After months of speculation, Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy Watch at its Unpacked event in New York.
The smartwatch, which replaces the Gear S3 as the flagship, is the first of the company's wearables to be aligned under the Galaxy banner, and will come featuring 4G support and seven-day battery life.
Read our early preview: Samsung Galaxy Watch review
Samsung Galaxy Watch: Design and sizes
(Left, Galaxy Watch 42mm; Right, Galaxy Watch 46mm)
Users will be also be able to pick between two different sizes for the first time, with the watch available in a silver 46mm version and either black or rose gold in the 42mm option.
In terms of the physical specs, the 42mm option will feature a 1.2-inch, 360 x 360 Super AMOLED display, weighing 49g and officially clock in at 41.9 x 45.7 x 12.7mm. And that's slightly different to its hefty 46mm sibling, which comes in at 46 x 49 x 13mm, weighs 63g and packs a 1.3-inch screen of the same 360 x 360 resolution. Both watches are waterproof with a 5ATM certification letting you take it for a swim at up to 50 metres depth.
Samsung Galaxy Watch: Features and OS
Both will come running Tizen OS 4.0 - not Wear OS, as was rumoured pre-announcement - and feature the now-signature rotating bezel, NFC for payments, 4GB of internal memory, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a IP68 water resistance rating. There's plenty of sensors on board, too - a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyro, barometer and an ambient light sensor.
Read this: The best Samsung watch
Letting users cut away from their smartphones and go standalone is clearly a much more real experience with the Galaxy Watch, thanks to its improved battery life and 4G capabilities, but the device will also debut new wellness and exercise features from Samsung.
The watch will be able to automatically detect high levels of stress and offer users breathing exercises to help keep them relaxed and focused, while also track sleep cycles during the night. Then, during more active hours, the Galaxy Watch will be able to offer 21 new indoor exercises, tracking a total of 39 workouts, and also let users log details of their nutrition through Bixby Vision on a Galaxy device.
And the integration doesn't end there. Wearers can control devices on the Watch through the SmartThings app, their music through the Spotify app (which includes offline streaming), keep information secure through Samsung Knox and unlock their PC using Samsung Flow.
We mentioned the improved battery life, which differs between the two models. With the 46mm Galaxy Watch, Samsung claims you'll be able to get around 7-days in low usage and up to four days with the 42mm version with the same low usage.
So, at least at first glance, the Galaxy Watch appears to be packing in a lot for users to play with, but not everything that was rumoured made it to the device. For example, prior to the official announcement, blood pressure monitoring was touted as a potential feature of the Galaxy Watch. However, this did always feel a little unlikely, given that devices require FDA approval in order to include the tracking. Instead, it appears as though the wait will go on until will see this come to a mass-market smartwatch.
Samsung Galaxy Watch: Price and release date
The 42mm Galaxy Watch will be available for £279 while the 46mm version will cost £299. Both will be available in the US via Amazon, Best Buy and Samsung.com starting on 24 August. Pre-orders begin 10 August. In the UK, the watches will be on sale from 6 September.
The LTE version of the watch will arrive on T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Spring later in 2018. We're still awaiting on LTE details in the UK. There's no indication on pricing, but it's definitely going to cost you more for the luxury of an untethered experience.
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