After a quick stint with Wear OS (then Android Wear), Samsung ditched Google’s smartwatch platform for its personal. This resulted in a stunted app ecosystem and a few compatibility points, however over time helped Samsung’s smartwatches blossom into the well-rounded wearables we’re acquainted with at the moment. The newest Samsung watch exudes premium {hardware} and a breadth of options you may actually solely get from one different firm.

Read Android Authority’s full Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 evaluation to search out out why it’s the very best Apple Watch various you should buy.

About this Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 evaluation: I used the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 for six days operating One UI Watch model 2.0, Tizen model 5.5.0.1, and software program model R840XXU1BTG6. The 45mm Wi-Fi Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 evaluation unit was paired to my Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in the course of this evaluation.

Samsung’s most trendy smartwatch ever

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 evaluation: All-around great

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The most important aesthetic criticism of Samsung’s unique Galaxy Watch is its chunky design. It has large bezels and an in-your-face look that many individuals both love or hate. Samsung actually turned issues round with the Galaxy Watch 3. It’s thinner and lighter than the unique, and definitely not as chunky. Be warned, although: the 45mm variant is nearly too large for my average-sized wrists. If you’re involved in any respect about measurement, you would possibly wish to go for the 41mm model.

I do know why you’re all right here, and that’s to speak in regards to the rotating bezel. It’s great. Truly. It’s smaller on the Galaxy Watch 3, however not any tougher to make use of. It provides a satisfying click on when it’s rotated, and I’ve really discovered myself rotating it simply… as a result of. It beats the pants off the rotating crowns we see on Wear OS watches, and it’s roughly 1,000x higher than the touch-enabled bezel on the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Samsung has one thing particular right here. Every smartwatch wants a rotating bezel.

I’m utilizing the 45mm mannequin with its 1.4-inch AMOLED show. You already know what I’m going to say right here: this can be a Samsung product, so it has a incredible show. It’s tremendous straightforward to see outdoor in direct daylight.

That show is fairly power-hungry, although it shouldn’t cease you from getting round two days of battery life on a single cost. If you retain the always-on show turned off and don’t use it to work out too usually, you would possibly be capable of make it stretch to day three. I’ve been getting about 1.5 days of battery life with the always-on show turned on, sleep monitoring enabled, and recording a GPS-enabled exercise on daily basis. A five-mile run drained about 20% of my battery life, for reference.

Read extra: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 purchaser’s information, specs, FAQs, and extra

Also, remember that is the 45mm mannequin with a much bigger battery. If you purchase the 41mm mannequin, count on barely shorter battery life.

The charging state of affairs is just not great. The magnetic charging puck packaged with the watch is ok, but it surely’s not very highly effective. It’ll take over two hours to cost the watch as much as 100%. That means you would possibly really have to plan out if you cost your system if you realize you’re going to wish to use it to trace your sleep or throughout a exercise. Luckily you may prime it up by way of Wireless PowerShare you probably have a current Samsung cellphone.

samsung galaxy watch 3 review display watch face 2

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All Galaxy Watch 3 fashions are manufactured from stainless-steel. A titanium mannequin is launching at a later date, but it surely’ll solely be out there within the 45mm Mystic Black Wi-Fi variant. Pricing particulars have but to be introduced.

The watch comes with a “genuine leather” strap within the field. It’s a pleasant strap — snug, and it appears sturdy. I’m not an enormous fan of distinction stitching on straps, although, so I swapped it out for one more silicone strap I had mendacity round. (It’s appropriate with 22mm straps, by the way in which, whereas the 41mm model works with 20mm straps.)

This leads me to a gripe I’ve about smartwatches basically. For as a lot flack because the Apple Watch will get, I feel Apple made the appropriate transfer to ship silicone watch straps with the bottom mannequin watches. These are supposed to be exercise watches for lots of people, and solely together with a leather-based strap within the field means lots of people might want to purchase a third-party strap to allow them to work out. This isn’t a criticism I’ve with, say, $200 watches. But the Galaxy Watch 3 is pricey! You’d count on to get all the pieces you want within the field.

