Health and fitness. In pandemic times, these are the focus of the Galaxy Watch 3, Samsung’s new smartwatch that arrives in Brazil with blood pressure monitoring, electrocardiogram to assist in the detection of heart problems and advanced metrics for those who practice running.
Without leaving style aside, the Galaxy Watch 3 marks the return of the revolving crown to Samsung smartwatches and even has a bronze version, to match the Galaxy Note 20 line and the brand new headset. But is the Samsung watch good? Is it worth the suggested price of R $ 2,799? I tested the novelty in the past few weeks and count my impressions in the next few minutes.
Galaxy Watch 3 video review
THE Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.
No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. The Galaxy Watch 3 was provided by Samsung on loan. The product will be returned to the company after testing.
Design and canvas
The Galaxy Watch 3 follows the design of the first Galaxy Watch, with a rotating crown around the screen to navigate the interface. It is a solution that I like to be discreet and easy to use, in addition to avoiding the need to put my thumb on the screen at all times. In my 41mm test unit, the watch matched my slim wrist, but Samsung also sells a 45mm version for those who prefer larger models.
The bronze color will not please everyone and it is not the one I would choose, but it is still elegant. Samsung paid close attention to detail, recording the Galaxy Watch inscription on a tiny button and using genuine leather on the 20 mm strap, which proved to be quite comfortable and suitable for more formal occasions, although it is not the best option for sports .
On the back of the Galaxy Watch 3, which brings together the heart rate reader and a magnetic area to attach the induction charger, Samsung makes it clear that the case is made of stainless steel, that the screen has Gorilla Glass DX protection against scratches and that the watch has a water resistance of 5 atm, allowing fearless use during a rainy day.
The 1.2-inch round screen has AMOLED panel, excellent image quality and bright enough to allow viewing in sunlight. The colors are vivid and the resolution of 360 × 360 pixels guarantees a good definition even in texts with tiny fonts, which sparked my desire to use more detailed dials.
As in previous generations, Samsung’s smartwatch runs the Tizen operating system. The Korean manufacturer has been delivering more refined software than the Google Wear OS for a long time, adopted by other companies, and it is no different on the Galaxy Watch 3. The animations are fluid, the screens adapt to the circular display and the Galaxy Wearable tool for Android makes it easy to configure and install new apps and displays.
Galaxy Watch 3 doesn’t bring any life-changing apps, but it does what a smartwatch should do. Just turn the crown counterclockwise to view notifications or clockwise to browse the health, weather, calendar, app shortcuts, Spotify and sleep log widgets. You can change the order or add additional screens at any time.
A notable absence in Brazil is Bixby, which did not work in Portuguese at the time of publication of this review. Samsung’s personal assistant is already available in our language on the brand’s most expensive phones and landed on TVs, but it still doesn’t even have a prediction of reaching wearables. Regarding the Apple Watch Series 5, for example, I missed being able to start a timer just by talking to the watch while cooking.
At a very delicate moment for health in the world, Samsung made clear its focus on well-being on the Galaxy Watch 3. The blood oxygen meter already existed in previous devices and the company went further with blood pressure monitoring and blood pressure monitoring. electrocardiogram. The two new features were approved by Anvisa, but unfortunately they depended on a software update that had not yet been released during my tests.
These are very useful resources, although with limited utility and precision. That’s because blood pressure monitoring is not done directly by the watch: you need to calibrate it with a sphygmomanometer once a month and, based on this data, Galaxy Watch 3 makes an estimate. The electrocardiogram may work well, but the heart rate reader, which is a related component, disappointed me a little, as I comment below.
Sleep monitoring works automatically if you sleep with the clock and identifies the four phases, such as deep sleep, light sleep, REM and awake sleep. In addition to showing a detailed graph, the feature provides a numerical score for the quality of your sleep, allowing you to better understand the factors that impair or improve your nights (alcohol just before bed is not a good idea).
Is it good for running?
One of my hobbies is street racing, and I was very excited to test the new features of the Galaxy Watch 3. After a few kilometers, I say that Samsung still should not win over the audience that already trains regularly, but it can be an excellent gateway to physical activities.
The most striking feature is the advanced running metrics. After completing an activity, the watch can evaluate and show a graph of its stride asymmetry, time in contact with the ground, time in the air, stride regularity and vertical oscillation, which can be useful to improve its biomechanics and, consequently, running performance.
