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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 launch looks imminent — and Apple Watch 6 should worry

(Image credit: Future)

All the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3's key specs may have just leaked earlier this week, but today we've learned the upcoming wearable has received a key certification that indicates it could launch soon.

As reported by SamMobile, five different Galaxy Watch 3 models have passed Bluetooth SIG certification for Bluetooth 5.0 with LE (low energy) connectivity. Though there could be more that five versions total, the ones published today include the Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + LTE variants we should expect to see next month.

The fact that these new Galaxy Watches will support Bluetooth isn't in itself existing (and certainly not unexpected,) but it is seen as a pivotal step towards the product launching. 

Previous Galaxy Watch 3 rumors have suggested the smartwatch will be unveiled in July alongside the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, a pair of sub-$150, fitness-focused true wireless earbuds.

The Galaxy Watch 3, (not Galaxy Watch 2, as to avoid confusion with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2), is a follow up to the two-year-old Samsung Galaxy Watch. The sequel is even expected to feature the physical rotating bezel of the original, though the design will be thinner based on leaked images.

It will be available in a 41mm case size with a circular, 1.2-inch AMOLED display, as well as a 45mm case with a 1.4-inch display. Gorilla Glass DX will protect the screen, while 1GB RAM, 8GB storage and Samsung's latest Tizen OS will support it from within. The smaller model will have a 247mAh battery and the larger version will be powered by a 340mAh one.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 could be on pace to offer blood pressure tracking

The Galaxy Watch 3 is expected to sport a heart rate monitor, and ECG and sleep tracking, similar to the upcoming Apple Watch 6. Whereas the Apple Watch's ECG technology is live on its smartwatches, Samsung is still waiting to send its version live via the Health Monitor app. The company says that could happen later this year in South Korea, perhaps before being cleared for use in more countries.

For now, blood pressure monitoring is rolling out to current Galaxy Watch Active 2 users in South Korea after it received approval back in April. It will likely appear in the Galaxy Watch 3, and though the sensors need to be calibrated monthly and can only detect changes in blood pressure, it's still a step ahead of what Apple has introduced.

That could change with the next-generation Apple Watch, which is expected to receive blood oxygen monitoring. Blood pressure monitoring sensors could also be included even if they're not ready to be activated, although that hasn't really been Apple's M.O. for launching new features in the past. It's more likely the SpO2 sensor will be capable of offering certain blood pressure inferences.

No matter which of these rumored features come to fruition, the next year in wearable computing is shaping up to be an exciting and competitive one.