Samsung Galaxy Watch Active – In early 2019, Samsung unveiled its flagship 10th anniversary smartphones. Of course, all the public’s attention was focused on them, but the smartphone news didn’t stop there, the company introduced the new Galaxy Fit and Fit fitness bracelets and the Galaxy Watch Active smartwatch.

They complement the existing range and act in a slightly different category, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Watch 42 and 46mm which have not lost their relevance. The Galaxy Watch Active received a lower price, a different design, and slightly different functionality. Let’s try to figure out what happened as a result that is suitable for such a smart watch.

 

How are they interesting and how do they differ from previous models?

The Galaxy Watch Active differs considerably in design, size and construction from its older siblings. The screen is still round, but the diagonal has decreased to 1.1 inches, while retaining the 360×360 resolution, SuperAMOLED matrix and the Always on Display function. The case is always protected against dust and water according to IP68 and MIL-STD-810G standards and can withstand a pressure of 5 ATM, i.e. wash – no problem, swim – in reasonable limits.

In terms of hardware, everything is similar to the Samsung Galaxy Watch models: the same Exynos 9110 10 nanometer dual-core processor at 1.15 GHz, 768 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal memory. The user has a heart rate sensor, accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, a GPS module and a light sensor for automatic brightness adjustment.

Of course, all this good serves the abundance of proprietary software with monitoring the state of pulse, stress, sleep following all kinds of physical activities in automatic and manual modes. Wearable OS 4.0 based on Tizen is used as operating system and Bixby voice assistant is supported. The watch has a microphone, but they decided to remove the speaker, so you have to take a smartphone for conversations, and the microphone is useful for voice commands.

There are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC wireless modules, which in this case are only useful for quick pairing. The company is not launching Samsung Pay in Ukraine, but also does not wish to implement support for Google Pay. The battery capacity has decreased to 230mAh. They promise 15 hours at maximum load (outdoor activities with constant GPS running) and 90 hours in smoothest mode. Bixby voice assistant supported.

The watch has a microphone, but they decided to remove the speaker, so you have to take a smartphone for conversations, and the microphone is useful for voice commands. There are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC wireless modules, which in this case are only useful for quick pairing. The company is not launching Samsung Pay in Ukraine, but it is also unwilling to implement support for Google Pay. The battery capacity has decreased to 230mAh.

They promise 15 hours at maximum load (outdoor activities with constant GPS running) and 90 hours in smoothest mode. Bixby voice assistant supported. The watch has a microphone, but they decided to remove the speaker, so you have to take a smartphone for conversations, and the microphone is useful for voice commands. There are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC wireless modules, which in this case are only useful for quick pairing.

The company is not launching Samsung Pay in Ukraine, but it is also unwilling to implement support for Google Pay. The battery capacity has decreased to 230mAh. They promise 15 hours at maximum load (outdoor activities with constant operation of the GPS) and 90 hours in the softest mode.The company is not launching Samsung Pay in Ukraine, but also does not wish to implement support for Google Pay. The battery capacity has decreased to 230mAh. They promise 15 hours at maximum load (outdoor activities with constant GPS running) and 90 hours in softest mode.

The company is not launching Samsung Pay in Ukraine, but also does not want to implement support from Google Pay. The battery capacity has decreased to 230mAh. They promise 15 hours at full load (outdoor activities with constant GPS operation) and 90 hours in softest mode. The company is not launching Samsung Pay in Ukraine, but it is also unwilling to implement support for Google Pay. The battery capacity has decreased to 230mAh.

They promise 15 hours at full load (outdoor activities with constant GPS operation) and 90 hours in softest mode. The company is not launching Samsung Pay in Ukraine, but it is also unwilling to implement support for Google Pay. The battery capacity has decreased to 230mAh. They promise 15 hours at full load (outdoor activities with constant GPS operation) and 90 hours in softest mode.

 

What’s in the box?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active comes in a small white cardboard box with a watch image. The set only includes the essentials: the watch itself, a wireless charger with a magnetic lock, and a set and a half of bracelets. One piece with a clasp and two additional pieces of different lengths on different cuffs.

