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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 vs Watch 2 (2021): What’s the Difference?

According to rumors, Samsung is going to release a new smartwatch that’ll succeed the Galaxy Watch soon. Naturally, it’s expected to be called the Galaxy Watch 2, but that’s apparently not the case. The South Korean brand is said to be skipping a number and going straight to the Galaxy Watch 3.

As for why that is, anyone’s guess is as good as anyone’s. One theory says Samsung is trying to avoid confusing people with “Galaxy Watch Active2” and “Galaxy Watch 2.” This isn’t hard to believe, though. It did go from the Galaxy S10 to the Galaxy S20, so there’s that.

On an interesting note, the Bluetooth SIG corroborates the moniker with a listing for a “Galaxy Watch3” (notice there isn’t a space between “Watch” and “3”). In a sense, that’s pretty much a confirmation, but the real name is still up in the air. After all, nothing’s official until Samsung says so.

Here then we compile the rumors about the Galaxy Watch 3 so far and compare it to its predecessor, the Galaxy Watch.

Galaxy Watch 3 Comparison Chart

ModelSamsung Galaxy Watch 3Samsung Galaxy Watch
 n/aSAMSUNG Galaxy Watch (46mm, GPS, Bluetooth) – Silver/Black (US Version)
PriceStarts at $399Check Price
Sizes41mm, 45mm42mm, 46mm
Display

41mm: 1.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen with Gorilla Glass DX

45mm: 1.4-inch AMOLED touchscreen with Gorilla Glass DX

42mm: 1.2-inch Circular Super AMOLED touchscreen with Gorilla Glass DX+

46mm: 1.3.-inch Circular Super AMOLED touchscreen with Gorilla Glass DX+

ControlsButtons, rotating bezelButtons, rotating bezel
RAM1 GB

LTE: 1.5 GB

Bluetooth: 768 MB

Storage8 GB4 GB
Trackers/SensorsPedometer, altimeter, calorie burn, sleep tracking, swim tracking, female health tracking, heart rate sensor, blood pressure monitor, ECGPedometer, altimeter, calorie burn, sleep tracking, swim tracking, female health tracking, heart rate sensor
Water ResistanceIP68, 5ATMIP68, 5ATM
NotificationsYesYes
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, LTEBluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, LTE
GPSBuilt-inBuilt-in
NFCYesYes
Battery247 mAh, 340 mAh (up to 2 days)

42mm: 270 mAh

46mm: 472 mAh

Release Date20202018
ColorsBlack, Bronze

42mm: Midnight Black, Rose Gold

46mm: Silver

Design

Expect a slimmer profile on the Galaxy Watch 3.

Galaxy Watch 3 vs Galaxy Watch 2 Design
The Galaxy Watch (in photo) comes in 42mm and 46mm, while the Galaxy Watch 3 will be available in 41mm and 45mm.

Just like the Galaxy Watch, the Galaxy Watch 3 will retain the rotating bezel. It’ll also have a 1.2-inch AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass DX on the 41mm variant and a 1.4 incher on the 45mm version. In terms of durability, it’ll have a water resistance of IP68 and 5ATM and a certification of MIL-STD-810G, the same as the original. As for color options, it’s said to come in black and bronze.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Watch sports a 1.2- or 1.3-inch screen with Gorilla Glass DX+ on the 42mm or 46mm model, respectively. It’s available in three colors: Midnight Black and Rose Gold for the 42mm variant and Silver for the 46mm one.

Performance and Connectivity

The Galaxy Watch 3 will also have an LTE version.

Galaxy Watch 3 vs Galaxy Watch 2 Performance and Connectivity
Reportedly, the Galaxy Watch 3 will have Bluetooth 5.0, a step-up from the Galaxy Watch’s (in photo) Bluetooth 4.2.

Under the hood, the Galaxy Watch 3 is said to pack a 247 mAh battery for the 41mm model and a 340 mAh for the 45mm. If that sounds familiar, that’s because those are the same specifications on the Galaxy Watch Active2. In fact, the Active series’ chargers are going to be compatible with the Galaxy Watch 3, or so says the rumors. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch has a larger 270 mAh battery for the 42mm variant and 472 mAh for the 46mm.

The two have the usual connectivity options you’d expect, from Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and LTE to a built-in GPS and NFC. One advantage the Galaxy Watch 3 could have is Bluetooth 5.0. In comparison, the Galaxy Watch has Bluetooth 4.2.

Health and Fitness Tracking

The Galaxy Watch 3 is going to have a few more fitness-tracking capabilities than the Galaxy Watch.

Galaxy Watch 3 vs Galaxy Watch 2 Health and Fitness TrackingSamsung included a lot of fitness features such as swim and sleep tracking in the Galaxy Watch (in photo).

The Galaxy Watch can track just about everything you need to reach your fitness goals. That includes calorie burn, sleep, and swim tracking, to name a few.

It’s safe to say that all of the original’s fitness-tracking features will be available on the Galaxy Watch 3. Rumor has it the next iteration will have a blood pressure monitor and an ECG to boot.

Features

One of Samsung’s strong points is features, and it’s going to show on the Galaxy Watch 3.

Galaxy Watch 3 vs Galaxy Watch 2 Features
No doubt the Galaxy Watch (in photo) is packed with features, and the Galaxy Watch 3 will be building on an already robust system.

Rumor has it Samsung is moving away from its own email service to Microsoft Outlook on the Galaxy Watch 3. It’s also adding an integrated speaker for audio prompts, a new weather app and music widget, and rich notifications.

To top it all off, it’s bringing new watch faces to the mix, some of which will have customizable edges aptly named “Informative Digital Edge.” Supposedly, you can display info such as activity and heart rate around the borders and modify the colors to your liking.

Verdict

The Galaxy Watch 3 won’t be that big of an upgrade from the Galaxy Watch, but it will have some noteworthy improvements.

The Galaxy Watch 3 isn’t exactly miles ahead of the Galaxy Watch. Put simply, the most noticeable upgrades are a newer Bluetooth version and more sensors and features, particularly the so-called Informative Digital Edge.

Sure, the Galaxy Watch 3 is arguably better. But if you’re coming from the Galaxy Watch, the question is whether the improvements are worth shelling out another $399, at the very least. Speaking of, the upcoming wearable is said to go from $399 to $599 and roll out sometime in July or August.

Long story short, upgrading to the Galaxy Watch 3 from the Galaxy Watch seems a bit too much. However, it seems like a good time to take the plunge when you’re trading up from, say, the Gear S3.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch 2?

The Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch 2 are one and the same. Samsung is rumored to skip a number to avoid confusing names because “Galaxy Watch Active2” and “Galaxy Watch 2” are too similar. In short, the Galaxy Watch 3 will supposedly succeed the Galaxy Watch.

📌 What’s the difference between the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch?

The Galaxy Watch 3 has Bluetooth 5.0, a couple of new features, a blood pressure monitor, and an ECG. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch has Bluetooth 4.2, but it does have a larger battery.

📌 Should I wait for the Galaxy Watch 3?

Yes, the Galaxy Watch 3 is worth the wait. The original Galaxy Watch is already an excellent smartwatch that gets the job done, and the new wearable will be building on it with a few new features, among other things.

📌 When is the release date of the Galaxy Watch 3?

Rumors say Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Watch 3 sometime in July, but others say it’ll be in August. For the record, the Galaxy Watch was released in August.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.