Samsung's Galaxy Watch range has been one of the easiest to recommend to Android phone users looking for the functionality and health tracking capabilities iPhone users get from the Apple Watch.
While Wear OS might seem like an obvious choice, Samsung has shown it can make great-looking well designed watches with a user friendly interface and great hardware.
For the past two years, that focus has mostly been on launching the smaller, round Active range, but it's now rumoured to be returning to the more traditional-looking Galaxy Watch range with a follow up to the original Galaxy Watch. So, what do we know about the Galaxy Watch 2 so far?
Galaxy Watch 2 or 3?
While it was assumed that Samsung's next smartwatch would be the Galaxy Watch 2 - due to it being the direct follow up to the first Galaxy Watch - recent leaks suggest otherwise.
A listing appeared in Thailand's NBTC certification site indicating we might be skipping '2' and going straight to '3'. What's more, Samsung's own app has seemingly revealed the Galaxy Watch 3 name is true. The reasoning for this could be the existence of the Galaxy Watch Active 2. It might confuse customers to have a newer model featuring the same number within its moniker.
Release date and price
- 22 July predicted
- Likely to be more than $300/£300
An FCC listing is pretty much always a nailed-on guarantee that a new product is going to launch, since any tech company selling new devices in the US needs to send it for certification before releasing it to the mass public. So, it's safe to say, with that listing appearing in May, that a Galaxy Watch launch at some point in the summer looks very likely.
Samsung usually uses August to launch its Galaxy Note range, and often releases a wearable device of some kind alongside its smartphones. However, a rumour published in June stated that the watch will actually make its appearance at some time in July.
In addition to that, a teaser leak from @evleaks on Twitter seems to suggest that 22 July could be the date Samsung unveils the new smartwatch.
As for pricing, all we can predict relatively accurately is that the Galaxy Watch 2/3 will cost more than the Watch Active models. Exactly how much they cost is up in the air, and could well depend on the material you choose.
The original Galaxy Watch retailed for around $330 in the US (£299 in the UK), and so it would be reasonable to expect it to be a similar story for the second generation. By comparison, the Active 2 currently retails for $299 or £269.
- Rotating bezel
- Steel and titanium options rumoured
- Waterproof to 5ATM
- MIL-STD-810G durability
- 41mm and 45mm cases
The one thing that differentiated the Active line from the regular Galaxy Watch was the sleeker, rounder design. If Samsung is to release a second gen regular Galaxy Watch, we expect it to be similar aesthetically to the original, and not feature the bezel-free look of the Active.
Current rumours suggest that prediction is looking likely, with recent reports suggesting that we're going to see the rotating bezel make a comeback. This doesn't just help give the watch that traditional, analogue look to it, it also forms a key part of the user interface. Turning it scrolls through lists and screens on the display. It's a feature that set the Gear and Galaxy branded smartwatches apart from the competition, and most who use the watch love it for that reason.
Unlike the seemingly standard 44mm or 46mm case sizes out there, Samsung is rumoured to be going with both 41mm and 45mm cases this time and it could be available in number of different metal finishes. From the leaked photos above - first published by UniverseIce on Twitter - it looks as though the larger model will have the jagged/pointy edges on the bezel, while the smaller one doesn't.
The ever-reliable Evan Blass on Twitter has published a few official press renders, which seem to confirm most of what we've seen and heard so far. The larger model in the image below has that textured bezel, which we're expecting to be rotate-able. Its heart sensor design on the back also matches exactly what shows up in the earliest leaked sketches from the FCC listing.
What these press render leaks show us is that we're going to see a full compliment of watch band materials too. The early set of images showed natural silver metal case with a black leather strap, as well as a black anodised casing with that same band.
Later on, the black metal casing was leaked with a titanium link bracelet, further pushing the Galaxy Watch into 'proper watch' territory. With these variations in material and styles, it'll appeal to a broader range of consumers and give some serious competition to the Apple Watch. After all, Apple's watch is lacking a little in competition in that regard.
Materials-wise, we're expecting to see stainless steel, titanium and perhaps aluminium as three different metal offerings.
Hardware and display
- 1.2-inch and 1.4-inch screens
- 1GB RAM
- 247mAh and 340mAh batteries
As usual, for Samsung, we again expect to see a round AMOLED touchscreen taking up most of the space on the front, with the addition of physical buttons for control, alongside that bezel.
