Introducing, the brand new Galaxy Watch3. This is actually quite a highly-anticipated product as the original Galaxy Watch was announced 2 years ago. Remember, there’s no Galaxy Watch2.
So, let’s take a look at what’s new and if it is worth the upgrade.
Starting off with the design – the Galaxy Watch series is always sticking of what a traditional luxury timepiece is supposed to look like. It’s beautiful, thin, and has a rotating bezel too – just like before.
I do think that the overall design – particularly the bezel – is now cleaner and “less noisy” compared to the Galaxy Watch. The rotating bezel does not have any other printing on it – which is something that I like.
The buttons are now also changed to look and feel like a luxury timepiece’s buttons. I have to say, this is a nice change when compared to the previous Galaxy Watch.
However, I have to make a point here by saying this. The Galaxy Watch3 is available in two different sizes – 45mm or 41mm. The one we have here is the 45mm size, but it is available in either Mystic Black or Mystic Silver. If you want it in Mystic Bronze, then you’ll have to get the 41mm size instead. I mean, since everything else that was announced during the Unpacked event is in Mystic Bronze, shouldn’t Samsung also offer the 45mm version of the Galaxy Watch 3 in Mystic Bronze too?
But anyway, the Galaxy Watch3 comes with a leather strap too. Pretty nice strap and you can also swap it out for something else if you want to.
Beautiful screen for sure
The 45mm version has a 1.4-inch screen, whereby the 41mm version has a 1.2-inch screen. Both of them have the exact same Circular Super AMOLED display with 360×360 pixels in resolution and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass DX.
Colors are beautiful, it’s bright, and honestly – nothing short of our expectation when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy Watch3.
Watchfaces to customize match your style
Samsung developed a bunch of watchfaces to be included in the watch by default. We have a slew of them here but of course, Samsung also developed something new for their Galaxy Watch3. It is a watchface called… My Style.
Now, this new My Style watchface is highly customizable. There are a total of 6 different things that can be customized to your liking:
- Background – change the background according to your picture’s color scheme
- Clock type – depends on how you watch the time to be shown
- Complication 1
- Complication 2
- Complication 3
- Complication 4
The “complications” here – which is a term that I’m not familiar with – is to add additional shortcuts or data into each quadrant of the screen.
But if My Style is suited for your style, Samsung has a library of watchfaces on the Galaxy Store. Over the years, Samsung grew a community of creators who creates and sells watchfaces on the Galaxy Store. There are some watchfaces are reminiscent of other classic watch’s design, and some of them are animated ones.
An emphasis on health
The brand new Galaxy Watch3 comes with a slew of health-focused. The Galaxy Watch3 has the same slew of sensors as the Galaxy Watch Active2 – which we reviewed here – so it can detect your heart rate and logs everything into the Samsung Health app.
The Galaxy Watch3 can also be your personal trainer now. There are more than 120 fitness programs to select from.
The Galaxy Watch3 also has advanced running analysis to tell you if you’ve been running asymmetrically or if the weight distribution is balanced. This is important as it can prevent body strain by improving posture during your running routine.
Two new sensors
The Galaxy Watch3 can now also monitor your SpO2 level – which is the blood’s oxygen level. This sensor, while it doesn’t sound like much, can detect signs of hypoxia, which is caused by respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma, collapsed lung, or pneumonia. Hypoxia’s severity is determined by levels, so maybe early detection is important.
The weird thing though, is that the Galaxy Watch3 does not actually constantly track my SpO2 level. I have to deliberately press measure, place my hand in a certain position to get it measured.
Anyway, one more new addition to the SOS segment in the Galaxy Wearables – fall detection. I still think this is great for the elderly or for those that require special needs. Just set the emergency contacts in the Galaxy Wearables app and it’ll automatically alert the contacts when a fall is detected.
What’s important here is that Samsung made it clear that false positives will happen, which is why Samsung gives you a minute to swipe the notification away if a false positive is detected.
Get better sleep
The brand new Galaxy Watch3 can also now track how well you sleep at night. It records a few different stats here:
- Awake time
- REM sleep time
- Light sleep time
- Deep sleep time
Samsung has also partnered with the National Sleep Foundation to provide insights on how you can improve your sleep. Just head into the Samsung Health app to see a summary of your sleep stats.
