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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Everything we know so far (Updated: July 24)

Samsung Galaxy Watch Review-2

Update: July 24, 2020 (4:46 PM ET): We’ve updated our Galaxy Watch 3 rumor hub with live photos of the watch from regulatory images, and leaked gesture tutorials. Read on for more details.

A new Samsung watch is coming! Rumors have recently been abundant surrounding Samsung’s new Galaxy watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.

It’s been a few years since Samsung unveiled the first Galaxy Watch. What can you expect from the latest Samsung watch? We’ve rounded up the most credible Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 rumors around the internet, as well as listed out what we want to see from the next iteration. Read on for all the details.

Also read: The best smartwatches you can buy

Wait… what about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2?

Yeah, I had the same question. The smartwatch we’re talking about is the follow-up to the original Samsung Galaxy Watch that launched in 2018, not a follow-up to the Galaxy Watch Active or Galaxy Watch Active 2. So, shouldn’t it be called “Samsung Galaxy Watch 2?”

Rumor has it, Samsung is planning to name its next smartwatch “Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.” Perhaps it thinks people view the Active series as the second iteration, even though it technically isn’t. Or maybe it just wants to avoid confusion as the names “Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2” and “Samsung Galaxy Watch 2” are very similar. In any case, it looks like we’ll need to get used to saying Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.

Adding more credence to the rumors is a Bluetooth SIG listing in mid-June, explicitly listing the “Galaxy Watch3” name (without a space between ‘Watch’ and ‘3’). Either way, it’s all but confirmed that we’re skipping the Watch 2 name then.

This isn’t the first time Samsung has messed with naming conventions. For its flagship smartphone line, the company released the Galaxy S8, then the Galaxy S9, then the Galaxy S10, followed by the Galaxy S20. The Note line will likely follow suit: Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Note 10, and we’re expecting the next Note to be called the Galaxy Note 20.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Design

Leaked renders of the Galaxy Watch 3 show that it has a lot in common with the original Galaxy Watch. It seems to have the same grooved bezel as its predecessor, with markings around the watch face and two buttons on the side. The renders in black reportedly belong to the 45mm Galaxy Watch 3, while the one in bronze is of the 41mm variant. The back of the smartwatch confirms specs like 5ATM water resistance, Gorilla Glass DX protection, MIL-STD-810G certification, and built-in GPS. Take a look at the leaked renders of the Galaxy Watch 3 below.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 45 mm Evan Blass Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Bronze Leaked Image

If you want a better look, here’s a 360-degree GIF that shows the smartwatch from every angle.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 360 degree

According to a report from SamMobile, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 will have a rotating bezel, just like the first model. The rotating bezel allows users to move quickly around the interface with limited effort. It beats the hell out of swiping around with your finger on a touchscreen. Some people even prefer it over a rotating crown as we’ve seen on Wear OS and Apple Watches.

samsung galaxy watch 3 ncc certification

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 also appeared in live images, thanks to Taiwan’s NCC certification filings. See above for a real-life image of the watch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Specs

A recent FCC listing leaked a handful of Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 specs. The watch will reportedly come in 41 and 45mm variants (also seen in the renders above), which is a slight decrease in size compared to the Galaxy Watch’s 42 and 46mm models. These two watch sizes will carry the model numbers SM-R845 and SM-R855, respectively.

Related: Best Samsung phones you can get: High-end, mid-range, and entry-level models

Same as the leaked renders, the FCC listing of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 with model number SM-R845 also confirms a 45mm design, Gorilla Glass DX, 5ATM water resistance, MIL-STD-810G durability, and GPS. We’re expecting the SM-R855 model to also have these features, albeit with a smaller 41mm chassis.

SamMobile revealed on June 16 that the two Galaxy Watch 3 sizes will come with 1.2 and 1.4-inch displays. Presumably these are AMOLED panels, and still fully round displays just like previous Samsung watches. Furthermore, the two sizes will measure 45 x 46.2 x 11.1mm and 41 x 42.5 x 11.3mm — a little smaller than the original Galaxy Watch — so we can assume the rotating bezels could be smaller this time around.

That Galaxy Watch 3 AMOLED display was shown off recently by YouTuber TechTalkTV. The images are blurry, but they show the new Samsung watch’s recent apps screen, app settings, permissions settings, and more. We also get a rather blurry view of the rotating bezel. Check out the tweet below.

The new Samsung watches will also reportedly come with 247 and 340mAh batteries, just like the Galaxy Watch Active 2. Thus, we should see the same two-day battery life we got out of the Galaxy Watch Active 2. According to tipster Max Weinbach, the Galaxy Watch 3 will also support the same charger as the Galaxy Watch Active and Active 2.

Under the hood, the Galaxy Watch 3 will come with essentially the same specs as the Active 2. It’ll have built-in GPS, a heart rate sensor, a blood pressure monitor, an ECG, and 1GB of RAM. It’ll also reportedly run Tizen OS 5.5.

Samsung’s SM-R845 and SM-R855 models will both come with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and LTE connectivity. A separate FCC listing revealed Bluetooth/Wi-Fi-only variants with model numbers SM-R840 and SM-R850. We know that the SM-R850 model will be 41mm, so we can deduce that the SM-R840 variant will be 45mm.

The Bluetooth SIG filings also confirm Bluetooth 5 connectivity in particular, as well as a host of model numbers (SM-R845F, SM-R845N, SM-R8450, SM-R845U, SM-R840, SM-R855F, SM-R855N, SM-R855U, and SM-R850).

According to leaker Evan Blass, the aforementioned model numbers represent nine different configurations of the Galaxy Watch 3. These include three colorways: Black, Bronze, and Silver. You can check out all the variants in Blass’ tweet embedded below.

