Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: Stylish and affordable challenger to the Apple Watch
Don’t let the small 1.1-inch display put you off. The 360 x 360 OLED panel is enough to give you plenty of on-screen information. Powered by Samsung’s Exynos 9110 clocking at 1.1GHz with 4GB storage, it runs Samsung’s own smart watch OS, the Tizen 4.0. The OS offers plenty in features and functions you want on a smart watch.
Following on from the Gear Sport, the Galaxy Watch Active is another cut down version of Samsung’s Galaxy Watch with focus on activity and fitness tracking, wellness and sports. The entry level smartwatch will not only wit your pocket but your heart with its stylish good looks.
But, to be fair to the Galaxy Watch Active, it does have its own advantages over the Galaxy Watch with a sleeker minimalist and rounded design. At this price point it is one of the most attractive smartwatch on offer right now.
This time round, there are no rotating bezel so you will need to rely entirely on the small 1.1-inch touchscreen to navigating the interface. It’s tricky and fiddly at first but you will soon get used to it. There is only one size at 39.5mm diameter. Being an active watch it is super light at 25grams so it won’t get in the way of your sports and fitness regime.
Take it for a swim. The case of the watch is waterproof and can withstand up to 5ATM pressure. It is IP68 rated so you can take it for a swim without worrying about water damage. Use it to track your swim sessions in the pool.
To make the most of the collected data, install the Samsung Health app. It will track and collect 21 different indoor exercises and 39 different workouts. Simply enable the sports tracker on the screen and switch part way easily when needed.
The companion app, Samsung Health now includes wellness features such as breathing and stress management functions. From our data, we can safely say that the watch tracks on the mark.
What the watch also does is measure blood pressure. It can monitor blood pressure much like the ECG function found in the Apple Watch Series 4. Availability of the feature depends the geographical region. Please check if it is available in your country.
As with all smartwatches, the contentious issue is still the battery life. How long will it last on a full charge? The Galaxy Watch Active averages around two days of use just about the same amount of time offered by Apple Watch.
Finally, as a smart watch instead of a glorified fitness tracker, the Galaxy Watch Active connects to Bixby voice services to offer AI voice assistance when connected. It is quick to kick in when summoned and is pretty accurate. Voice recognition is good but response from Bixby left much to be desired. Long pauses are not uncommon.
In terms of compatibility, you don’t need Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones to use the watch. It will work fine with Android 5.0 or later and iPhone iOS 9.0 or later. The number of apps for the Tizen OS is still limited compared to Apple’s watchOS or Google’s Wear OS but to be frank most people only ever use the standard apps that come with the watch.
If you like to stream while running or workout, you will be glad to know that it supports Strava and Spotify.
The watch case measures 39.5mm in diameter and is only 10.5mm thin. It weighs 25 grams without the strap. There is a choice of colours. Choose from black, silver, rose gold or blue.