In a world of fruity watches from one smartphone manufacturer, as consumers, we often neglect the fact that there are other brands out there that make smartwatches, often, bettering them at their own game when it comes to features, design, and price. The Galaxy Watch 3 by Samsung is the company refining their popular Android-powered smart wearables to accompany their latest line of well-received smartphones and there is a lot to like here. But can they sway die-hard Apple fans from their toys?
Available in both 41mm and 45mm variants in a variety of colorful finishes including titanium, this versatile smartwatch features a timeless design and includes a unique rotating bezel designed to control the watch’s functions, plus a home & back key and responsive touchscreen and we love it. Paired with a stunning 360×360 pixel AMOLED display, Samsung’s display technology once again shines here. The display is bright, vibrant, and protected by sturdy Corning Gorilla glass DX, so it is built to last.
The Tizen-powered OS paired with Bluetooth and Cellular connectivity on some models, allows users to interact and respond to notifications and engage with calls live from the watch. The watch is also waterproof to 5ATM and is certified for Military drop protection. The Galaxy Watch 3 also achieves impressive 2-day battery life in our testing (your usage may vary) and features the latest in NFC, Wi-Fi, and GPS connectivity with the ability to connect to 4 different popular satellite tracking services to map your workouts. You also get a Barometer, Optical Heart rate sensor, and much more!
Now, these are all fine for a smartwatch but how does well does it function as a tool for monitoring your health and logging your activity? This year Samsung has equipped their smartwatches with some powerful and advanced new health features designed to go toe to toe with some of the best out there. With their new array of sensors, the Galaxy Watch 3 now includes the ability to monitor your Blood Oxygen level, VO2 Max, track your sleep plus over 120 different workouts, real-time and post-workout analysis and it even has Fall Detection in the case of an emergency. This truly is an everything plus the kitchen sink type device. In the US currently, just in the past 6 months the watch now can take live ECGs from the Samsung Health Monitor app when connected to a compatible Galaxy smartphone. The new ECG Monitor app allows users to monitor their heart rhythm for irregularities, scanning for signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). Hopefully, this feature is approved in Canada soon.
After using the device this past month, there is a lot to like here with the Galaxy Watch 3 with only a few caveats. We love that the device is thinner, lighter, and has a bigger screen than previous iterations and appreciate the bump in features when it comes to monitoring our health. As a consumer and Apple watch user, I also appreciate that you can choose from over 80,000 watch faces in the Galaxy Store or design your own. Plus, there is a library of 40 different complications that allows you to personalize your watch face with the information that is most important to you. We also found that over our time using the device, we have generally found the heart rate sensor, GPS, and other health metrics to be quite accurate when paired against an HR chest strap or dedicated fitness device like a Garmin Fenix 6. The only caveats we have with the Galaxy Watch 3 is still that unless you are an Android user, this device will simply not work as well and the battery is still just OK at about 2 days which when compared to the multiple-day Fenix, is still disappointing.
To conclude, if I was an Android phone user even a diehard Samsung fan, there is no better device currently on the market to strap on to your wrist that is not an Apple watch. It looks beautiful, is intuitive, and has an awesome array of health tracking features even bettering Apple at their own game in part. So, if you are looking for your next investment into your well-being, look no further, this could be it.