After multiple rumors and weeks of leaks, Samsung just unveiled a pair of its newest accessories at today’s Galaxy Unpacked event. We’re talking, of course, about the Galaxy Watch3 and Galaxy Buds Live. Let’s start with the Watch.
Samsung Galaxy Watch3: Basically the Apple Watch Series 5 for Android
The Galaxy Watch series has long consisted of the best smartwatches available for Android users—the closest thing you’ll get to the quality and features of an Apple Watch, anyway. The Watch3 builds off of the previous two Watches—the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active—while bringing new style and features to the table.
Like its predecessors, the Galaxy Watch3 will come in two sizes: 41 mm and 45 mm, but it’s 14 percent thinner, 8 percent smaller, and 15 percent lighter than the original Watch according to Samsung. They’re both water-resistant, feature rotating bezels (which was missing from the more recent Active series), and have a pair of buttons on the side.
Other Watch3 goodies mirror what you’ll already find on the Watch Active 2: a heart rate sensor, blood pressure monitor, and ECG features, though it’s unclear if the latter two have been cleared for use in the US right now. It also has blood oxygen saturation monitoring, fall detection, running analysis, VO2 Max tracking. Samsung also developed new metrics for tracking sleep, so the Watch3 will offer improved sleep insights.
Really, the Watch3 sounds a lot like the Watch Active 2, just with a classier look and no sacrifice in health benefits. Where it differs, however, is in the software. For starters, the Watch3 will offer gestures. Users will be able to do things like clench/unclench their fist to do things like answer calls or shake their hand back and forth to reject the call, for example.
It’s also noted that the Watch3 integrated “seamlessly” with the Note20 and other Galaxy devices, offering automatic replies, full control of audio on the phone using the Watch’s rotating bezel, and more. What’s unclear is why this integration isn’t as tight as with other Android phones, though it’s more likely that the experience is the same and Samsung just isn’t advertising this fact.
The Watch3 will be available starting August 6th starting at an eye-watering $399 for the 41 mm Wi-Fi-only model and $429 for the 45 mm Wi-Fi-only model. The LTE variants will be even more expensive, though that pricing hasn’t been announced yet. The 41 mm variant will be available in bronze, or silver, while the 45 mm version will come in silver or black.
Galaxy Buds Live: The Galaxy Buds We’ve Bean Waiting For
At this point, there’s a solid chance you’ve seen Samsung’s bean-shaped earbuds in the various leaks. This wild take on what an in-ear headphone should be is undoubtedly unconventional, but this is Samsung’s take on Apple’s AirPods Pro.
Officially called the Galaxy Buds Live (not Beans 😔), Samsung claims this is a complete re-thinking of the true wireless earbud., Instead of being designed vertically, it rearranged the internals with a vertical design. This is what leads to the bean-shaped design, which Samsung says it’s more comfortable for long-term wear. They also come with two different wingtips for the perfect fit.
The Galaxy Buds Live are the company’s first to feature Active Noise Cancelation. They also have automatic ear detection, touch controls, and a software EQ in the Galaxy Wearables app. They also feature larger drivers than the Galaxy Buds Plus, so they should be capable of producing more dynamic audio.
Samsung’s official announcement also notes that these have the ability to “tune in (or out) of the world around you,” which suggests that they also have some sort of transparency feature, but it’s unclear if it’s the same as what’s already available on the Buds Plus or something better.
The Buds Live get “up to 6 hours” of playback time, with an additional 15 hours coming from the charging case. They also feature quick-charge, so a 5-minute bump will give them a full hour of playback time.
The Buds Plus will be available to order on August 6th for $169—nearly $100 less than the AirPods Pro. They’ll be available in black, white, and bronze.