Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review
Quick verdict: Samsung brings back its iconic rotating bezel to the smartwatch world, and with it regains the crown of best smartwatch for Android users.
- Rotating bezel is back
- Choice of 41mm or 45mm sizes
- Actually looks like a watch
- Thousands of available watch faces
- Decent battery life
- Big and chunky
- Slightly less evolved app ecosystem than the Apple Watch
- Some health tracking features not available at launch
Samsung has a long history in the smartwatch space, having dabbled in everything from smartwatches with inbuilt cameras to smartwatches with digital bezels, but its best innovation in the smartwatch space is undeniably the rotating bezel that was a feature of models before Samsung decided it wanted to go down the virtual path with devices like the Galaxy Watch Active 2.
The good news – frankly, the great news – is that the bezel is back, and its reappearance makes the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 a genuine competitor in arguments around the best smartwatch you can buy, combining slick performance with decent battery life and LTE options for those who would rather leave their phones at home.
- 41mm or 45mm watch styles
- Different colour choices depending on size
- Rotating bezel!
- Always-on display option
- More watch faces than you'll ever need
- Not quite as rich an app ecosystem as Apple
- Best new health features can't be tested yet
- Phone reviewers need more sleep, according to Samsung
- Samsung is not wrong
- 2-3 days of battery life depending on usage
- Small disc watch charger
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3?
The battle lines in the smartwatch war couldn't be more starkly defined between Apple and Samsung. If you're an iPhone user it's still a hard sell to suggest that you shouldn't buy an Apple Watch, because its integration into the whole Apple ecosystem is simply superb.
However, it's a watch that doesn't look that much like a watch, and what's more it's totally useless if you want to move outside the Apple ecosystem. That's not a problem that plagues the Galaxy Watch 3, which is just as happy to run within iOS as it is Android, has a more pleasing watch style design, and the single best control system for a smartwatch yet seen.
Yeah, I really missed the rotating bezel a lot when Samsung dropped it. You can tell, right?
Pricing and availability
PriceRRP: $649 for 41mm Bluetooth model | $799 for 41mm LTE model | $699 for 45mm Bluetooth model | $849 for 45mm LTE model
Where to buy
Images: Alex Kidman