The Apple Watch may dominate the smartwatch market, but Samsung is finally clapping back with the health-focused LTE Galaxy Watch.
The new smartwatch has a circular face with a rotating bezel and comes in two sizes: 42mm and 46mm. That's not quite as friendly to petite wrists as the 38mm Apple Watch, but the Galaxy Watch's round face could make it look more like an oversized timepiece and less like a smartphone on your wrist. The 42mm comes in rose gold and black, and the larger 46mm model is silver.
Samsung's Galaxy Watch will cost $329 for the 42mm version and $349 for the 46mm version, but those prices only apply to the Bluetooth version. The cellular pricing will be determined by the carriers. The Galaxy Watch is available to preorder Friday, Aug. 10 and goes on sale Aug. 24 at Amazon, Best Buy and Samsung. Samsung says anyone who orders the watch before Sept. 8 will get a free watch band.
Samsung is pushing this watch's health features, which go beyond simple activity-tracking (though it does that, too). The Galaxy Watch can track 39 exercises, six of them automatically without you even having to launch the device's workout mode.
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The Galaxy Watch also tracks sleep and helps you manage stress, with a feature that establishes your baseline heart rate and then guides you through breathing exercises when your pulse shoots up outside of a workout. Fitbit has a similar feature called Relax, and the Apple Watch also prompts you to breathe, but that feature isn't tied to your heart rate. The Galaxy Watch, like the Apple Watch Series 2 and 3, is also water-resistant up to 5 ATM.
The Galaxy Watch works on its own, with LTE connectivity that works in 15-plus countries across 30-plus carriers' networks. In the U.S., the Galaxy Watch LTE version will be available through AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon as well as at Samsung.
The new watch is also deeply tied to the new Galaxy Note 9, which is useful for managing your day. The watch's Daily Briefing greets you in the morning with a weather report and an overview of your schedule. The My Day watch face, which is one of 60,000 faces to choose from in the Galaxy app store, syncs with your calendar so you know what free time you have at a glance.
And, perhaps most importantly, Samsung says the Galaxy Watch sports a next-gen processor designed just for smartwatches and can last several days on a charge. We plan to put those claims to the test when we get our hands on the Galaxy Watch. Stay tuned for a full review.