Electronics giant Samsung recently held their virtual ‘Galaxy Unpacked’ event where they announced the latest upgrades to their popular mobile devices. Along with phones, tablets, and earbuds, Samsung unveiled the newest version of their smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch3.
The Watch3 has several new features and upgrades that make it a worthy competitor to the Apple Watch, but perhaps where it stands out this year is its emphasis on health management.
Like other smartwatches, the Watch3 contains an accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical sensors to monitor your heart rate, track your workouts and exercises, analyze your sleep, and monitor for falls. The new wearable also features an ECG and a pulse oximeter that will monitor and track SpO2 (blood oxygen concentration) as well as VO2 max (maximum oxygen consumption), although Samsung says these will stay disabled until a software update later this year.
Most interestingly, the Watch3 is also one of the few devices we’ve come across that has the ability to perform cuffless blood pressure measurements. This feature, while not yet cleared by the FDA in the United States, has been approved in South Korea and implemented in a previous Samsung smartwatch. The watch measures blood pressure via pulse wave analysis using data coming from the heart rate sensors. However, this method requires an initial calibration with a traditional cuff, as well as a recalibration every four weeks. Though this indirect method of blood pressure measurement has been known about for many years now, developers have been unable to achieve an accuracy that would approach traditional cuff-based devices in all patients.