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Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra, Galaxy Watch 7, Galaxy Ring: Everything you need to know!

Samsung has announced the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Watch 7, and finally – all of the price and specifications of the Galaxy Ring they announced last summer. There are some substantially big ticket items here in terms of software updates in the Samsung realm, following many of the exact same new software additions that Apple has rolled out over the past 1-2 years (e.g., FTP predictions, running pace partners, emergency siren, etc…). Still, there are watch areas Samsung differs – or has added that Apple hasn’t here.

And ultimately, neither company is really competing for the same consumer anymore. Both companies essentially limit their respective watches to their phone customer base. You can’t pair an Apple Watch to Android, and inversely, you can’t pair a Samsung watch to iOS. And while Samsung does allow you to pair a Samsung Watch to other Android phones, there are a number of feature limitations put in place if you do so.

Still, on paper, this appears to be (by far) the most sporty edition of watch that Samsung has ever released. There’s a ton of items here people are going to be eager for, especially if they work.

Nonetheless, let’s start with the ring, and then go from there. Note that this (obviously) isn’t a review. I’ll get to that in the near future for all three products individually. Instead, this is just looking at what’s new. You can tappity-tap the video above, or read through the consolidated new bits below.

Samsung Galaxy Ring:

It’s been almost a year since Samsung announced the Galaxy Ring, and it’s been a bit of a drip-drip-drip of information since then. Finally, we’ve got all the details. I’m just going to go with bullet-points, because everyone prefers that anyways.

– Price is $399USD, no subscription fee at all
– Pre-order from today, shipping July 19th
– Initial availability seems to be US only, as I can’t seem to find it in other countries
– Ring sizing from 5 to 13, there’s a free plastic ring sizing kit (just like other smart rings), or you can order a specific size
– Battery claim is up top 7 days for largest rings, 6 days for smallest rings (due to different battery sizes internally)
– Ring material is a titanium outer case
– Charging case is like a pair of headphones, fully enclosed for charging while travelling
– Has core data metrics including heart rate, sleep activity, heart rate variability
– Mixed messaging on whether it requires a Samsung phone. Official site said no, but media briefings said yes. Either way, will require at least an Android phone, no support for iOS for current Samsung Health app (the app needed).
– If worn with a Samsung Galaxy watch, it’ll do sensor data fusion within the Samsung Health app to pick the most accurate data to consolidate
– Has FindMyRing feature, dependent on Samsung Find, which is only on Samsung phones
– Samsung Galaxy Ring *WILL NOT* get new Sleep Apnea detection feature, only watches

You’ll note there are three different colors to choose from, and again, that free sizing kit is available to help you ensure the correct size – since the ring has small sensor bumps on the inside, it may not match your normal ring size.

Finally, not in the bulleted list, there’s a new ‘Energy Score’ readiness feature, which is under the Samsung Health AI umbrella. That feature does require a Samsung phone supposedly, though again, the messaging continues to be mixed there. This feature is much like Fitbit’s Daily Readiness Score, or a more minimal version of Garmin’s Training Readiness. This is seemingly a fair bit beyond Apple’s new ‘Vitals’ feature they announced at WWDC, as it’s presenting more on the recommendations side throughout the day, rather than just a more minimal set of facts about your current trends.

Ultimately though, I suspect the Samsung Ring will do reasonably well. It’s essentially priced just above the cheapest version of Oura (but otherwise at the same or lesser price of most of Oura’s rings), and without the subscription. Assuming Samsung manages to get acceptable sleep and heart rate accuracy (admittedly, a big stretch for Samsung historically), it’ll be an easy win for most consumers to avoid another subscription.

As I said in my video above, while Oura does sleep tracking well – the wearables industry as a whole continues to get better and better. Most other wearables for the sleep tracking metrics consumers actually care about (what time they went to bed/woke up/total sleep/HRV), the top tier companies are largely the same and largely quite accurate. For things like sleep stages, it’s basically a scattered mess from everyone (without any real accurate way of validating it). Point being, one time, the reasoning to have a separate smart ring to track sleep has largely been minimized. And certainly, that’s definitely still true of Galaxy Ring too – if people have a watch already.

But as we continue to see more consumers push back on ever-expanding subscription costs, Samsung might have picked the best path forward here. We’ll just have to see if it’s actually accurate.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra:

Next up, there’s the new Galaxy Watch Ultra. As a general rule of thumb, one can look to the Apple Watch Ultra and say “Does the Apple Watch Ultra have this?” And if the answer is ‘Yes’, then so will the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra. Of course, one should remember that both companies routinely copy features from each other. And there are plenty of features (like FTP calculations) that Apple has borrowed from the rest of the endurance sports industry. That’s sorta the name of the game here.

