Samsung Galaxy Watch review

8.1/10 AVG.
RATING
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  • Samsung Galaxy Watch

Specs / Features


Warranty (Months) 12 months
Release date 24-August-2018
Size 5 x 5 x 1 cm (2 x 2 x 0.4 in)
Weight N/A

What's good

  • Great screen
  • Rugged, sleek design
  • Intuitive controls
  • Excellent battery life on the 46mm model
  • Optional 4G connectivity
  • Mobile payment support
  • IP68/ATM5 rating

What's bad

  • Price
  • Slow wireless charging
  • Limited feature set with iOS

It's been more than 2 years since Samsung released an update to its popular smartwatch series. Their latest update is more of an incremental improvement to their already-proven formula. But is it worth buying? Reviewers are weighing in, let's see what they're saying.

Design

While some smartwatches look like tiny phones you wear on your wrist, the Samsung Galaxy Watch looks like a real watch. It features a round display, a stainless steel case, and 20mm rubber wrist straps to hold it snugly on your wrist.

Reviewers found little to complain about regarding design and comfort. They loved the weight and size of the watch.

If you're planning to use it as a fitness tracker, the watch is IP68 and 5ATM water-resistance rating. This means you can take it just about anywhere without worry.

The watch continues to use the rotating bezel for controls alongside a touchscreen and side buttons. Reviewers found the controls intuitive and responsive. Overall, they loved using the watch.

Screen

The watch comes in two sizes -- 1.2-inch (42mm) or 1.3-inch (46mm) 360-by-360 pixel Super AMOLED screens with a Gorilla Glass DX+ "uncrackable" treatment.

Reviewers loved the contrast offered by the display. While you won't use the watch to view movies or the like, the bright screen and crisp text made reading the various features and apps easy -- even with a quick glance.

Touch response was also good though you'll do most of your navigating of the various menus using the rotating bezel ring.

Performance

Samsung upgraded the processor from previous generations, using a 1.15Ghz dual-core Exynos processor.

Depending on the exact features you want in your watch, you'll also find 768MB or 1.5GB of RAM.

All Samsung Galaxy Watches include 4GB of internal storage to store songs or install apps for use on the go.

Software

Instead of Google's WearOS, the watch runs Samsung's Tizen. Reviewers loved the interface and found the software snappy and easy to use.

While the watch offers compatibility for both iOS and Android phones, you'll get access to the most features and integrations if you own a high-end Samsung phone. However, whether pairing through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, reviewers had few problems maintaining a connection between their phone and their watch.

App support is the biggest problem with Tizen. There's simply not much to choose from on their store as the phone can't run Apple or Android apps.

Pickr summed up opinions well, saying, "... the app store for the Galaxy Watch just feels like it needs more."

Connectivity & Sensors

Samsung includes virtually any sensor or connectivity option you might want.

There's Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi for connecting to your phone, making payments, or transferring information.

Optional 4G LTE connectivity allows you to stay connected without the need for a phone.

The heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, ambient light sensor, and GPS/GLONASS offer everything you might need for fitness tracking, mobile navigation, and other uses.

While reviewers found the automatic fitness tracking hit or miss on activity detection, they noted that sleep tracking, manual fitness tracking, and heart rate measurements appeared accurate.

Battery Life

If you're looking for the best battery life, the model you choose will have a huge impact on your experience.

The smaller 42mm model includes a 270mAh battery good for one to two days of use with a single charge.

Upgrading to the 46mm model brings a 472mAh battery. Most reviewers saw 4 days or more of use from a single charge when using 4G access sparingly.

Pickr says, "... if you're using a wearable just as a daily thing, to send you notifications, to pick up calls on it, and to track the odd quick walk or so, you'll find an impressive work week watch of battery life here."

Both use wireless charging which is convenient but slow. Expect a full charge to take a few hours.

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Takeaway [H4]

The sheer amount of features crammed into the watch impressed reviewers. However, they worried the watch offered more features -- and more cost -- than the average person might want to deal with.

GadgetByte summed up opinions well, saying, "The design is great, the display is great, some functions are very useful. But, like I said, it does things, most of us won't even use. The comprehensive health and fitness features are great, but there are fitness bands for cheaper that can get the job done. As for other things, we use our phones anyway."


Critic Reviews


Hitech Century

An extremely well polished package

Hitech Century

The Samsung Galaxy Watch is one of the best designed smartwatches to date with exceptional fitness tracking capabilities, superb build quality and great battery life.

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The Samsung Galaxy Watch is one of the best designed smartwatches to date with exceptional fitness tracking capabilities, superb build quality and great battery life.

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Pickr

Doesn’t feel as smart as it probably should

from Pickr

Frankly, if you don’t mind a great wearable with excellent battery life that has a lot of unrealised potential, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch is a great choice. There’s a lot this thing can do, and it has the battery life to get it there. Now we just need more developers to get behind it. Get cracking, Samsung.

Read full review

Frankly, if you don’t mind a great wearable with excellent battery life that has a lot of unrealised potential, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch is a great choice. There’s a lot this thing can do, and it has the battery life to get it there. Now we just need more developers to get behind it. Get cracking, Samsung.

