- Track your health activity
- Bright and sharp Display
- Priced at US$199 (AU$420)
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active is new beautiful smart watch without rotating bezel, light weight, water resistant and loaded with outstanding features. It feels a lot lighter than the last-gen watch, and comes in four color choices: black, silver, blue (technically sea green) and pink. The pink band comes with a rose gold body, while the rest of the watches just come with the same color as the body.
It’s also a 20mm strap too, which you can swap out for your own strap if you want to. On the right-hand side of the watch you’ll find two buttons to turn the watch on. In the middle is a 1.1-inch 360 x 360 resolution display, while the body of the watch only comes in one size.
As said above it’s also IP68 water resistant meaning you’ll be able to wear this when you head into the pool for a dip. Although the Galaxy Watch Active works with both iOS and Android, you’ll get more out of it if you pair it to an Android phone. That’s because core iOS features like iMessage, Siri, and Apple Mail simply don’t work on the Galaxy Watch.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active Features
The Galaxy Watch Active comes in 42mm and 46mm sizes and lack of a rotating bezel, round AMOLED display is a little smaller (1.1 inches compared to 1.2 inches on the 42mm Galaxy Watch and 1.3 inches on the 46mm Galaxy Watch). As far as pixels on a smartwatch goes, the Galaxy Watch Active’s screen looks really good and is very visible outdoors. On the Galaxy Watch and past Samsung smartwatches, the bezel rotates and acts as a control ring to navigate around the Tizen OS interface. On the right side of the Galaxy Watch Active’s case are two buttons: a “back” button on the top and a button on the bottom that launches Tizen OS’s apps screen (displayed in a ring). Both are clicky and responsive. The silicone band is great for working out and can easily be swapped out for another strap.
The best thing, though, is that the Galaxy Watch Active’s pared-down design makes it more comfortable to wear. Galaxy Watch Active’s smooth, curved edges, along with its lightness, even makes it a comfortable bedtime companion.
This watch works exactly the same as the previous Galaxy Watch. Both are powered by Samsung’s own custom Exynos 9110 chip, come with 768MB of RAM (the cellular version of the Galaxy Watch has 1.5GB of RAM, but there’s no cellular version of the Galaxy Watch Active), and have 4GB of internal storage.
The Galaxy Watch Active also runs the same Tizen OS 4.0 software as the Galaxy Watch. Tizen OS 4.0 is easy to use and far more elegant than Google’s dilapidated Wear OS platform.
If you’ve used Tizen OS on a smartwatch, you won’t find any new surprises here. Swiping right from the watch face shows all of your notifications and swiping left displays all of the widgets (i.e activity tracking, heart rate monitor, weather, sleep tracking, etc.) you’ve created shortcuts for. The Galaxy Watch Active runs the same Tizen OS 4.0 software as Samsung’s other smartwatches.
The Galaxy Watch Active can also track things like steps as accurately as a Galaxy Watch. Compared to an Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, however, the Galaxy Watch Active was always off by anywhere between 150-250 steps. If you’re looking for more accurate fitness-tracking, there are other smartwatches or fitness trackers that are more reliable.
New to the Galaxy Watch Active is blood-pressure monitoring. It’s available in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia, and Singapore via the My BP Lab app. With this new feature, Samsung’s focusing on body mindfulness to quantify and help users better understand their stress levels.
My BP Lab is useful to help you get a better picture of your health using the Galaxy Watch Active’s sensors, but it’s not a replacement for a doctor and shouldn’t be treated as one. At best, it’s yet another digital guardian on your wrist to get seemingly always-busy people like myself to pay closer attention to how stress might be impacting our health. If the My BP Lab app shows something unusual, you should visit your physician for a checkup.
The only feature where the Galaxy Watch Active falls short is battery life. With 230mAh it only lasts about a day, unless you turn off things like the GPS and the constant heart rate-monitoring or dial down the brightness setting. Unlike the Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch Series 4, which can go up to two days on a single charge, this is a smartwatch that you’ll need to plop onto its magnetic charger every night.