Galaxy Watch 3 release date, price, features and news

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Apple is dominating the smartwatch market but if it wasn’t for Samsung, the stranglehold of the Apple Watch would have been even stronger. The South Korean giant now has a long line of smartwatches in its portfolio and they've been by far the most successful Android alternatives to the Apple Watch.

Two years ago, the company began a new era by switching to the Galaxy Watch branding and since then it has released three models, two with the added Active moniker, meant for more casual users.

After the release of the first Galaxy Watch in 2018, Samsung focused on the more affordable Galaxy Watch Active devices. But the time has come for the flagship smartwatch to get a refresh.

And now that refresh is finally here. Called the Galaxy Watch 3, Samsung's new premium smartwatch is feature-packed and good-looking.

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Galaxy Watch 3 price and release date

Galaxy Watch 3 design

The best word to describe the design of the Galaxy Watch 3 is refined. It's lost a lot of its bulk and some of its macho vibe in order to gain a more elegant and luxurious look. The body of the watch is smaller, slimmer and lighter but the display is actually slightly bigger than that of the original Galaxy Watch. 

The rotating bezel that's a signature element of the line is still here but now slimmer, leaving more room for the aforementioned display.

The Galaxy Watch 3 comes in two sizes: 45mm and 41mm and three colors: Mystic Black, Mystic Silver and Mystic Bronze. The black color is only available for the 45mm model while the bronze is reserved for the 41mm one. As for materials, the standard models come with a stainless steel body with a titanium one available as an option.

Both sizes now come with a leather band as standard, another hint that Samsung is targeting the Galaxy Watch 3 towards the business type users, while sportier people can go for the Galaxy Watch Active 2. Of course, you can always get different bands from the Samsung store.

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Galaxy Watch 3 specs

Despite the time that has passed since the release of the original Galaxy Watch, the changes inside aren't as drastic as we expected. You can find the full specs sheet below:

1.2 inches
1.4 inches
26.78 %
30.42 %
Scratch-resistant glass, Ambient light sensor
Scratch-resistant glass, Ambient light sensor
System chip
Samsung Exynos 9110 (10 nm)
Samsung Exynos 9110 (10 nm)
Dual-core, 1150 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bit
Dual-core, 1150 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bit
Mali-T720 MP1
Mali-T720 MP1
Internal storage
8GB, not expandable
8GB, not expandable
247 mAh
340 mAh
1.67 x 1.61 x 0.44 inches (42.5 x 41 x 11.3 mm)
1.82 x 1.77 x 0.44 inches (46.2 x 45 x 11.1 mm)
1.70 oz (48.2 g)
the average is 5.9 oz (168 g)
1.90 oz (53.8 g)
the average is 5.9 oz (168 g)
Water, Dust; IP68; MIL-STD-810 certified
Water, Dust; IP68; MIL-STD-810 certified

If you want to see how the Galaxy Watch 3 fairs against its Apple competitor, check our Galaxy Watch 3 vs Apple Watch Series 5 comparison.

Now, let's go through some of the highlights of the Galaxy Watch 3 specs.

Better display

The display has a 360 by 360 pixel resolution for both sizes, allowing for even more detailed watch faces and complications (more on those later). Unfortunately, no 1Hz refresh rate yet. There were hopes that Samsung will try to match that Apple Watch Series 5 functionality for a more efficient always-on display, but it seems we'll have to wait more before we see it on a Galaxy Watch. 

The body of the watch complies with the MIL-STD-810 military standard for durability and can withstand up to 5ATM underwater pressure. Meanwhile, the display is protected by Gorilla Glass DX, which Corning has designed specifically for wearables. 

Processor, RAM and storage

We were somewhat unpleasantly surprised to learn that the Galaxy Watch 3 uses the same chip as the original Galaxy Watch. Smartwaches can definitely benefit from a more powerful chips but Samsung obviously doesn't have a suitable replacement for the Exynos 9110 just yet.

On the bright side, the measly 0.75GB of RAM the Galaxy Watch is bumped to 1GB, which is still lower than what we were hoping to see. 

