Samsung announces the Galaxy Watch smartwatch
Samsung unpacked more than just the Note9 at its Unpacked event in New York.
Alongside the announcement of the new Galaxy Note9 smartphone, Samsung used its Unpacked event to announce a new smartwatch, dubbed the Galaxy Watch. Building on the success of the Gear S3, the Galaxy Watch offers improved battery life, integrated health and wellness features and a robust body capable of withstanding pressure up to 5 ATM. The LTE variant also promises eSIM support capable of roaming around the world.
At its core, the Galaxy Watch will be familiar to any previous Gear users thanks to the proprietary rotating bezel that controls the Galaxy Watch's menu systems. But unlike the Gear S3, Samsung has developed the Galaxy Watch in two distinct sizes. There's a familiar 46mm version, typically suited to larger wrists, as well as a smaller 42mm variant.
Both sizes will offer straightforward Bluetooth-connected models, as well as LTE-capable variants, with all models being powered by a dual-core Exynos 9110 processor. The LTE model does offer extra RAM, but both models include 4GB of onboard storage.
Samsung claims that the 46mm LTE version of the Galaxy Watch can offer up to 80 hours of battery life with regular use, while infrequent users could manage to get as much as seven days from the watch between charges.
On the health and wellbeing front, Samsung has improved the fitness elements of the Galaxy Watch in a number of ways, leading with a stress tracker that measures your heart rate and offers measured breathing exercises to help keep you in control. Sleep tracking also gets an upgrade, with the Galaxy Watch capable of tracking, not just hours slept, but also the type of sleep stage you are in, much like watches such as the Fitbit Ionic.
For those who like moving, the Galaxy Watch can detect 39 different activities automatically, including gym-based actions like bench presses and jumping jacks. And if you do a lot of interval training, the Galaxy Watch is smart enough to patch the different parts of your workout together to give you a holistic view of what you've achieved.
Pricing and availability
The Galaxy Watch will hit Australia on 4 October. Pricing starts at $549 for the 42mm Bluetooth version and $599 for the 46mm Bluetooth version, while the LTE 42mm will cost $649 and the 46mm LTE will cost $699.
While we do know we'll see the LTE variants down under, there's no sign as yet of which carriers will offer the Galaxy Watch, or whether they'll consider its eSIM as a separate subscription product in the same manner as the Apple Watch Series 3.
|Model||Galaxy Watch 46mm Silver||Galaxy Watch 42mm Midnight Black and Galaxy Watch 42mm Rose Gold|
|Display||1.3” (33mm), Circular Super AMOLED (360 x 360); Full Color Always On Display; Corning Gorilla DX+||1.2” (30mm), Circular Super AMOLED (360 x 360); Full Color Always On Display; Corning Gorilla DX+|
|Size||46 x 49 x 13; 63g (without strap)||41.9 x 45.7 x 12.7; 49g (without strap)|
|Strap||22mm (Interchangeable)||20mm (Interchangeable)|
|AP||Exynos 9110 Dual core 1.15GHz||Exynos 9110 Dual core 1.15GHz|
|OS||Tizen Based Wearable OS 4.0||Tizen Based Wearable OS 4.0|
|Memory||LTE: 1.5GB RAM + 4GB Internal Memory; Bluetooth®: 768MB RAM + 4GB Internal Memory||LTE: 1.5GB RAM + 4GB Internal Memory; Bluetooth®: 768MB RAM + 4GB Internal Memory|
|Connectivity||3G/LTE, Bluetooth®4.2, Wi-Fi b/g/n, NFC, A-GPS/Glonass||3G/LTE, Bluetooth®4.2, Wi-Fi b/g/n, NFC, A-GPS/Glonass|
|Sensor||Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer, HRM, Ambient Light||Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer, HRM, Ambient Light|
|Charge||WPC based wireless charging||WPC based wireless charging|
|Durability||5ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810G||5ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810G|
|Compatibility||Samsung: Android 5.0 or later; Other: Android 5.0 or later; iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above||Samsung: Android 5.0 or later; Other: Android 5.0 or later; iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above|