Over the years, Samsung has made steady but significant progress when it comes to wearables. The South Korean tech giant has built a portfolio of smartwatches and fitness trackers across price range. The latest addition to it is the Galaxy Watch 3 — a premium offering in the smartwatch space. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 comes at a starting price of Rs 29,990 and packs in a lot of health and fitness features. We used the smartwatch for a while to see how it performs and here’s our review of the latest Samsung smartwatch:
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review: Design and display
The Galaxy Watch 3 always has had a classic watch look and it is something that a lot of people appreciate about it. Samsung hasn’t made wholesale changes to the design of the Galaxy Watch but made some tweaks here and there. For instance, rather than getting two flat buttons on the right, you now see cylindrical stubs. The buttons can be used to navigate through the watches interface. The upper button also doubles up as the back button. Other functions of the buttons include waking up Bixby (Samsung’s voice assistant) with a long press.
The Galaxy Watch comes in two sizes: 41mm and 45mm and its body is made of stainless steel. The Galaxy Watch comes with a leather strap which gives it a nice premium look. Samsung doesn’t give any other choice of watch straps with this smartwatch. The Mystic Bronze colour — the best one in our opinion — is available only in the 41mm variant. The 45mm variant has Mystic Black and Mystic Silver as colour options. The Galaxy Watch 3 looks like a biggish watch but not even once did we feel any heaviness on the wrist. The Galaxy Watch 3 is comfortable to wear and looks quite neat on the wrist as well. The smartwatch comes with IP68 rating, which makes it dust and water resistant.
The 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display has Corning Gorilla Glass DX on top to protect it from scratches. Like most Samsung displays, the Galaxy Watch 3 has a bright and striking display. The brightness levels are spot on, the colours are vibrant and text legibility is accurate. The rotating bezel works smoothly and can be used to navigate through the interface of the Galaxy Watch 3.
Both in terms of design and display, Samsung has done a fine job as this is a premium looking watch, which has a solid build.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review: Performance
At the heart of the smartwatch is Samsung’s dual-core Exynos 9110 processor along with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage. Int terms of sensors, you will get a gyroscope, heart rate sensor, accelerometer, barometer and an ambient light sensor.
Samsung is one of those rare brands that doesn’t use Google’s WearOS. Instead, the Galaxy Watch 3 runs One UI (Watch Edition) which is based on TizenOS. The interface is really easy to get used. Swiping down gets you toggle buttons for Wi-Fi and other features. The rotating bezel can be used to see notifications, widgets.
We used the Galaxy Watch 3 with an iPhone 11 Pro Max. There’s no sugar coating the fact that it doesn’t give the best results with the iPhone. One has to be dependent on the Galaxy Wearable app for a lot of things. Even some notifications were a bit delayed when used with an iPhone.
It’s a whole different ball game if you are using it with a Samsung phone. When we connected the smartwatch with a Galaxy S20+, the performance was unmatched. The Wearable app is needed but only for customisations and not all kinds of functionalities. You will also need the Samsung Health app to get the best out of this smartwatch.
The notifications on the smartwatch can be responded to in many ways: smart suggestions, you can draw or type on the T9 keyboard, and voice typing. Typing on the keyboard isn’t smooth but that’s because of the size of the display. Voice typing works quite accurately on the smartwatch.
If you swipe down from the home screen you will see quick toggle options like network, Wi-Fi status and battery levels. Swipe left on the screen and you will see options like Bluetooth, Always-on, Settings among other things.
The built-in speaker and microphone on the watch work well. The call quality was quite good, however, the person on the other end did complain at times about lack of clarity. The loudspeaker is loud enough to hear even in noisy conditions.
The Galaxy Watch 3 has a lot of watch faces to choose from. Almost all of them can be customised depending on what complications you want to be displayed on the watch.
The Galaxy Watch 3 is high on fitness and health features as well. It automatically detects up to six activities and logs in the data. We were impressed with the accuracy of stats — like step count or floors climbed — that the smartwatch delivered. Apart from these six activities, there are may more that can be tracked including pilates and yoga, However, you will have to set them up as and when you are working out.
There’s also a stress tracking feature that suggests breaking exercises and is a neat feature to have in a smartwatch.
The sleep tracking feature on the Galaxy Watch 3 is also really good. You can track facets like deep sleep, light sleep, REM cycle.
One of the key highlights of the smartwatch is blood oxygen monitoring. The SpO2 levels can be checked through your wrist and it was accurate on most occasions. The time taken is slightly more than our liking but it is a handy feature to have.
The battery on the smartwatch is really good and can easily last more than a day and a half. The 340mAh battery is one of the better ones we have come across in a smartwatch. The same can’t be said about charging as the smartwatch takes quite a while to fully charge. In our experience, it took more than 2.5 hours to fully charge and perhaps Samsung missed a trick by not offering fast charging.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review: Verdict
For Android users, the Galaxy Watch 3 is a no-brainer. It’s a neat looking smartwatch which is slim and light. It has all the fitness and health features — that work accurately — one would want in a smartwatch. The display is bright and crisp. If you don’t use an iPhone, then this is the smartwatch to buy. The software and UI is much better than Google’s WearOS. Starting at Rs 29,99,0 this is not meant for those looking for affordable smartwatches. However, if you want a premium smartwatch to work in sync with your Android phone, the Galaxy Watch 3 could be an ideal companion.