UPDATE: Aug. 5, 2020, 12:31 p.m. EDT
Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy Watch 3’s electrocardiogram monitor has officially received FDA clearance.
In addition to smartphones, tablets and earbuds, Samsung also unveiled its latest smartwatch during Wednesday’s Galaxy Unpacked event: the Galaxy Watch3.
The new wearable is a follow-up to the original Galaxy Watch launched back in 2018. And in case you’re confused: No, the Galaxy Watch 2 doesn’t exist.
The Watch3 doesn’t look all that different from its predecessor in terms of aesthetic, but it does offer a few new features under the hood. From enhanced sleep tracking to more in-depth fitness analysis, it’s essentially your go-to option if you’re looking for a traditional looking smartwatch that can still keep up with your workouts.
The watch will start at $399 and will be on sale from Aug. 6. Here’s a rundown of all the features and capabilities of the Watch3.
A familiar design
The Galaxy Watch3 comes in two different size options: 41mm (for those with smaller wrists) and 44mm. You can also choose between Bluetooth or LTE connectivity, depending on whether you’re looking to use it as a standalone device.
Both versions are slightly smaller than the 42mm and 46mm case sizes of the first-generation version. They’re slightly thinner and lighter, too. Additionally, the bezels around the display aren’t as thick.
Both cases are made of stainless steel and available in a variety of different colors, depending on the size. The 41mm case comes in Mystic Bronze and Mystic Silver while the 44mm size is available in Mystic Black and Mystic Silver. In the box, you’ll also get a matching leather watch strap with the option to swap it out for other styles.
Samsung’s also brought back its well-known rotating bezel. Rather than only relying on the touchscreen display, you can use the bezel to cycle through different menus such as fitness metrics, weather, notifications, and more.
As for battery life, the Watch3 maintains the same long battery life as the original version. Samsung says with the 41mm watch you can get up to a day’s worth of juice while the 44mm device will last up to two days. Of course, that’s dependent on how much or how little you use it.
A few health and fitness upgrades
When it comes to new features, the Galaxy Watch3 has enhanced its sleep tracking capabilities across the board. While the original watch is only able to track REM sleep, the new watch is also able to track duration of sleep and time spent awake, in addition to your sleep cycles (REM, deep, and light sleep).
Both the watch and the Samsung Health app will provide you with a sleep score each morning, as well as insights and tips on how to improve on your sleep habits.
As for fitness capabilities, the Watch3 has support for up to 40 different exercise modes — seven of which, including running and cycling, are auto detected. It also features on-demand VO2 Max, which calculates the amount of oxygen you consume during your workouts, and has a built-in heart rate monitor.
Like Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2, the Watch3 will have a Running Coach feature with audio cues that play through the speaker on the watch or through connected Bluetooth headphones. In addition to keeping you motivated throughout your runs, it’ll provide you with feedback and analysis (on things like pace and form) that you can then improve on in the future.
Similar to the Apple Watch Series 5, the Watch3 will also offer Trip Detection. If the accelerometer detects you’ve fallen, you’ll be able to alert specific contacts via SMS.
Samsung did include the ability to take electrocardiogram (ECG) readings, as well as SPO2 readings and blood pressure tracking via the Samsung Health app on the Watch3.
But here’s where it might get a little confusing.
During Samsung’s Unpacked event, the company confirmed its ECG monitor has just received FDA clearance in the U.S. But the ability to monitor oxygen saturation and blood pressure is only available in South Korea, with clearance still pending here.
It’s also important to note all of the aforementioned features won’t be available out of the box. Samsung will roll out the fitness and health capabilities via gradual software updates.
Pricing and availability
Pricing for Galaxy Watch3 varies depending on the model.
The 41mm Bluetooth version will start at $399 while the LTE model will set you back $449. Meanwhile, the 45mm case size with Bluetooth starts at $429. But the LTE pricing on the bigger model has yet to be announced.
You’ll be able to purchase the Galaxy Watch3 from Aug. 6.