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Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Review

Samsung's launched a new Apple Watch rival. Here are our opening hands-on impressions of it

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £399

Samsung has unveiled its latest rival to the Apple Watch in the form of the Galaxy Watch 3, alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

The Galaxy Watch 3 doesn’t stray too far from the blueprint Samsung has set out for its smartwatches in the past. But there are a few notable cool new things to take note of. Here’s what you need to know.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 release date and price

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 will come in two sizes (41mm and 45mm) and three colours: silver, bronze (41mm only) and black (45mm).

The 41mm starts at £399, rising to £419 for the larger 45mm. Pre-orders will come with a free Wireless Charger Duo.

Related: Best smartwatch

Instead of looking a bit like a mini-computer on your wrist (hello Apple Watch Series 5), the Galaxy Watch is far more interested in mimicking a real timepiece. It’s a trick it pulls off well.

For the Watch 3, Samsung has slimmed everything down a bit by reducing the bezel around the screen and making the whole thing lighter and thinner. I tried both the 41mm and 45mm size options and they really feel very nice, with good quality materials and a close fit to the wrist.

Bronze is the flagship colour of this Samsung launch and the hue is available across most of the new line. It’s a nice addition to the watch, with the soft, almost pink aesthetic standing out nicely without looking garish. The watch isn’t as sporty looking as the Active variation, with much sleeker design.

Around the bright, sharp (360 x 360) circular OLED display is the rotating bezel along with a few buttons for shortcuts. This remains my favourite way of navigating a smartwatch and it works as well as ever here with a satisfying click when turned.

What’s new for the Galaxy Watch 3? Specs and software features

New features for the Watch 3 include fall detection, the ability to analyse your running form over a period of time and you can measure oxygen saturation in your blood. 

Samsung is still using its excellent Tizen OS here, rather than the far inferior Wear OS, and it has tweaked the UI slightly and added in a bunch of new watch faces. I’ll need to properly take this for a good few runs to see how the new fitness features work and whether things like the fall detection work as well they do on the Apple Watch.

As you’d expect there is GPS onboard for accurate data collection, and an LTE variant for untethered networking, NFC and an IP68 rating. Inside you’ll find 1GB RAM, 8GB storage and an Exynos processor. Battery sizes will vary depending on if you go for the 41 or 45mm variant with the former packing a 247mAh cell and the latter a larger 340mAh cell.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 – First impressions

The Galaxy Watch remains a stylish smartwatch that looks slightly better this time around thanks to a slimmer body and thinner frame.

A ’hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

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