To me personally, I think this is an important feature. Let me tell you my story. My neighborhood isn’t exactly… a considerate one. My next-door neighbor always starts his super loud Harley Davidson bikes at 2am, and when he does that, the dog from the opposite house starts barking for 5 minutes non-stop. Sometimes, that same dog will start barking as early as 7am for 15 minutes straight, too.
Then, I always wake up feeling groggy and want to immediately feel sleepy for the entire day, yawning away. Wearing the Galaxy Watch3 for a night literally told me why that’s happening. The Galaxy Watch3 tracks my sleeping pattern and then summarizes it into a “sleep score”. My sleep score is only at 30, whereby I should be getting a sleep score of around 82. Yeesh.
And seriously – sleep is important as it is related to many different types of diseases – including cardiovascular and coronary heart disease. It could also lead to higher blood pressure, inability to focus at work, and might also affect emotions negatively.
Blood pressure monitoring is coming…?
This is a tricky feature to bring to every single customer. The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 has ECG (or EKG), which stands for electrocardiogram. Its implementation is the same as the Galaxy Watch Active2, which requires the user to calibrate using a traditional cuff every month to ensure accuracy.
However, the biggest hurdle that Samsung has to go through is to get approval from the government before rolling out the feature to all Galaxy Watch3 users. For us Malaysians, I’m not sure when or even if this feature will arrive at our watch because it’s still not available yet. Perhaps in the near future?
This is surely a fantastic feature to have as death from heart disease is on the rise, so having constant monitoring of our blood pressure is one way to keep our health in check.
Great for productivity, too
A few more features that Samsung added to the Galaxy Watch3 is for productivity purposes. The watch can now do three things – control music, control the phone’s camera, and also control PowerPoint slides.
The music controller isn’t new. It has existed since the previous generation, and the same goes for the phone’s camera controller too. You’ll have to head into the Galaxy Store and download the Camera Controller app and it’ll work. This feature is only available to products launched since the Galaxy Watch Active and the Galaxy S9.
I didn’t know this exists, actually. The Camera Controller app acts as a remote shutter and has the ability to change between the rear-facing or selfie cameras, change the timer, and also preview photos taken. However, I wish Samsung updates the Camera Controller app to allow us to zoom too.
The brand new feature here is the ability to control your PowerPoint slides from your phone. This is a fantastic feature as it means I don’t have to bring a clicker with me all the time. The watch allows you to go to the next or previous slide, or just use the Galaxy Watch3 as a trackpad. Glide your fingers on the screen, and the mouse cursor just slides around.
Now, what’s interesting is that you can even pair the watch to your PC to control the slides as well. I mean, more power to you – and thanks Samsung for not locking this feature to only Samsung phones.
By the way, this feature can also work in tandem with the Galaxy Note20 series since they can now use screen mirroring to cast Samsung DeX to the big screen wirelessly. Control your slides via your watch, too.
With that many features packed into the Galaxy Watch3, how’s the battery life? Well… it can last for about 3-4 days for me. I use it at 50% brightness with AOD turned off, constant heart rate monitoring, and I check the time for quite a lot of times a day.
If I use the workout trainer and track my location via GPS, then the battery life would be shorter. The battery life would be even shorter if I am listening to music on my wireless earbuds via the Galaxy Watch3.
One problem that I have is that I don’t what is the best time to charge Galaxy Watch3. I want it to be on my wrist at all times so that it can track my heart rate, stress level, and whatnot – and I can’t charge it while I’m sleeping either because I want it to track my sleep.
Eventually, I just decided to charge when I get home after work and wear it again right before I go to bed.
For the price, is it worth it?
Okay, so the Galaxy Watch3 comes in two different sizes, and both of them are at different prices:
- Galaxy Watch3 (41mm) @ RM1,699
- Galaxy Watch3 (45mm) @ RM1,799
Honestly, yeah – the Galaxy Watch3 is a premium smartwatch with lots of features to offer – ranging from personal health, fitness, and even as a productivity tool. It has many features that are not locked into the Samsung ecosystem, and it also allows laptops to use the PowerPoint controller feature.
The price is comparable with the Apple Watch Series 5, but that watch is only good for Apple users. And I think Apple felt the pressure as Apple just officially released watchOS 7 Public Beta with the sleep tracking feature on 10th August 2020. The Galaxy Watch3 was released 5 days before this announcement. And this is the time I’ll say that competition in the smartwatch market is alive and well.
Overall, I was surprised by how the Galaxy Watch3 is able to provide my sleeping data and showed me what’s happening. This Galaxy Watch3 is going to be a great companion device for many people – especially power users.