Nonetheless, lets dive into the big ticket items on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra hardware:

– Priced at $649USD, 699EUR
– Comes in one 47mm size, but three different titanium colors, with sapphire glass
– Only available in an LTE edition
– Waterproof spec is 10ATM/100m, including rated at ISO22810, however, is only rated at 10 minutes at 100 meters.
– Samsung says you can dive with it, but that specific ISO reg isn’t used for diving watches…
– Added dual-frequency/multiband GNSS
– Increased display to 3,000 nits
– Added 85db emergency siren/alarm
– New 3nm processor, Samsung says is 3x faster
– New optical heart rate sensor, Samsung says is more accurate
– Battery claims are all over the map, but 48hrs in workout power saving mode, and 100hrs in regular power saving mode, no obvious claim listed on either US or EU site for ‘regular everyday mode’

However, it’s the software that’s just as interesting here. All of these items are also applicable to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 too:

– Will use Google WearOS 5 (first watch to do so)
– Adding cycling FTP prediction: Claims to be able to detect FTP in a simple 4-minute test, paired with Bluetooth power meter
– Adding triathlon/multisport workout mode (tracking all three sports in a full triathlon)
– Adding new running race partner mode to race against previous bests
– Adding support for Energy Score (see Galaxy Ring section)
– Adding FDA approved Sleep Apnea detection (first company to do so)
– Has route following as well

Some of the items here are super interesting – namely the cycling FTP prediction piece. Typically speaking, this would take a test that’s normally between ~20 and ~60 minutes, depending on which test methodology you want to suffer with. To do so in a mere 4 more would be mind-bogglingly impressive. I’m very skeptical of this claim. We’ve got a lot of companies in the space with incredible cycling power experience (TrainerRoad, Xert, etc…) and literally a decade+ of data each, and they can’t do that yet with just four minutes of data.

Thus to have such a claim coming from a company known for…well…it’s sporting inaccuracy, it’ll be something I’m super interested to test. Given the above keynote screenshot from Samsung shows a 4-minute long duration with an apparent average cadence of 168rpm…I’m…uhh…not holding my breath. For those non-cyclists, there’s is an approximately 0% chance a cyclist averaged 168rpm for 4 minutes at a mere average of 119bpm, while concurrently somehow going only 10KPH, yet still only gaining 5 meters in elevation. Literally, I could pick apart this headline screenshot all day long. But alas, I’ll save that for later. Of course, in reality, the above is likely a running workout that someone did a bad job at photoshopping, but still, c’mon.

Likewise, getting more details on how the power meter connectivity pieces work will also be notable. It’s something that all companies entering the power meter space (including Apple last summer), have a solid ‘teething pains’ timeframe dealing with the crapshow that is the Bluetooth power meter spec (especially dual-sided units).

In any event, the watch can be ordered today, and is shipping July 19th/July 24th depending on pre-order type and region.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 7:

Finally, there’s the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7, a unit that even Samsung themselves devoted a mere 16 seconds of their keynote to. I’m literally not kidding. It was precisely 16 seconds long – that’s it. They showed the above slide, and said ‘here, it’s the cheaper Ultra’…and then moved on.

In short, the Galaxy Watch 7 gets the new multi-band/dual-frequency GNSS also seen on the Galaxy Watch Ultra, then gets all the software features noted above, and is priced from $299USD for the 41mm version. It comes in two sizes 40mm/44mm, and in both non-cellular and LTE variants. It too features the new 3nm processor, as well as the Sleep Apnea detection and new optical heart rate sensor. It does not have the emergency siren or deeper waterproofing, nor the larger case size and battery. It claims 30 hours always-on display.

In any event, I’ll be putting all of these units to the test in the near future. Hopefully, we’ll finally see Samsung stick the landing on accuracy. If they can do just that, and not break anything else, they’ll finally have a very interesting WearOS watch for Android-based consumers to consider. Hopefully, the app ecosystem can then deliver on endurance sports apps in that realm.

With that – thanks for reading!

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34 Comments

  1. G

    I think you went a bit easy on Samsung for copying the Apple Watch Ultra. Copying some features is one thing, but copying the aesthetic is pretty blatant – the orange on the crown was too far in my opinion.

    • Daniel

      Didn’t know that Apple patented the color orange. It’s like saying no car brand is allowed to have powerful 2-seaters in read, yellow or blue because of Ferrari.

  2. Shawn DaB

    Thanks for all the good info here! Nice to see Samsung still making a watch that looks like a watch, and not something that makes me look like a square. And bypassing the trendy subscription model cash grab after significant up front spend by consumer.

