Together with the flagship smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note9, the Korean company introduced the world its new "smart" Samsung Galaxy Watch. As you can see, the word Gear disappeared from the name and Galaxy appeared. It is difficult to judge the reasons for such a rebranding of the line. Perhaps the desire to bring users closer to smartphones on a subconscious level, or perhaps just a marketing move with a name update. The lineup released two models that differ in size, screen size and battery capacity. The 46-mm model is clearly targeted at the male audience, at least because of the large size. Yes, and is available only in version "silver steel". The 42 mm model is more versatile and will be available in two colors: "deep black" and typically female "pink gold". Functionally models are identical, to the editors gg arrived 42 mm black model.
How are they interesting and how do they differ from previous models?
Visually, the Samsung Galaxy Watch is more reminiscent of the Gear S3 Frontier model with a round shape and teeth on a rotary bezel. Gear Sport was a bit thicker and more angular in shape. But the latest Galaxy Watch inherited the water resistance of 5 ATM, that is, theoretically, immersion in water to a depth of 50 m is possible. Although in real conditions this is all a little more complicated. Plus protection according to IP68 and MIL-STD-810G standards. Of the important updates. the use of a completely new 10-nanometer Exynos 9110 processor with two 1.15 GHz cores, which (according to Samsung) is much better optimized and energy efficient. The amount of RAM. 768 MB, internal. 4 GB. The heart rate sensor has been updated, plus new health monitoring features have appeared. For example, it is now possible to measure stress levels. And in the branded fitness application, a bunch of new exercises appeared, including strength exercises, which I personally just did not have enough. As an operating system, Wearable OS 4.0 based on Tizen is used, the voice assistant Bixby has now settled in the clock. Otherwise, the changes are not significant: SuperAMOLED with a diagonal of 1.2 inches (or 1.3 in the 46 mm version) is used, the resolution is the same: 360×360, there is auto-adjustment of the backlight and Always on Display. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass DX, which is designed specifically for wearable electronics. There are wireless modules Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS (the LTE version will not be available here), of the sensors there is an updated heart rate monitor, accelerometer, barometer, altimeter and gyroscope. The battery capacity has slightly decreased to 270 mAh (for example, Gear Sport had 300 mAh), but Samsung claims that thanks to the new processor this capacity will last for 4 days. In the 46 mm version, the battery is significantly larger, 472 mAh, enough for a week (theoretically).
What do they look like?
Externally, the Samsung Galaxy Watch most closely resembles the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier: a rotary ring (bezel) with teeth and notches, like on a mechanical watch. If you look more closely, there are differences from Frontier, but more cosmetic: the teeth became a little smaller, and the notches just changed. The case is still made of metal and assembled integrally. As you can see, for safety reasons, the screen is slightly recessed into the case:
I don’t know how things are with the 46 mm model, but the 42 mm in size and weight is very similar to a typical mechanical wristwatch. I would probably try a larger model. The bezel is comfortable, it can be rotated without problems with wet hands, it does not slip. There are two mechanical buttons on the side. "Back" and "Home / Menu". Their size and shape are similar to Frontier: they are large, with a relief surface. I think that it will be convenient to press them in gloves thanks to such sizes and shapes:
Watches are waterproof, 5 ATM are declared. Formally, this is a dive to a depth of 50 m, but in reality the situation is a little more complicated. Still, it is worth starting from the fact that the watch is able to withstand water pressure up to 5 ATM, and in some real situations it can exceed the permissible value. For example, when jumping from a height into the water or a sharp blow with the clock on the water with your watch, the water pressure may be briefly greater than 5 ATM. If you go back to the real experience of use, then the shower, washing dishes and rain, the watch can stand without problems. In the field, I swam in them in the open water and dived 3 meters, there are no consequences.
