The first thing that came to mind after a brief use of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 was, “Wow, the best just got better.” This refers to the Galaxy Watch Active 2 – once the best smartwatch for Android users.
Now Samsung has outdone itself with the Galaxy Watch 3, offering users a smartwatch that is, in many ways, just steps away from the Galaxy Watch Active 2.
For starters, Samsung brought back the rotating bezel. The feature that has made the smartwatches so compelling since they were introduced with the Gear S3 a few years ago. But it goes beyond that. Samsung has kept the user experience simple and easy to use. Improving the Tizen software and adding more useful features based on advanced health and fitness hardware.
But how does the clock stack up on a more detailed level? It’s hardly the only watch that offers an SpO2 sensor and EKG capabilities. And every other smartwatch out there is tracking the exercises and offering them something Notification level and app access. Here are our thoughts.
Software so simple that anyone can use it
Lots of cool features are nice, but not necessary. Ultra-luxury materials are beautiful, but all they do is end up increasing the cost of the watch. What is necessary and often personally underestimated is software that is easy to use.
Some smartwatch programs are so complicated that using the device becomes a problem. This makes you want to put it down and never touch it again. This is not the case at all with the Galaxy Watch 3.
The software, and with it the user experience, is so easy to use that anyone can really pick up on it and be a wizard with it in no time. That is an important factor. Because it gives Samsung the ability to bring on board other users who may have shied away from being as tech-savvy.
From initial setup to everyday use, interacting with the Galaxy Watch 3 has never been a major challenge or a boring task. Setup was quick and easy. And using the watch in my everyday life was always pleasant. Every rotation of the bezel. Every skipped track on Spotify. Everything was a great experience.
Samsung was able to improve the software of its smartwatches at any time. But in all honesty, there isn’t much to do to get there. And there’s not much it could do as the software already glows brighter than other competing options.
That doesn’t mean Samsung shouldn’t strive to improve the user experience by improving the software. We don’t want it to get sloppy and lazy here. There is simply no great urgent need for over-optimization and simplification.
There is still a shortage of apps, but is it really that terrible?
I marked this product as a scam because I know a lot of users want more app support from Samsung for their smartwatches. And, to a certain extent, I also think that it would be a good thing if that particular part of the watch got improved.
That being said, I personally don’t go to my smartwatch to use a ton of apps. For the most part, I want the basics of a smartwatch. Exercise tracking, music management, notifications, weather, etc.
Samsung has met these while adding some extras with the EKG, SpO2 and sleep tracking functions. The appeal to have more app support is understandable, but not absolutely necessary.
However, this seems to be something that many users have wanted to improve on for a while. Whether you’re like me and don’t really need or want more app support for the watch, or if you’re like other users and want your watch to be a more comprehensive extension of your smartphone, the Galaxy Watch 3 is largely for both camps equipped.
Battery life you can be proud of
Samsung hasn’t done anything earth-shaking with the battery life of this watch, but it’s still battery life to be proud of. This is smartwatch battery life to be proud of when you meet mom and dad.
You will likely have two days of it. Although realistically this probably depends on what features you are using. I haven’t and have never used everything the watch has to offer. So the watch definitely feels longer than some of the others.
Still there are many lots Smartwatches that only last a full day if you use them regularly. The Galaxy Watch 3, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have this problem.
I routinely found myself taking it 100% off the charger to wear and taking it off my wrist at the end of the day and placing it somewhere other than the charger. Then I got up the next morning, put it back on my wrist, and used it again for a full day.
You could easily kill the battery in a day if you actively tried. And there are no doubt users who do. Is the battery life the best you can see on a smartwatch? No. But battery life is definitely not something to worry about to a lot with this watch compared to others.
Timeless, classic style that Samsung is known for
One thing that I really enjoyed about Samsung’s smartwatches is the style. Since the Gear S3, Samsung’s inactive watches have had the timeless classic style of a traditional wrist-worn watch.