    Sorry to correct you on the idiocy of Samaung’s 4 minute FTP results screen, but their marketing team who’s unfamiliar with how bicycles work determined that the rider had a cadence of 168 STEPS per minute, rather than revolutions. Just like the unheard of accuracy of a 4 minute FTP test, it’s good to call out Samsung’s attention to detail and what all should expect there.

    I say all this as a multi-gen user of Samsung wearables, who switched to a non-Sammy Android and lost features for no reason more than Samsung greed, and then saw how terrible their hardware and software as well as lacking updates were compared to the rest of the world. Play nice with others or don’t expect those you’ve done a fine job of disappointing to ever come back. I say this as a multi-year Rival user now happily moved into a new Epix Pro.

  3. funkright

    From a Samsung (Android) device POV the Samsung Ring will kill Oura on that platform, unless they change their track. Why would you spend money on a monthly subscription when you can get most of the same metrics without that from Samsung? I think Oura would be a good pickup for Apple’s ecosystem. Rebrand it the Apple Ring. I’d buy one then.

    • I’d agree that if Oura holds off Samsung’s lawsuit, then Oura would be a logical pickup for Apple. But inversely, if Samsung wins (which, would take years), then I suspect Apple would just build their own.

      Legal fight for those interested: link to dcrainmaker.com

  4. Nicolaas

    On the Canadian site, in the small print the battery on normal mode is listed as up to 60hr with AOD, and 80hr with gesture.

    • Interesting. Strange it’s not listed on US/NL sites. But good to know!

      Someone on Reddit who is apparently an employee said real-world usage is about 48hrs. Which seems about right based on spec guesses.

  5. I am servicing a cycling analysis app in Korea. Although I am not a Samsung employee, I happened to be involved in the development of Samsung’s FTP estimation model and am very familiar with FTP estimation. I was so curious about everyone’s reaction after yesterday’s Unpack event, so I looked up your video first.

    In fact, Samsung Galaxy Watch’s FTP estimation model is based on ‘individual TTE power’ rather than ‘1 hour power’. Since only a small number of cycling enthusiasts are aware of the TTE concept, I think it is natural that the Samsung marketing team did not know about it.

    I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the Galaxy Watch. However, I’m confident that the Galaxy Watch’s FTP estimation model will be more useful than any other FTP estimation model I’ve encountered so far. More confidential instructions have been emailed to you.

    I fully support your thorough analysis!

  6. MIke Zimmermann

    FYI, the Galaxy Ring could be pre-ordered from the German webshop now, for 449,- Euros.

    • Nice! Good to know!

      Wish Samsung had simply listed all the countries. I’ll give Apple and usually Google/Fitbit credit in that they usually do a good job at having a dedicated slide in their keynotes listing the countries launch dates.

  7. JimC

    Small typo Ray: “though again, the messing continues to be mixed there” – pretty sure that should be “messaging” instead of “messing”.

  8. Andrew M

    Ray, the metrics in the “FTP” activity in the image seems to be from a running activity, not a cycling one (although it features a cycling logo).
    I share your scepticism about what you can get in 4 minutes of activity, as well as the attention to detail in Samsung’s media department.

    • Yup! It’s why I mentioned at the end of that paragraph “Of course, in reality, the above is likely a running workout that someone did a bad job at photoshopping, but still, c’mon.”

      Like you, I’m surprised though. That keynote unquestionably was reviewed by the various departments for each feature, and any cyclist at all would have noticed SPM (versus RPM). It stands out like a sore thumb. Sigh.

    • Will

      A single data point for FTP estimation will unlikely be that accurate, but maybe accurate enough for initial training zones, until more maximum effort data is offered.

      Rather like Wahoo 4DP test and Stryd’s Auto CP that both use multi points along your power duration curve.

  9. Oskars

    What are the features that can only be used with a galaxy phone?

    • Historically speaking, the following only work with Samsung phones:

      – ECG Support
      – Irregular heart rate notifications
      – Blood pressure monitoring
      – Samsung Pay

      Now, with the new Samsung Health AI features, there’s contradicting information on whether Samsung Health AI, and specifically the sub-component Energy Score, requires a Samsung phone or not. Some Samsung pages say it does, some say it doesn’t. Some media say it does (that were at hands-on event), some say it doesn’t. Working to get some clarity from Samsung there.

    • Oskars

      Thanks

  10. MartinD

    “is only rated at 10m at 100M.”

    10 minutes at 100m?

    • Correct. At least depending on which specs page you select (some show/state 10 minutes at 100m, and some don’t state any limit).

