The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 gain new features, but only if you have a Samsung smartphone in some cases
ECG functionality has been a long time coming for Samsung's premium smartwatches, with the company having announced in 2019 that the functionality would be present on the Galaxy Watch Active 2. In January 2021, Samsung reported that 31 countries would finally receive the ECG, albeit from February 4.
Samsung has lived up to its February promise, but there is a major caveat. According to a Samsung Germany press release, a Galaxy Watch 3 or a Galaxy Watch Active 2 can only perform an ECG when paired to a Galaxy smartphone running Android 7.0 Nougat or newer. The global press release mentioned this too, but we thought that it was worth stressing now that the feature is being rolled out globally, seeing as Samsung considers that it is only worthy of being a footnote.
Samsung has not provided any reasoning behind this decision. However, we cannot see why the functionality must be restricted to Galaxy smartphones, only.
Additionally, Samsung has finally gotten around to adding the Samsung Pay app to the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active 2. Samsung states that it will enable cashless payments as of March 4, although Google Play reviews suggest that it has been enabled on some Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active 2 devices for a while already.