Samsung has added some new features to the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Watch Active 2, its current flagship smartwatches. Unfortunately, one such feature requires you to have a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, which seems unnecessary.
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.
Alex Alderson, 2021-02-23 (Update: 2021-02-23)