The update to 2018’s Samsung Galaxy Watch has arrived, and Samsung has decided that it’s a big enough update to call it the Galaxy Watch 3, skipping the number two altogether (presumably to avoid confusion with the Galaxy Watch Active 2). While it’s not as sporty-looking as the Active models, the Galaxy Watch 3 appears to be the better – albeit more expensive – option for anyone after a fitness-focused smartwatch.
Fitness fans stand to benefit as much as anyone from the sportier, slimmed-down frame, which has made the new model 14% thinner and 15% lighter. It’s still a smart-looking device though, and retains the rotating physical bezel that has been a popular feature on Samsung’s Galaxy watch range.
We haven’t been wowed by the sports tracking on the Galaxy Watch in the past, but Samsung has made some upgrades with the new watch. It tracks 40 sports modes, and there are some impressive new stats for runners, including body symmetry and ground contact time.
The sleep tracking promises to be more detailed too, thanks to a partnership with the US National Sleep Institute. The watch is also able to offer electrocardiogram measurements of your heart’s electrical activity and blood pressure readings, though we expect a wait for those features to be approved by regulators for use in the UK. Other forthcoming metrics are an estimate of your VO2 max and the oxygen saturation of your blood, the latter relying on the SpO2 sensors, which has become near-ubiquitous on fitness trackers of late and can enrich the detail you get from sleep tracking.
The Galaxy Watch 3 comes in two sizes – 41mm and 45mm – with two colour options available in each size. The watch will run Samsung’s Tizen software: although this technically does work with iOS it is best used in conjunction with a Samsung phone, or at least an Android device, to get the most out of the Galaxy Watch.
Samsung has not given details on the expected battery life of the Watch 3, except that the larger model contains a bigger battery. In the past we’ve seen slightly optimistic claims from Samsung on battery life that have depended on turning off useful features like 24/7 heart rate monitoring. With normal use, we’d expect the new watch to offer one to two days, given the sizeable, vibrant AMOLED touchscreen.
The Watch 3 will cost £399 for the 41mm and £419 for the 45mm watch if you opt for the Bluetooth version, while the 4G watches start from £439 and £459. You can preorder the watch now with shipping by 20th August.
Pre-order from Samsung | From £399