The Best Android Smart Watch: Samsung Galaxy Watch Review
Alas! Samsung has finally come up with a smartwatch that is remarkable enough to emerge as one of the best, if not the best, smartwatch for Android users in today’s fast-evolving smartwatch market.
Introduced last year along with the Galaxy Note 9 at Galaxy Unpacked 2018, Samsung’s best Android smartwatch comes in two sizes with three different colors. The larger 46mm size is a two-toned, silver and black watch that also comes with three 22mm strap options. The smaller 42mm one arrives in two color options: Midnight Black and Rose Gold and has more than five 20mm strap to choose from.
There has been a significant change and improvement in Samsung’s latest smartwatch compared to its previous iterations. And the main difference that you’ll quickly notice is its name. Samsung let go of the ‘Gear S’ naming convention and went for a bolder one: the Galaxy Watch.
The ‘Galaxy’ has a solid reputation of being the most sold brand of smartphone in the world (70 million) and remains competitive in the market today. But, will the Galaxy Watch perform the same in the scene dominated by its rival, Apple?
Below is our full take on Galaxy Watch’s design, performance, experience, and other features that might make or break your decision to buying Samsung’s best smartwatch, yet.
The Galaxy Watch feels and looks more like a traditional analog watch than a digital one. It has a large, circular face with a metal body, one that you would most likely wear in a formal gathering. It comes in 3 different colors: Silver, Rose Gold, and Midnight Black.
The silver one is slightly bigger at 46mm, with a much bigger screen and longer battery life. Even though it fits just well with a smaller wrist like mine, we recommend you getting the smaller version if you’re in for comfort and convenience.
As convenient as the 46mm can get with its longer-lasting battery life (can last up to five days) and a bigger screen (46 x 49 x 13mm), it may get disturbing for individuals with thin wrists to wear a 63-gram watch at 13mm thickness. As with the 42mm version, you’ll be pleased with how flexible it can get when it comes to style as there are many straps to choose from to pair with the Rose Gold or Midnight Black color scheme.
To praise the watch’s design further, one thing that stands out from the Galaxy Watch is its rotating bezel. It is nothing new from a Samsung smartwatch, but it still amazes me on how easy it is to navigate the watch because of it. The click the bezel creates when it is rotated feels amazing as it gives you a more accurate interaction with the interface.
Finally, the Galaxy Watch is packed with a dual-core 1.15GHz chipset and 4GB internal storage. This is for both the Bluetooth and the LTE/4G versions of the watch. And, the LTE/4G version has a 1.5GB RAM compared to the Bluetooth’s 768MB.
The Galaxy Watch brags a 1.3-inch Super AMOLED screen (1.2-inch on the 42mm). It gives a bright and color-rich display, and with the help of the adaptive brightness setting, the screen gets easier to look at even on the outdoors, under the blinding brightness of the sun. It also comes with attractive faces if you opt to customize your watch for a more trendy look.
Both versions, albeit different in screen sizes, get a 360×360 resolution. Both of them also get military-grade protection from a Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ covering. It is a little bit disappointing, though, that the watch gets a few milliseconds of delay updating new information.
Features and Performance
The latest Samsung smartwatch still runs on a Tizen operating system, now on its 4.0 version. The OS aides in giving users a smooth overall experience on the watch, it runs fast and has a perfectly laid out screen designs. It is compatible with all Android phones with versions 5.0 and above and with any iPhone device running on iOS 9 and beyond.
Galaxy Watch is now more focused on fitness. Samsung introduced stress management and breathing features which can be helpful calming you down during busy days. They also introduced automatic tracking of six workouts, including walking, running, and cycling. Here, you’ll quickly appreciate the usefulness of the bezel as you switch seamlessly through the different tracking functions and modes.
You’ll be surprised that this upgraded health feature really is made to take care of your health. The watch urges you to limber up when it notices you’ve become sedentary for more than an hour. And if you fancy swimming as your exercise of choice, you can take the watch with you with no worries as it is waterproof down to 50 meters at 5ATM rating.
The thing that the Galaxy Watch lacks most, though, is support from third-party apps. Tizen is the best smartwatch operating system out there, but it just fails to have more available third-party apps such as Facebook Messenger and Google Maps.
Also, they’re supposed to be upgraded S Voice, Bixby doesn’t really have a new thing to offer for the device. It lags way behind Siri and Google Assistant in aspects such as usability and efficiency.
Despite these drawbacks, there is still one cool feature to look out for in the Galaxy Watch. Samsung is has a partnership with Spotify which means music streaming using your Galaxy Watch. If you’re a Premium subscriber, you can download your tracks directly to the watch and lets you control music streaming on your phone.
How to set up Samsung Galaxy Watch?
To activate the device, first, turn it on by holding the Home key for a few seconds. In your mobile device, download the ‘Galaxy Wearable’ app from the Galaxy Apps or Google Play Store or ‘Galaxy Watch’ app if using iOS.
Launch the ‘Galaxy Wearable’ app and tap on ‘START THE JOURNEY’. You can then select Galaxy Watch from the listed devices on the screen. A display will notify you to turn your Bluetooth on if it’s not turned on. Then, a 6 digit code will appear on both of the devices. Select ‘OK’ to both the Galaxy Watch and your device and accept the terms and conditions to complete the process.
Which Samsung Galaxy watch should I buy?
It depends on how big of a watch you can handle. If you have a smaller wrist, you must be best off with the 42mm version. Both sizes come with pretty similar features anyway. The main difference between the two is their screen sizes and battery life.
The bigger one comes with 472mAh battery with a 1.3-inch display. So if you love getting the best out of your Galaxy Watch for a longer period of time, the 46mm might be better for you.
Can Samsung Galaxy watch work without a phone?
No. This Android smartwatch needs at least an Android phone with version 5.0 or higher to work. The Galaxy Watch can be used with non-Samsung phones, though, even with iPhones with iOS 9 and above.
Relevant: Android Smart Watch: The Ultimate Guide
Our Verdict for the Samsung Galaxy Watch
Yes, Samsung Galaxy Watch is by far the best smartwatch for Android users Samsung has ever made but, there are still features of the phone that needs to be improved. Bixby is almost useless and is well behind other virtual assistants from top competitors. Compatible third-party apps are also lacking on Tizen which can be limiting.
Overall, because of its attractive design, improved usability, and smoother user experience, the Samsung Galaxy Watch can be worth its price. It’s new fitness tracking capabilities can be useful in your daily activities with its longer battery life and easy-to-navigate screen, thanks to the watch’s bezel.
For this, we conclude that the Samsung Galaxy Watch has yet to rival Apple’s Apple Watch Series. However, we are giving the Samsung Galaxy Watch a neat 4/5 star rating.
What do you think of Samsung’s latest smartwatch? Share your experiences and help our fellow readers get to know the Galaxy Watch more on the comment section below.
***All prices mentioned in this article are as of 01/05/2019, 11:29 PM***