Majorly described as the “smartwatch trying to do it all,” “a worthy Apple watch alternative” or “the Swiss knife of smartwatches” the Galaxy Watch is Samsung’s feature-packed flagship smartwatch succeeding the Gear Sport and the Gear S3. This smartwatch is designed to captivate your eyes and wallet as it tries to provide a little bit of everything from fitness tracking to sleep tracking, mobile payments and still have typical smartwatch functions. So far its execution might not be as flawless, but it’s balancing act of providing it all in one package is working extremely well while at the same time managing to look sleek and stylish.
The truth is, as consumers our expectations for smartwatches are fundamentally contradictory, we want them to be simple but at the same time expect them to do so much. We need them to tell time, perfectly fit our wrists and have just enough battery life to get us through the day. All while tracking any potentially serious health conditions, take phone calls and run apps.
Does Samsung Galaxy Watch step up to the plate? Here is a full review of the smartwatch.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch comes with an incredible array of hardware features. The smartwatch features a built-in barometer and altimeter for gauging altitude and atmospheric pressure. These features come in handy especially if you are an avid hiker or mountain climber. The back of the watch is fitted with a heart rate sensor that can also gauge stress levels.
The smartwatch has an integrated microphone and speaker for receiving and making calls, voice dictation and text messages. It comes with a 4GB internal storage space; however, only half the storage space is usable. Don’t worry this space is quite enough for downloading additional apps and storing a couple of photos and songs.
Samsung Galaxy Watch displays time in analog mode.
The smartwatch supports Samsung Pay. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Watch only works at NFC terminals because it doesn’t support magnetic secure transmission (MST) like its predecessors.
In terms of smartwatch design, Samsung has come a long way. Disguising as a normal watch, the smartwatch is available in two face versions the 42mm and 46mm. The 46mm variant comes in silver while the 42mm variant comes in rose gold and midnight black. The smartwatch profile is quite chunky and a bit heavier for the 46mm variant. If you like a lighter watch, the 42mm is a perfect choice.
Samsung Galaxy metal design is sturdy, and the silver finish makes the smartwatch look classy. The neutral coloring makes the watch stylish and quite fashionable as an everyday wearable. The matte-black finish on the watch’s signature rotating bezel perfectly contrasts with the silver finish.
The rotating bezel is such a delight. The mechanical clicks are so satisfying every time you rotate the bezel. It makes for easy and fast navigation through widgets and notification. The Samsung Galaxy Watch also features two slightly protruding buttons on the right side. Their textured rubber feeling makes the buttons so easy to find. The bottom button is the Home button and the top button functions as the Back button.
The 46mm default watch strap is made of black silicone. It’s comfortable, durable and water resistant. The straps may however not compliment every outfit. Good thing Samsung sells additional straps in different materials and colors to improve the smartwatch look. Take advantage of your silicone bands because they are more functional. Samsung Galaxy Watch is water resistant up to 50M meaning you can swim or/and shower with your smartwatch. Being MIL-STD-810G-certified against dust, drops, high altitude and high temperature you can go with your watch pretty much everywhere, there is a high likelihood that it will survive.
The variety of features and its software is what makes this smartwatch powerful. Running on Tizen 4.0, the Samsung Galaxy Watch is well optimized for the rotating bezel. If you’ve been using other Samsung smartwatches, using this watch will be a much familiar experience. You can easily customize your smartwatch by downloading apps through the Galaxy App store and purchasing additional watch faces.
Samsung Galaxy Watch is also an excellent fitness tracker. The smartwatch has an ability to track up to 39 different workouts including circuit, weight and cardio training. You can automatically track some exercises like cycling, running or walking by simply starting the workout.
Bixby the Samsung’s AI assistant is an excellent integration and replacement to S Voice. Unfortunately, Bixby is the watch’s biggest let down. It hardly understands questions, including the questions it suggests. Hopefully Samsung continues to improve on this feature, but for now, it’s better to ignore the AI assistant.
Performance and Battery Life
The smartwatch uses Exynos 9110 duo-core processor clocked at 1.15GHz. The LTE model has 1.5GB of RAM while the Bluetooth version has 768MB of RAM. The watch has a quick response to gestures and touch.
The 42mm variant has a 270mAh while the 46mm variant is fitted with a 472mAh battery. The battery life on the smartwatch is supposed to last up to seven days.
The 42mm version comes with a 1.2 inch AMOLED display, and the 46mm model is slightly larger at 1.3 inches. The Samsung Galaxy Watch features a 360 x 360 resolution which is more than enough to clearly view graphics and texts. In general, the screen is colorful, vibrant and readable in direct sunlight.
As far as smartwatches go, Samsung Galaxy Watch is an excellent watch. The smartwatch is compatible with both iOS and Android. However, Bixby health integration is limited on non-Samsung devices.
Bixby issues aside, the Samsung Galaxy Watch has struck the perfect balance between a smartwatch and a fitness and health tracker something that most smartwatches are struggling to achieve.
The pricing for the Bluetooth only model of Samsung Galaxy Watch starts at $349.99 for 46mm and $329.99 for 42mm. the LTE models are priced slightly higher. These prices may vary from one carrier to the other.
If you ’re in the market for a smartwatch that doubles as a fitness tracker, you should strongly consider purchasing the Samsung Galaxy Watch.