Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 is a stylish redesign without much new to say

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It has been two full years since the release of Samsung’s Galaxy Watch, and today we’re finally getting a proper followup with the announcement of the Galaxy Watch 3. If you’ve been paying attention to leaks and rumors, you’ve known for at least a few months that this refresh was coming, and with leaks of the entire hands-on experience and instructional videos in recent days, little was left to our imaginations.

Still, looking at the new Galaxy Watch is quite a treat. Samsung has refined the style of an already good-looking watch to be more stylish, modern, and versatile. It’s thinner, it’s lighter, and it packs in a slightly larger screen than its predecessor. Thankfully, the rotating bezel, one of the watch’s biggest selling points, is still present in this latest model; it’s even less chunky and is more uniform with the watch facade than before.

There’s also a new Mystic Bronze colorway that strikes an excellent balance between classy and casual, bringing the total number of color options to three, with Mystic Silver and Mystic Black rounding out the trio of stainless steel watch cases. A titanium version comes only in Mystic Black at the larger of the two watch sizes. With 41mm and 45mm sizes packing 1.2- and 1.4-inch AMOLED displays, respectively, the Galaxy Watch 3 still meets 5ATM and IP68 water and dust resistance specifications. As for internals, you’ll have 1GB of RAM with 8GB on-board storage for music and apps all run by the same dual-core Exynos 9110 processor, clocked at 1.15GHz, found in its predecessor and the more recent Galaxy Watch Active 2. LTE versions will be available through carriers at a later date.

The Galaxy Watch 3 in Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black.
Enlarge / The Galaxy Watch 3 in Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black.
Samsung

There isn’t a ton in the way of new features outside of added fall detection, which calls your chosen contacts when a fall is picked up by the watch, much like we’ve seen on the Apple Watch. Blood pressure monitoring is coming (to be activated at a later date pending FDA approval), though that feature was first announced on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 and still hasn’t come to the device. Real-time fitness prompts, such as guided workouts and a running form coach, are first-party features we’ve seen on previous Galaxy Watches, which these new features build upon. Samsung Health remains the central hub for all of your health and fitness data, where workouts, sleep, and food and water intake can be tracked, along with metrics from GPS, ECG, and the blood oxygen monitor.

Running Samsung’s proprietary smartwatch platform, Tizen OS 5.5, the watch offers all the conveniences you’d expect, like the ability to take calls, check voicemails, and send texts, while also sprinkling in a few third-party integrations not seen on Google’s Android Wear. Among these additions are third-party clients for Twitter and YouTube, as well as Microsoft Office apps to control PowerPoint and check Outlook. Gestures like clenching and unclenching your fist can also pick up phone calls.

While a handful of these features are new to the main Galaxy Watch line, smartwatches like the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, released this time last year, have had most of these functions for some time. Refining the Galaxy Watch with modernized aesthetics and adding in the latest in tracking and fitness features, the Galaxy Watch 3 may just be the nudge Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Gear S3 owners need to upgrade.

The watch will be available starting August 6 for $400 in the 41mm and $450 in the 45mm stainless steel variants. LTE versions in each size will be $450 and $470, respectively. Sadly, the 45mm isn’t available in Mystic Bronze, only silver and black, while the 41mm comes in all three colors.

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