The Galaxy watch three seems to have it all the looks, the fitness chops and some impressive new health features to keep you in check.
But does it deliver.
I was a little bit of a skeptic when the galaxy watch three first came out, because it just sounded too good to be true.
I mean, electrocardiogram, blood pressure and blood oxygen level monitoring, running analysis, and a two day battery life.
But Samson doesn’t exactly have the best track record.
They seem to launch things before they’re actually ready.
And don’t get me wrong.
This one still does not deliver on all of its promises.
However, it’s been a pleasant surprise every step of the way.
One of the biggest things this watch is going for it is it’s designed.
I mean, I guess I’m just a sucker for around watch face because it reminds me of a traditional analog watch and then you add the fact that it has a really nice stainless steel frame which by the way, looks awesome in bronze.
A beautiful bright avillez screen that looks great even in direct sunlight at Yes, that physical rotating bezel but I love so much from the original just listen to it.
Clicking it’s just so satisfying plus it allows you to navigate the interface without having to touch and smudge the tiny screen as much, As you work, I mean you still have to tap it.
It just looks premium.
And of course it’s not all roses with the watch and some of the things that I didn’t like was for starters, its thickness.
It is a little bit thinner than the original galaxy watch, but if you’ll notice, it still has that belly bone on the bottom.
That makes it Not quite as comfortable to wear all day or especially all night.
And then there’s the leather straps which don’t get me wrong I’m really happy that it has because I do like the look however, They do tend to be more high maintenance than silicon.
So if you are going to be using them for a lot of workouts or swim tracking or bathing children, at random but I mean, I do that.
Then you are going to want the option to put a silicon band on this watch as well because I’m already starting to notice a little bit of wear.
I did get it on accident a couple times.
The Galaxy watch three has pretty much everything you need for your basic fitness tracking that includes calorie count and step count, heart rate, automatic workout detection, water resistance and over 40 different exercises to choose from.
And then you also get some few bonuses.
If you’re a runner for example, you’ll get a running coach.
This was already available on the active too but what it does is it gives you live feedback during your run.
A lot of the tips are pretty generic.
It told me to lengthen my stride for example, but the pace alerts in your ear were pretty helpful.
What I found more helpful was the post run analysis.
Now this you can only access on the Health app after the fact.
But it gives you a more comprehensive look.
Have your run not to the level of a Garmin watch but you can see like contact time and flight time and asymmetry whether you were favoring one side or another in my case I was too stiff during my run.
It also calculates vo two max which is your maximum oxygen consumption during exercise.
It’s a pretty good indicator of overall fitness without going to a lab.
I can’t really tell you whether it’s accurate or not, but I got a pretty nice ego boost for looking at it.
I just wish that some of the stuff that you can find on the Health app especially like stuff about heart rate zones.
And your asymmetry.
For example, I wish that’s the kind of stuff that the coach would give you in your ear so you can adjust on the go and especially helpful while you’re training for a race.
The other interesting fitness feature is the ability to sync your watch to workout videos on either the Health app on your phone Or on your Samsung TV.
So first off, you select a program on the Health app, which in my case consisted of 315 minute workouts during the week.
And then you can either cast it or watch it on your phone, whatever.
The point is, you can control it all through your watch.
So the watch vibrated to let me know.
But it was time to move on to the next exercise and let me pause with just the press of a button.
If I had to readjust my position, for example without having to fidget with my phone, the only thing I didn’t like was the voice of the coach.
3, 2,1, that’s it.
Move on to alternating fire hydrants.
It’s pretty robotic, and it’s not what you wanna hear where you’re trying to hold a plank for 60 seconds.
And obviously, there are other things out there like this, but I do appreciate the fact that Samsung made it native and, They’re giving it for free.
The Galaxy watch three really flexes its muscles is with its health features.
I’m going to list them off because hey, there’s a lot of features.
You have ECG SPO to blood pressure, trip detection, period tracking, sleep tracking stress test.
I mean the list just goes on and on.
Now, the catch is that 2 of these will not be available at launch.
That is, ECG and blood pressure and, they’re pretty big ones.
The good news is, Samsung has recently announced that, the FDA cleared the ECG app for us in the United States.
So, it may be coming soon.
Hopefully, by the time that you get your galaxy, watch 3, But the galaxy watch active 2 also launched with an ECG app and well, here we are over a year later.
Now the other one blood pressure monitoring, is still pending FDA clearance in the United States.
It’s available in South Korea only.
So I would probably say that we’re gonna be waiting longer for that one.
What is available out of the box though, is SPO two tracking and I was really excited to test this one out because, this has become a very important metric during the covid 19 pandemic.
So as you know one of the symptoms is shortness of breath, which can be indicative of A dip in your blood oxygen levels which is extremely dangerous and reason enough to take yourself to the hospital.