Depending on which size model you look at, the screen size is different. It's rumoured that the 41mm model will have a 1.2-inch screen while the 44mm model will use a 1.4-inch display.
The rear cover glimpsed through the FCC certification looks very similar to the setup on the Watch Active, with a round protrusion hosting the heart rate monitoring hardware.
This same image reveals the watch will be coated in Gorilla Glass DX, and it'll be both waterproof to 5ATM (50 metres) and certified MIL-STD-810G for durability.
As fas as internal power goes, it's claimed that the battery inside the smaller model will feature 247mAh capacity, with the larger one featuring a more capacious 340mAh cell. Both are said to have 1GB RAM.
Features and software
- GPS and LTE
- Health tracking
- ECG and blood pressure
- 1GB RAM
For quite some time now, Samsung has built its smartwatch user interface on top of Tizen OS, and we don't expect that to change anytime soon. It's easy to use, colourful and comes with a host of great watch faces.
It also ties in well Samsung's own services, like Samsung Health, and the watch faces give you the option to customise colours and complications in a similar way to Apple Watch.
Apart from that, we'd expect a continuation of regular smartwatch features like being able to read and interact with notifications from your smartphone, with a more full experience when you pair it with an Android phone (but with iOS support). Similar to the previous model, the leaked FCC images indicate that it'll have LTE connectivity too.
Hardware wise, it'd be a fairly safe bet to predict it'll charge wireless with its own dedicated charging stand, it's also been suggested that the heart monitor on the back will feature ECG test compatibility as well as blood pressure monitoring.
The story so far...
2 July: Firmware reveals new features
Software leaks indicate we're getting richer notifications, a better weather app and Outlook for email to replace Samsung's own email app.
1 July: All colour/material combinations listed
It's believe the list in the tweet below contains all of the size, model and material combinations available for the Watch 3.
There will be 9 distinct Galaxy Watch3 configurations:— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 1, 2020
- 45mm Black Titanium Bluetooth
- 45mm Black Stainless Steel BT
- 45mm Black SS LTE
- 45mm Silver SS BT
- 45mm Silver SS LTE
- 41mm Silver SS BT
- 41mm Silver SS LTE
- 41mm Bronze/Gold SS BT
- 41mm Bronze/Gold SS LTE
29/30 June: 22 July date and titanium models revealed.
It seems @evleaks has taken it upon himself to reveal everything about this watch, and the latest teasers and leaks show a proposed launch date and a model with a fancy titanium bracelet.
25 June 2020 - High resolution press renders leaked.
You can always count on @evleaks to come up with the goods when it comes to official press renders leaking before a launch. The watch looks fantastic.
17 June 2020: Real life images are leaked.
It's the first time we've seen actual photos of the watches and it appears there are two different styles.
16 June 2020: Lots of specs leaked.
With launch rumoured to be happening within weeks, the spec list was spilled online and mentioned display and battery sizes, plus internal RAM.
10 June 2020: Launch set for July.
Rather than appear alongside the Galaxy Note 20 in August, it's been rumoured the watch will appear in July.
9 June 2020: Samsung app confirms Watch 3 name.
It looks as though the Galaxy Watch 3 naming is accurate as Samsung's own Wear app has the logo hidden within it.
8 June 2020: Samsung support pages appear.
As if we needed any further evidence that new watches are coming, Samsung has published a couple of support pages for two new models.
6 June 2020: Might it be called the Galaxy Watch 3?
According to information gleaned from the NBTC certification listings in Thailand, the watch might actually be called the Galaxy Watch 3.
1 June 2020: Rotating bezel is coming back
A fresh rumour - citing sources familiar with the project - claims that Samsung is bringing back the rotating bezel for the second generation Galaxy Watch.
27 May 2020: Galaxy Watch 2 certified in China and at FCC
20 May 2020: New Galaxy Watch will come in Titanium
SamMobile's exclusive from May suggests we're going to see a more expensive titanium version.
3 February 2020: Watch 2 to feature 8GB storage
In February, information trickled through that stated Samsung's next watch would feature double the storage, going from 4GB to 8GB.