Those are all the details we’ve heard about the specs of the Galaxy Watch 3.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Features

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Weather App

All of the same features that appeared in the original Galaxy Watch will likely also appear in the Galaxy Watch 3. In fact, some new features of the smartwatch were revealed through a firmware leak. These include new watch faces with customizable edges, a period tracking feature for women, a revamped weather app, Outlook mail instead of Samsung Email, a new music widget, and more. You can read all about these upcoming Galaxy Watch 3 features at the link.

Elsewhere, we can expect Samsung Pay support, a big AMOLED display on both models, and plenty of activity tracking features. We’re also expecting the new device to have a built-in speaker for hearing audio prompts.

Another Galaxy Watch 3 leak, courtesy of Android Police, shows the Galaxy Watch 3 connected to Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable app. There aren’t many details to glean from the screenshots, but at least we know the watch exists and working on an anonymous person’s phone. Screenshots below:

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Galaxy Wearable app 2 Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Galaxy Wearable app 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Galaxy Wearable app 3

On July 24, 2020, XDA Developers decoded a version of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 plugin app which gave us some more details on the watch’s gestures and features. According to the leaked GIFs (below), clenching and unclenching your fist while wearing the watch will allow you to accept a phone call. Alternatively, you can shake your wrist (as shown in the second GIF) to dismiss a phone call.

samsung galaxy watch 3 gestures leak 2 samsung galaxy watch 3 gestures leak 1

Samsung is also changing the way you take screenshots on the Galaxy Watch 3. Now, you can simply press the two side buttons to take a screenshot, just like you would on a smartphone.

Like the Apple Watch, Samsung is also adding fall detection to its new smartwatch. Once the new Samsung watch detects a fall, it’ll ring for 60 seconds. If you don’t respond, the watch will automatically notify your emergency contacts with your location and a five-second audio recording.

samsung galaxy watch 3 watch faces leak

XDA also found a ton of Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 watch faces in the leaked plugin app. You can check them out above. Lots of new ones, some familiar ones, and even a few that are reminiscent of the leaked Galaxy Note 20 wallpapers.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 release date and price

samsung galaxy watch active 2 review watch face on wrist2

The original Galaxy Watch was unveiled in August 2018, the Galaxy Watch Active saw a February 2019 release, and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 was announced in August 2019. Clearly, Samsung’s smartwatch release schedule is not all that consistent.

According to a report from June 10, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 release date is slated for sometime in July 2020. We don’t have rumors pinning down an exact date, so it really could be any time within the month.

When Samsung does announce the Galaxy Watch 3, it’ll likely be during an online-only event. The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much a thing worldwide and has caused most technology events to move to the internet.

Samsung usually goes a bit over the top with its smartwatch prices, and unfortunately, that might be the case with the Galaxy Watch 3. The original Bluetooth-only Galaxy Watch (42mm) launched for a hefty $375, while the 46mm model went for $400. The LTE models were even more expensive than that.

According to tipster Evan Blass, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 will start at $400 and will go up to $600 for the top-end variant. That’s pretty much in line with the premium pricing of the original Galaxy Watch.

What we want to see in the new Samsung watch

The Samsung Galaxy Watch was packed with features, but it wasn’t perfect. Here are the main improvements we’d like to see in the Galaxy Watch 3.

A smaller design

samsung galaxy watch on wrist

The Samsung Galaxy Watch came in two sizes, 42 and 46mm, and both were quite big. Granted, there are a lot of sensors packed into these watches — including a rotating bezel — so these won’t be the most compact watches out there. Still, the Galaxy Watch Active series came with a similar amount of sensors and wasn’t nearly as big, so I think Samsung could make the overall footprint a bit smaller with the Galaxy Watch 3.

It looks like we’ll be getting 41 and 45mm variants this time around. Here’s hoping that smaller model will look good on people with smaller wrists.

Bring back that rotating bezel!

This one’s obvious. Anyone who has used the original Galaxy Watch basically loves the rotating bezel. It was sorely missed on the Galaxy Watch Active. The Watch Active 2’s touch-sensitive bezel was a step in the right direction, but it was no replacement for what the Galaxy Watch introduced.

Again, it looks like we’re getting what we want with the Galaxy Watch 3.

MST support for Samsung Pay

What sets Samsung Pay apart from other payment services is its ability to work with almost all card readers, regardless of whether or not the mobile payment terminal has NFC built in. NFC support is baked into Samsung Pay regardless of what device you’re using. Magnetic secure transmission (MST), the feature that allows Samsung Pay to work with non-NFC supported terminals, is only available on smartphones. That means all Galaxy Watch devices can only use NFC contactless payments.

It’s a bummer Samsung has chosen to remove MST support from all wearables. That’s why we’re hoping the feature returns in the new Samsung watch!

I don’t think this one is going to happen. A boy can dream, though.

More accurate fitness tracking

samsung galaxy watch active 2 review heart rate sensor

For “active” smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy Watch Active 2 sure aren’t very good at fitness tracking. They have all the sport profiles and sensors that you could ever want built-in, but they both have a serious accuracy problem. In our testing, both devices were unable to provide accurate heart rate readings, accurate GPS routes, accurate elevation stats, and more. Frankly, it was hard seeing other people recommend these watches for fitness tracking.

Related: The best fitness trackers

The new Samsung Galaxy Watch will no doubt have a fitness angle to it, and it’ll likely still have built-in GPS and heart rate sensors. Whether it’s an algorithm issue or an issue with the sensors themselves, we’re hoping Samsung improves its fitness tracking with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.

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That’s it from us. Are you hyped for the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 3? Cast your vote in the poll, and let us know in the comments what you want to see in the new Samsung watch.

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