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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 just got these big upgrades to fight Apple Watch 6

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Watch 3 just got a hot new rival in the form of the Apple Watch 6. But a new update could help the Samsung smartwatch's chances.

This new update has begun rolling out to the global LTE versions of the Galaxy Watch 3, specifically those in Vietnam as TizenHelp notes. but will likely appear on other versions in the near future.

The headline change is a boost to battery life. The Galaxy Watch 3 already lasts approximately two days on a single charge, which is much better than the 18 hours that the Apple Watch 5 and Apple Watch 6 manage. Anything more would just reinforce the Galaxy Watch's status as the longer-lasting smartwatch in this comparison. 

(Image credit: TizenHelp)

There are several improvements on the health tracking side of things too. The patch notes promise increased reliability for the VO2Max and SpO2 sensors, and to the sleep, heart rate and stress scoring. There had been complaints from users that sleep tracking scores had been misbehaving, so hopefully this will fix that issue.

The blood oxygen sensors are new to both the new generation Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch. While we've yet to try the Apple Watch's health tracking chops, anything that Samsung can do to improve its own sensors will be handy.

With both watches starting at an identical $399, it'll be interesting to see which one comes out on top. The Apple Watch 6 won't come out until September 18, so it'll be a couple of days before we get a good grasp on whether the new Apple wearable will remain the best smartwatch you can buy.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.