Samsung Galaxy Watch Review

Samsung Galaxy Watch Review

Product Name: Samsung Galaxy Watch

Release Date: August 2018

Overall Rank: 4/5 Stars

Price: $295.99 (46 mm version)

Best Place to Buy: Amazon (#1 Best Seller) – For direct link click here.

Guarantee: 1 year (extended warranty can be purchased)

The Latest Samsung’s Smartwatch

So it has been more than 6 months now that Samsung has released the Galaxy Watch, his latest smartwatch that was announced with a lot of excitement at the Samsung Note 9 Unpacked show in August. It was announced with big drums and trumpets to be a spark of innovation and evolution into the smartwatch world.

Does the Galaxy Watch really competes with Apple’s big gun (Apple Watch 4 Series)? Is it really a true innovation compare to the Samsung Gear S3? We are presenting you our Samsung Galaxy Watch Review. Let’s not waste more time and let’s dive in!


The Design

Circular Watch available in 2 sizes and 3 colors

The Galaxy Watch is waterproof and swim-ready

The circular watch comes in 42mm and 46mm sizes and you can choose from 3 different colors: Rose Gold, Black Midnight and Sliver. Both dimension looks great on the watch and they will fit perfectly if you have big or small wrists. The metal body is mounted with 2 push buttons on the right side, one of the ways to navigation into the watch.

It is waterproof (50 meters) and swim-ready if you want to take it for a dive and follow your progress (using an third party app),

Rotating bezel

The rotating bezel that we saw in previous models (Gear 3 by example) are returning with the Galaxy Watch and it is a great feature since it is one of the easiest way to navigate between menus on a smartwatch. Two conventional ways (side buttons and touchscreen) to surf are still good but the rotating bezel make the Galaxy Watch stand out of his competitors, much easier and fun.

The Straps

If you purchase the 46 mm version, the watch will come with a 22 mm silicon strap. The 42 mm version includes a 20 mm strap. Wristbands are interchangeable comes in different sizes and colors.


The Hardware

Bright and Rugged Display

The touchscreen is a 1.3 inch sAMOLED (360 x 360) that is super bright and very responsive when you need to press it to select a specific menu. The Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ make the display more robust and also prevent the display to get scratched.

Fast processor, great flash memory but lacks storage

With a dual core 1.15Ghz processor, the Galaxy Watch is capable of performing many tasks (like opening several apps at the same time) without slowing down the watch efficacy. The smartwatch is also packed with 1.5Gb of RAM to run the apps smoothly but for internal storage it is lacking some. Even if the specs shows 4Gb of internal storage, the real available space is about 2Gb due to native apps installed by default. That does leave a lot of room for music, pictures, adding watch faces or apps.

Awesome GPS and HR sensors

Credits: Youtube
Credits: Youtube

The Galaxy Watch is Built with an accelerometer (to detect your movements), GPS (for tracking your route) and Heart Rate (for cardio workouts or and sleep patterns) sensors that delivers with great accuracy. All sensor tracking are monitor directly on the watch or on your specific app if you are linked via Bluetooth with your phone. This watch can also track 39 different exercises

Long Battery Life?

To me, a long battery life should last at least 5 to 7 days. I guess Samsung doesn’t have the same mindset has me! We all know that recharging your phone or watch in the middle of the week is a pain.

You get a bigger rechargeable battery (472 mAh) with the 46 mm Galaxy Watch than the 42 mm model (270 mAh). If we put it to the test and use the watch by performing normal daily workouts and activating all useful health (Auto Heart Rate, Auto Stress) and communication (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) settings, the watch last about 3 days for the 46 mm version. Expect at least a day less with the smaller model.

Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy Watch is conformed to the QI Wireless charging standard so we should be able to use third party wireless chargers but it seems that is not the case if we look at the GSM Arena’s report:

Credits:  GSM Arena

LTE Capability needs improvement

One of the main feature that Samsung has announced at first was the LTE capability. Of course, you need to purchase the LTE version (more expensive) of the watch if you want get full access to that feature. Take note that your normal sim or micro sim card won’t work in the watch. You need to activate an ”e-sim” card with your mobile carrier to be able to use the LTE for sending text messages or calling someone directly. Note: You cannot not send text messages using the Wi-Fi.

We don’t suggest going with the LTE version due to the lack of response from the watch when giving some vocal commands. Also, not all phone carriers works with the watch LTE service. Make sure you check out the list of compatible carriers by clicking here. Also, during a call, the voice can also sound robotic.

