Samsung Galaxy Watch hands-on: Steady progress, but few thrills

Sheri Evans
August 11, 2018

In contrast, the Note 9 is - at 8.8 mm - actually thicker than the Note 8 before it. After a robust decade of growth, demand is cooling as consumers wait longer to replace devices, even as cheaper Chinese brands flood the market and chip away at Samsung and Apple's long-standing dominance.

That stance is easing with executives promising to introduce eye-opening features more aggressively. The hot new wearable is available in two sizes a feminine 42mm one that'd be available in black or rose gold, and a larger, more masculine 46mm one that will only be available in silver. Samsung has been conservative on battery improvements ever since its Note 7 phone in 2016 developed a tendency to ignite, prompting an expensive recall and delivering a hit to the company's reputation.

Samsung usually launches its premium flagships in two rounds annually - first half is S series and second half is Note series.

It also offers the usual slate of weather and news briefing apps, and lets users select from a number of different watch faces.

If these mega-featured smartphones are overwhelming or unnecessary for you - you might be more interested in the iconic Nokia 8110 banana phone, available to pre-order today at Carphone Warehouse, EE, O2, Vodafone and other key retailers and e-tailers for a RRP of £69...

The new model maintains the S9's dual-camera setup on the rear, with 12MP sensors and the ability to switch between f/1.5 and 2.4 apertures to suit the ambient lighting conditions, together with Optical Image Stabilisation to help keep things crisp. It also has a relocated fingerprint scanner on the back but not one built into the screen, something the company has said it's developing. That doesn't change with the Galaxy Note 9, as they once again offer the best up-front discount you'll find.

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Huawei predicted last week it would become the world's top smartphone seller by volume - displacing Samsung - in the final quarter of next year, while Apple sold more of its $1,000 iPhone Xs in the June quarter. Samsung India has also joined the list and started taking pre-orders for the new Note smartphone.

An update to Samsung's photography technology - which has consistently dominated the smartphone market in terms of camera quality - promises scene optimisation, flaw detection and better clarity than competitors.

"We're three generations removed now", Samsung's director of USA product marketing, Suzanne De Silva, said of the company's renewed confidence in the battery.

In addition to the expected smart watch features such as reminders, messages and scheduling, the Galaxy Watch is pushing heavily into the fitness and wellness space, with a particular focus on the latter. With the knowledge of the beta going live also came with the reveal of a nifty looking new skin.

Nutrition is also present with calorie tracking and personalised alerts.

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