The watch face choice is considerable. Samsung says “over 80,000” watch faces can be found for the Galaxy Watch 3, and all kinds of them are free. Most of the first-party watch faces featured within the Galaxy Wearable app are customizable. The My Style watch face makes a return, permitting you to snap a photograph of your outfit and apply these colours to your watch face.

Fitness and well being monitoring: Held again by {hardware}

samsung galaxy watch 3 review running workout

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

A disclaimer earlier than we proceed: Our Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 evaluation unit initially didn’t have ECG or blood stress monitoring enabled. Samsung has since rolled out ECG performance to the watch, so we now have up to date our evaluation to mirror the brand new function. Blood stress monitoring continues to be pending FDA approval.

Samsung is touting the Galaxy Watch 3 because the extra lifestyle-oriented smartwatch in its lineup, but it surely has just about all the identical well being and health options that include the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

It can monitor 40 completely different sport profiles, from operating and swimming to cardio-based workouts like mountain climbers. 33 of these actions must be tracked manually, whereas seven of them may be auto-tracked.

I’ve discovered automated monitoring to be barely unreliable. The Galaxy Watch 3 tracked a 45-minute stroll round my neighborhood, however didn’t cease recording my exercise despite the fact that I’d been sitting in a chair proper afterwards for about 10 minutes. There’s no approach to manually cease these workouts, both; it simply stops when it stops.

Also learn: The finest health trackers you should buy

samsung galaxy watch 3 review heart rate sensor1

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Samsung caught with the identical GPS and coronary heart charge sensors that it put within the Galaxy Watch Active 2, which is unlucky contemplating I discovered these to be probably the most inaccurate components of the watch. So, how do they fare on the Galaxy Watch 3?

Not so effectively. The Galaxy Watch 3’s coronary heart charge sensor struggled to maintain up with main highs and lows throughout a five-mile run via my neighborhood in comparison with the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro and Wahoo Tickr X chest strap. While the typical beats per minute for all three gadgets had been comparable (149 for Fenix, 150 for Galaxy, and 145 for Tickr X), the Galaxy Watch 3’s readings had been usually 10-15bpm too excessive throughout main lows in my run. Roughly 24 minutes into the run, the Fenix 6 Pro and Tickr X recorded a low of ~90bpm, however the Galaxy Watch 3 solely dipped all the way down to about 125bpm.

samsung galaxy watch 3 review heart rate screenshots analysis

Top to backside: Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Wahoo Tickr X

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Unfortunately Samsung nonetheless doesn’t enable Galaxy Watch gadgets to hook up with exterior coronary heart charge sensors, so there are not any straightforward workarounds if you’d like correct coronary heart charge information.

I really feel the identical manner in regards to the Galaxy Watch 3 as I really feel in regards to the Active 2. Samsung will get an A for effort with lots of the health options it makes an attempt to implement, however the sensors simply fall quick for these in search of probably the most correct stats. This watch will completely suffice for informal athletes who wish to control their exercise general. Users who’re keen on minute particulars ought to look elsewhere.

Unfortunately, you should not look to the Galaxy Watch 3 for correct GPS and coronary heart charge information.

GPS efficiency is so-so. It appears to stay to my operating paths fairly carefully, really, although it usually over-reports my operating distance by 1 / 4 mile or so. This occurred on practically each run I took with the Galaxy Watch 3, regardless of my mile markers lining up carefully with my Fenix 6 Pro.

Related: Why it is best to take health tracker accuracy with a grain of salt

samsung galaxy watch 3 review advanced running metrics

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Perhaps my favourite new function on the Galaxy Watch 3 is its operating evaluation. During and after your run actions, you’ll get superior operating metrics like asymmetry, contact time, flight time, regularity, vertical, and even stiffness. Each considered one of these metrics are scored on an “improve” to “great” scale, and Samsung Health does a incredible job at displaying this data in charts after your run.

