Apple Watch beaten to this lifesaving feature by the Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung will begin rolling out an update today to two popular Galaxy Watch models – beating the Apple Watch to this new health feature

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy Watch line up is already one of the most advanced smartwatch lineups on the market, with advanced health and fitness tracking, solid build quality, and an attractive design, but Samsung is now taking it one step further by adding a new lifesaving feature. 

The new update, which will be available for the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active 2, adds the ability to measure your blood pressure directly from your wrist.

This is something even T3's best smartwatch – the latest Apple Watch – can't do yet!

This kind of headline feature would usually be reserved for a new model, forcing people to upgrade, so Samsung deserves credit for adding it to its two existing smartwatches. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 was announced all the way back in August 2019, while the Galaxy Watch was revealed a year later in 2020. 

But how does blood pressure monitoring work on these Samsung smartwatches? Well, it uses a new technology called pulse wave analysis. 

You'll actually need to take an initial reading at a local pharmacy, GP, or by using a home blood pressure cuff. This is used to calibrate your smartwatch's built-in heart rate sensors.

Samsung’s algorithm then analyses the differences between the initial calibration value and the current heart rate sensor data to work out an approximation of your blood pressure.

The ability to constantly measure your blood pressure could be a breakthrough when it comes to health and wellness. High blood pressure is linked to brain, kidney and heart diseases, so this new feature really could save lives.

The new update also adds the ability to take an electrocardiogram, or ECG, straight from your wrist (similar to what the Apple Watch already lets you do). 

A sensor on the Galaxy Watch 3 or Galaxy Watch Active 2 will analyse your heart’s electrical activity. The health app will then classify it as either a Sinus Rhythm (a regular heartbeat) or AFib (an irregular heartbeat).

Excited to get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy Watch update? It will start rolling out today (February 22) through the Galaxy Wearable app.

The software was originally only available in South Korea, but now Samsung has started to expand the new functionality to 31 countries, including the UK, mainland Europe, Chile, Indonesia, and the UAE.

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Spencer Hart
Spencer Hart

As the Product, Style and Travel Editor, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting.