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- Its advanced features include blood oxygen (SpO2), an electrocardiogram sensor, and advanced sleep and stress tracking.
- After trying out the Galaxy Watch 3, I can’t say that these advanced features inspire much confidence, nor are they intuitive or so useful.
- Most people looking for a smart watch for fitness tracking should take a longer look at the cheaper Samsung Galaxy Active 2 for $ 229.99, which comes with the same basic features as the Watch 3, which are frankly more useful than the current one. iteration of advanced functions.
Samsung’s latest Galaxy Watch 3 is the company’s flagship smartwatch and comes with a variety of improved features and sensors, as well as a design that reduces the scandalously large panel of the smartwatch.
In the end, however, the Galaxy Watch 3 is not a smartwatch that I would recommend to most people, at least not at its starting price of $ 399.99. It’s just such a high price for a lot of uncertainty about advanced features, and there are other cheaper smartwatches like the $ 229.99 Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, which offers significantly better value while retaining the main advantages.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 specifications
Display: 1.2 inches, 360 x 360 (41 mm) and 1.4 inches, 360 x 360 (45 mm)
Battery: 247mAh (41mm) and 340mAh (45mm)
Processor: 1.15GHz, dual core, Exynos 9110
Memory and storage: 1GB RAM and 8GB storage
Connection: WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, Galileo, LTE (optional)
Sensors: Accelerometer, barometer, gyro sensor, electrical heart sensor (ECG), optical heart rate sensor (HRM), light sensor
Water resistance: IP68 + 5ATM
Design and comfort
The overall design of the Galaxy Watch 3 is clean, even made of premium materials such as steel or even titanium – every flair or aesthetic comes from the selected watch, which shines from the AMOLED screen. Still, the Galaxy Watch 3 has some of the thinnest smartwatch frames, and Samsung is one of the best to use these frames with the unique rotating dial, which facilitates and even satisfies navigation around the Watch 3.
So what do the dials look like? You get a good range to choose from and you can customize them with different colors, complications, hand designs, etc. – although I would like you to have more control and customization options. In addition, there are numerous selections that you can find in the Samsung App Store and Google Play Store. But even Samsung’s excellent AMOLED display technology can’t mimic a true analog dial. No smartwatch can.
Comfortable, the Galaxy Watch 3 is very nice to wear, whether I’m on the couch or training – it’s light and not too big or thick. I’ve never liked leather straps for a variety of boring, whining personal reasons, but the included leather strap is actually better than I thought it would be. Although there is a period of breakthrough when it squeaks and is uncomfortably hard.
Galaxy Watch 3 has a set of features and sensors to monitor health and wellness. You will find basic sensors such as a heart rate sensor, as well as more advanced sensors such as an ECG (electrocardiogram) sensor to measure blood oxygen and stress. There is also GPS for tracking the distance.
Although I have all these advanced features, I find that I still use the Watch 3 for its main features. I like that the Watch 3 automatically and accurately detects a workout. I also like that it measures heart rate and elapsed time, distance traveled and calories burned, and that I can have a simple report on the Samsung Health app.
You can download your Spotify playlists to the GB 3’s 8GB internal storage, which should be enough for a few hundred songs and your workouts, which is great if you don’t want to carry your phone to a workout just for playing music.
With that in mind, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 for $ 229.99 is a cheaper (and better looking, in my opinion) alternative to the relatively expensive Watch 3, which starts at $ 399.99 as it comes with the basic things.
Receiving notifications on a smartwatch so you don’t have to take out your phone every time has been one of the main attractions for smartwatches, and the Watch 3 performs well in this aspect. As always, I’m happy to get a quick look at emails, text messages, and any other notification I want to receive.
One of my favorite things about using the Watch 3 is that I can make phone calls without touching my phone once. It was incredibly useful in certain cases and this is a feature that I actively miss when I don’t have the watch 3 on my wrist.
Watch 3 also includes drop detection, which can be useful for some users.
Like the fitness stuff above, you can do all these things on the cheaper Galaxy Watch Active 2.
Battery life is one of the main attractions of the Watch 3 with Samsung’s two-day battery life advertised. I’ve found that this is actually true, even on training days, when the Watch 3 uses a variety of sensors – as long as you don’t use the “always on” mode for the dial.
When you have the “always on” mode for the dial, the battery life is reduced to about a day.
The charger is basic and minimalist – the watch 3 is functionally attached magnetically to the disk and lies on the surface.
The Galaxy Watch 3’s marking and differentiation feature is its advanced sensors for tracking blood oxygen levels (SpO2), but neither the Watch 3 nor the Samsung Health app tell me what to do with the blood oxygen data. It doesn’t really tell you what to do with stress levels or sleep tracking data. None of this seems to be integrated into the overall health or fitness tracking of the Watch 3 or the Samsung Health app, and the features seem misleading and isolated in their current iterations. They are fun to watch, but the novelty disappears and never again after a few days did I follow my blood, oxygen, stress or sleep.
Samsung says the Watch 3’s blood and oxygen tracking “assesses overall endurance during a workout,” but you have to manually go through the watch’s interface to start measuring SpO2 – it’s not something that is measured automatically when you train, which does not seem intuitive or useful.
On top of that, I’m skeptical of the accuracy that the Watch 3 tracks my sleep. Ever since the recent update of Watch 3, he claims that I have not been in a deep sleep for days and that my sleep quality is 30 out of 100. But he said that my sleep efficiency is constantly over 80% before the mentioned update. What do I believe? There is no trust.
To be honest, I’m skeptical that a smartwatch at the user level like the Watch 3 can really record and track things like blood oxygen levels and especially sleep and stress. If you are after these types of measurements, the Watch 3 or any standard consumer smartwatch does not inspire much confidence or usefulness.
A little complaint about the automatic detection of a workout – while it’s great, it’s also too impatient to claim that I’m actually training. More often, the clock registers my showers as a workout, for example. It’s annoying if you constantly stay on top of your workouts and fitness tracking, as this inflates the tracking numbers – I doubt I burn 100 calories during a 10-minute shower. Fortunately, you can easily delete the wrong workouts in the Samsung Health app.
Another little complaint about fitness tracking is how the clock doesn’t stay on to show you your heart rate and other data during a workout. I have to make a gesture or press a button or screen to turn it on to quickly look at my workout data, it’s annoying.
A watch that is reluctant to tell you the time
Unless you choose the permanent battery drain mode for the dial, the Watch 3 won’t reliably tell you when you want it. Sometimes you have to openly make a dramatic “check time” gesture to make it work. Other times, gently squeezing the wrist will work fine. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, which is especially frustrating when the screen lights up randomly when you do no I mean time.
The function is incompatible and is something intelligent. No smartwatch I’ve tried with low-battery, sophisticated, colorful and high-resolution screens that require wake-up gestures to do it properly.
Some people don’t mind, or they do better. For me, this drives me crazy to be greeted by a dark emptiness when I want time from a I’m watching.
There is no Google Assistant and Bixby can be difficult to use
The only smart assistant you get is Samsung’s Bixby, which is annoying, especially since you don’t get the option to use Google Assistant.
The Samsung Tizen operating system running on the Watch 3 looks and works great, but it can be difficult to find certain settings and options. For example, some settings and options are on the watch, and others in the Samsung Wear mobile app on your smartphone. I was looking for a way to deactivate the notification I receive when the connection between my watch and my phone is lost, and I eventually turned to look at it and found that the setting is only on the watch itself.
Another example: I want to add cycling as one of my widget shortcuts so I can quickly start tracking a cycling workout, but it’s incredibly difficult to do. There are many internet searches for things that should be done easily. Even after I did it once, I’m not sure how to do it again. Tizen and the software could do some work.
Do you need to buy a Samsung Galaxy Watch 3?
Not for $ 400. The sleek SpO2 sensor and other advanced tracking such as sleep and stress seem too ambitious, difficult to use and just don’t inspire much confidence in what they’re designed to do.
If you’re looking for a smart fitness tracking watch, you’re better off with something cheaper that has the basics, like the Samsung Galaxy Active 2, which starts at $ 230 and can regularly be found for less.
If you are looking for a watch that tells you the time and you like the idea of custom dials, I would also not recommend the watch 3. In fact, I would not recommend any smartwatch if you say that time is your main use for a smartwatch.
If you already know that you like smartwatches and can tolerate their typical shortcomings such as the reluctance to determine the time and battery life (compared to a real watch), the Galaxy Watch 3 may be a good option, but I would wait for its price to go down. I don’t see the $ 400 value with the Galaxy Watch 3.
Professionals: Battery life; a good set of basic health and fitness features; relatively thin, light and comfortable for a smart watch; supports Spotify offline music; great for receiving phone calls and notifications.
Cons: Price; simple design; inconsistent awakening of the screen to tell the time; advanced health and fitness features are in question; no Google Assistant support; non-intuitive Tizen operating system.