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Samsung Galaxy Watch First Impressions: Promises improved battery life and connectivity

The new Galaxy Watch doubles as a fitness smartwatch as well, and it can track 39 different types of workouts.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Main

Highlights

  • The Galaxy Watch is offered in Bluetooth and LTE variants.

  • It comes with IP68 certification and 5ATM water resistance.

  • The Galaxy Watch is compatible with Android and iOS.

Along with the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung also announced the Galaxy Watch, and the Bixby-powered Galaxy Home speaker at its Unpacked 2018 event in New York. I have already talked about the Galaxy Note 9 in my first impressions, and after spending some time with the Galaxy Watch at the event, here is what I think about it.

New name, improved design

The Galaxy Watch is a successor to the Gear S3 that was launched in India last year. This time around, to keep it in sync with the Galaxy family of smartphones and tablets, Samsung has changed the naming convention. However, nothing else changes.

The new Galaxy Watch is now slightly sleeker, but maintains the same form factor as the Gear S3 and Gear Sport smartwatches. You get the same rotating bezel on the top with intuitive interface to navigate through the UI. Samsung is giving you a choice to either go for the 46mm watch that features a 1.3-inch circular display, or the smaller 42mm one with 1.2-inch display.

Both are Super AMOLED displays that offer good color reproduction and deeper blacks. The resolution of the screens is 360x360pixels, with pixel density of 390ppi. The Galaxy Watch is made from metal, which not only feels durable, but also looks premium. The bands are made from rubber, and you can easily swap one out and use a different colored one. You can choose between Midnight Black, Rose Gold and Silver options.

Interface and navigation

Like the previous models, the Galaxy Watch too comes with touch interface. Sliding down from the top opens quick settings. Swiping from the left to right brings up notifications, whereas swiping from right to left shows up the widgets. Of course, you can do all of this using the rotating bezel too. On the right side, you have two buttons – the top one is the back button, whereas the bottom one is to enter the app drawer.

Specifications and Smart home

The Galaxy Watch is powered by a Samsung Exynos 9110 dual-core SoC clocked at 1.15GHz. The Bluetooth-only variant comes with 786MB of RAM, whereas the LTE variant comes with 1.5GB of RAM. Both variants also come with 4GB built in storage for your music and apps storage. The smartwatches also include connectivity options such as NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, and sensors such as an ambient light sensor, gyroscope, heart rate sensor and barometer.

Watch: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Look

On the software front, the smartwatch runs Tizen OS 4. It is compatible with smartphones running Android 5.0 and above, or iOS 9.0 and above. Samsung has also integrated its SmartThings platform on the Galaxy Watch, using which you can turn on and off the lights, TV, AC, heater and more from anywhere.

Battery life

Battery life has never been a concern on the Galaxy Gear series. I have a Gear Sport smartwatch, and a single charge gives me two full days worth usage with minimal use. With heavy use, such as streaming music from watch to Bluetooth headphones, or using GPS while jogging, the battery depletes in an hour and a half.

With the new smartwatch, Samsung has integrated a bigger 472mAh battery, which it says could last for several days on a single charge. The Gear S3 features 380mAh battery, so the Galaxy Watch should definitely offer much better battery life.

Initial impressions

The Samsung Galaxy Watch then does look interesting from every angle. In fact, a couple of my friends who were watching the live stream were impressed with the Galaxy Watch, and they are Apple Watch owners. The improvements that the new Galaxy Watch brings look interesting, even though the smartwatch is an incremental upgrade.

There is no word on when Samsung plans to launch the Galaxy Watch in India, but considering the previous smartwatches made their way to India, this time shouldn’t be any different. However, currently in India, only Airtel and Jio offer eSIM service, and if Samsung can tap into Idea Cellular and Vodafone, it could probably change the game a bit. I am looking forward to using the Galaxy Watch for a longer time, and should be able to bring you a detailed review soon. So stay tuned.

Disclaimer: The writer is traveling to New York for Galaxy Note 9 Unpacked Event on Samsung’s invite. Samsung has taken care of his travel and accommodation.

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  • Published Date: August 10, 2018 10:28 AM IST