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Review: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

Review

Smartwatches are an increasingly mature product. Which has ceased to be “only” technology and have become part of our daily life as a traditional watch? The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active of this review combines this objective with a focus on sport and well-being.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active opts for a discreet and minimalist design, suitable for any situation. Its box is small, only 39.5 mm in diameter and 10.5 mm thick. Something important for sports, it suits a smartwatch that is not bulky or heavy (only 25 g).

At the functional level, it is a complete device. Which not only serves as a pedometer but also records training thanks to its integrated GPS and pulse sensor. The connectivity includes Bluetooth and WiFi to not depend only on the linked smartphone. All under the Tizen operating system, which competes against Google’s Wear OS.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active resists water (up to 5 ATM) and, although it mounts a rubber strap suitable for sports use. We can exchange it for any 200 mm. So we do not depend only on official Samsung belts.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, specifications

samsung-galaxy-watch-active-coloresThe fact sheet is not usually a key aspect in smartwatches, in the end, the user experience is the important thing. But part of it is based on hardware. Which in the case of Samsung Galaxy Watch Active seems appropriate and in line with current smartwatches:

  1. Display: 1.1 inches Super AMOLED round (360 x 360 pixels) with Gorilla Glass 3.
  2. Processor: Exynos 9110 dual core 1.15 GHz.
  3. RAM: 768 MB + 4 GB (1.5 GB free).
  4. Networks: WiFi n 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and location (GPS + Glonass + Beidou + Galileo).
  5. Resistance: to water (5 ATM).
  6. Sensors: accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, heart rate (HRM) and ambient light.
  7. Battery: 230 mAh with Qi wireless charging.
  8. Straps: interchangeable, compatible with standard straps of 200 mm.
  9. Dimensions: 39.5 mm diameter x 10.5 mm thickness (box).
  10. Operating system: Tizen 4.0.
  11. Price: 249 euros.

A very sporty smartwatch with Tizen in command

samsung-galaxy-watch-activeThe appearance of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is quite neutral but when we started using it. We perceived its clear focus on fitness and well-being. Already denoted by the technical sheet, which includes GPS to monitor the running sessions with precision.

Samsung has put aside Google’s Wear OS in its smartwatches. Something that raised doubts about its ability to create a broad ecosystem using Tizen. In the end, a watch is not a smartphone, and most users do not need many applications on the wrist.

In fact, rivals such as Huawei Watch or Fitbit Versa also use proprietary solutions with some success. Focusing again on the Galaxy Watch Active, let’s review its key functions :

Main clock: we will choose among a large number of designs because those included are many available in the Galaxy Store. Each sphere can include additional information at the time, such as date, weather, battery, calendar events …

Stress/breathing: the Galaxy Watch Active measures our level of stress (although we have not seen the indicator reliably), and proposes guided breathing to relax us, a technique that is really effective in these situations of overwhelm.

Notifications: from the main screen of the clock we just have to slide to the left and access the mobile notifications. As is logical, we can limit the apps that send notifications or even turn them off completely, if they are excessive.

Heart rate monitor: we have heart rate monitoring, useful when playing sports and to measure stress. Not as advanced as in the Apple Watch Series 4 but more than enough for its purpose.

Sports: the Galaxy Watch Active has modes to monitor a large number of sports and also guides us in exercise training through Samsung Health.

Bixby: Samsung voice assistant is available on the clock and, although Bixby has been announced in English, for now, it is only possible to speak with him in English, waiting for the update to enable our language.

On the other hand, we have a series of everyday tools. Which not everyone will really need, but which can be useful:
  1. Weather, calendar, alarm, stopwatch and reminders.
  2. Widgets to record the intake of water, caffeine, and calories.
  3. Music and gallery.
  4. Samsung Pay for mobile payments with NFC.

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