, stress, menstrual cycle and heart rate tracking. But you can go beyond the usual monitoring options and track a number of activities like running, walking, treadmill, circuit training, elliptical training, hiking, cycling and swimming. If you are into running, you will appreciate an advanced running coach.
The Watch 3 can track sleep, too. I found the Watch 3 accurately recorded and analysed my sleep, but doesn’t really go into the detail.
Speaking of heart rate monitoring, the Watch 3 does a good job checking in on your heart rate. You can also take an electrocardiogram (ECG), but that feature is currently live only in South Korea. One big new feature is to measure blood oxygen levels through the SpO2 sensor. I tested it a few times and the results were fairly accurate. My biggest issue with blood oxygen sensor on Watch 3 is that it’s hard to get a reading in the first place. Keep in mind that you have to position it correctly on your wrist for it to work.