Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 just got a big upgrade to fight Apple Watch 7

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 blood pressure monitoring
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 can now widely provide blood pressure monitoring through the Samsung Health Monitor app. But there's a catch — only Galaxy Watch users in specific countries will be able to take advantage of the vital tool.

Although blood pressure monitoring won't become available to U.S. users for now, Galaxy Watch 3 wearers across 31 new countries can update their devices to start tracking this informative health metric. Up to this point, only users in South Korea, where Samsung is headquartered, could administer blood pressure readings from their wrist. 

Samsung had already beat Apple in making a smartwatch capable of blood pressure monitoring, but the expansion is a significant development in the never-ending competition to make the most capable wellness wearable. 

We could see the blood pressure monitoring become available for U.S. Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active 2 users before the Apple Watch 7 arrives, assuming it earns FDA approval. There have been rumors and patents concerning a blood pressure reader for Apple's smartwatch in the past, but there's no substantial evidence it'll materialize in the upcoming model at this time.

High blood pressure is linked to brain, kidney and heart diseases, as well as strokes when left untreated. With on-demand readings via your wrist wherever you are, you'd be able to track changes, triggers or trends. 

You can also get readings outside of the doctor's office with at-home blood pressure armbands, but a smartwatch is more discreet and portable. However, Samsung's version of the monitor still requires monthly calibration with an actual blood pressure cuff.

And, as with the case with ECG readings on both the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch, self-administered blood pressure readings are not a replacement for seeing a doctor. Collecting the metrics more regularly can help inform your regular health visits, though. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Will it get blood pressure montioring?

The next-generation Galaxy Watch, possibly called the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, will most likely get built-in blood pressure monitoring like the models before it. When it launches, the feature will work for the 32 total countries (see the entire list here) out of the box.

If you recall, during the Galaxy Watch 3's announcement Samsung revealed that its smartwatches earned FDA approval for ECG readings. It could show itself up by announcing the same clearance for blood pressure monitoring at the Galaxy Watch 4's launch. 

Samsung's upcoming smartwatch will probably arrive alongside new Galaxy smartphones at the next Unpacked event. Rumor has it the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will headline the keynote, which usually takes place in late summer.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.