Samsung Debuts the Galaxy Watch

Shows Off New Fitness Features, Traditional Design and LTE Support

At its Unpacked event in New York yesterday, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Watch, its latest flagship smartwatch and the follow-up to its Gear S3 device released in 2016.

The announcement marks the first time that Samsung’s smartwatch will be available in two size variants: 42 mm and 46 mm, featuring 1.2- and 1.3-inch Super AMOLED screens, respectively. The devices are waterproof to five atmospheres, and a version integrating LTE connectivity will also be released, with support from more than 30 operators in over 15 countries.


The 42mm Galaxy Watch in black and rose gold variants, and the 46mm model

Source: Samsung

The Galaxy Watch range promises a battery life of up to four or six days, depending on the variant. Without revealing details, Samsung said that its latest timepieces use a low-power chip designed specifically for smartwatches.

Despite persistent rumours about Samsung switching to Google’s Wear OS platform, the Galaxy Watch runs on Tizen, allowing Samsung to keep its smartwatch within its broader ecosystem of devices.

It’s evident that Samsung has mixed the best design elements of the Gear S2 and S3 to create the Galaxy Watch. Most notably, the new device sees the return of the rotating bezel and traditional watch aesthetics. But this approach comes at the cost of the Galaxy Watch looking almost indistinguishable from the Gear family.

Samsung has boosted the device’s fitness-tracking capabilities, in many ways bringing it in line with functionalities seen in Fitbit products and the Apple Watch. Upgrades here include a wider choice of sports-activity tracking, in addition to new features such as stress monitoring as well as breathing exercises.

New smartwatches from Apple, Fossil and Fitbit are also slated for release within the next month. These players dominate this category, but Fitbit in particular is a force to be reckoned with: its $200 Versa watch offers four days of battery life and has been extremely popular with consumers looking for a fitness-focused smartwatch.

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch will be available on 24 August, starting at $330 for the 42 mm version and $350 for the 46 mm version. The company will face tough competition during the end-of-year shopping season, and time will tell if the incremental updates brought by its latest flagship watch are enough to excite consumers.