Samsung's new Galaxy Watch bears a striking resemblance to the Gear Sport from last year, but it's refined in a number of ways that, along with the rebranding to bring it closer to the company's line of Galaxy phones, could help it stand apart.
Available in two watch face sizes, 46mm and 42mm, the Galaxy Watch features an OLED display covered in Corning's new Gorilla Glass DX+ glass built specifically for wearables. So not only is the screen scratch-resistant, but the watch itself is both waterproof (up to 5 ATM) and sweatproof, something that will help it perform as a workout assistant. The 42mm screen is 1.2 inches, whereas the 46mm screen is 1.3 inches. Both have resolutions of 360x360 pixels. There's 768MB of RAM and 4GB of storage in both models (the LTE version has 1.5GB of RAM), but the 46mm has nearly double the battery: a 472mAh cell as opposed to the 42mm's 270mAh. Watch band sizes will be 22mm and 20mm respectively.
Samsung is enhancing its Tizen OS to integrate more closely with Samsung Health. The watch tracks heart rate all day, and can automatically detect workouts. Samsung's included 39 specific workouts on the watch, but six of them, like running, biking, and swimming, are detected automatically.
Battery life has also been tuned thanks to a new "optimized" dual-core Exynos 9110 processor, so Samsung is encouraging users to sleep with the Galaxy Watch to track sleep patterns. This is on top of the regular Gear functionality like notifications and up to 60,000 watch faces available through the phone app.
Samsung also plans to release a standalone LTE version that will allow users to stream music and check news while they work out, no phone required. Of course, being a Samsung device, there's Bixby functionality built in, too.
The 42mm version will sell for $329.99 and the 46mm option will be a slightly more expensive $349.99. The smaller version will be available in Midnight Black and Rose Gold color schemes, while the larger one will just be sold in Silver. The Galaxy Watch will be available starting August 24 in Korea and the U.S., with an LTE model launching later this year.
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Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central.