Samsung Galaxy Watch Review
Samsung launched their new smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch. It is a new line up for the Samsung smartwatches as they skipped over the Gear S4 model for 2018. However, the Galaxy Watch is a premium smartwatch with powerful hardware and great software with over 35+ workout-tracking ability. This Watch was launched in 2018, the lowest end model of the Watch still costs less than the Gear S3 at the time of launch.
What's the Best About Samsung Galaxy Watch?
Starting with the design, the Galaxy Watch mimics a classic analogue watch. It doesn't try to be flashy like the Apple watch with its rectangular design. There are two sizes available for people with different wrist size. The Watch comes with a rotating crown which helps a lot in navigating through the watch interface.
Samsung Galaxy Watch has multiple colour options even for the strap, so choose the one which suits you better. It comes with an OLED display which means less battery consumption and punchy colours. Talking about the battery life, both the Watch manages to last 4-5 days on a single charge which is super impressive. Both the models aren't bulky at all and sits comfortably on the wrist. Also, there are various sensors and fitness features to help you stay fit. The Galaxy Watch also supports wireless charging which is a convenient feature to have.
What's Not So Good about Samsung Galaxy Watch?
Galaxy Watch comes with Samsung's own Tizen OS. While it is reliable software with no issue, we still would have preferred the Wear OS due to its more flexible. Samsung replaced the S-Voice feature with its new Bixby Assistant. Although it is better than the S-Voice at the end of the day, Google Assistant would have been a better choice.
There are 2 variants of the Watch, one with Bluetooth and the other one with LTE support. As a result, the LTE one is going to cost you a couple of bucks more. The Tizen OS doesn't support any Map software for convenient navigation which is a disappointment. Also, the charging dock comes with a MicroUSB port which in 2018 look pretty old-fashioned.
Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy Watch
The Samsung Galaxy Watch comes in the square-shaped black box. There is an image of the Watch on the front which goes towards the side along with the branding. On the right, there are some key specifications about the Watch, which includes- Long battery life. Auto fitness and wellness tracking, Support 35+ workout activities, and swim-ready water-resistant. Removing the lid, the first thing that comes up is the Watch itself with Galaxy Watch branding written in shiny black under it.
Inside there are two compartments which include the following stuff:
- Power Adapter
- Charging Dock
- Micro USB cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Extra Wrist Strap
Well, that's all the stuff you will require with the Watch. There is also a screen protector which comes pre-applied on the Watch. However, the quality is standard, and we recommend you to buy a new form to protect the display from scratches.Although the packaging doesn't seem premium, it is undoubtedly better than the packaging of the Samsung Gear Sports.
Design of Samsung Galaxy Watch
The Samsung Galaxy Watch looks quite similar to its predecessor, the Gear S3. It has the same circular design with all-metal build to provide extra protection for the Watch in rough and challenging situations. There are 2 buttons on the right-hand side from which the upper one is the back button, and the lower one act as a Power and App drawer button. The rotating crown has a nice clicky feeling to it and comes in handy while switching between notifications or applications. Since there are two different models of the Watch, the weight and dimensions are different too.
The 42mm model of the Samsung Watch weighs 49 grams (without strap) and measures 41.9 x 45.7 x 12.7mm. There are two colour options for this model- Rose Gold and Black. This model uses a 20mm strap, and there are multiple colour options -Lunar Grey, Cloud Grey, Onyx Black, Terracotta Red, Lime Yellow, Cosmo Purple, Pink Beige, and Natural Brown. For people with small and medium-sized wrist, the 42mm model will be the perfect option.
Samsung Galaxy Watch also has a 46mm model for people with big sized wrists. It comes in a single Silver colour variant. This model of the Watch has a weight of 63 grams (without strap) and measures 46 x 49 x 13mm. Also, this model uses a 22mm strap which has only three colour options- Onyx Black, Basalt Grey, and Deep Ocean Blue.
Samsung Galaxy Watch has an IP68 dust and water resistance and can survive underwater up to 50m and 5 ATM, meaning you can dive into a swimming pool without worrying about your smartwatch. Both the models use a silicon strap which is sweat resistant and feels comfortable on the wrist. Other than the cosmetic changes, there are some internal changes too in which we will cover later in the review.
Galaxy Watch Has Amazing Display
The Samsung Galaxy Watch uses the well-known Super AMOLED display. Having an OLED panel means less battery consumption with saturated colours and intense blacks. Also, the Always ON feature looks much better on an OLED display rather than an LCD panel. This is because the unnecessary pixels shut down on the AMOLED panel and illuminates only the required ones leading to deep blacks and saturated colours.
Both the models of the Galaxy Watch sport different size of the display. The 42mm model sports a 1.2 inch (30mm) circular display which has a resolution of 360 x 360. On the other hand, the 46mm models sport a 1.3 inch (33mm) circular display which has the identical 360 x 360 screen resolution. Since the smaller model has a smaller display with the exact same resolution, it will be sharper than the bigger model, although, the difference won't be easily noticeable. Both the models use Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ for display protection.
