Tech giant Samsung has announced the launch of the successor to 2018’s Galaxy Watch and the latest in its line of smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch 3, at its online Unpacked event last week.
At launch, the Galaxy Watch 3 aims to improve upon the capabilities of its predecessor with enhanced sleep tracking functions — courtesy of improved algorithms and more accurate data tracking – and a slimmer and lighter (though almost identical) design. It retains the familiar rotating dial feature that allows the wearer to interact with the device without having to touch the screen, though the dial now features smoother bezels than in the 2018 model.
Samsung has confirmed that the Watch 3 will gain several features later this year via software updates, including blood oxygen monitoring, expanded running-coach features including maximum oxygen consumption, and electrocardiography (EKG) monitoring, though this feature will be limited to South Korea until Samsung is able to gain FDA clearance for its American customers.
Though there is no Galaxy Watch 2, the name of the new wearable was chosen to ensure consumers know that it is newer than last year’s Galaxy Watch Active 2, which is similar to the Galaxy Watch lineup but smaller and more fitness-focused (though this year’s edition has retained all of the fitness features of the Active 2).
Running on Samsung’s Tizen platform — which means best smartphone compatibility will be with Samsung’s own phones as opposed to Android in general — the Watch 3 comes in 41mm and 45mm variants, with each of those sizes also coming with Bluetooth or LTE versions, and support Samsung Pay for mobile payments via NFC.
Both are available for purchase as of August 6th, with prices starting at $399.99 and up, a $70 increase over the 2018 model in terms of starting price.