These metrics are often solely provided by gadgets with built-in foot pods. I don’t have any foot pods or sensible insoles in my possession, so I’m not in a position to evaluate outcomes. I do assume a number of the metrics are spot-on, whereas others appear to be over-scoring on issues that want work. I feel my contact time and asymmetry are stable, so I’m completely satisfied to see the outcomes come again as “great.” However, I felt extraordinarily stiff on one specific run, despite the fact that I additionally scored “great” on that one.

Samsung does sleep monitoring very well, and the Galaxy Watch 3 provides much more enhancements due to the corporate’s work with the National Sleep Foundation. Overall, sleep monitoring has been correct for me. It’s been in a position to choose up once I go to sleep and get up within the evening. Samsung Health makes it tremendous straightforward to see this data, too, and gives ample insights in your sleep high quality which may assist you enhance.

New to the Galaxy Watch 3 is a sleep rating function, which scores your sleep high quality on a scale of 0-100 based mostly on complete time asleep, time in sleep cycles, motion, and bodily and psychological restoration. I haven’t been sleeping so effectively currently, and I’ve woken up in the course of the evening for a couple of minutes. Samsung really splits this into two sleeps — not only one sleep with an interruption within the center — which suggests I’m scored individually on every quick sleep. As a outcome, my sleep rating is simply at 30/100. On some other system, it’d in all probability be a lot larger than that.

(*3*)

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Stress monitoring and respiratory workouts are nonetheless provided on the Galaxy Watch 3 when you want some assist cooling down in the course of the day.

All Galaxy Watch 3 fashions include a built-in pulse oximeter for measuring blood oxygen ranges, or SpO2. Manually recording blood oxygen information from the watch is fairly seamless, although I’ve seen it does take just a few seconds longer than my Fenix 6 Pro. It’s additionally very sensitive with reference to motion. For what it’s value, the recordings on each Samsung and Garmin gadgets have been fairly spot on, often hovering round 97%.

Samsung isn’t attempting to detect indicators of sleep apnea like a few of its rivals, so the heart beat oximeter solely works for on-demand readings. It can’t run at evening when you’re sleeping.

You’ll additionally get VO2 max estimates after every considered one of your actions with the Galaxy Watch 3. The numbers from my Samsung watch often lined up fairly effectively with the Fenix 6 Pro. Interestingly, although, they fall on completely different components of the size. For occasion, my 50.3 VO2 max quantity throughout a run with the Galaxy Watch 3 says I’m at a “good” stage and within the prime 35% of my age vary, which solely seems to be in the course of Samsung’s scale. My Fenix 6 Pro gave me a 54 rating, although, and says my VO2 max is “excellent” for my age vary.

samsung galaxy watch 3 review display watch face 1

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Samsung is taking one other swipe on the Apple Watch with its new fall detection function. If you’re in the course of an exercise (operating, strolling, and many others.) and the accelerometer senses that you just’ve fallen, your Galaxy Watch 3 will ship an SMS to as much as 4 emergency contacts. I attempted faux falling a few dozen occasions with the watch, and I used to be by no means in a position to get it to set off. Hopefully that’s simply the Galaxy Watch sensing that I’m faking it.

Samsung warns that this function could falsely set off throughout high-impact workouts, so it’s finest to control your wrist if you’re understanding a bit of tougher than regular. Also, it’s essential to remember this isn’t a safeguard for an older individual shuffling round the home. You need to be participating in an exercise for the watch to sense that you just’ve fallen.

If you occur to personal a Samsung tv, the Galaxy Watch 3 would possibly make it simpler so that you can train at residence. You can choose a exercise video from Samsung Health, forged it to your TV, and it’ll show your coronary heart charge in actual time. There are over 120 exercise movies to select from, which might all be performed in your cellphone when you don’t personal a Samsung TV. I don’t, so I couldn’t take a look at this function.

On November 10, 2020, Samsung rolled out software program model R840XXU1BTK1 to Galaxy Watch 3 gadgets in South Korea. The replace introduced stability and accuracy enhancements to its blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) recordings. Voice steerage was additionally added to particular workouts for many who use Bluetooth earbuds whereas understanding.

