For the past couple of years, Samsung’s lineup of smartwatches has been my favourite to wear on my wrist. From its rotating bezel to the Tizen interface, there’s a lot to like about Samsung’s watches including the latest Galaxy Watch3.
Editor’s Note: Even though I tested the 45mm version of the Galaxy Watch3, it is virtually identical to the 41mm version apart from screen size and battery capacity.
Design & Hardware
Samsung has always done a great job with the look and feel of its watches and the Galaxy Watch3 is no different. This time around, they’ve gone for a more premium design with the entire body of the watch made from stainless steel along with a genuine leather band.
With the change to a stainless steel body, Samsung has made the watch thinner and lighter at just 53.8g compared to 63g on the original Galaxy Watch (46mm). There was one sacrifice that Samsung made while making the watch thinner and that’s with the battery.
The Galaxy Watch3 (45mm) has a 340 mAh battery compared to a 472 mAh battery in the Galaxy Watch (46mm). That’s a huge difference and you can get up to 3 days with the Galaxy Watch3 but it’ll more likely be closer to 2 days compared to 4-5 days on the original Galaxy Watch.
For those going for the smaller 41mm Galaxy Watch3, you’re looking at a 247 mAh battery compared to 270 mAh in the 42mm Galaxy Watch. Thankfully, Samsung’s Tizen OS does have some battery-saving settings that I’ll get to later.
One nice part of the Galaxy Watch3 is that it uses the puck-style charger that was first introduced with the Galaxy Watch Active series. The charger is magnetic and is based on the Qi wireless charging technology but not any wireless charger will work, you’ll need one made for the watch.
Charging the Galaxy Watch3 from almost empty to 100% takes around two hours. There’s no fast charging like on the Fitbit Versa 3 or Apple Watch Series 6.
If you wanted to swap out the bands, you’ll just need to find a 22mm watch band for the 45mm and 20mm for the 41mm.
The 45mm version of the watch has a 1.4-inch circular display, while the smaller 41mm has a 1.2-inch screen. Both sizes have a 360×360 resolution along with Gorilla Glass DX for extra protection.
Unlike the Galaxy Watch Active series, the Galaxy Watch3 continues Samsung’s tradition of the rotating bezel around the display, which makes it much easier to navigate the interface quickly.
On the right side of the device, is where you’ll find two buttons the top is a back button and the bottom shows your apps when on the home screen and also acts as a home button. Holding down the bottom button also brings up the power menu.
The back of the watch is where you’ll find all the health sensors like a heart rate monitor, ECG and blood pressure (both of which need approval by Health Canada to be enabled here).
The watch is being powered by the Exynos 9110 dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. While the processor is a few years old (first introduced with the Galaxy Watch in 2018), the chip does a good job of making it navigate around the watch.
But there is always the possibility that the older chip could be plagued by issues with future Tizen OS updates. The watch has water-resistance of up to 5 ATM and an IP68 rating.
Other specs of the Galaxy Watch3 include 8GB of internal storage, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor and a Light Sensor.
The Galaxy Watch3 is available now in Canada for $529 CAD for the 45mm and $479 CAD for the 41mm. The 45mm size comes in Mystic Black and Mystic Silver while the 41mm comes in Mystic Silver and Mystic Bronze.
There’s also a Titanium version of the Galaxy Watch3 that comes only in 45mm and costs $759 CAD. It’s exclusive to Best Buy Canada.
For comparison, the original Galaxy Watch was $419 CAD for the 42mm version and $459 CAD for the 46mm version. So there’s been a big jump in price for the new models.
If you’re looking to save some money on the Galaxy Watch3 and don’t mind an absolute brand new piece, Best Buy Canada sells Open Box versions of the watch in both sizes.
The Open Box version of the 45mm Galaxy Watch3 is $399 CAD and the Open Box 41mm is $349 CAD. It’s worth noting these Open Box versions are only available online and not in stores.
There is an LTE version of the Galaxy Watch3 available in other markets but it’s unclear if it’ll be coming to Canada.
You can pick up up the Galaxy Watch3 from the following retailers in Canada:
- Best Buy Canada
The Galaxy Watch3 is running Tizen OS 5.5 and this update is mostly about enabling some of the new features introduced with the watch. There hasn’t been much change to the overall look of Tizen on the Galaxy Watch3 other than it looks a bit more in line with Samsung’s One UI on their phones.
Like other smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch3 and Tizen can show you notifications from your phone, send messages, control music etc. There’s also plenty of health-focused features like sleep tracking, fitness tracking(around 40 activities)
Getting around Tizen is relatively straightforward, the main screen is your clock face of choice. Swiping to the left shows your notifications and swiping to the right shows different widgets from you can choose from like an agenda, world clock etc.
Swiping down from the top on any screen shows your quick settings toggles like battery saver, do not disturb, brightness and more. This will also show your current battery life, you can rearrange the order of the settings to how you prefer.
There are a couple of battery-saving features on the watch, the default Power Saving feature will turn off everything but calls, messages and notifications, this option gets you 2-3 days extra. The other battery saver feature is Watch Only which turns the Galaxy Watch3 into a straight-up watch, with no notifications or extra features and gets you up to 20 days of battery life
The apps you’ll find pre-installed on the Galaxy Watch3 are Samsung’s own like their version of Calendar, Flipboard Briefing and more. The Galaxy Watch3 can also be used to download music offline on Spotify (so long as you have a Spotify Premium subscription).
The watch can also be used to control your smart home and activate different routines via Samsung SmartThings.
In terms of watchfaces, there quite a few to choose from including some pre-installed ones. If you decide you don’t like any of those, you can easily download a new one from the Galaxy Store. The number of apps for Tizen OS is growing and you’ll find popular apps like Spotify, Uber and more.
Just like past Samsung watches, the Galaxy Watch3 with other Android phones beyond Samsung ones (as long as they are running Android 5.0 or higher & RAM 1.5GB above). The watch also works on iOS (in a limited capacity) with iPhone 5 and later with iOS 9.0 and above.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is a great smartwatch that is thinner and feels almost like a premium device. There are some sacrifices you’ll have to make, like not as long of battery life as previous watches and a fairly substantial price increase.
- Slimmer, lighter than the original
- Great display
- The rotating bezel is intuitive
- Solid two-day battery life
- Fast performance
- Tizen still works well as a smartwatch OS
- Good fitness tracking features
- Battery life is shorter than the previous Galaxy Watch
- No MST for Samsung Pay (but there is NFC)
- Blood pressure and ECG features not available in Canada yet
- More expensive
- Limited third-party app support