Some find that this is boring and that Samsung needs to mess things up. Whether it should or not, there is no denying that the Galaxy Watch 3 has a very stylish look to it.
And that is worth acknowledging. After Samsung owned (and hated) Samsung’s first smartwatch, the Gear Live, which runs on what was then the Android Wear platform, every watch Samsung brings out that looks like the Galaxy Watch 3 is like a breath of air, after being deprived of it long enough to almost suffocate.
The Galaxy Watch 3 is available in two different sizes: 41 mm and 45 mm. Both look great on your wrist. They also look so humble that at a glance you could easily mistake them for a regular watch.
Which is a good thing for some (myself included). The watch is usually supplied with a high quality sewn leather strap. However, when you buy the watch from the Samsung website, you have the option to use different types of bracelets. You also have the option to have the case in a few other color options. So there are a few ways to customize the look.
If the design you’re looking for is more like the Fitbit Surge, the Galaxy Watch 3 may not be for you. However, it’s perfect for anyone who wants a more traditional smartwatch.
You can get pretty good sleep tracking features here
Sleep tracking across all wearables is not the same. It is worth noting, however, that some portable devices may not have as strong sleep tracking due to their minimal knowledge. In fact, the Galaxy Watch 3 lets you view a whole range of data and information about your sleep quality.
The watch allows you to keep track of things like REM sleep, deep sleep, and light sleep. The cool part, however, is that it even compares your sleep stats to what are considered normal stats. So you can see where your sleep is of a standard quality.
The sleep tracking functions are located in the Samsung Health app. Like almost all other health and wellness functions. It uses the heart rate sensor on the watch to measure the data. When it can’t take a heart rate measurement, it uses exercise instead.
When it uses exercise, your quality of sleep is said to be restless, light, or motionless. This still has the ability to give you some useful insights into your sleep health. Although I found the heart rate measurement worked pretty well for the most part.
The performance is great as expected
If you’ve used any of Samsung’s newer smartwatches, you already know that performance is one of the best things about them, and that stays here.
The navigation in the menus is already very good due to the rotating bezel and thanks to the excellent performance it only feels more fluid and natural. This is another reason to opt for something like the Galaxy Watch 3 over other options. Especially those running Wear OS as the performance is pretty poor on most Wear OS smartwatches.
It was rare that I encountered lag or poor performance issues on the Galaxy Watch 3. And the times I came into contact with hiccups were fleeting at best. Which made them barely noticeable.
Fitness is the main feature of this watch
While the performance is really good, where the watch really shines is with the fitness features. Samsung has been developing home health features on its newest devices for the past few years.
And it has done an excellent job of bringing users a wide variety of fitness features that can be used to improve their overall health and wellbeing. From running to yoga, the watch can automatically keep track of what you’re doing. It even lists workouts for pull-ups, leg presses, and more for strength training.
Not that these are things you won’t find in other smartwatches. However, it might be difficult to find another option that doesn’t just offer so many different options and delivers them in a quality package.
I’ve mostly tested this with walks, and every time I went somewhere the watch had no problem automatically reading that I was starting a workout. It takes about a minute for the watch to start tracking, but I’ve found that it is because you need to know that you are actually exercising, not just walking around the house to pick something up.
It also closely tracked my runs and pushups. And for outdoor exercises, I found GPS tracking to be pretty accurate and useful for looking back on routes. Personally, I love this feature so that I can draw routes for the next time.
Overall, the fitness part of the watch is excellent. And it’s the most powerful set of features the Galaxy Watch 3 has to offer.
Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3?
It won’t be the perfect smartwatch for everyone, but it does come out as the perfect smartwatch for everyone. It is indeed an excellent option for many consumers. And if you want easy navigation, great fitness features, and a stylish design, then you should get the Galaxy Watch 3.
The fitness features and rotating bezel are sure to be the most compelling parts of the watch. If these things are important to you, this is something you should consider. Especially now with Samsung’s discount thereon.
All in all, the Galaxy Watch 3 is the benchmark to shoot for. Both for Samsung and for the company’s competitors.