In the latest Galaxy Watch 3, Samsung has created a powerful and functional smartwatch, which unfortunately remains the most popular looking wearable device on the market.
Watch 3 can do 100 different things and has a relatively decent battery life, but aesthetically it is just as boring as dishwater.
Operationally, the Galaxy Watch 3 is very well designed. You can access features, apps, and fitness stuff quickly. Everything seems simple and accessible. It has a very bright, colorful, and responsive circular touchscreen that wakes up when you turn your wrist.
It also has a microphone and speaker and can make and receive calls through your phone.
One of the main differences between this watch and any other major smartwatch on the market is the rotating bezel that controls a large number of things (although frustrating, it’s not the size in apps like Spotify). It’s excellent and puts Samsung in a three-bet on controls: a touchscreen, turntable, and active buttons.
One indication of the design Samsung is providing is the leather strap – black with white stitching – that my test pattern came with. It’s a very nice touch, although it is not as physically strong as silicone which means if you use the Watch 3 to go running or swimming, this will start to get wet from the water or your sweat. It didn’t spoil me, but I only owned it for a little over a week – I’m not sure how it smelled after two months of continuous wearing as a fitness watch.
In terms of healthy controls, Watch 3 has everything you’d expect in a professional sports wearable. This includes GPS and decent sensors that capture everything from automatic workouts and heart rate to sleep patterns. It also has things like flight detection and period tracking, while Samsung has promised that it will turn on ECG capacity (to perform like Apple’s Watch) once the regulators allow it as well.
The app’s support for all of this is pretty good as well, with a fundamental analysis of your activities down to minute details like whether you prefer one side over the other when running.
It easily matches devices like the Fitbit Charge 4 and is generally compatible with the Apple Watch as well, taking a little stop to the functional depth of high-end alternatives like Garmin’s excellent Fenix lineup.
For those who are coming to Samsung Watch 3 again, some of its features are quite smart. For example, you can pair it with another device (your phone, tablet, or laptop computer, for example) as a PowerPoint controller. By doing this, you can take control of the chips on the other device. On my Note 20, a small cursor appears on the screen and you touch the watch face to control this indicator. And yes, it’s a straightforward cursor – he clicks and clicks on the icon in action or opens and closes windows.
In other respects, it makes use of its shape well. For example, there is an audio note-taking app that uses the on-board microphone. However, there does not seem to be any way to transfer the audio file from the watch to the phone or any other device.
It has Spotify controls too, but it’s not perfect: rotating the dial to adjust the volume actually skips tracks back or forth. I couldn’t find a way to adjust the volume of the watch at all with the turntable, which is somewhat counterintuitive.
A word of warning about some of the other promised features. Samsung’s Irish website seems to indicate that there is a 4G version of Watch 3 available here and that it works completely independently of your phone on the Vodafone network. This is not the case, but since it’s on Samsung’s Irish website, it looks like the same information has reached retailers as DID. It is bound to cause confusion among Irish buyers.
Battery life for me was generally around four days unless I use GPS for walking or running. Battery life is backed by the fact that the display isn’t “ always-on, ” like Apple’s Watch (which only gets half the battery life) or Garmin sports watches (which don’t even get close to brightness but get a battery that lasts more than 10 days of life).
With a size of 41mm or 46mm, this screen is a very convenient versatile smartwatch, with some great controls. It won’t win any style awards, and even with the leather strap inserted, Samsung dramatically reduces the aesthetic impression that the Watch 3. makes. But it definitely does the job.