While both the display appear to have a minor size difference, the actual difference looks significant while looking at both the display at the same time. Since both have the same Super AMOLED, the colours look bright and saturated with great viewing angles. The sunlight visibility is also great, which is important as the Watch is meant for outdoor use.
Samsung Galaxy Watch, as the title of this section, indicates has an "Amazing Display". However, choosing the right size comes down to the user.
The Hardware of Samsung Galaxy Watch
Both the models of the Samsung Galaxy Watch is powered by the 1.15 GHz Exynos 9110 Dual-core processor. There is 768MB of RAM on the Bluetooth models while the LTE model has 1.5GB to keep all the LTE services functional. All the models have similar 4GB of onboard storage which is enough from a smartwatch perspective.
The overall performance feels really smooth. Animations look really smooth, and there is no lag while switching from one app to another. Everything works really smooth even under a heavy workload. Overall, the Galaxy Watch is one of the most powerful smartwatches in the market as of now.
Software and Features of Galaxy Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch runs on Tizen based Wearable OS 4.0. It is compatible with the Android phone running on Android 5.0 or above and iPhone 5 and above (running iOS 9 and above). The overall UI feels very smooth and clear with the only necessary app. Even they make such small noticeable details that if you listen closely, you can hear the ticks of the second's hand, which is totally a software trick. Apart from the touchscreen, there are two physical buttons for navigation along with a rotating crown.
Rotating the crown to the right reveals the widgets. Rotating the crown to the left scrolls back to the home and further rotating to the left reveals the notifications. Swiping down from the top reveals the quick settings. Samsung says that there are 60,000 watch faces to choose from for the Galaxy Watch. Samsung also included the Samsung Pay feature in the Watch so you can do cardless transactions easily. Also, Bixby, which is Samsung's own personal assistant, made its way to the Galaxy Watch too at the expense of the S-Voice. Bixby performs all the functions really well but takes time to listen to the commands and perform the desired actions.
Connectivity options on the Galaxy Watch include LTE/3G (optional), Bluetooth v4.2, WiFi b/g/n, A-GPS/Glonass and NFC. Also, there are a bunch of sensors on the Watch, including Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Barometer, Heart rate monitor, and Ambient Light sensor. Galaxy Watch can track 39+ workout activities including both indoors and outdoors and monitors you heartrates and calories burned. With Samsung health app, these features can be expanded further, and you can keep logs about your health metrics. It also comes with a Stress level monitor which take some time to read your normal vitals and when the reading complete, alerts you when the stress level exceeds the normal point and suggest exercise like deep breathing. Also, if you sit for a longer time, it will notify you to move or stretch your body. Samsung Galaxy Watch is a solid health companion.
Battery Life of Galaxy Watch
At the time of launch, Samsung said that the Galaxy Watch has a battery life of 4-5 days (non-LTE models only). To be honest, that appears to be true. On the smaller 42mm model, there is a 270 mAh battery while on the bigger 46mm model, there is a 472 mAh battery. Both the models perform really well when it comes to battery life; however, it is obvious that the battery life on the bigger model is better than, the smaller model.
With consistent usage, you squeeze 3 days of battery life from the bigger model. Although, with normal usage and battery saver on when the extra functions are not required, you can get 5 days of battery life. With the smaller model, similar conditions will give around 4 days of battery life.
The "Battery Saver" mode which we talked earlier turn the display to Grayscale and limits all the smartwatch functions except the basic ones. It also supports WPC based wireless charging which is absolutely convenient. While the battery life varies from user to user depending upon the level of usage, the overall battery life is surely astounding.
Verdict for Samsung Galaxy Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch is a solid piece of technology. It comes in different models to suit different wrist size. There is an LTE option too which costs a couple of bucks more. There are few downsides too, but the good thing outweighs them easily. There are various colour options to choose for the Watch as well as the strap. The all-metal design is rugged and will be easily able to handle rough and harsh environments. Also, the Galaxy Watch has an iP68 rating which means you can take it for a swim.
The circular Super AMOLED display which is protected by Gorilla Glass looks amazing in all the lighting conditions When it comes to performance, the Galaxy Watch is able to hold well even under heavy loads. It is able to track 35+ workout activities. Also, battery life is great; however, the LTE models have slightly lower battery life.
What's not great is the absence of Wear OS (my point of view). While the Tizen OS works flawlessly, the lack of the Google Assistant can still be felt. Also, there is no map support on the Watch for directions.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch has different models with sizes listed below:
- 42mm Bluetooth Model
- 46mm Bluetooth Model
- 42mm LTE Model
- 46mm LTE Model
The 42mm variant has various colour options for Watch and Strap. At the same time, the bigger 46mm variant has a bigger battery. Choose the option which suits your wrist as well as your budget.
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