Samsung’s Galaxy Watch FE is its new entry-level smartwatch

The leaks were right. Samsung just announced it’s launching a third smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch FE. It’s meant to be the company’s new entry-level smartwatch, offering a more affordable option compared to its flagship Galaxy Watch models.

It makes sense that Samsung’s doing this now. The Galaxy Watch series used to be relatively affordable compared to the competition, but in the past two years, Samsung’s raised the starting price of its watches by $50 to keep up with inflation. The FE will retail at $199 for the Bluetooth-only version and at $249.99 for the LTE version — which is more in line with what its watches used to cost. This also makes Samsung’s smartwatch lineup look a bit more like Apple’s, with a budget model, flagship model, and a more premium option.

Like other entry-level models, the FE forgoes some bells and whistles to get that more palatable price. For example, the FE only comes in a single 40mm size with a slightly smaller 1.2-inch OLED display. The FE also has the last-gen Exynos W920 chip instead of the W930, with 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Most of the sensors remain the same, but you do give up the temperature sensor that was introduced last year. The battery is also smaller at 247mAh. The Verge asked if the FE will support fast charging but did not get a response.

That said, you’re not giving up that much. Despite being the budget model, the FE has the same sapphire crystal lens, IP68 rating, and 5ATM of water resistance. It’s also got the same one-click strap mechanism, NFC payments, and built-in GPS. Connectivity-wise, you get LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, and Wi-Fi. Also like the flagship watches, the FE has OneUI Watch 5 and Wear OS 4, abnormal high / low heart rate notifications, EKGs, body composition analysis, and personalized heart rate zones.

Announcing the FE now is a bit of a surprise. Samsung typically unveils its wearables at its summer Unpacked event, which is expected to take place next month in Paris. That said, this year’s event could be a truly stacked one for Samsung’s wearable lineup. On top of a new Galaxy Watch 7, we’re expecting to see a new Galaxy Watch Ultra and the Galaxy Ring. All things considered, the relatively simple FE would’ve easily gotten lost in the shuffle.

The Bluetooth version of the Galaxy Watch FE goes on sale in the US starting June 24th. The LTE version arrives later this year.

Source: The Verge

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