And the reason why these little devices have become such a hot commodity as of late seriously, it’s really tough to track one of these down.
It is a pulse oximeter.
Which is the gold standard when it comes to detecting blood oxygen levels.
So I did test the Galaxy Watch 3, against a standard pulse oximeter, and I gotta say it was pretty accurate within a couple of points.
Now the disclaimer here is that, my Blood oxygen levels.
Luckily, were in a very healthy range, so they were high and I can’t really speak to how it would respond if my levels were low, for example, so take it with a grain of salt and I would still only use it as a starting point meaning you would still have to cross reference with a pulse oximeter and a doctor If you don’t have one of these at home.
the watch can also measure stress levels on demand.
Now this one’s a little bit tricky because I don’t have The pulse oximeter version of a stress test.
And to me measuring stress is kind of relative.
I took it while I was on deadline for this review and it told me that I was under normal levels of stress which was not true.
So I Question the accuracy of this but it’s nice to have the mental health and well being aspect on the watch.
It gives you the option to go through a Guided Breathing session afterwards which has been proven to help with stress levels the other welcome addition to the galaxy watch three is.
So now you can actually register your period from your wrist including your symptoms.
And then it will give you your predicted fertility window if you’re into that your observation and let you know when your next period is expected and then it later syncs on the Health app if you want a broader view of your cycle.
And then lastly, also debuting on the Galaxy watch three is.
Trip detection also known as fall detection, if you are familiar with the Apple watch, then you know what this is.
If it detects that you’ve taken a hard fall and you can’t get up, then it alerts your emergency contact now, I tried to trigger it.
[SOUND] I really did.
[SOUND] But I couldn’t.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.
Luckily, I didn’t have to use it.
But if it does work, it is a very helpful feature that has saved lives on other devices.
One of my biggest complaints with the sleep tracking feature on the original galaxy watch was that it provided no context.
So I had no idea what I was doing when it came to sleep.
I’d never tracked my sleep and then you would see these stats on the app, and I didn’t know what to do with them.
I didn’t know how to use them to improve sleep or not.
This watch has learned from the mistake of its predecessors and now gives a much more comprehensive look at your sleep.
So this includes the four different stages of sleep and can also give you a sense of how you’re doing compared to to the average, which to me was the most helpful feature because it gave me something to work towards.
Within each of the different stages, it then also gives you a grade.
At the end of each night.
I’ve never liked this scoring of sleep.
I guess it’s important so that you have a point of reference to improve upon later.
My one complaint with the sleep tracking is that as I mentioned before, it’s just not The most comfortable at night.
But then of course, the question becomes does it last long enough to track your sleep and now that one’s a little bit complicated.
So here’s what Samsung says Samsung says that this watch will last you about two days on a charge and I found that to be not true.
I later talk to Samsung and they said that that was true for the 45 millimeter one.
So this one they say gets more, more like a day and a half, which I guess is true.
I could stretch it to a day and a half, but if you do at least a 30 minute workout Outside.
If you’re sleep tracking, if you have the always on display if you have the auto brightness and you just have a lot of notifications and maybe streaming music, basically operating on all cylinders, then you’re going to be hard pressed to get that day and a half and I would say it’s more like 24 hours.
The upside is that if you have a Galaxy phone and you, Are out a battery on the go you can give it a quick charge with that power share feature.
It also gives you some tips on how to prolong your battery life and you can toggle on the different battery settings from the watch face.
I’ve been using the galaxy watch three with both my iPhone 11 Pro and my Galaxy S 20 Ultra Just one of the perks of working with CNET.
And it’s great that it works with both, but you do sacrifice a couple of the features if you pair it with an iOS device.
That includes responding to notifications and mobile payments.
Now I know your next question and no it does not have.
MST which is a huge bummer.
Samsung Pay on the watch is NFC only, which means it only works on NFC enabled terminals and not all credit card terminals.
And it is kind of light on the apps because it is running Samsung’s own Tizen operating system.
So you’re kind of stuck with the basics which includes Strava, and Spotify and for Spotify, you can use it to download playlist if you are a premium subscriber and listen offline, or you can even stream if you have the LTE version of this watch.
Now the basic watch which is the one that I’m wearing, starts at 399 and then goes up to 429.
For the larger model and then tack on $50 if you want the LTE version of either, if price is an issue though I would highly recommend you check out the galaxy watch active two.
It doesn’t have the physical rotating bezel but it has a lot of the same great features for $200 less.
Now the galaxy watch 3 Still has some maturing to do, especially because it’s lacking two of the most impressive health features that it promised.
But I gotta say it’s come a long way since the original galaxy watch and it’s been fun to watch this transformation.
Let me know what you guys think in the comment section below and leave me your questions and I’ll see you next time.