Recently, Samsung released the Galaxy Watch 3 in India. The 41mm variant is priced Rs 29,990 for the Bluetooth-only model and Rs 34, 490 for the LTE model. Whereas the 45mm model’s LTE and Bluetooth variants are priced Rs 38, 990, and Rs 32,990, respectively
On paper, Samsung’s latest Galaxy Watch 3 is not only a good upgrade over the predecessor but also on par with rival branded smart wearables in the market. I have using the device for a week and here are my thoughts.
Design, build quality, and display
It has a classic circular dial and the trademark rotating bezel. The company has used premium stainless steel for the case and our review unit Mystic Black looks splendid in the sunlight. The glossy case blends beautifully with leather strap. And, below, it houses an optical heart rate sensor with a green glowing laser.
Over-all, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 is undeniably one of the best looking smart watch in the industry. It may look classy and fragile, but make no mistake, the Galaxy Watch 3 is built to last long and survive harsh conditions. It comes with a 5ATM rating, meaning you can take Galaxy Watch 3 for surfing, sea diving and water adventures, as it can survive close to 50 meters (165 feet) underwater.
Also, it has MIL-STD 810G certification and can sustain a wide-range of environmental conditions such as low pressure for altitude testing; exposure to high and low temperatures plus temperature shock (both operating and in storage); rain (including windblown and freezing rain); humidity, fungus, salt fog for rust testing; sand and dust exposure; explosive atmosphere; leakage; acidic atmosphere, acceleration; shock and transport shock; gunfire vibration; and random vibration.
On the front, it has a 1.4-inch super AMOLED display with 360x360p resolution. Have to say, it is the brightest screen I have seen on a smartwatch. I was able to view messages and navigate through the watch even under direct sunlight without any fuss.
User-experience and Performance
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is compatible with Android 5.0 (or newer ) and a minimum of 1.5GB RAM 1.5GB. For iPhones, they should have iOS 9 or later versions. Just install the Galaxy Watch app and switch on Bluetooth. It barely took five minutes to connect my iPhone to the Watch 3.
The user-interface is as simple as it gets. Even a rookie can master navigating the Galaxy Watch 3 in a few hours. Just rotate the top bezel to find the features such as workout apps, stress checker, weather, music control, heart rate tracker and everything the Galaxy Watch 3 has to offer.
Also, swiping down on the screen, takes you to the quick toggle drawer for easy access settings, do not disturb, silent mode (vibration on/off), always-on screen (on/off), power off, night mode (stops calls/messaging beeping on the wrist). You can view the battery life and Bluetooth connection to the phone.
Swiping left or swirling the bezel in the anticlockwise will take you the latest notifications such as emails, Whatsapp, messages, Slack and other communication apps.
Also, there are lots of customisation options to watch faces. It supports more than 80,000 watch faces in the Galaxy Store and there is an option design our own with a library of 40 different watch face complications to choose.
The Galaxy Watch 3 comes with a proprietary 1.15Ghz Samsung Exynos 9110 dual-core processor backed by Tizen 5.5 OS-based One UI Watch 2.0, 1 GB RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. It is fast and swift when loading apps or workout tracking. It has an accelerometer, barometer, gyro sensor, light sensor and an optical heart rate sensor.
I am impressed with the automatic fitness tracking feature. Based on my walking, it can intuitively know I am exercising and start counting steps, estimate calories burnt and more. But, to be absolutely sure, it will take at least 10 minutes to understand the body movements.
By the way, besides walking, it can auto-detect other activities such as fast running, swimming, cycling, rowing, elliptical workouts, and dynamic workouts.
Like the previous versions, Galaxy Watch 3 will nudge you to take a walk or flex the hands out if it senses, the user been slacking off close to 50 minutes at a single place.
Also, based on heartbeat, it can measure my stress level and if it finds I am a bit anxious than usual, it will ask me to start the breathing exercise and become calm.
Also, the Galaxy Watch 3 houses several biometric health screening features including Blood-Oxygen level (SpO2), Blood Pressure (BP), heart rate tracking, and a potential life-saving Electrocardiogram (ECG) app.
Sadly, in India, only one feature –heart rate tracking– is possible on the Galaxy Watch 3, rest all are not activated as Samsung is yet to receive the nod from the local health authority.
There is also a Fall Detection feature. It gets triggered when the Galaxy Watch detects heavy fall. For a few seconds, it waits if it was a false alarm and the user turns it off, or else SOS calls or messages will be sent to pre-set contacts. But, it should be paired to the smartphone with a cellular network.
What I love about the Galaxy Watch 3 and Samsung Health app is that they offer well-rounded fitness tracking support. With the latter, I can add meals and calculate the required calories I need per day according to the workouts I do and also track my sleep pattern. The details laid out on the app is just simple and easy to understand.
However, except for Spotify, there is very little presence of well-known third-party apps for the Galaxy Watch 3. But, it is not a deal-breaker, as I, like most prefer a hailing cab or type a reply on phone rather than on the compact screen on the wrist.
With LTE e-SIM support, users can enable the standalone phone calling/messaging capability on the Galaxy Watch 3. The user can leave the phone at home and go a jog and yet not worry about missing out any emergency calls or notifications. You can answer them right from the wrist.
However, if you are on Airtel, you need to have a postpaid subscription. But, for Jio, you can avail of the e-SIM support on both pre-paid and post-paid. But there is no cellular support from Vi (Vodafone Idea) in India.
My review unit Galaxy Watch 3 (45mm) LTE consistently lasted for two days on a single charge and this helps in tracking sleep but one constraint I faced is that it takes a bit longer, close to two and half hours to charge from zero to 100%. So, you have to wake up bit early on every third day to fully charge before you take it off the charger.
However, if you own any of the latest Samsung flagship phones with the PowerShare feature, you can power up the Galaxy Watch 3.
The Galaxy Watch 3 is a solid smart wearable build to last long and with the Samsung Health app, users can develop a disciplined routine to improve physical fitness, food intake, mental, and sleep.
Also, it helps in cutting down on screen time on the phone. With notifications on messages and calls, you can make the decision to ignore or answer them on the Watch before lifting the phone from the pocket.
But, I still wouldn’t recommend this smartwatch for Apple iPhone users, as the Samsung Health app needs some work to be done. Finding apps or watch face is an annoyingly hard task.
However, I have no hesitation to say, it is the best fitness companion for Android phone owners. The apps are optimized well and there is no better smartwatch in the niche premium segment.
Premium build quality
One of the best looking smart watches in the industry
Impressive bright display for a smart watch
Currently, it is the one and only smart watch with a rotating bezel interface in the market
Feature-rich Samsung Health app
Can’t reply to messages directly from the Galaxy Watch 3
Have to wait for ECG, SpO2, Fall Detection, and BP tracking apps, as Samsung is yet to get the nod from Indian health authorities
Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cybersecurity, and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.