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.
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 features and design
Aside from a few bits of speculation, we’re not entirely sure what the new Samsung watch will look like. I don’t expect Samsung to completely overhaul the design of the Galaxy Watch 3. People like the design of the original Galaxy Watch, so I think we can expect Samsung to stick with the same overall design language.
According to a report from SamMobile, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 will supposedly 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 rotatable crown like we’ve seen on Wear OS and Apple Watches.
A recent FCC listing leaked a handful of Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 specs. The watch will reportedly come in 41 and 45mm variants, 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.
A few more details from this FCC listing: The SM-R845 Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 will come with 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.
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.
Those are the only details we’ve heard about the specs and design of the Galaxy Watch 3. All of the same features that appeared in the original Galaxy Watch will likely also appear in the Galaxy Watch 3. I don’t think Samsung will drop too many features for the new watch. These are traditionally everything-but-the-kitchen-sink devices, after all.
We can expect Samsung Pay support, a big AMOLED display on both models, onboard GPS, a heart rate sensor, an ECG, and plenty of activity tracking features. We’re also expecting the new device to have a built-in speaker for hearing audio prompts,
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 release date and price
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. I’m hoping Samsung drops the price of the Galaxy Watch 3, but I doubt it. The cheapest Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 price could very well be $375 yet again.
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
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
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.
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.