Galaxy Watch 2 release date, price, features and news

Galaxy Watch 2 release date, price, features and news
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 it is! Almost all the pieces for the launch of the new Galaxy Watch are now in place. One big piece that was recently revealed was the name, which turns out will be Galaxy Watch 3. So, from now on, that's what we'll call it. 

With more and more details emerging, pretty much the only thing left is for Samsung to announce the event during which the new smartwatch will be presented.

But if you can't wait until then, here's what we already know (or assume) about it based on current leaks and rumors.

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Galaxy Watch 3 price and release date

Galaxy Watch 3 design

After months of waiting and speculations, we finally have some proper visuals of the new Galaxy Watch models. The picture below shows the different sizes and color variants of the Galaxy Watch 3 models.

As you can see, Samsung has indeed kept the physical rotating bezel. What's also noticeable is that it's slightly slimmer and the specs confirm it. Despite both models being a 1mm smaller than the original Galaxy Watch sizes, the larger one will now have a 1.4-inch display compared to the 1.3-inch one on the 46mm Galaxy Watch. The smaller model, on the other hand, keeps the display the same size while getting a smaller body, which is also a plus.
We also have a cool render of the titanium version of the Galaxy Watch 3 with a matching metal band, which just screams premium.

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Galaxy Watch 3 specs

Given the time that has passed since the release of the original Galaxy Watch, we can expect some significant changes when it comes to the internals.

Better display

The display will likely get a bump in resolution, allowing for even more detailed watch faces and complications (more on those later). Besides that, we won’t be surprised to see Samsung mimicking the 1Hz refresh rate of the Apple Watch Series 5 and bring that to the Galaxy Watch 3 for a more efficient always-on display. 

For now, we know that the body of the watch will comply with the MIL-STD-810 military standard for durability and be able to withstand up to 5ATM underwater pressure. Meanwhile, the display will be protected by Gorilla Glass DX, which Corning has designed specifically for wearables. 

More power, RAM and storage

Of course, a more powerful chip is also a must not only to handle the higher resolution but more demanding features as well. The measly 0.75GB of RAM the Galaxy Watch simply won’t do in 2020, the new generation should come with at least 1GB. That might still sound miserable compared to the rumored 12GB of the upcoming Galaxy S20 smartphones, but smartwatches handle far weaker loads.

We’d also like to see the storage bumped from 4 to at least 8GB, so we can fit more of our audio collection when out for a run. 

Battery life

Right now, the battery capacity of the new models is set at 340mAh for the 45mm Galaxy Watch 3 and 247mAh for the 41mm one. That's comparable to what the current 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. The new hardware and operating system might be able to improve battery life without any extra capacity. Speaking of operating systems...


Tizen 5.0

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 will probably get 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.

ECG but for real this time

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 still can’t make use of it because the feature still hasn’t been cleared by the FDA.

There have been no statements from Samsung regarding the delay. One possibility is that the FDA isn’t satisfied with the accuracy of the results Samsung’s watch provides. If they are too far off, the ECG might do more harm than good. But it could also be because the approval process is lengthy (which Samsung should have accounted for).

Hopefully, for the Galaxy Watch 3, Samsung will have everything needed to please the administration and Android users will finally have a functioning ECG around their wrists. 

Blood pressure monitoring

Blood pressure measuring was recently introduced on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 and is bound to be on the new flagship Samsung smartwatch. 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. 

New watch faces and widgets

The new software of the Galaxy Watch 3 will bring a slew of changes to the interface and built-in apps as well. There will be some 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.
Furthermore, a new weather app and a new music widget are expected to come with the new software. Additionally, Microsoft's Outlook is set to replace Samsung's own email app on the watch.

Fingerprint sensor

A unique feature some earlier rumors put on the Galaxy Watch 3 is an in-display fingerprint reader. It seems that might have been a red herring as later leaks haven't mentioned this feature.

If true, the sensor will mainly be used for authentication when financial transactions are being made using the smartwatch’s NFC chip. Further implementations are also possible for other functions that require biometrics or PIN input.

That would be a cool stand-out feature to separate the premium smartwatch from Samsung’s cheaper Galaxy Active models, but let’s hope it won’t bump up the price. Speaking of...

Galaxy Watch 3 price and release date

Right now, all the signs are pointing towards a late August release, with the date August 21 being thrown around the rumor mill. Seeing how detailed the leaks are becoming, that's a very likely scenario. That's the most likely Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 release date.

As for the price, current expectations are that we'll see a small price bump. The 45mm Galaxy Watch 3 is rumored to start at $400, $50 more than the original Galaxy Watch. The smaller model should come at either $380, if Samsung is sticking to the $20 difference, or $350 if the company is aiming for rounder numbers. The titanium version is going to come with a hefty premium, unsurprisingly, and is set to start at $600. 

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