      All of which contradicts Samsung’s statements that it’s a dive-capable watch (and they show people diving). Very cojnfusing.

    • Edwin

      Proper SI unit abbreviation for meter is m, and for minute is min. So it should be “10min at 100m”

  11. Roman

    Hey Ray, I was at the local meeting with Samsung and they stated that Galaxy Ring will be available in UK, Germany and France, so those are the first wave EU countries. Also a small note in the press release stated that it needs to be connected to a Galaxy smartphone, which caused a bit of confusion because previous rumors were that it would be compatible with all Android smartphones.

    • Thanks – good to know on those countries!

      And yeah, saw the note as well. Which as you noted, contradicts other info. There’s a few things in that list of 60 notes at the bottom of the press release that contradict other specs pages.

      I appreciate all those notables at the bottom of the press release, but it seems it’s near impossible for Samsung to keep them straight/consistent across all their different country/product/specs/shop pages. :-/

  12. Adam

    Any timeline for the full review?

  13. Dave

    Do we know if either of the watches will allow the connection of a heart rate monitor strap? Maybe not Ant+, but bluetooth?

  14. ReHMn

    Somebody should post a Health Tracker compatibility chart…
    I am an old-time core Garmin user I would gladly switch my FR945 to some smart ring (Samsung, Ultrahuman) for HR and sleeping tracking.
    The question is, how do we move historical health data or synchronize actual data from Connect?

    The future seems to be anywhere else outside Garmin. Garmin is dead. Their pride committed a seppuku…

  15. Stoney

    Just got the watch 7 ultra for testing and realized that it ONLY works with a Samsung mobile – No other brands. What the heck……….Apparently they copied the “Apple” exclusive part too :-)

    Anyhow, the watch is butt fully to say the least, and I have tried a lot of different watches in my time.

  16. Daniel

    Even though I’m a Garmin customer since the Fenix 3 days and I will never spend money for a “smart watch”, I have to say that I like the form of the Ultra. The octagonal case makes it look very premium and it isn’t just a beefier/bulkier version of the standard watch.

  17. Tsachi Avrahami

    Question on the ring: you mention titanium outside, How thick / complete is the titanium part? Generally speaking titanium rings are not a good choice for cycling (and other sports). I always take mine off and attach it to watch strap before a ride. Reason is that any swelling in the hand in case of accident may require cutting the ring off but most doctor saws are not designed to cut through titanium.

    • ReHMn

      The trauma unit has a tool specially designed to cut rings. The cutting disc is made of Tungsten-carbide. But I can assure you, that cutting off is the last option, there are other techniques to get it off…

      In the purchase decision, the exclusivity of application compatibility is a red flag. I’d rather go with Ultrahuman because it can be linked to Garmin and it is cheaper…
      So basically Ultrahuman did, what Garmin neglected/ did not…

  18. Sebastian

    Last 2 weeks I have spend in Korea, in few locations (cities, sea shore, mountains) having family backpacking vacations.
    Main and in fact surprising observation: almost nobody running or biking around, anywhere… and, once biking/commuting?: madre mia, how can this bike still be in service… wrong position, size etc. Just zillions of locals primarily with noses directed towards mobile screens, most of the time.
    I think lack of endurance sports geeks therefore lack of basic focus/understanding spread among tech experts (engineers and so on) unables some companies there to properly develop endurance sport gear functionality.

    • King Bradley

      Interesting :)
      other countries other customs.

      I once saw a TV report, I think about Hong Kong (?)
      They have warnings on the floor there, something like: look straight ahead or something like that.
      So that the smartphone zombies pay attention to the roads / traffic :D

  19. MDSN

    I am tempted to consider the Galaxy Watch 7 Ultra due to the AGEs feature. But given how inaccurate their HR sensor used to be and ECG readings with excessive artifacts and the current lack of attention to detail in their product descriptions I hesitate. In the past I bought their Galaxy Watch 3 only to see real support end with the ditching of their Tizen OS the very next year. I moved to Garmin the best decision then. Samsung promise a lot but don’t often deliver. Unlike the US (Garmin), Europe (Finland in particular with Suuonto and Polar) S Korea does not appear to have the high level of hard core fitness consumers and engineers that would translate to wearables that incorporate user added ideas. Here in Oz, the price of the Ultra is AUD1299. The US price of $649 converted to AUD should be AUD960. Consumers here are treated shabbily by Samsung with no trade-ins like what other markets get. Outside of the AGEs feature the Ultra is quite inferior in fitness and health features to a similarly priced Garmin Fenix 7 Pro. We’ll have to see how good the AGEs feature is and whether it justifies the higher price.