Wait, what, where’s the Galaxy Watch 2? There isn’t one, with Samsung’s follow-up Apple Watch rival going straight to ‘3’ for its second-generation device.
The reason, we speculate, is that – after releasing the original Galaxy Watch in 2018 and not a follow-up the year after – the Watch Active 2 came out in 2019, so to keep things neater for 2020 makes sense. Avoid the number confusion.
We got to briefly sample the Galaxy Watch 3 ahead of its official unveil at Samsung’s KX store in London, UK, so take a look at our pictures and initial impressions.
Design: What’s New?
- Smaller, thinner, lighter than original
- IP68 water and dust proof / MIL-STD-810G
- Sizes: 41mm (£399/€429), 45mm (£419/€459)
Samsung has gone a little smaller for the Watch 3: it’s available in 41mm and 45mm options (the original was 42mm and 46mm) thanks to a new, smaller bezel and increase in display size.
All this also helps to shift a little thickness and weight compared to the original.
Both sizes feature the usual 20mm/22mm straps, so you can change these at your preference.
Waterproofing to 5m remains, just as it did with the original device.
The build is solid – daresay watch-like, unlike some of the more plasticky competition – much like the original.
Display: It’s All Round
- Size: 1.2-inch (41mm model) / 1.4-inch (45mm model)
- Resolution: 360 x 360 pixels
- Rotating bezel control
- Round display
Back when wearables first appeared as that hot new thing, there was the ‘flat tyre’ black band across the bottom of many displays. Not so with this Samsung – the Watch 3 has a fully round display, and very nice it is indeed.
There’s no heaps of resolution, but that’s typical for any wearable, so the watch faces and apps look suitably sharp. The smaller device gets the smaller screen, of course, meaning its an even higher pixel density – but that won’t matter when you’re just glancing at notifications and fitness info briefly.
Hardware & Features
- Battery: 247mAh (41mm model) / 340mAh (45mm model)
- Fitness tracking updates, including running form/style
- Adds oxygen saturation measure (VO2 max)
- Adds ‘Fall Detection’ feature
- Tizen OS 5.5, 1GB RAM
It’s with the features that the Watch 3 sees the most advancements over the original. Many of these features – such as Fall Detection to mitigate a frailer person falling and potentially injuring themselves – will be familiar to Apple Watch users, which is a clear competitor for Samsung.
And if you’re an Android phone user, where the Apple Watch has a little affliction (it works, it just doesn’t do everything as thoroughly as it would for an iPhone users), then the Galaxy Watch 3 is likely to be high up the list of attractive, well-made and feature-packed watches. After all, there aren’t that many makers in this space – only really Fossil makes fashionable smart watches across a wide range of fashion brands.
Samsung stands its own ground with the Galaxy Watch, too, as it’s built on Tizen OS (v5.5 here), rather than Google’s Wear OS system. That might mean fewer apps overall – but Samsung already has most of the majors, such as Spotify, on board. It’s not a barrier for a device of this type.
Elsewhere, the Watch 3 adds a VO2 Max oxygen saturation measure, while its exercise tracking also gains additional advances – including the ability to track your run form/style to aid with better data for, say, shoe fitting and posture.