It is not an unprecedented feature, but it is impressive to see that the Galaxy Watch 3 is able to make measurements without the aid of any accessory, only with data from the accelerometer and algorithms. On Garmin watches, for example, you can even get these metrics, but you need a heart strap or a pod attached to the watch.
The activities are sent to Samsung Health, which has integration with Strava and shows a map based on GPS, a graph with rhythm, elevation, cadence and heart rate and the time of each lap. A novelty is the estimate of the maximum VO₂, to know how much your fitness is going. The value provided by the Galaxy Watch 3 was 46, well below the 54 of my Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, but measurements without specific equipment were never accurate, and it is difficult to know who is correct.
What could be more accurate is the heart rate reader. This is a problem pointed out for several generations of Samsung watches and smartbands, and it is disappointing to see that the brand has not evolved much. In a 20 km long run, the sensor went about 15 minutes without getting any heart rate data, which would already be a major defect.
But the worst was during a race in which the Galaxy Watch 3 peaked at 190 beats per minute, averaging 174 bpm. These numbers are unlikely due to the pace of 7min10 / km, very light by my standards (even with a mask), and impossible considering what I was feeling: after doing an activity at this intensity, I would be out of work for the rest of the day. I had a Garmin Fenix 6 Pro on the other wrist, which measured 154 bpm peak and 141 bpm average.
It’s not like having an accurate sensor is just super-specific watches for athletes, since one of the most accurate heart rate readers I know is precisely the Apple Watch Series 5, which focuses on a more general audience. That is, the Galaxy Watch 3 even encourages more people to start practicing sports, which is a great achievement, but anyone who trains regularly and knows how to use some metrics may be disappointed.
The 41 mm Galaxy Watch 3 battery has a capacity of 247 mAh and, according to Samsung, lasts up to two days, but I was unable to reach this autonomy in my tests.
In my most intense test, I put the smartwatch on my wrist at 10 pm with a full tank and went to sleep with the sleep monitoring and the heart rate reader activated. The next day, I ran for two hours with the GPS on and consulted notifications. At 9 pm, the charge reached 18%, which is only a satisfactory result if we consider what Samsung has already done in previous models.
In the days of laziness, I used the Galaxy Watch 3 just to check notifications, keeping all settings in the default, with the screen being activated only when I moved my wrist. I filled the battery to 100% and put on the watch at 10 pm, before going to sleep. After a day and 15 hours, the charge reached 15%, when the watch asked if I wanted to activate the energy saving mode.
That is, the Galaxy Watch 3 is better than its best-known competitor, the Apple Watch Series 5, but it is a step backwards from previous Samsung watches, which had a range of up to four days, which was surprising for a complete smartwatch, with colorful and bright screen. Samsung’s novelty is not out of the norm by requiring you to recharge another electronic device every day.
It’s difficult. The Galaxy Watch 3 is not for me, but it is one of the best smartwatches on sale in Brazil for the Android world. Samsung delivers a very complete set, with respectful design, very high quality screen, well-maintained software and 4G connectivity option. The integration with Spotify is good and the health functions are noteworthy.
In my case, the clock slipped on the heart rate reader, just an item that I give a lot of attention to. You can’t tell if the problem is linked to the software and could be fixed in a future update, or if the hardware itself is of low accuracy. If it weren’t for that, the Galaxy Watch 3 could be an excellent companion in my workouts: the advanced metrics without the need for any external accessories really impressed me.
Despite the negative points and costing more than many competitors, the Galaxy Watch 3 can be an excellent option for the general public. Those who are concerned about health, have a more hectic life and want a sophisticated and functional accessory to use on a daily basis can get along very well with the new Samsung smartwatch.
- Dimensions: 41 × 42.5 × 11.3 mm
- Weight: 48.2 grams
- Screen: 1.2 inch (360 × 360 pixels) Super AMOLED with Gorilla Glass DX protection
- Drums: 247 mAh
- Processor: Samsung Exynos 9110 dual-core 1.15 GHz
- Operational system: Tizen Wearable 5.5
- RAM: 1 GB
- Storage: 8 GB
- Sensors: accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, luminosity, heart rate reader, electrocardiogram
- Connectivity: 4G, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11b / g / n, NFC, GPS, Glonass, Beidou and Galileo
- Compatibility: Android 5.0 with 1.5 GB of RAM or higher and iPhone 5 with iOS 9.0 or higher