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Samsung Galaxy Watch FE unveiled but it’s unlikely to beat the best budget wearable

Two Samsung Galaxy Watch FE models, one in white, one in blue

The Samsung Galaxy FE is here but its likely short battery life means there are better options available for smartwatch fans on a budget

The Samsung Galaxy Watch FE has only just been announced but it’s already looking like a bit of a disappointment.

The new wearable will sit below the Galaxy Watch 6 and the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic in the South Korean manufacturer’s smartwatch range and will cost a lot less than its stablemates did at launch (from £289), at £199 for the Bluetooth-only version. It’s available in three colours: black, pink gold and silver, with some new watch bands in pink and blue.

Samsung Galaxy Watch FE in blackIt looks just as nice as its more premium siblings. However, Samsung hasn’t released any battery life ratings for the Galaxy Watch FE; although that isn’t surprising given its rather small battery capacity. It’s only 247mA – a good deal smaller than the 40mm Galaxy Watch 6 (300mAh). That’s only rated at up to 40 hours without the always-on display enabled – less than two days, so I’d expect it to be shorter on this new device.

READ NEXT: Huawei Watch Fit 3 review

As a result, I think you’d be better off saving your cash and buying something else – the Huawei Watch Fit 3 would fit the bill. It’s much cheaper at £139, lasts up to ten days on a single charge and looks great on the wrist. Oh, and it performed exceptionally well in our GPS and heart rate accuracy tests.

Don’t get me wrong. The new Samsung certainly looks the part. Its 1.2in 396 x 396 OLED screen comes with sapphire crystal glass, which is unusual in a smartwatch at this price, and it is packed with health and fitness features.

Samsung Galaxy Watch FE in pinkIt has the same “BioActive” sensor as its more expensive siblings, which enables it to track all the same metrics, from the standard stuff like taking an ECG heart rate reading to reading your SpO2 levels. It will even offer insights into body composition using its BIA sensor (bioelectrical impedance analysis) in the same way a smart scale might. And it’s able to track more than 100 different sports, too.

The only major difference, compared with the Galaxy Watch 6, aside from the price and the battery, is the processor, which is an older, slower Exynos W920 Dual Core 1.18GHz model.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 FE: Early verdict

On the surface, it looks like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 FE is a bargain buy but that smaller battery is a worry and although I can’t say for sure exactly how long it will last, I’m certain it won’t get anywhere near the battery life of my favourite budget smartwatch/fitness tracker – the Huawei Watch Fit 3.

For that reason, I’d recommend holding off buying a Samsung Galaxy Watch FE for now. And if you’re particularly desperate to buy a Samsung wearable, why not pick up a Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 instead? It’s only £179 right now – £20 cheaper than the FE will be when it’s available later this summer.

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