Samsung Galaxy Watch: Everything you need to know

Samsung Galaxy watch
Samsung Galaxy watch (Image credit: Android Central)

Following excellent wearables such as the Gear S3 and Gear Sport, Samsung's coming back to the smartwatch market once more with the Galaxy Watch.

The Galaxy Watch ditches the Gear branding to be more in line with Samsung's other mobile products, and while there's nothing all that revolutionary here, the Galaxy Watch is shaping up to be one heck of a gadget if you're in the market for a new wrist computer.

Here's everything you need to know!

Latest Galaxy Watch news

Galaxy Watch LTE details revealed — coming in September for $50 premium

Samsung will make LTE versions of the Galaxy Watch available in September, and they'll cost an extra $50 over the standard Bluetooth models. That means the 46mm watch will retail for $399, and the 42mm for $379. Samsung's website shows both colors of the 42mm watch, black and rose gold, to be available with LTE.

At least, that's for T-Mobile, which is the first carrier that has announced availability officially. At its Unpacked event (alongside the Galaxy Note 9), Samsung had said that all four major U.S. carriers would eventually carry the watches. Each carrier will have its own plans for the watches, which will simply be attached to your existing cellular plan as an add-on device in some way.

The T-Mobile variants of the Galaxy Watch are showing a shipment date of September 2, but Samsung has told Android Central that T-Mobile will be announcing the watch directly on August 24. Internationally, Samsung says that 30+ carriers in 15+ countries will be offering the Galaxy Watch throughout the second half of 2018. Samsung specifically listed Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Western Europe and the UK were among those in the early launch plans.

See at Samsung

Read our complete Galaxy Watch review

Samsung Galaxy Watch

For the complete take on the new watches, you'll want to read our Galaxy Watch review. After weeks using the watch, we have a detailed take on its software, hardware, screen, rotating bezel, battery life, fitness tracking and so much more.

Samsung Galaxy Watch review

Once you're done with the review and ready to learn more, this page has all of the information you could ever need on the Galaxy Watch!

It's available in two sizes

For the first time, Samsung's selling the Galaxy Watch in two different sizes — including 42mm and 46mm. Seeing as how the Gear S3 was a comically large smartwatch and the Gear Sport was designed more for smaller wrists, it's nice to see that Samsung's catering to people of all wrist sizes with one product line.

No matter if you pick up the 42mm or 46mm option, you'll still get the same design, features, etc., but the 46mm model will have a much larger 472mAh battery compared to the 42mm's 270mAh unit. The screen sizes are of course different as well, at 1.3- and 1.2-inches, respectively — though they're both the same resolution, 360x360, and have the same Gorilla Glass DX+ covering.

The Galaxy Watch is packed with fitness features

Samsung's Gear products have often been focused on helping people live better lives, and although that Gear branding is no longer here, the Galaxy Watch continues that idea with a heap of fitness goodies.

You'll find all of the regular suspects here, including calorie and step tracking, reminders to move throughout the day, guided meditation sessions, and heart-rate monitoring. The Samsung Health app on the Galaxy Watch can be used to track up 40 different workouts, can automatically detect six of the most common exercises, and has a built-in GPS to keep you connected while out on a run.

Rounding all of this off, Samsung's also outfitted the Galaxy Watch with 5 ATM water resistance (including salt water), Corning Gorilla Glass DX+, and military-grade protection (specifically, MIL-STD-810G).

Tizen 4.0 is available out of the box

Despite all of the rumors claiming that the Galaxy Watch would run Wear OS, the Galaxy Watch is, in fact, powered by Samsung's own Tizen wearable platform like previous Gears. The Galaxy Watch is running Tizen OS 4.0 which is an upgrade from Tizen 3.0 that shipped on the Gear Sport last year.

The software we've seen so far looks awfully similar compared to past Tizen versions, meaning that you can control the interface using the Galaxy Watch's rotating bezel, download apps and watch faces from the Galaxy Apps Store, etc. The main difference is a slight upgrade in the fitness features, plus a few interface tweaks to make things a bit darker (saving battery) and simpler to read on a small screen.

Samsung Pay is here ... for NFC payments only

The Gear S3 did a lot of things right, one of which was its inclusion of Samsung Pay for both NFC and MST payments. Samsung Pay is making a return to the Galaxy Watch, but similar to the Gear Sport, only supports NFC transactions.

That's not uncommon for smartwatches that allow for mobile payments, but considering that MST has been such a big draw to Samsung Pay since its introduction in 2015, it is disappointing to see that it won't be coming to the Galaxy Watch.

Also, if you use the Galaxy Watch with an iOS device (aka an iPhone), you won't be able to use Samsung Pay at all.

You can get one with LTE

One feature the Galaxy Watch does keep from the Gear S3 is LTE support!

In order to get LTE on your Galaxy Watch you'll pay roughly $50 more up front, but then you'll also have to pay a monthly fee to your carrier of choice in order to keep the connection alive. Most carriers charge about $10-20 per month to add the new device, but that also includes neat features like forwarding text messages and phone calls to the watch.

You can bet that carriers will be offering discount son the watch up front in order to get you signed up for a data contract, too — so if you want to save money on the watch itself, wait a bit.

It works on Android and iOS

If you're interested in picking up the Galaxy Watch, you'll be able to use it with both Android and iOS.

As mentioned above, Samsung Pay will not work if you're using the Galaxy Watch with an iPhone.

You can buy it now!

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung has officially opened up sales of the Galaxy Watch! You'll pay $329 for the 42mm variant (your choice of black or rose gold) and $349 for the 46mm one (silver only). It's available from a variety of retailers, including Amazon and Samsung directly.

Update September 7, 2018: Updated with new information on the Galaxy Watch retail availability and information from our review.

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.