Finally, Samsung rolled out ECG performance to the Galaxy Watch 3 in September 2020. It works similar to how ECG readings work on the Withings ScanWatch or Fitbit Sense. Recording an ECG solely takes 30 seconds, and you can begin it proper from the watch itself. Once the recording finishes, the watch will let you realize if it sensed any potential indicators of atrial fibrillation (AFib).

A greater Android watch than Wear OS

samsung galaxy watch 3 review on wrist spotify music app

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Setting up the Galaxy Watch 3 on a Samsung cellphone is straightforward — simply set up the Galaxy Wearable app, join your system, and also you’re good to go. However, the setup course of is extra cumbersome when you’re utilizing a non-Samsung cellphone. You want the Galaxy Wearable app, Galaxy Watch 3 PluginSamsung Accessory Service app, and naturally Samsung Health.

After you leap via all these additional hoops, you’ll be rewarded with probably the greatest smartwatch experiences you will get with Android. For me, Samsung’s smartwatch software program has surpassed Wear OS because the go-to Android watch working system — even when it has some main restrictions.

Samsung’s smartwatch software program is all-around higher — and extra supported — than Wear OS.

First, the nice. The Galaxy Watch 3 can deal with all the usual smartwatch stuff we’ve come to count on. You can obtain smartphone notifications and reply to them out of your wrist. You may even view your chat historical past in your look ahead to sure messaging apps. There’s offline native music assist, in addition to offline Spotify assist — a surprisingly uncommon function on wearables. There’s 8GB of inner reminiscence for holding your music, apps, and images (when you actually need that).

Offline music assist is on the market on all Galaxy Watch 3 fashions. You can stream music by way of Wi-Fi on all variants, however in fact you’ll want one of many LTE-connected watches when you’re away from Wi-Fi. The LTE model additionally enables you to ship and obtain messages and calls if you’re not related to your smartphone. Since I don’t have the LTE model, I can’t touch upon LTE connectivity.

Paying for issues together with your wrist is fairly straightforward with the Galaxy Watch, due to Samsung Pay. However, you’ll need to go the usual NFC route for contactless funds — MST know-how isn’t supported right here. We would love to see the return of MST for Samsung Pay. It’s simply too handy to not have on a smartwatch.

Third-party app assist continues to be not great on Galaxy Watches. You have entry to a handful of the preferred health apps, like Strava and MapMyRun, however general app choice pales compared to Wear OS or Apple Watch gadgets. You simply can’t discover as many official third-party apps within the Galaxy Store, that means you would possibly have to obtain a hacky unofficial app to get sure companies up and operating.

On-device efficiency is OK. The Galaxy Watch 3 is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 9110 SoC, which has powered each Galaxy Watch system. There’s 1GB of RAM right here, up from 768MB from the Active 2. I can’t say I seen an enormous distinction in efficiency. Navigating across the software program is ok, however internet-enabled apps equivalent to Bixby and Spotify may be gradual to launch.

Samsung Health is great, however do away with the adverts

samsung galaxy watch 3 review samsung health app discover

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We’ve talked in depth about Samsung Health up to now, so I’m going to level you in the direction of our Galaxy Fit evaluation for a basic overview of the app, find out how to navigate round it, and extra.

In abstract, I prefer it! It jogs my memory loads of the Fitbit app, when you’re acquainted. Samsung Health is clear and simple to make use of, and gives numerous social options and challenges to maintain you motivated. There are additionally quite a lot of exercise applications, movies, and well being assets if you wish to dig into yoga and meditation or be taught extra in regards to the newest food plan tendencies.

Samsung is placing commercials in Samsung Health. There’s an enormous banner advert on the highest of the Home display screen, promoting issues just like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (which is annoying to see when you’re utilizing a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra), promotions from the Galaxy Store, and extra. There’s a devoted Notifications tab that additionally offers you adverts for associated merchandise like nutritional vitamins.

