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Samsung Galaxy Watch hands-on impressions

The Galaxy Watch is finally here as the true successor to the Gear S3 following Samsung’s detour into a fitness-focused smartwatch last year with the Gear Sport. With the Galaxy Watch , Samsung has realized that one size doesn’t fit all, so the watch comes in both 42 mm and 46 mm varieties. But the sizes are not the only thing the Galaxy Watch has going for it, as we discovered in our hands-on experience.

Galaxy Watch hands-on impressions

With the Galaxy Watch, Samsung is using the same button design as the Gear S3 Frontier for all variants. The big 46 mm version is like a mix between the Gear S3 classic and Gear S3 frontier and is also unique because of its two-color approach. The color of the bezel ring and the power and volume buttons is different from the rest of the body, and we have to say it looks quite refreshing. For the 42 mm variants, the Rose Gold version looks quite premium and classy thanks to the matte finish. At the back, the sensors are placed circularly and the sensor assembly sticks out from the watch for better contact with the skin (similar to the Gear Sport).

When it comes to fitness tracking, the Galaxy Watch isn’t much different from the Gear Sport. You get features like stress management, sleep monitoring, and automatic detection and tracking of movements such as walking, running, and rowing. Bixby, of course, is the key new software feature. We were unable to properly test Bixby, but you can wake the watch up with the ‘Hi Bixby’ command just like you can on the company’s phones and ask it things such as the current weather conditions.

There are also some new power saving modes, which will come in handy on the 42 mm versions because of its rather small battery (270 mAh; the 46 mm version has a 472 mAh battery), especially with LTE connectivity in the mix. But the most nifty new addition to the list of functionality is the option to enable a ticking sound for when the time is being shown on the display. It’s a neat little touch to make the Galaxy Watch feel more like a traditional watch and a natural extension of the ‘Watch only’ mode that was introduced on existing Gear smartwatches.

For Gear S3 or Gear Sport owners, the Galaxy Watch may not look like a big upgrade. But Gear S2 owners would do well to take a look if they’re in the mood for an upgrade, especially since Samsung is offering a choice between two sizes and not alienating those with small hands. Our complete review will arrive in the coming weeks to tell you just how well everything works together on the Galaxy Watch, so be sure to stay tuned to SamMobile.

What’s your take on the Galaxy Watch?

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aschulz1
aschulz1

I’ve had a Gear S2 for two years (I got it refurbished in August of 2016), is this watch a good upgrade? I have a fair amount of scuffs and deep scratches on the bezel due to the refurbished band breaking while I was biking, so I’ve been itching to upgrade for a while…

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

The Gear S3 said a max. battery of 4 days – I could manage 3. People seem to forget the S3 is 2 years old, that’s 2 years worth of buggy updates that have left my Gear S3 struggling a full 24hours. The Galaxy Watch boasts a 7 DAYS max battery with low usage – not watch only mode. that in itself is a massive upgrade from the 4 days of the Gear S3. Here in the UK I am laughing a bit at people complaining at the removal of the MST in the Galaxy Watch WE NEVER HAD IT!… Read more »

alienmaan
alienmaan

It’s been so quite here at Sammobile since the Note 9 event. Looks like everyone is traumatised 😂

stoertebecker
stoertebecker

I like them just one thing is not clear for me. If i buy the LTE version is it then also possible to connect the watch via Bluetooth with the phone ?

_dennis_
_dennis_

You can connect an LTE watch to your phone via bluetooth. In fact, you’ll need to too set it up.

stoertebecker
stoertebecker

Thanks. But what advantage do i have with LTE. I will surely not make phonecalls with my watch.

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

LTE you can receive texts, calls, stream spotify, and receive incoming emails etc. without your phone being in Bluetooth range. basically you have the full functionality you would get in range of your phone, out of range of your phone. and if you have smart things, you can control things in your home.

stoertebecker
stoertebecker

I see that makes sense. Hope i can disable the phone call thing on it.

Biransahin
Biransahin

It’s a very nice watch. Great upgrade from S2, but I’ll keep my S3 Frontier, does everything I need and my wife is happy with her Gear Sport. Battery life looks very impressive on the Galaxy and it is an excellent watch. Swimming capability is a big plus but it’s not so important for me.

alienmaan
alienmaan

I still use my Gear 2 with my S7 Edge. People are still quite amazed by the pictures that I take with it. It’s quite a handy feature to have a camera and ir remote control on hand just for emergency cases.

_alex_
_alex_

i had S3 frontier, but sold for sport as i use it for swimming.
Having a revamped S3 IP68 with bigger battery?
Good move in my opinion and price lower than S3 sounds good

SteveTud
SteveTud

So the big one is only in silver … epic fail

krym73
krym73

The black bezels makes it look black when looking at directly from the front, tbh I thought it was black until I put it on and noticed the sides were silver.

SteveTud
SteveTud

Its still no good to me when i wanted an all black one in the larger size. Sale lost there….

SteveTud
SteveTud

It looks very obvious to me that the sides are silver

krym73
krym73

I’m referring to my hands on experience not just looking at these images. Regardless I’m sure most will like it more when they actually see it on person.

obsydian
obsydian

The whole Samsung event was garbage, same old products, the Gear vs my current S3 offers nothing apart from a slightly better battery which Samsung will kill with bloat like bixby. The watch even looks like my Frontier.

Very disappointing, I will be keeping my Note 8, Gear S3 and even Tab S2.

pkan87
pkan87

Hi, I have 2 questions:

– Are there any differences in functionnalities between the 2 sizes (apart from the size of course, and the battery capacity). In other words, are there things that we can do with be bigger version but nor with the smaller one ?

– Does the Galawy Watch have built-in speakers ? With the Gear S3 I can answers the calls right from my wrist and it’s really a key feature. They didn’t bring it on Gear Sport, what about Galaxy Watch ?

Turbotomate
Turbotomate

No further differences between the models and there are speakers on every model.

krzysiekb86
krzysiekb86

I just wish that one day Samsung will make bigger watch closer to 50mm as on my wrist even gear s3 is looking quite small.

krym73
krym73

I’m guessing you liked the size the original Gear S then?

Sccarlin
Sccarlin

What a huge disappointment. Having had cellular-connected watches since the original Gear S in 2014, I moved onto to the Gear S2 3g and then the Gear S3 frontier LT, followed by the Gear S3 Classic LTE have been proud of Samsung for being the first to offer connected status without having the phone around. The presentation today makes it sound like Samsung has no history in connected watches. After waiting two years since the Gear S3 came out, this is it? Aside from the bigger battery (only on the 46mm version), this is a definite downgrade. If I understand… Read more »

krym73
krym73

Wear OS is fugly and Apple watch looks like a Vtech watch for kids. Samsung knows they’ve perfected the design part, this is them bringing the software up to par. I agree it’s disappointing it won’t have MST but keep in mind most users don’t use Samsung pay and rather trade that off for a better battery life. Which in my case, when I use Samsung pay on my watch my battery life goes down pretty quick.

drzeller
drzeller

I was really hoping for the rumored blood pressure capability. I wonder if they have the capability, but haven’t turned it on for some reason. I have a $30 watch from Amazon that is amazingly accurate – within 5, and fairly consistent. I presume Samsung could do at least as well.

n900mixalot
n900mixalot

Blood pressure monitoring watch?! Which one is that? I’d like to get it.