VP Verdict

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Is Great For A First-Timer, But Not An Impressive Upgrade For Fans

When I got my hands on the 41mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, I was impressed by its stainless steel and leather Mystic Bronze design.

I’m a big fan of the rose gold/millennial pink colour family, so it was exciting to wear this as a functional accessory for a week. 

Disclaimer: I didn’t try out any of the other Galaxy Watch models mentioned in this piece myself, so the comparisons made are based on info found from Samsung’s website.

The watch face is supposed to be 14% thinner, 8% smaller and 15% lighter with a larger display compared to the Galaxy Watch, according to Samsung.

It comes with a physical rotating bezel, slightly different from the Watch Active 2’s touch-type bezel.

I found the physical rotating bezel amusing to fiddle with, and using it, I could choose and toggle between interfaces.

These switched between measuring my heart rate and stress, choosing the design on the watch face, toggling between apps, and scrolling through notifications.

However, the bezel comes with its own pros and cons.

Because it’s raised slightly from the watch face, it provides an added scratch protection to the watch’s AMOLED screen from clinks and bumps.

On the downside, it adds to the thickness, considering the existing bulge underneath.

The watch’s bulge is thicker than a mechanical pencil

A User-Friendly Experience

Its colourful display is bright, and the sharp resolution makes it easy to see both indoors and out.

There are 2 physical buttons on the side of the watch. The top one lets you go back to a previous screen, while the other is a Home button that also opens up your app drawer, and turns the watch on.

Some other useful features in the watch include Samsung Pay for e-payments, Spotify controls, and a smart reply for messages. 

The watch instructed me to download the Galaxy Wearable app on my phone to pair, which happened instantly as I was already using the Samsung Galaxy S8.

That also allowed me to skip downloading the Samsung Health app to view my data.

I used the Galaxy Watch 3 with my Samsung Galaxy S8

It’s worth mentioning that if you’re not already using a Samsung phone, you would have to install about half a dozen apps to be able to utilise all the features on the Watch 3.  

For example, if you use a third-party service that isn’t Samsung’s Reminders app, you wouldn’t be able to manage them on the watch.

To Samsung’s credit however, it was able to give me a summary of my day each morning that included what I had scheduled on Google Calendar.

Health & Fitness Tracking

Compared to the Galaxy Watch Active 2, there’s not much difference in terms of the health and fitness features except for an updated Running Coach with real-time audio and visual feedback. 

I kept up with the Running Coach for 15 minutes. Each stage would increase in speed and last 5 minutes.

Every so often, the watch would give me robotic encouragements like, “You’re doing great, keep up the pace!” with on-screen graphics to match. 

In total, the watch can track 40 different types of exercises from running to yoga to interval training.

Auto-detect works on 7 types of workouts including walking or running, swimming, cycling, elliptical and rowing training, and dynamic workouts. 

What makes this watch different from its predecessors is the ECG feature to record blood oxygen levels and blood pressure, which are supposed to track oxygen saturations over time for fitness and wellness purposes. 

Unfortunately, I was unable to try them out as these features will only be rolled out through app updates on a later date. 

Other additions to this model include fall detection and an updated sleep tracker which gives you a “score” on how effective your sleep was, based on how long you spent in each sleep stage.

Despite getting a score of 80% on most nights, where Samsung lacks is in explaining why I achieved the score that I did, or how I could better improve my sleep.

Verdict

The watch comes in Bluetooth or LTE versions. I tested the Bluetooth model and didn’t have any major issues with it staying connected to my Galaxy S8.

Price-wise, it costs RM1,799 for the 45mm variant, and RM1,699 for the 41mm.

If you’re merely upgrading from the previous Galaxy Watch series, it may not be worth it for its minor upgrades.

There are 3 colours to choose from: Mystic Black, Mystic White, and Mystic Bronze, the latter of which only comes in the smaller 41mm size.

One of the watch faces displaying widgets on the screen.

What I really enjoyed out of everything else the watch could do was its rotating bezel, and I would say it’s even my favourite feature. 

Its battery life was one of the more disappointing aspects, as it only had juice for a maximum of 2 days before needing to be charged again. 

Charging takes up 2 hours for just a 350mAh battery. So if you plan to wear it overnight for its sleep tracker, you would have to find the time to actually charge this thing.

Battery and bulge aside, I’d say it’s my perfect watch, as not only does it fulfil my expectations for a smartwatch of this generation, but it’s pretty to boot.

ProsCons
Vibrant display and rotating bezelBattery only lasts for 2 days max
Running metrics show comprehensive analysisIts smaller size is still chunky for small wrists
Messages show chat history with smart replyLacks third-party app support
  • You can find out more about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 here.
  • You can read more of our VP Verdicts on Samsung devices here.

VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion into our Facebook page.

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