Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 – old hardware in new coat

The smartwatch does not have it easy. The device has a high gadget content; nice to have, but you really don't need such a thing. We are already straight to the point: the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 does not change that image. Apart from that, the thing does what it's supposed to do. We can't really call the Watch 3 'new'.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Price € 429 (41 mm) and 459 (45 mm)

Colors Silver, bronze (41 mm) or black and silver (45 mm)

OS Tizen OS

Screen 1.4 inch AMOLED

Weight 48.2 grams (41 mm) or 53.6 grams (45 m)

Dimensions 46.2 by 45 by 11.1 mm

Storage 8GB

Battery 430 mAh

Connectivity bluetooth, wifi, nfc, gps

Other Waterproof, interchangeable straps

Website 6 Score 60

  • Pros
  • Solid smartwatch
  • Beautiful, large OLED screen
  • Tizen OS
  • Negatives
  • Deviates little from Active 2
  • Very expensive
  • Automatic workout is sometimes wrong

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is available in two sizes, namely 41 and 45 centimeters. In marketing, those centimeters are used to indicate the women's and men's model, but you could also interpret that designation as people with a narrow or wide wrist. The device has the robust design that we recognize from the other Galaxy Watches that came out before. A sturdy cabinet that houses a round and beautiful OLED screen, equipped with a rotating ring with which you can browse through the interface.

When that rotating ring first saw the light of day, it was a great addition. After all, this prevents you from constantly having to touch the screen with your finger for every mistake. Now you only need to do that when you want to confirm or tap something. The idea of ​​the rotating ring is so good that we initially miss it on smartwatches that have to do without. In addition, there are two buttons with which you can quickly go back or to the home screen. That (still) works fine.

Same processor, with memory

If we look at the hardware in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, we quickly come to the conclusion that it corresponds for the most part to the Galaxy Watch Active 2. We see the same processor (Exynos 9110) and the same graphics chip. The screen is also the same size (1.4 inches) and has the same resolution (360 by 360 pixels), so the pixel density is also the same - and still very high! – is, namely 364 pixels. The battery is also the same size at 340 mAh. Plus: on both models we find wireless charging.

Furthermore, there is the same WiFi chip, the same Bluetooth version (version 5.0) and there is again support for GPS. All more than excellent features for a smartwatch, but there is simply not much new under the sun. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 does have more RAM (namely 1 GB) and storage space (namely 8 GB). The extra working memory allows the smartwatch to last longer and the extra storage memory allows you to store more offline songs and listen directly from your smartwatch.

Extra features and functions then?

Since the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 runs on Tizen OS, just like the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, we can expect the standard features when it comes to fitness and sleep. There is also no discernible difference between the two models in this area. At least that's not quite true. With its 40 millimeter case, the Active 2 is more compact and lighter than the case of the 45 mm model we tested of the Galaxy Watch 3. As a result, you not only feel that you have that thing on all day, it also feels quite irritating while sleeping. We couldn't get used to the weight.

Some noteworthy functions of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and its predecessor are the heart rate monitor, the ECG sensor and the GPS chip, so that the device serves well as a fitness tracker. That almost always goes well. The smartwatch recognizes when you are doing a certain activity. This is completely automatic, but in most cases it is a good idea to set this manually. Then you not only know for sure that he takes the right exercise (in some cases he sometimes goes wrong with that), you also know for sure that you keep track of the correct workout time. After your workout you will see an overview on your wrist of the most important data, but you can also read everything on your smartphone via the Samsung Health app.

Four different applications

Speaking of apps, what we find a bit annoying about using the smartwatch is that you are basically forced to install four separate apps on your smartphone. If you are not in the Samsung ecosystem (whatever your reason may be), then that is quite an attack on your app drawer. Two of the four apps are plug-ins with their own app icon. If those plug-ins did not have their own icon, the irritation would feel less. Especially in a time when we also want to live healthier mentally and digitally (and that includes fewer apps), it is annoying that we still have to download so much extra software before we can use the Watch 3.

Fortunately, the two apps that you can use for setting up the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and keeping track of your sports performance are clear and sleek. They fully meet the requirements of Samsung's OneUI. That is one of the few Android software shells that we can appreciate, precisely because everything is displayed so neatly.

A great repetition exercise

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 feels like a big rehearsal. That automatically means that the positive sides of a smartwatch are transferred. For the smartwatches from Samsung, especially in the higher segment, the screen is excellent. You can always see clearly what you need to see, even when the sun is shining on it. The colors are beautiful and with the different dials you can easily personalize that screen. And then of course you have many applications that allow you to personalize your experience.

In addition, a smartwatch in general (or a fitness tracker) helps to keep moving. You get reminders during the day or just to stretch your legs. You will also be motivated to get more out of your movement. Different graphs give you insight into your performance and duration of the workout. For example, you are encouraged to exercise for half an hour every day, get up once an hour during your workday and to burn an extra 300 calories. That comes naturally if you already walk for an hour a day and take a detour every hour. Nevertheless, the motivation is more than welcome, whether you are an avid athlete or not. It keeps you active and keeps you sharp.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 – conclusion

There is little new under the sun when we look at the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. Moreover, the really positive points are not specifically linked to the smartwatch. The question is to what extent that is a problem for you. Is this your first smartwatch ever? Then the conclusion probably applies to you that “the best smartwatch is made even better”. If this is your umpteenth from Samsung, it's best to skip a generation, because there are few reasons for an upgrade - certainly not because the Active 2 has received a software update that adds many of the same functions.

If you are looking for a smartwatch with which you can exercise, then you better go for the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, whether you use Android or iOS. That is literally a smartwatch for athletes, which is more compact and slimmer (but does not have a rotating bezel). The asking price for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is, in our opinion, far too much if you look at what you get in return – especially since the Active 2 is sold for about half the price.

Compared to the Apple Watch SE and Series 5 and 6, the Galaxy Watch 3 does almost equally well. The smart watches are basically similar, but the Apple Watch has received much more internal memory, namely 32 GB. So if you listen to a lot of music via your smartwatch, for example while exercising, then as an iPhone owner it is better to go for that option (apart from the much better integration, of course).

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