Galaxy Watch 3 firmware analysis: Here’s what we found about Samsung’s new smartwatch
Samsung’s upcoming products tend to get a lot of attention because of how much of a splash they make on the scene. With the sorry state of Wear OS and Snapdragon Wear processors, it’s no surprise that many Android fans are holding out for the Tizen-based Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 to release. Thanks to a recent public firmware leak, we’ve learned a lot of information about Samsung’s upcoming smartwatch, including most of the specifications and features. Here’s everything we discovered so far about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.
But first, a brief recap. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 will be the successor to the original Galaxy Watch, which was released in mid-2018. Samsung has released a few smartwatches in between the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch 3, including the Galaxy Watch Active and the Galaxy Watch Active 2, but they’re skipping over the “Galaxy Watch 2” branding. Make no mistake, though: This is a Galaxy Watch 2 in everything but name. Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable app confirmed the name as have several certification filings. We’ve seen photos of the smartwatch, high-quality (and even 3D) renders, and partial spec sheets. Now, we’re ready to add more fuel to the fire with our findings from the publicly available firmware for the unreleased Galaxy Watch 3 smartwatch.
Galaxy Watch 3 Specifications
|Galaxy Watch 3 41mm||Galaxy Watch 3 45mm|
|SoC||Exynos 9110||Exynos 9110|
|One UI Version||2.0||2.0|
|Battery Capacity||247 mAh||340 mAh|
|Display Resolution||360×360 OLED||360×360 OLED|
|Health Sensor||TI AFE4930||TI AFE4930|
In the firmware dump we were sent for the Galaxy Watch 3, we were able to compile the above specification sheet for the two main variants of the Samsung smartwatch. We expect that both smartwatch variants will be powered by the Exynos 9110 SoC, which is the same 10nm chip as found on the original Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch Active, and Galaxy Watch Active 2.
The 41mm Galaxy Watch 3 should have a 247 mAh battery while the larger 45mm variant should have a 340 mAh battery. While there is a 4mm difference in display size, the display resolution will be the same for both smartwatches at 360×360. Of course, Samsung will be using their own OLED panels for the watches. Both watches will have speakers so you can make voice calls. Internally, both smartwatch models will support NFC but not MST for payments through Samsung Pay. The health sensor being used in the Galaxy Watch 3 is the AFE4930 from Texas Instruments. This is a minor upgrade over the TI AFE4920 sensor used in the Galaxy Watch Active 2.
In the firmware, I was also able to find the new watch faces that will be included with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. There are a few digital watch faces along with a few analog ones. There’s a style for everyone.
With the watch faces on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, we get new informative digital edges. In the first 3 images, you can see 4 rounded bars around the outside of the watch. These information edges can be customized with a lot of options. These options include world clock, voice memo, timer, stopwatch, schedule, reminder, PowerPoint controller, music, messages, email, phone call log, Bixby, barometer, alarm, recent apps, running, walking, cycling, hiking, swimming, swimming outside, treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical, other workouts, women’s health, water, food, breathe, stress, heart rate, sleep, calories, sleep, step count, daily activity, sunset, UV Index, air quality, rainfall probability, feel like temperature, date and weather, weather, monogram, calendar day, battery percentage, or nothing.
The informative edges will also get an option to have a digital suggestion. From what I understand in the watch face files, it will automatically switch between steps, battery, heart rate, calories, or weather depending on what the watch software decides is most important at the time.
Here’s another animated watch face for RENAISSANCE (galaxy watch 3) pic.twitter.com/N6yC7TLxEx
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) July 5, 2020
Remember that new weather app I was talking about on the Galaxy Watch 3? Well, it turns out it’s a watch face! The background should change depending on the weather around you.
Here’s one of the animations pic.twitter.com/8qYPW5BBMZ
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) July 5, 2020
Another watch face not listed above is a new weather watch face. The background of the watch will show an animation mimicking the weather. If it’s snowing, the background will show snow. On a sunny day, you’ll see the sun. Another watch face just shows an animated flower or bubbles (the choice is up to the user) whenever you look at the Galaxy Watch 3’s display.
One major change is with the email app on the Galaxy Watch 3. Samsung Email will no longer be included on the smartwatch. Instead, there will be Microsoft Outlook. With Microsoft and Samsung having a long partnership going back years, this should come as no surprise. While I can see the app is preinstalled on the watch, it may require the user to use the Outlook app on their device instead of the Samsung Email app. For Galaxy owners, it will require another app to be installed but for other Android owners, it will allow for the email function to work.
Things Not From The Firmware
We’ve seen a few different leaks about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 that don’t originate from the firmware. Evan Blass recently tweeted that there will be 9 distinct versions of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: a 41mm Bluetooth model in Bronze and Silver, a 41mm LTE model in Bronze and Silver, a 45mm Bluetooth model in Silver and Black, a 45mm LTE model in Silver and Black, and a 45mm Bluetooth model in Black Titanium. You can find images of these specific models in this previous article we wrote.
There will be 9 distinct Galaxy Watch3 configurations:
– 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
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 1, 2020
A recent report from Gizmodo UK also talks about a few new interesting gestures that we haven’t found evidence for in the firmware yet. Samsung will apparently be introducing wrist gestures to control different aspects of the watch. According to the leaked images obtained by Gizmodo, performing a fist pump will accept a phone call while shaking your fist will reject the call. There may also be a gesture letting you bring the smartwatch to your mouth to activate Bixby, similar to one way you can activate Siri on the Apple Watch. The report also mentions fall detection and ECG monitoring support are included. For now, it seems that ECG and blood pressure monitoring will be available in South Korea only with a launch in more countries later, which is unsurprising considering they’re already in testing on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 in Korea. The report lastly mentions that there will be a running trainer that can help with your pace as you run, with more information after you finish.
Image credits: Gizmodo UK
There’s some evidence the Galaxy Watch 3 could launch later this month. Evan Blass has previously stated that he believes the date of release, which is usually the date shown on press renders, is July 22nd. This means we could see Samsung’s new smartwatch be released fairly soon. There is still a chance this date is wrong, though, and the Galaxy Watch 3 actually gets announced at the online-only Samsung Unpacked alongside the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Z Fold 2 on August 5th. In any case, we’ll be keeping an eye out for more information on the Galaxy Watch 3 and other Samsung products, so we’ll let you know if we learn anything new.