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TechENT

Versatile, stable and here to spoil you

from TechENT

The Galaxy Watch is, so far, the most refined version of a Samsung Wearable to date. The best part is that Samsung has put some of the most compelling features into a wearable which is not only technologically advanced but also stylish. While some may prefer larger, louder designs, Samsung has ma...More

The Galaxy Watch is, so far, the most refined version of a Samsung Wearable to date. The best part is that Samsung has put some of the most compelling features into a wearable which is not only technologically advanced but also stylish. While some may prefer larger, louder designs, Samsung has made a wearable that is chic and comes with functions which actually make sense. 

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Gadgetbyte

Elegant design, packed with features

from Gadgetbyte

The Samsung Galaxy Watch feels more like a luxury, not a necessity. So, this is a watch that’s really smart, but right now…it’s ahead of its time.

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The Samsung Galaxy Watch feels more like a luxury, not a necessity. So, this is a watch that’s really smart, but right now…it’s ahead of its time.

Read full review

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Expert Reviews

Samsung’s most fully featured smartwatch yet

from Expert Reviews

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Watch improves on the Gear S3 in every conceivable way. Battery life, in particular, is stellar and the watch also fills adds the only significant hole in the Gear S3’s feature set – swim tracking. Bar a few annoying bugs, there’s very little reason not to buy the Galaxy Watch. It’s excellent.

Read full review

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Watch improves on the Gear S3 in every conceivable way. Battery life, in particular, is stellar and the watch also fills adds the only significant hole in the Gear S3’s feature set – swim tracking. Bar a few annoying bugs, there’s very little reason not to buy the Galaxy Watch. It’s excellent.

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Coach Mag

Not fit for fitness

from Coach Mag

The Galaxy Watch is gorgeous to look at and seems great on paper, but it all goes downhill when you actually try to use it. There aren’t many apps, the sports tracking is poor, the heart rate tracking is dreadful and the quoted battery life verges on the misleading. It’s a decent smartwatch w...More

The Galaxy Watch is gorgeous to look at and seems great on paper, but it all goes downhill when you actually try to use it. There aren’t many apps, the sports tracking is poor, the heart rate tracking is dreadful and the quoted battery life verges on the misleading. It’s a decent smartwatch with great every activity tracking and 4G capabilities if you’re on EE, but we couldn’t help feeling disappointed.

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NDTV

Excellent battery life, crisp display, built-in sleep tracking

from NDTV

 It manages to do a little bit of everything, and does it all well. Battery life is the strongest weapon in its arsenal, and other smartwatch companies need to work on this to make life better for the consumer. That said, there are a few things that don't work in favour of the Galaxy Watch. The...More

 It manages to do a little bit of everything, and does it all well. Battery life is the strongest weapon in its arsenal, and other smartwatch companies need to work on this to make life better for the consumer. That said, there are a few things that don't work in favour of the Galaxy Watch. The Tizen Wearable OS that it is running on has limited app support and users will most likely not find the apps they are looking for, compared to a Wear OS device or an Apple Watch. The second stumbling block is the price.

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TechGearLab

One of the best smartwatches around

from TechGearLab

It is intuitive and easy to use, with a thoroughly impressive suite of health and fitness tracking skills and a fantastic display. While it might look a little out of place on the most petite wrists and is a little pricey, it is still undeniably one of the best products we have seen to date in this category.

Read full review

It is intuitive and easy to use, with a thoroughly impressive suite of health and fitness tracking skills and a fantastic display. While it might look a little out of place on the most petite wrists and is a little pricey, it is still undeniably one of the best products we have seen to date in this category.

Read full review

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Digit

Accurate tracking of fitness activities, very impressive battery life

from Digit

The Samsung Galaxy Watch is a smartwatch that lasts 4 days on regular use, tracks all your activities with great accuracy and delivers smooth operation. It is a worthy upgrade for anyone who wants an Android-compatible smartwatch with great battery life and the looks of an actual wristwatch.

Read full review

The Samsung Galaxy Watch is a smartwatch that lasts 4 days on regular use, tracks all your activities with great accuracy and delivers smooth operation. It is a worthy upgrade for anyone who wants an Android-compatible smartwatch with great battery life and the looks of an actual wristwatch.

Read full review

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Ausdroid

Solid and comfortable, great battery life

from Ausdroid

In short, it can get you through a decent business trip, not make you look like a complete geek, and work with just about any phone you throw it at. Mostly. On the downside, though, Samsung has packaged up a lot of what was already on the market and put it into a more expensive smartwatch. Some t...More

In short, it can get you through a decent business trip, not make you look like a complete geek, and work with just about any phone you throw it at. Mostly. On the downside, though, Samsung has packaged up a lot of what was already on the market and put it into a more expensive smartwatch. Some things are genuinely new – including Bixby in the watch, and a dual-core processor – but other things are old news. Fitness tracking is everyone’s game at the moment, and Samsung’s version of it is unremarkable.

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