The newest Samsung Galaxy smartwatch is loaded with health and fitness features. The device, the Galaxy Watch3, was announced on Wednesday at Galaxy Unpacked.
The smartwatch features fitness tracking and running coaching tools, advanced sleep scoring, and the ability to work out at home with Samsung Smart View. Users can choose from 120 video workouts on the Samsung Health app on their Galaxy smartphone. They can use DeX to stream the workout onto their Samsung smart TV and pause, play or stop the workout as they monitor their heart rate and more with the Galaxy Watch3.
Exercise tracking and auto detection
The Galaxy Watch3 can track 40 different types of exercise from running to yoga to interval training. It will auto detect seven of them as soon as an exercise routine begins.
“For the other 33, just raise your wrist and say, ‘begin pull ups or start squats,’ and enjoy seamless end-to-end workout tracking. Your watch will take care of the rest automatically, logging your sets, reps and distances. The only thing it can’t do is the exercise itself, and I’ve tried asking,” said Doug Wagner, director of product planning at Samsung Electronics America, during a press briefing.
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Digital running coach
The watch also serves as a digital running coach with real-time feedback on pace and form and personalized post-workout reports. The reports offer insight into contact time, flight time, regularity, undulation, asymmetry and stiffness, all to help improve performance and reduce injury.
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VO2 max readings available on demand
“We’re also providing new display options so you can focus on what matters most to you during your runs. You can choose between basic, which displays pace duration and heart rate, custom, which features the six personalized indexes, and heart rate zone, which lets you monitor your workout intensity. And to help you track your progress over time, you can access on-demand VO2 max readings. Whether you’re training for a race or just trying to boost your endurance, VO2 is the gold standard for measuring cardio fitness,” Wagner said.
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Sleep tracking algorithm
Recovery is another option on the Galaxy Watch3. Sleep quality is an important part of recovery, and there’s new sleep tracking capabilities on the device. Through Samsung’s partnership with the National Sleep Foundation, each night the watch will automatically measure breathing, vitals and REM cycles. It will then use a five-figure algorithm to score the quality of the user’s rest for the evening. And each morning it will deliver a detailed report on sleep duration, quality and consistency and tips on how to improve.
Trip detection and custom SOS message
There’s a trip detection feature on the new watch that uses the accelerometer to detect if someone has tripped on a run, slipped down the stairs or taken a fall while in motion. If a trip is detected, there’s an option to send a custom SOS message.
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Oxygen monitor coming
A new experience is in the works. Once it launches, users will be able to check their oxygen saturation in the Samsung Health app for fitness and wellness purposes. The Galaxy Watch3 will measure the amount of oxygen in their blood, displaying a percentage up to 100%, and in the SpO2 app, the user can leave notes and view trends over days, weeks and months.
ECG and blood pressure tracking
Samsung is developing the Samsung Health Monitor app, which includes ECG and blood pressure tracking powered by a small electrocardiograph and plethysmograph. The blood pressure tracking will initially be available only in South Korea while Samsung waits for authorization from the FDA in the US. The ECG monitoring will be available in Korea and the US. It received FDA approval on Aug. 5.
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“The ECG tracking is designed to utilize the built-in electrodes on the watch to measure your heart rate and classify it as either normal or AFib. When it comes to blood pressure, we have developed an advanced algorithm to help capture your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. That was designed to provide on-demand readings, and requires one initial calibration using a blood pressure cuff as well as periodic recalibration,” Wagner explained.
The Galaxy Watch3 is available on August 6. The 45mm version will start at $429.99 for a Bluetooth version; the 41mm version will start at $399.99 for a Bluetooth version. The Galaxy Watch 3 LTE will also come in 41mm and 45mm sizes, and those will start at $449.99 and $479.99, respectively.