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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 – the refinement of an almost perfect smartwatch
4.8Overall Score
Name: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Price (RRP): $from 649-849
Manufacturer: Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 has slimmed down, gained some more muscle (features) and takes the almost perfect Galaxy Watch 2018 to the next level.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is the successor to the Galaxy Watch 2018 (review here 4.7/5). We are not sure why this one is #3 when the Galaxy Watch predecessor was the Gear S3. Oh well, its numbering may have something to do with Galaxy Active 2018 and Active 2 2019 (review here 4.7/5) in between.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 comes in two sizes and Wi-Fi/BT or LTE/Wi-Fi/BT versions.

Australian review: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

  • Website here
  • Price: See table below but look at trade-in options
  • Elevator Pitch: The best smartwatch for Android and possibly iOS
  • Warranty: 12-months
  • Country of Manufacture: Vietnam
  • Samsung is a South-Korean global supplier of smartphones, tablets, TVs, home appliances and more.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 specifications

Forgive me for putting the boring specs upfront but they are to prove a point. There is no smartwatch with this tech. Or just take my word and skip to the review.

Item41mm45mm
PriceLTE $799 eSIM
BT $649
Both Stainless steel
Mystic Bronze
Mystic Silver
LTE $849 eSIM
BT/Wi-Fi $699
Both stainless steel
Mystic Silver
Mystic Black
Screen41mm AMOLED 360×360
Corning Gorilla DX
AOD
45mm AMOLED
same
Size41×42.5×11.3mm x 49.2g45×46.2×11.1
53.8g Stainless
43g Titanium (coming in LTE only)
Battery/Charge247mAh
WPC wireless charge pad (not Qi) We expect at last 48 hours on a charge subject to GPS and LTE use
340mAh
Same
Soc/RAM/StorageExynos 9110 1.15Ghz dual-core
1/8GB (4GB free)
Should hold at least 300 songs – also supports MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB
LTE Bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20
Same
CommsWi-Fi 4 N single band
BT 5.0
NFC (Samsung Pay and Google Pay – PayWave)
GPS Single Band 10-meter accuracy (also acts as eCompass)
Same
SensorsAccelerometer
Gyroscope
Barometer
Ambient light sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Fall detection
ECG (Electrocardiogram) *
V02max (oxygen burn during exercise) *
Blood oxygen Sp02 transfer *
Same
IP ratingIP68 (5ATM – but not for a diving watch) MIL-STD-810G
The leather band is not waterproof so you will need to buy a 20mm silicon one.
Same but 22mm wide band
OSTizen 5.5
Requires Galaxy Wear and Samsung Health
Same

Now to the untrained eye, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is more of the same only smaller all around.

It shares with the original Watch the Exynos 9910 processor, the same 41mm screen and a slightly smaller 45mm screen. Wi-Fi and BT are updated. Surprisingly, it has a smaller battery at 247/340mAh versus the older 270/472mAh. That is to reduce the thickness, and we can only hope it does not affect battery life too much.

We use FAIL, PASS and EXCEED against all test parameters. PASS means it meets all our expectations.

Rather than repeat the standard watch features here is a manual we found. It is for Verizon, but it is the same Watch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

We will highlight some special features.

First impression – Have you been working out? EXCEED

My Gear S3 was the 41mm version and quite svelte. The Galaxy Watch that followed was 46mm. I have always felt it was too big, especially when trying to do up a shirt cuff button. It had to sit weirdly in front of a buttoned cuff. The 45mm is still big but a little slenderer on the wrist.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

I could be interested in the 41mm model for that reason. If you wear button-up or cufflinks, try it first. But to stereotype – the 45mm looks like a diver watch and the 41mm more like a traditional watch – Samsung calls it a dignified design.

Message to Samsung: The hand-stitched, genuine aged leather band may look good, but it is not really practical. A Silicone or more durable nylon band as standard would be helpful.

Battery – EXCEED for normal use

It depends on use. If you set HRM and stress to auto, 15-second face timeout (instead of AOD) and have normal use (walking, exercise, sleep) three to four days is achievable.

So far, we have had 2-3 days use of the 45mm version before charging, and the AI battery management is just starting to kick in. There is a power-saving mode that allows calls, messages, and notifications only. BTW – the smaller 41mm has more like 1.5-2 days use.

By far the biggest battery hog is the GPS so unless you are using it for navigation with Here Maps then turn it off. You can set location to GPS or Wireless or a combo.

The USB-A to magnetic charger (same as Active 2) requires 5V/1A minimum. It is not USB-C PD compatible, but you can use your Samsung Phone Charger that supplies 5V/3A.