First Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 software update adds several missing features

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 has only been out for a few days, but it's already received its first software update – and it's a major one, adding key features around how your body's fitness and the quality of your sleep get measured.

As spotted by SamMobile, the update weighs in at around 80MB in size. If you were holding off on getting a Galaxy Watch 3 because some of the features were 'coming soon', it's reassuring that the first batch of upgrades is here already.

Blood oxygen monitoring is one of the features now supported on the Galaxy Watch 3, letting you know how efficiently your respiratory system is working. This can flag up potential health issues, including sleep apnea.

VO2max measuring is included in this update too – this is similar in that it tracks how much oxygen your body is using during exercise. The feature is useful for working out where your training limits are and measuring how your body's cardiovascular fitness improves over time.

Scores and analytics

Then there's the Sleep Score feature, which goes above and beyond the normal sleep tracking functions. Every morning it will appear on the watch to tell you how well you've slept in terms of deep sleep and REM cycles.

Finally, the update also adds more advanced running analysis to the Galaxy Watch 3, which enables you to dig deeper into the stats for your runs and will provide suggestions for where you can make improvements.

We're still waiting for the ECG or electrocardiogram feature to roll out however – this can give you an early warning about potential heart irregularities, but for now it's only available in South Korea. Regulatory approval was given for the functionality in the US this week, so hopefully another software update isn't too far off.

Speaking of regulatory updates, not all of these features are available in all of the markets that the Galaxy Watch 3 is sold in, due to differences in each county's health laws. Blood oxygen monitoring can't be accessed in Algeria, Angola, Canada, France, Iran, Japan, Libya, South Africa or Thailand right now.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.