Samsung Galaxy Smart Watch

Samsung Galaxy Smart Watch

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Hi guys Nick here and I’m the proud founder of smartgearnow.com and the CEO of REV PRODUCTION. Today I will be doing an honest review on the Samsung Galaxy Watch released in August of 2018. This product is being sold on Amazon and I’m going to be reviewing the performance of the device, Design, Features And Usability, and the verdict

Design

As mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy Watch is available in either 42mm or 46mm models. The differing physical sizes result in differences in display size: 1.2-inch for the 42mm vs 1.3-inch for the 46mm. Both models feature the same 360 x 360 AMOLED display, so you’ll get fractionally lower pixel density in the larger model, but this isn’t something you’ll really notice.

The display remains sharp and bright and is easily read outdoors – even if Samsung doesn’t make any bold Apple-like claims of 1000 nits as on the new Apple Watch models.

The display is once again surrounded by the rotating bezel seen on all of Samsung’s recent circular smartwatches. I’ve always found this to be an elegant solution to the problem of your fingers obstructing a small display when swiping around menus. It’s a similar approach to the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown, but even more tactile thanks to the physical clicks of the magnets as it rotates. The sensation is a bit like cracking open a safe.

Performance

Inside the Galaxy Watch is an Exynos 9110 dual-core processor clocked at 1.15GHz, paired with 768MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. That’s a modest processor speed boost compared to the Gear Sport, but it isn’t something you’ll notice considering the Gear Sport was no slouch.

Earlier rumors of Samsung returning to Google’s stable and launching a Wear OS-powered smartwatch were off the mark, so Tizen makes a return yet again. In truth, the overall OS experience feels identical to that of the Gear Sport. It’s an OS built to take advantage of that rotating bezel, so quick twists let you swap between interfaces with ease, with all the information you need generally placed where you want it by default or through customization.

Earlier rumors of Samsung returning to Google’s stable and launching a Wear OS-powered smartwatch were off the mark, so Tizen makes a return yet again. In truth, the overall OS experience feels identical to that of the Gear Sport. It’s an OS built to take advantage of that rotating bezel, so quick twists let you swap between interfaces with ease, with all the information you need generally placed where you want it by default or through customization.

Widgets can be dragged and dropped as you like them. So, if you prioritize the weather or your music controls then you can place these closer to the home watch face by rotating right. All of your notifications are available by rotating left, and can all be cleared with one tap to avoid overload. You’re also able to respond to incoming messages, both SMS and WhatsApp, either through voice, pre-canned messages or an on-screen keyboard.

Apps are laid out in a clock-like fashion, with you rotating the bezel to select them or simply using the touchscreen. But apps remain Tizen’s Achilles’ heel. There simply aren’t enough of them next to Apple’s watchOS or Google’s Wear OS. When developers are already de-prioritizing app development for both of these prevalent operating systems, there isn’t much hope for Tizen.

My most-used smartwatch apps in recent months have been home automation-related, and these are absent. There’s even a dearth of navigation apps – my other primary use for a smartwatch. Scroll through the Galaxy Apps store and it’s just third-party options, many of which have low review scores for functionality.

Bixby as a voice assistant is a moderate improvement over S Voice, but it still isn’t particularly great. It remains slow to respond, often complaining it doesn’t have a Wi-Fi connection even though it should have. It’s also poor at responding to the natural-language questions you’d expect it to get right.

It at least manages the basics, such as setting an alarm. Although even then I had to be specific and ask for ‘an alarm in 20 minutes’ to ensure I didn’t burn my dinner. Asking for a ’20-minute timer’ meant having to install the separate Timer app, which was confusing and frustrating.

Extra

The Galaxy Watch really follows the blueprint of the Gear Sport when it comes to activity tracking – and that’s no bad thing. Inside, it features the same GPS and GLONASS support of the Sport, working alongside the optical heart rate monitor, accelerometer and barometer.

Between all of the data captured across these sensors, the Galaxy Watch manages to be pretty informed when it comes to your activity through the day and night. And its strength is in how it uses this data to motivate you through helpful prompts, pats on the back when you achieve your targets and its automated recording of your activity.

4G LTE

The Galaxy Watch is also available in a 4G LTE flavor. We tested this model separately from the Wi-Fi-only model used for the majority of this review.

Adding 4G into the mix grants Galaxy Watch wearers an additional layer of freedom, letting you leave your phone at home. Provided you’re willing to fork out the extra cash for a second contract, that is.

Why buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch?

The Galaxy Watch is the most accomplished Samsung smartwatch to date, between its elegant and comfortable design, an array of sensors that make it great for sports and activity tracking, and general smartwatch conveniences.

Apps remain a shortcoming, even if the great Spotify implementation still sets Tizen apart. But nowadays, the lack of apps can be leveled at other rivals, too, so it’s starting to become less of an issue over which to penalize Tizen – provided you know what you’re getting.

Overall, the Galaxy Watch gets the core features right at a price point that makes it good value. If you’re after a sporty smartwatch that’s a little more understated, it’s much improved over the Gear Sport.

Verdict

Samsung’s best smartwatch to date, offering a good balance of sports and smartwatch functionality.

Pros

Smart design

The rotating bezel is a great interaction method

Great array of fitness sensors

Bright and sharp display

Offline Spotify support

Cons

Lack of apps

Bixby is a poor assistant

Limited Samsung Pay support

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2Rdozfw

Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2BBRvUx

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