The Galaxy Watch3 employs a 1.2-inch, circular Super AMOLED panel with 360 x 360px resolution, at least the 41mm that is. The 45mm offers a significantly larger 1.4-inch display but retains the 360 x 360px resolution. Both are protected by a Gorilla Glass DX as opposed to the DX+ on the older Galaxy Watch. Samsung doesn't specify how bright the display gets but we found it to be sufficiently bright in all conditions and as always, colors look amazing on it. It just shows how experienced Samsung is with OLEDs.
All those pixels are driven by the good old Exynos 9110 chipset based on the 10nm manufacturing process using a dual-core processor running at 1.15GHz. The SoC is designed for smartwatches and dates back to original Galaxy Watch. We would have appreciated a more advanced chipset but then again, this one seems to do its job just fine. With the included 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, everything feels snappy and responsive. We are happy with the bump up of the internal storage as the 4GB on the previous generation just wasn't enough.
The much-optimized Tizen OS 5.5 runs perfectly on the device and we didn't have any hiccups or stutters. One could argue that lowering the performance could squeeze out a little bit more of the battery but we like it that way. Take Hauwei and Honor's smartwatches, for example. They offer superior battery life but fail to impress in terms of performance. All animations are choppy and navigation feels rather laggy. Quite the opposite of what Samsung is offering with its Tizen OS.
Speaking of battery, the 45mm Watch3 offers a downgraded 340 mAh battery compared to the 472 mAh unit on the 45mm Galaxy Watch and the same goes for the 41mm and 42mm alterations too - the 41mm Watch3 goes down to 247 mAh from the 270 mAh on the 42mm Galaxy Watch.
|Size||Samsung Galaxy Watch||Samsung Galaxy Watch3|
|42mm/41mm||270 mAh||247 mAh|
|46mm/45mm||472 mAh||340 mAh|
In terms of connectivity, the device supports A2DP and LE protocols over Bluetooth 5.0, has GPS, NFC (for Samsung Pay) and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n.
We found the Bluetooth range to be quite impressive. In a 75m2 apartment with thick walls where even Wi-Fi signal struggles to get through, we were able to make a proper phone call without any disruption with the phone left on the charger in the furthest room. Our only complaint would be the volume of the phone calls. It doesn't feel loud enough. Then again, given the size of the watch, perhaps Samsung wasn't able to put a bigger speaker.
What's more, Samsung is bringing the LTE connectivity to the smaller 41mm as well this year - a very rare find for small smartwatches.
When it comes to sensors, this little fellow is packed. There's a real ECG inside, blood pressure monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope and barometer. Unfortunately, the ECG monitor is certified to make ECG readings, blood pressure and send health alerts for irregular or abnormal heart rhythm only in South Korea and most recently in the USA. Certification is currently pending for the rest of the markets like Europe.
For the purpose of our test, we left pretty much every setting in its default state and we were able to get an easy two days with one workout and a short bike ride in the city with the GPS turned on and a couple of phone calls through the watch.
We had the watch strapped the entire time, even when sleeping to get that sleep data in as well. Here are the settings we used and that we believe have the biggest impact on battery life.
We believe that the bigger 45mm watch will have considerably longer battery life but we doubt it would beat the original Galaxy Watch as it had larger battery and it's hard to get around that. In any case, we weren't particularly impressed by the endurance of the 41mm variant that we had with us.
Charging isn't something special either. The provided wireless charger can get the watch from near 0% to 100% in a little over two hours. And the bad news is that even though the device supports Qi wireless charging, it can't be charged over a normal Qi-compatible pad. The watch works only with the one provided in the box.