Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 – old hardware in new jacket

The smartwatch does not have it easy. The device has a high gadget content; nice for it, but you really don’t need such a thing. We already come straight to the point: the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 does not change that image. Apart from that, the thing does what it is supposed to do. We cannot really call the Watch 3 ‘new’.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

price € 429, – (41 mm) and 459, – (45 mm)
Colors Silver, bronze (41 mm) or black and silver (45 mm)
OS Tizen OS
Screen 1.4 inch AMOLED
Weight 48.2 grams (41 mm) or 53.6 grams (45 m)
Dimensions 46.2 by 45 by 11.1 mm
Storage 8 GB
Battery 430 mAh
Connectivity bluetooth, wifi, nfc, gps
Other Waterproof, interchangeable straps
Website 6 Score 60 Score: 60

  • Pros
  • Tizen OS
  • Nice, large OLED screen
  • Solid smartwatch
  • Negatives
  • Automatic workout is sometimes wrong
  • Very expensive
  • Little deviates from Active 2

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is available in two sizes, namely 41 and 45 centimeters. In marketing, those centimeters are used to designate the female and male model, but you could also interpret that designation as people with a narrow or wide wrist. The device has the robust design that we recognize from the other Galaxy Watches that came out before this. A sturdy cabinet that houses a round and beautiful OLED screen, equipped with a rotating ring with which you can scroll through the interface.

When that rotating bezel first saw the light of day, it was a great addition. After all, this prevents you from constantly having your finger on the screen for every little trifle. Now this is only necessary if you want to confirm something or tap something. The idea of ​​the bezel is so good that we initially miss it on smartwatches that have to do without. In addition, there are two buttons with which you quickly go back or to the home screen. That (still) works fine.

Same processor, with memory

If we look at the hardware in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, we quickly come to the conclusion that it corresponds for the most part to the Galaxy Watch Active 2. We see the same processor (Exynos 9110) and the same graphics chip. The screen is also the same size (1.4 inches) and has the same resolution (360 by 360 pixels), so the pixel density is also the same – and still very high! – is 364 pixels. The battery is also the same size with 340 mAh. Plus: we find wireless charging on both models.

Furthermore, there is the same WiFi chip, the same Bluetooth version (version 5.0) and there is again support for GPS. All more than excellent features for a smartwatch, not of that, but there is simply not much new under the sun. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 does have more memory (namely 1 GB) and storage space (namely 8 GB). The extra memory allows the smartwatch to continue for longer and the extra storage memory allows you to store more offline songs and listen directly from your smartwatch.

What about extra features and functions?

Since the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 runs on Tizen OS, just like the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, we can expect the standard features when it comes to fitness and sleep. In this area, there is also no distinction between the two models. At least that’s not entirely true. With its 40-millimeter case, the Active 2 is more compact and lighter than the case of the 45mm model that we are testing of the Galaxy Watch 3. As a result, you not only feel that you have that thing on all day, it also feels quite annoying while sleeping. We couldn’t get used to the weight.

Some noteworthy functions of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and its predecessor are the heart rate monitor, the ECG sensor and the GPS chip, so that the device functions well as a fitness tracker. That almost always goes well. The smartwatch recognizes when you are doing a certain activity. This is completely automatic, but in most cases you do well to set this manually. Not only do you know for sure that he is doing the right exercise (in some cases it sometimes goes wrong), you also know for sure that you are keeping the correct workout time. After your workout you will see an overview on your wrist of the most important data, but you can also read everything quietly on your smartphone via the Samsung Health app.

Four different applications

Speaking of apps, what we find a bit annoying about using the smartwatch is that you are basically forced to install four separate apps on your smartphone. If you are not in the Samsung ecosystem (whatever your reason may be), then that is quite an attack on your app drawer. Two of the four apps are plug-ins with their own app icon. If those plug-ins did not have their own icon, the irritation would feel less great. Certainly at a time when we also want to live healthier mentally and digitally (and that includes fewer apps), it is annoying that we still have to download so much extra software before we can use the Watch 3.

Fortunately, the two apps that you can use to set up the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and keep track of your sports performance are clear and sleek. They fully meet the requirements of Samsung’s OneUI. That is one of the few Android software disputes that we can appreciate, precisely because everything is portrayed so neatly.

A great repetition exercise

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 feels like a big repetition exercise. This automatically means that the positive sides of a smartwatch are transferred. For the smartwatches from Samsung, especially in the higher segment, the screen is excellent. You can always see what to see, even when the sun is shining on it. The colors are beautiful and with the different dials you can easily personalize that screen. And then of course you have many applications that allow you to personalize your experience.

In addition, a smartwatch in general (or a fitness tracker) helps to keep moving. During the day you get reminders or to stretch your legs. You will also be motivated to get more out of your exercise. With various graphs you get insight into your performance and duration of the workout. For example, you are encouraged to exercise for half an hour every day, get up once every hour during your workday and burn an extra 300 calories. That goes without saying when you have been walking for an hour a day and take a walk every hour. Nevertheless, motivation is more than welcome, whether you are an avid athlete or not. It keeps you active and keeps you sharp.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 – conclusion

There is little new under the sun when we look at the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. Moreover, the real positive points are also not specifically linked to the smartwatch. The question is to what extent that is a problem for you. Is this your first smartwatch ever? Then you probably conclude that “the best smartwatch is made even better”. If this is your umpteenth from Samsung, you can skip a generation, because there are few reasons for an upgrade – certainly not because the Active 2 has received another software update that adds many of the same functions.

If you are looking for a smartwatch with which you can exercise, then you better go for the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. That is literally a smartwatch for athletes, which is more compact and slimmer (but has no bezel). The asking price for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is far too much in our opinion when you consider what you get in return – especially since the Active 2 is sold for about half the price.


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