Samsung, get out of right here with these adverts. It’s not one thing anybody needs to see after they purchase a $400+ smartwatch from you.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 specs

  Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Display 45mm: 1.4-inch AMOLED
41mm: 1.2-inch AMOLED

Corning Gorilla Glass DX

Dimensions and weight 45mm: 45 x 46.2 x 11.1mm
53.8g (stainless-steel), 43g (titanium)

41mm: 41 x 42.5 x 11.3mm
49.2

Colors and supplies 45mm: Mystic Black (stainless-steel or titanium), Mystic Silver (stainless-steel)

41mm: Mystic Bronze (stainless-steel), Mystic Silver (stainless-steel)

Battery 45mm: 340mAh
41mm: 247mAh

WPC-based wi-fi charging

Processor Samsung Exynos 9110
Dual-core, 1.15GHz
RAM 1GB
Storage 8GB
Connectivity LTE (out there in choose fashions)
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi b/g/n
NFC
A-GPS/GLONASS/Beidou 7
Sensors Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Barometer
Optical coronary heart charge sensor
ECG
Ambient mild sensor
Durability 5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810G
Software Tizen OS 5.5
Compatibility Android: Android 5.0 or larger & RAM 1.5GB or above
iOS: iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 evaluation: Value and the competitors

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is often out there on Amazon, Samsung, Best Buy, and different retailers beginning at $399.99, but it surely seems to be on sale for $299.99 at most retailers. LTE fashions can be found from Verizon and AT&T beginning at $449.99.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 The newest and best smartwatch from Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is likely one of the extra versatile smartwatches you should buy. It’s trendy, sporty, comes with loads of smartwatch options, and has new well being sensors that may make the watch higher over time.

That’s some huge cash for a smartwatch, regardless of how good it’s. That beginning worth is over $100 greater than the Galaxy Watch Active 2 offered for at launch, and $70 greater than the unique Galaxy Watch. But is it $70-$100 higher? I don’t assume so. Samsung improved the {hardware} over the unique watch, in order that’s a bonus, although I don’t assume the software program has improved sufficient for the corporate to cost this a lot. It’s like Samsung noticed how a lot Apple was charging for its Series 5 watch and thought it’d do the identical. Again, these factors are nullified as a result of $100 low cost the Galaxy Watch 3 presently has, however hold this in thoughts if the value goes again up.

Apple’s newest smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 6, is the Galaxy Watch 3’s greatest competitor. Each system provides an analogous function set and is available in numerous sizes and connectivity choices. The Galaxy Watch 3 is appropriate with Android and iPhones, however you’ll get the very best expertise when you’re utilizing a Samsung cellphone. The Apple Watch is simply appropriate with iOS.

Wear OS launches have been stagnant for some time. The Fossil Gen 5 and Skagen Falster 3 have been our favorites for a very long time, however Google’s lack of ambition with Wear OS software program makes us hesitant to advocate these watches going ahead. The TicWatch Pro 3 can be a very good choice, and it’s operating on the most recent SoC.

If you’re in search of a sports-oriented smartwatch, the Garmin Venu and Vivoactive 4 are cheaper and significantly better for outside actions.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 evaluation: The verdict

samsung galaxy watch 3 review always on display watch face on wrist

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Samsung’s watches have at all times tried to do all the pieces. Think of a contemporary smartwatch function and the Galaxy Watch 3 in all probability has it. Throwing in too many options usually leads to loads of missed alternatives, however I feel Samsung really delivered in most areas right here.

Outside of {hardware} and design, I don’t assume the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is the very best wearable you should buy in anyone specific class. Garmin and Fitbit watches are extra correct with health and well being, and Wear OS has a greater app ecosystem. But the Galaxy Watch 3 is so effectively rounded general, I received’t hesitate to say it’s the very best smartwatch you should buy to your Android cellphone.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is the very best smartwatch you should buy to your Android cellphone.

Maybe the bar for acceptable Android watches is simply so low that it leaves me to gush a few watch that merely doesn’t fall flat on its face. Even so, I feel well-roundedness counts for one thing once we’ve had so many watches try and fail to be the be all, finish all Apple Watch killer.

It actually has its shortcomings, however I feel many individuals shall be actually pleased with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 — offered they will abdomen the excessive price ticket.

Next: The finest smartwatch offers we might discover