It’s been 5 years since we got our first Apple Watch, and it’s been 7 years since the first Samsung Galaxy Gear came out. We all know that smartwatches will not be able to replace smartphones now and in the near future. Its main function is still tracking sports activity and seeing notifications without the phone in hand.
Galaxy Watch 3 is Samsung’s latest smartwatch model, though it doesn’t have as much difference as expected. In fact, there isn’t much of a difference between the Galaxy Watch 3 and the previously released Galaxy Watch model, at least in terms of key features. If you have not had a need to change your smartwatch in the past 5 years, then the Galaxy Watch 3 will not be able to change your mind.
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That doesn’t mean the Galaxy Watch 3 is a bad device. In contrast, the Galaxy Watch 3 has fully met the expectations of users for a smartwatch. It does well what users expect, such as activity tracking, quick access to notifications … And if you are an Android phone user (if it is Samsung, the better) is wishing to buy a smartwatch. then the Galaxy Watch 3 is a good choice.
The Galaxy Watch 3 is thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Watch but still feels pretty big.
Design and hardware
The Galaxy Watch 3 continues to use Samsung’s traditional design with a circular watch face. This design is almost identical to the Gear S3 Classic from 2016, consisting of a round dial with two buttons on the side. Compared with the Galaxy Watch, the new version has a less sporty design, instead being elegant, suitable for everyday use rather than a running watch.
Watch 3 is slightly smaller in size and volume than the previous version. However, it is not a small watch. I tried the biggest 45mm on hand and I felt it was quite large and thick for my average size wrist. For those with small wrists, the 41mm version will also feel the same. If you like a large sized watch, you will be satisfied with the Galaxy Watch 3. But if you are looking for a better and more compact watch then the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the better choice for you. .
Samsung also increased the screen size on the 45mm version to 1.4-inch, which is a fairly large size and makes the watch look even bigger in hand. As for the 41mm version, it retains the same 1.2-inch screen size as the Watch Active 2 40mm version and Galaxy Watch 42mm version. The Galaxy Watch 3’s screen is bright, colorful, and high-resolution, so you can easily see both indoors and outdoors. One problem is that it’s a bit difficult to see the screen through polarized sunglasses, which makes me oddly shake my hands or lift my glasses every time I check the time. In addition, the Galaxy Watch 3 also features a full-color screen always on so you can easily see the time without touching the watch or rotating your wrist vigorously.
Samsung offers 41mm and 45mm sizes for both Bluetooth and LTE versions. I tried out the Bluetooth version and it gave a pretty good experience connecting to the Galaxy S20.
Perhaps the Watch 3’s biggest plus compared to the Active series is the physical rotation that helps you quickly switch between watch views. Using the physical dial is very simple and feels great. I think this is the best smartwatch navigation method available today. I rate the physical rotation higher than the touch dial on the Active series.
However, the watch face Galaxy Watch 3 is not rounded and full of borders like the Active line. The rotation is designed higher than the watch face, making the touch operation a bit entangled, especially when you swipe left and right. But thanks to that, the screen is also protected against impact and less scratches, in return, the overall thickness of the device will be larger.
The bezel is designed higher than the screen, making the Galaxy Watch 3 thicker. In addition, the stainless steel body and metal buttons are two different points from the Active series.
Since it is Samsung’s most expensive line of smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch 3 has a nicer and better material than the Active series. Galaxy Watch 3 uses stainless steel frame instead of aluminum, metal buttons instead of plastic, Gorilla Glass DX watch face with 810G technical durability and 5ATM water resistance. On the whole, the Watch 3’s design is quite suitable for the price. And in the future perhaps Samsung will continue to release the titanium version at even higher prices.
Included in the box will be a leather strap instead of a plastic one like the previous models, which further confirms the purpose for this watch to be for everyday use instead of sports. The leather strap with the machine is not too special, but it also feels comfortable to wear. You can also easily switch to the 20mm plastic straps for the small version and 22mm for the larger version.
One point that Samsung definitely needs to improve is the vibrating motor. Unlike many different types of vibrations on the Apple Watch, the vibration feature on the Watch 3 is loud and annoying, it doesn’t make a difference between calls, texts, or alarms. Samsung phones have been improving this in recent years and they really need to bring those to the Galaxy Watch 3.
You can customize the information displayed on the watch face.
Photo: Dan Seifert/The Verge