Samsung Galaxy Watch: First Impressions

The new Samsung Galaxy Watch, available in two sizes, has an innovative rotating bezel for navigating the UI; 60,000 or so attractive watch faces you can choose from; additional quick reply options, and a smarter and more robust fitness tracker

Samsung Galaxy Watch: First Impressions

Launched alongside the much written and talked about Galaxy Note 9, the Samsung Galaxy Watch comes in two different sizes, offering three different color options.

The 42mm version of the new Galaxy Watch is being made available in two colors – Midnight Black and Rose Gold – and will cost $330 for the non-cellular variant, while the LTE models will cost $50 more when it’s shipped later this year.

This version uses 20mm straps that offer a variety of color options such as Onyx Black, Terracotta Red, Lime Yellow, Lunar Grey, Cosmo Purple, Pink Beige, Natural Brown, and Cloud Grey.

The watch weighs 42 grams and packs a 1.2-inch (30mm) circular Super AMOLED display, with dimensions measuring 41.9 x 45.7 x 12.7mm, most suited for medium and smaller wrists.

Designed for larger wrists, the 46mm edition, however, is available only in silver and costs $350.

The 22mm strap on this one offers fewer color options, which are Onyx Black, Deep Ocean Blue, and Basalt Grey.

It has a slightly larger 1.3-inch (33mm) screen – also Super AMOLED; measures 46 x 49 x 13mm in dimensions and weighs 63g without the strap.

Even before you unbox the Galaxy Watch, you know you can expect a long battery life, automatic fitness and wellness tracking, support for 35-plus workout activities, as well as a good waterproof rating, as these are the features that Samsung proudly flaunts on the box itself.

Included in the box is a charging dock, a USB A to micro USB cable, a wall adapter, an extra strap, a quick start guide, and, of course, the watch itself, which immediately impresses with its Gear Sport-like awesome build-quality.

While it’s definitely a bit on the heavier side, it does look and feel very premium, with a smart-looking silicone strap – sweat-resistant, flexible, and removable – to complement the main unit.

On the back of the Galaxy Watch, you have your heart-rate sensor, with a two-button interface on the side and a rotating bezel on the front – perfectly aligning with the numbers around the circumference of the dial as it rotates around it with the precision and smoothness you associate with a Samsung device.

To set the watch up, you will have to first download the Galaxy Wearable App on your iPhone or Android device and then pair it with the watch via Bluetooth, which shouldn’t take more than a minute, honestly.

If you think you can accommodate the larger of two Galaxy Watch versions on your wrist, then that’s the one we recommend you go for – despite its heavier weight and single color option – purely because of the significantly superior battery-life the 472mAh cell on this one promises, as opposed to the 270mAh cell on the smaller model.

Health being the main component in the Galaxy Watch concept, it builds on Samsung Health app with new breathing and stress management features, in addition to 21 new indoor exercises and 39 tracked workout activities, overall.

Samsung’s AI voice assistant Bixby will now feature on the Galaxy Watch, instead of the S Voice we saw on the Gear Sport, the company revealed at the Note 9 event, without providing too much insight on how it was supposed to work.

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However, it should be able to work in conjunction with your smartphone, as well as the all-new Galaxy Home smart speakers, to mirror the voice commands given to them.

Although it’s a bit too early to give a final verdict on the Galaxy Watch, the first impressions the device invokes are encouraging, when you consider the innovative rotating bezel for navigating the UI, the 60,000 or so watch faces you can choose from, additional quick reply options, and last, and most importantly, a smarter and more robust fitness tracker.

Android compatibility is Android 5.0 and later versions and works as well with iPhone 5 and higher versions running iOS 9.

Powering the Galaxy Watch is Samsung’s very own Tizen operating system, known for its power efficiency and quick response time.

A number of fitness and wellbeing features incorporated in the Galaxy Watch were highlighted in the course of its presentation earlier this month, one of which was its ability to detect variations in the user’s stress levels and respond with a suitable suggestion like, for example, a breathing exercise.

It is also capable of tracking sleep and letting you know the hours of quality sleep you’re getting each night.

By virtue of a Samsung-Spotify tie-up, Galaxy Watch users will also be able to stream music directly from the Swedish streaming service, with the device’s 4GB of onboard storage even making it possible to save them for offline consumption.

Some important points to know about the Samsung Galaxy Watch

  • Multi-colored straps sold separately
  • Using Always-On function may increase battery consumption.
  • Music streaming may increase battery consumption and result in additional data charge depending on your data plan
  • Intended for general wellness and fitness purposes only
  • Availability of apps for Galaxy Watch may differ by carrier or country
  • Using GPS may increase battery consumption
  • Galaxy Watch has a water resistance rating of 50 meters under the ISO standard 22810:2010
  • It is not suitable for diving or high-pressure water activities
  • If the device or your hands are wet, they must be dried thoroughly prior to handling.
  • Wireless charger requires separate power connection
  • A fully charged Galaxy Watch lasts up to 168 hours for 46mm models and 120 hours for 42mm models
  • Actual battery life varies by features and apps used, number of times charged, and many other factors – (source: Samsung.com)

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