Bluetooth connectivity

Bluetooth works fine with any smartphones that you want to use with the watch for data synchronization. Once you sync your data, you can export it into a third party app like Strava or Facebook.


Software and Apps

The Tizen OS (version 4.0)

The Tizen OS runs on a 1.15 dual-core processor that makes the watch fluent when navigating between menus. Say thanks to this OS for incorporating the rotation bezel feature into the watch. Android based smartwatches doesn’t have that capability.

Good notifications but can be frustrating

The notifications that you get (once paired to your smartphone unless you have the LTE version) are easy to read, no problem there. The only bug is the 2-3 seconds that it takes to open the app that you want to use, by example, Gmail. You will see the Gmail icon with that delay every time before you get access to the email that you want to look. Imagine doing that for a full day, it can get annoying.

Bixby is very limited

Samsung’s virtual assistant cannot be compared to Google Assistant. Many users have complained about not getting answers from Bixby when asked easy commands like ”How tall is the Eiffel tower?”. Still, the assistant does decent job if you want to call someone or want to create an alarm. Let’s hope Samsung will improve with a future update.

Great variety of watch faces

You can select for a wide variety of watch faces to fit your own personality. You can choose from the normal look of a watch to a rings Apple style watch face. Wearable.com has created a list of the best watch faces available if you need some inspiration or can’t choose from the multitude of watch faces. One great feature on the watch is that you can also activate the ticking sound of a standard watch to feel even more real. A lot of people love it.

Apps in abundance

This smartwatch can be tuned with many third party apps. Sport apps like Strava or Map My Run are useful for runners, or TaylorMade if you are a golfer. If you like streaming music, Spotify is available or Uber if you need a cab. The list is pretty big and you will customize it your own way.


Here’s a list of the bad and the ugly for the Samsung Galaxy Watch

Pros:

Bright and rugged display (one of the best in the industry)

Fast processor and good RAM memory make the watch run quickly and smoothly

The rotating bezel for navigation is addictive

Compatibles with iOS and Android phones

Waterproof (50 meters) and swim ready

GPS and HR sensors are fast and accurate

A big list of third party apps available

Cons:

Lacks Internal Storage

Battery Life could be better (3-4 days of all features are activated)

Bixby Assistant is weak

Pre-installed apps for fitness are not as great has his competitors (Apple’s Watch Series 4 and Fossil Q series)


Does It Worth Buying?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch is a great high-end smartwatch and is a great competitor to the Apple Watch Series 4. In terms of hardware, it is one of the best. The fast dual core processor and great RAM memory makes the watch run quick and smoothly without any lag if you are switching from one app to the other or during navigation.

If you love to track your runs or walks, the built-in GPS will satisfy you without any doubt. On the downside, the installed apps are not that intuitive and don’t get the most out of the GPS and HR sensors compared to other expensive smartwatches in the market. You will need to install different fitness apps to get the most out of it and it will take more space from the ”already limited” internal storage.

The battery life (3-4 days in normal mode) can be a pain for many of you (and me!). There’s other smartwatches brands that last more than a week like the Withings smartwatch. If GPS is not a must, this smartwatch is more affordable and last almost a month!

Finally, if you are looking for a beautiful Android smartwatch that is packed with stunning hardware, you won’t be disappointed with the Galaxy Watch even if the battery life is limited to 4 days. The advancements that Samsung has announced 6 months ago (LTE capability, charging capability, health tracking, Bixby 2.0) are still not perfect and will need improvements if Samsung wants to bring more users to purchase this watch.


I hope you have enjoyed our Samsung Galaxy Watch Review!

You can drop a quick comment below if you want to talk about this watch.

Do you own a Galaxy Watch? Do you think this watch can compete with the Apple Watch 4?

What feature you love to have on a smartwatch?

Thanks for reading and have a good one!

Al

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About Alvaro ''Al'' Paez

I am a passionate fitness/wearable enthusiastic person who loves to share to the world, news and reviews about what I call fitness wearables. Ive been using wearables since many years and I found they can be a useful tool to improve your health, increase your fitness level and lose weight. There's a fitness wearable for every person. Let me show you the good path! Alvaro ''Al'' Paez.

View all posts by Alvaro ''Al'' Paez →

16 Comments on “Samsung Galaxy Watch Review”

  1. Great review about this smartwatch! I’m looking for a decent device on Android and this one could be a good fit.
    I saw on some of your recent posts that you will start Youtube videos for reviews. Is it started yet? All the best. Roro

  2. This post really came at the right time because I have been thinking of buying wristwatch online due to the fact that I consider online products to be more durable than stores product. The features of this Samsung galaxy watch is really convincing,the battery life and others , I think I’m going to get one .

