The Apple Watch and Fitbit wearables aren’t the only smartwatch game in town, as Samsung’s circular bezel returns to the Galaxy Watch.
If you’re still one of those people that fancies wearing a watch over a band, and wants their phone to integrate cleanly into what appears on their wrist, there’s a good chance you’ve checked out a smartwatch. Called both a “smartwatch” and a “smart watch”, they’re made from a variety of manufacturers, though at least one only works with one type of phone.
Glance at the Apple Watch on the arm of many users and you know instantly that the person owns an iPhone. Using an iPhone is a prerequisite for using an Apple Watch, and so Android users are out of luck.
There are devices that work on both Android and iOS, however, with platform agnostic smartwatches. Available for both of the major mobile operating systems, you can find them from the likes of Fitbit and Huawei, though Samsung is also clearly in there.
Without a doubt, the circular bezel has been one of the more intriguing efforts in the smartwatch world, though, thanks to how easily it makes using a smartwatch. While you can always push and prod a touchscreen smartwatch, we all understand how a circle works, and most of us understand watches are typically circular, so this helps complete the logic. It’s one of the reasons we’ve loved the Galaxy watches in past reviews, be it the Samsung Galaxy Watch or the Gear S3 before it.
Samsung even added a touchscreen variant of the circular bezel to its Galaxy Watch Active2, which helped bring its touchscreen watches more in line with its bigger variant, the Galaxy Watch.
And this year, we’re getting a new variant of the Galaxy Watch, as the range skips a number, going from 1 straight to 3 in the Galaxy Watch3 (there was no Galaxy Watch2).
While the Active is all about people who focus on health and activity — it’s in the name — the Galaxy Watch3 appears to be looking for the crowd that wants a watch to be a watch, and to still track health and fitness overall.
The design turns to more premium materials with stainless steel in the watch and leather for the band, though Samsung is also releasing a titanium model for both the band and watch for folks who want that extra little bit of premium quality from the Watch3.
The rotating bezel is kept in this design, but the body has undergone some chan get from the originals, losing a bit of weight while getting marginally smaller and thinner.
Inside, it’s a Samsung Exynos processor with 8GB storage and one gigabyte of memory, using Samsung’s Tizen operating system from past Galaxy Watches, which means it’s supported by a fairly large app and watch-face community already.
WiFi and Bluetooth are part of the design, and there will be a 4G LTE model for folks who want a totally connected part of the experience, as is a GPS for tracking where you’ve been. And there’s also NFC for paying for things, with Samsung Pay supported, too.
Essentially, it’s a Samsung Galaxy Watch made modern, complete with IP68 water resistance and military standard specifications, making it more than capable at dealing with water and dust.
There’s also a heart rate sensor and ECG, both of which we’ve seen in prior smartwatches from other brands including Apple, though it’s not yet known whether Samsung will manage to get the ECG approved for use in Australia. Previous wearables including an electrocardiogram — an electrical heart sensor — tend to be need approval in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), which has yet to approve the ECG on major smartwatches locally.
However that won’t stop the Australian release of the Galaxy Watch3, which is set to arrive in late August.
“With Galaxy Watch3, we are offering Australians more features and customisation options than ever before, offering the true power of Galaxy on your wrist,” said Garry McGregor, Vice President of the Mobile Division at Samsung in Australia.
Locally, the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 will be found in two variations, a 41mm and a 45mm model, with the Bluetooth version costing $649 and $699 respectively, while the 4G variant will cost $799 and $849 respectively. No price for the titanium model has been made available locally, but we’ll let you know if and when that changes.