The storage, however, was generously doubled from 4 to 8GB. Now, we can fit more of our audio collection when out for a run. 

Battery life

The battery capacity is 340mAh for the 45mm Galaxy Watch 3 and 247mAh for the 41mm one. That's comparable to what the previous models have, which is somewhat unfortunate, as battery life is one of the most important features of smartwatches and we were hoping for a significant bump in it. That's not to say we won't see any. 

According to the leaks, Samsung rates the battery life of the Galaxy Watch 3 at 56 hours on a single charge, which is more than decent. A recent software update made changes that should improve the battery life even further, according to Samsung.

Tizen 5.5

At this point, Samsung seems to be more than happy running Tizen on its smartwatches instead of Google's WearOS and the Galaxy Watch 3 is running the latest version of Samsung's own OS as well. As the Tizen ecosystem matures, we'd like to see the number and variety of apps available for the Galaxy watches improve, as this is one are where they fall far behind the Apple Watch.

Galaxy Watch 3 features 

We’re all familiar with the popular sport and health-tracking features of smartwatches. Heartbeat, steps, calories, floors climbed, sleep, your every move is measured and reflects your stats one way or another. Improved versions of all of these are expected by default. Same goes for other standard smartphone features like notifications, voice calling, music playback and so on. The Galaxy Watch 3 goes beyond that with a few extra features.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

One glaring omission on the features list of the Samsung’s devices is the electrocardiogram. Apple has been taunting the benefits of its ECG for a couple of years now. The hardware for this feature was included on Samsung’s latest Galaxy Watch Active 2 but users were unable to use the feature for a long time because it wasn’t cleared by the FDA.

Well, Samsung is now proud to have gained the FDA's trust and the Galaxy Watch 3 will have the ECG function active in the US. It took some time before the feature was actually available to users, but since September 23, the ECG has been available for everyone in the US that have either the Galaxy Watch 3 or the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Blood pressure monitoring

Blood pressure measuring was recently introduced on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 and is now on the Galaxy Watch 3 as well. With the newer and likely more sophisticated sensors on the Galaxy Watch 3, the measurements should be more accurate than ever, something that's been a challenge for smartwatches when it comes to BP. Still, Samsung advises to calibrate your watch with a proper BP measuring device at least once a month. This feature is also restricted to certain markets.

Oxygen saturation tracking

Another health-related feature that will prove useful to some users. Blood oxygen saturation tracking will give fans of intense workouts a better idea of how their body is handling the exercise. The feature will be available through the new Samsung Health Monitor app.

New watch faces and widgets

The new software of the Galaxy Watch 3 brings a slew of changes to the interface and built-in apps as well. There are new watch faces added to the lineup, but more importantly, the customization of faces will be improved, allowing you to make the watch look just the way you want it. You can choose from 40 complications and the background of your watch face can be matched to your outfit or any other color scheme by taking a picture with your phone.

New hand gesture controls

One new feature no one really asked for but here we have it. With it, you'll be able to answer calls straight from your watch by clenching and unclenching your fist. The same motion can also be used to take a picture or start a video using the Camera Controller app on your watch. Another available gesture is the wrist shake. With it, you can decline incoming calls or stop/snooze alarms. 

Fall detection

A feature that's proven to be super-useful on the Apple Watch, fall detection finally arrives on the Galaxy Watch 3 as well. If the watch detects a fall, it will start ringing and if you don't turn it off within a minute it will send your location and an emergency message to a contact of your choice. Additionally, you'll be able to call 911 or your local emergency number with minimal input.

Galaxy Watch 3 price and release date

The Galaxy Watch 3 starts at $329 for the 41mm and $399 for the 45mm model, both with Bluetooth connectivity only. If you want to make calls from your watch, you'll have to pick one of the LTE models. For them, prices start at $449 for the smaller 41mm model and $479 for the 45mm model. You can order yours from the links below:

If you're looking to get the Galaxy Watch 3 discounted around Black Friday, keep an eye on our Smartwatch deals on Black Friday post, where we compile all the best deals from popular retailers.

Galaxy Watch 3 news

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