Video: Samsung Galaxy Watch Does Not Work Altimeter
The back panel is plastic, with an optical sensor for measuring heart rate and a small hole in the atmospheric pressure sensor. The heart rate monitor was updated once again: if I understand everything correctly, now one LED and four photodetectors are used. The entire module protrudes slightly above the lid for more tight contact with the hand. Theoretically, all this should increase the accuracy of measurements:
On the one hand there are three holes of the external speaker:
And next to the button "Home". microphone for talking with the Samsung Galaxy Watch or using S Voice and Bixby assistant:
The strap is removable. As usual, a standard spring mount is used. The 42 mm wide straps are 20 mm wide. There are a bunch of options from Samsung itself, or you can install a third-party suitable width. Yellow looks very cool and unusual, but it will look strange with a business suit. The standard set is most likely to be neutral black. The material itself is comfortable, there were no unpleasant sensations during use:
The clasp is standard, as on a classic watch. Traditionally for Samsung, different sizes for different hands will be available:
There are no fundamental changes in appearance, which is more likely plus than minus. Gear S3 Frontier looked great, continuity in design went to the new Samsung Galaxy Watch only to the advantage. Samsung Gear Sport looked a little rude, Samsung Galaxy Watch as much as possible sound, expensive mechanical watches. over, Samsung added the ability to turn on the tick of the second hand to achieve maximum resemblance to a classic wristwatch. The build quality cannot be faulted even with a great desire: everything was done perfectly.
What about the screen and hardware?
The Samsung Galaxy Watch screen is similar in size and resolution to the Gear S3 and Gear Sport: 1.2 inches, 360×360. There is enough margin of brightness for comfortable work in the sun, automatic adjustment works quickly and accurately. This is Samsung Display SuperAMOLED with very saturated colors, "hereby" black color and maximum viewing angles. There is Always on Display, the dial is constantly displayed, with a reduced brightness and is activated by a gesture of rotation of the brush. The company dials are very carefully drawn, with shadows and other trifles, so that it all looks as close to a regular watch as possible. To save battery, you can turn off Always on Display, then the screen will be activated only when using a gesture, turning the bezel or receiving notifications. For working with gloves, there is an increased sensitivity mode, and for water procedures, you can enable the sensor auto-lock in water:
The main update in the guts of the Samsung Galaxy Watch is the processor. Instead of the 14nm Exynos 7270, the brand new Exynos 9110 is now used, which is designed specifically for wearable devices. It is produced according to 10-nanometer process technology standards, which should have a positive effect on energy consumption. The processor includes two 1.15 GHz cores, which are supplemented, 768 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal. This is enough for smooth operation of Tizen without brakes. Part of the internal storage is occupied by the OS and applications, and approximately 1.5 GB is available to the user. They can be used to upload, for example, a playlist for sports and stream music to a Bluetooth headset directly from the Samsung Galaxy Watch, without using a smartphone.
Regarding sensors and wireless interfaces, I already wrote above: there is a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, light sensor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC (supported by Samsung Pay, but Google Pay is not) and GPS. We will not have an LTE version (by the way, it has 1.5 GB of RAM). The accuracy of the updated heart rate monitor is difficult to evaluate in absolute terms. I compared the real heart rate (physical measurements with a stopwatch at the same time as starting the heart rate measurement on the watch) with the Samsung Galaxy Watch readings in different states (rest, after active exercises). In general, the error is very small. Most often. no more than a couple of three strokes at rest. With a pulse of 120, the error increases slightly, but not critical. Although for the most meticulous, there are always chest heart rate monitors, which are still the most accurate.
What about charging and battery?
The wireless charger remains the same. It is connected to the power source with a MicroUSB-USB cable, when connected, the LED lights up at the bottom of the stand. During the connection, the screen displays the current battery charge and a green bar of charging progress along the perimeter:
And to the most interesting point: the battery decreased to 270 mAh (in our version, in the 46-mm. on the contrary, it increased) and I expected the operating time at the level of its predecessors. As it turned out, talk about optimizing the Exynos 9110, and the 10nm process technology are not empty talk. It was possible to land the entire charge for the day only at the beginning, when the effect took place "new toys": you need to install all the applications, configure everything and regularly delve into the capabilities of the watch. After that, the clock lived with me for 2-2.5 days, and it worked with almost all possible functions: maximum brightness, Always on Display, automatic monitoring of heart rate, stress level, sleep, counting steps, constantly receiving a bunch of notifications, ticking a la real clock etc. With such a load, the past Gear Sport withstood a maximum of 1.5 days. If you moderate your appetites, then you can quite safely get 3-3.5 days, which is already close to the declared four. This is a quite tangible and real increase in autonomy. I think that the 46-mm model with a 472 mAh battery is even better.
What about the interface and features?
Samsung Galaxy Watch runs on Tizen updated version 4.0.0. This is Samsung’s own development and has its pros and cons: organizationally, it is much better than Google Wear and works much faster. The interface, applications and screens are arranged very logically, and the configuration is very easy. On the other hand, third-party developers are in no hurry to develop new applications for Tizen.