    1. Lok, 

      Im glad this post has help you right on time! You can click on the Amazon link on top of the post if you want to get it from Amazon. Note: I may get an affiliate commission if you get it. All the best. Al 

  3. This Galaxy watch seems to be better than Apple Watch that I own. I feel you, it is frustraining with the Apple Watch that I have to keep charging it every night. Sometimes, I did not work out or even did that many activities to the watch at all and it just die in me. I need that battery life because I tend to stay out late, I don’t like checking my phone in from of my company (it’s rude) so that notification on the watch helps. I also do a lot of work out as well, I am training for the half marathon in May. Great gadget. Thanks for the review!

    1. Hi Nuttanee!! 

      Do you own the Apple Watch 4? If yes. Then the battery life is a little bit less durable than the Galaxy Watch. Generally it should last about three days. Still it depends of the usage of your watch. Wi-Fi, GPS and LTE functions are the one that drain the battery way faster. 

  4. I can say that this article is very interesting and helpful. I like the Samsung brand and I often use their products or services and I honestly believe them. I already have this watch and I can confirm that it is definitely worth the money primarily because it is waterproof (I tested it lol). I will buy one for my cousin as he is getting 18 in February.

    1. Hey Daniel, 

      Good choice! Samsung makes many great smartwatches like the Gear S3 models and this one. Tizen os with rotation bezel is a feature that users love and that’s only on Samsung for now! 

  5. I am a lover of watches, i think its what i collect. I always love smartwatches but i never know which would be a good one to get because they can be so similar. There is no doubt the Samsung makes good technology and i am happy i read your article to prove that, However i would like some more battery life as you so rightfully said in your post. Thanks for sharing, will be looking into picking up one for this year.

    1. Hi Jamiro! 

      You can go wrong with the Galaxy Watch but yes, the battery is the problem with more than 75% of smartwatches. If it bugs you. You should check the Withings HR Sport (less expensive but no GPS). No charge at all? The PowerWatch is the one to acquire : it charges with your body heat. The new version will be release later this year and will also add solar charging and built in GPS. All the best. 

  6. Thank you for reviewing these watches. I’m a little confused as to what the watch looks like since I see two different looking watches on top of this this page. I can’t seem to find the link where to buy it. I’m looking for a gift for my husband who likes to use Androids so I’m thinking about giving him one of these. My husband is from India and he also has business there while working with me in America. So does this watch has a multiple time zone feature where he can easily check different time zones such as India and Pacific Time?

    1. Hi Shelly! 

      Thanks for your comment. You can find a direct like if you click on the Amazon link at the very top (Amazon is written in blue). You can also purchase it directly from the Samsung store. 

      For the time zones it needs to be set manually or you need to be connected to the Wi-Fi so it can be automatically set.

  7. I do not own an Apple Watch I currently have a Samsung Galaxy S9 waiting to get the S10. I originally switched from being a Motorola fan over to a Samsung fan with the S8 and I haven’t left the Samsung family since then. That being said because I had more of a Health Fitness mindset I picked up a Fitbit. Currently I use the Fitbit ionic. I’ve been tossing around the idea of just getting a regular Smartwatch. For the same price it seems to be more intuitive I guess would be the right word. This article pushed me over the edge on that. Looks like I’ll be listing my Fitbit on Facebook Marketplace shortly. The Fitbit was just so limited….

    1. Hi Johnny,

      My wife got an Fitbit Charge 3 and she likes it but it freeze sometimes for no reason. It can be frustrating. The Ionic is a great fitness tracker with advanced fitness features but yes it can be hard to navigate and find the workout you need. The Galaxy Watch is for sure more user friendly and you get most of the fitness data directly on the watch using the good watch face. 

  8. Al – thanks for this review of the Samsung Galaxy watch.I would be using something like this for tracking where we go walking.Can you setup the gps recording period to save power or is it fixed in the app?I like the idea of the amoled display covered with gorilla glass.we used the gorilla glass on a military project for toughness.I am still amazed at what tech they can squeeze inside a watch housing now.Just let down by the short operating time, but hopefully that will improve with advances in battery technology.

    1. Hi Phil, 

      You can activate the GPS sensor only when you are performing your workout/run. Then you can turn it off to save battery or activate the power saving mode. Gorilla Glass is one of the best display if not the best. Just think that Apple uses Samsung screens on their phones! lol 

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