 

What does the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active look like?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active has become significantly smaller and lighter than its older neighbors in the range. It is now a very compact round shaped gadget with protective glass and rounded edges. Visually, it’s still a watch (not a fitness tracker) thanks to its circular display. But the design has become very minimalist and the bezel is completely absent. They therefore feel more “unisex” and not like a typical male model. The case is made of metal, the weight without strap is only 25g, so they do not interfere with the hand.

The watch lost its bezel, so now only the touchscreen and two buttons on the right side are responsible for the control. The bezel is more practical, but still quite adequate. The top is “back”, the bottom is “home / food”. They are of interesting workmanship: the upper one with a matte surface and a shiny border, the lower, on the contrary.

At the top of the watch, two holes are visible: these are the atmospheric pressure sensor and the microphone.

On the back is a large optical heart rate sensor. Apparently similar to those installed in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 42 and 46. Above is a small decompression hole.

The strap is removable, standard 20mm, so you can easily grab a replacement strap. Fixed as before with a spring mechanism. The watch and strap were the most classic black color. There are already enough options for silicone bracelets of different colors, both flat and with a longitudinal relief.

The clasp is virtually unremarkable, the standard design is with a ‘tab’, but the end of the strap is hidden through the hole under the other half. There were no questions about the complete bracelet: it is soft and comfortable.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active has proven to be a universal option that is suitable for both men and women. There is no obvious gender, although it is a matter of taste. I always like the models with more massive and with a bezel: they are more reminiscent of the classics.

 

What about the screen and the hardware?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active screen has a diagonal of 1.1 inches and a resolution of 360×360. Older models have the same resolution, but the diagonal is 1.2 and 1.3 inches. The peripheral bezel is very noticeable, but compared to the watch this can not be called a disadvantage. And if you use the black background of the main screen, then it “merges” quite aesthetically with the screen.

The whole front panel is covered with a protective glass with rounded edges and a very good oleophobic coating. The display itself is of excellent quality, with maximum viewing angles and rich colors. The luminosity margin is sufficient: in the sun the image fades, but the information remains legible.

The inside of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is similar to that of the old Galaxy Watch: a 10nm dual-core Exynos 9110 processor clocked at 1.15 GHz, 768 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal storage. Wearable OS 4.0 (a variant of Tizen) is not too greedy and there are no slowdowns or glitches, the interface and applications run smoothly.

Part of the internal memory is occupied by the operating system and applications, out of the box about 1.5 GB is free, where you can download pictures or music for lessons. The watch can be used as a reader with a Bluetooth headset. There are sensors: heart rate monitor, accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope and light sensor, wireless interfaces: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC.

The Google Pay support still hasn’t been provided and Samsung Pay hasn’t launched, so you won’t be able to pay for hours. And it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon. To determine the location, a module with support for GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo positioning systems is used.

 

What about the charger and the battery?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is charged via a wireless charger. It comes in the form of a small disk with a magnet and a non-removable cable. Qi standard is used, so they can theoretically be billed from third party chargers. Or from the S10 line of smartphones, of course.

The watch is equipped with a 230 mAh battery. The battery life of a smartwatch is always difficult to unequivocally assess. Much depends on the usage scenario and can range from literally a few hours (e.g. activities with constant GPS tracking, heart rate, maximum brightness, music playing in headphones, etc.) to around 3 days with the interfaces without wire disabled except GPS and very gentle use in general. I had an average of 1.5 days. These are constant heart rate tracking, always displayed in low light, GPS only when automatically detecting brisk walking, notifications, and a workout with multiple exercise records.

 

What about the interface and capabilities?

Samsung Galaxy Watch runs on the updated version 4.0.0.3 of Tizen. We’ve seen all of this in the Samsung Galaxy Watch before. There are many numbering options with customization and various output data.

A set of widgets that you can drag into any order you want, a separate menu with all apps, and a manager, where you can close all open apps at once. Among the new ones, I noticed, perhaps, that the notifications on the home screen (dialing). They are triggered by moving from bottom to top and display changing weather conditions or, for example, stress notification and recommendations for breathing exercises.

In terms of fitness features, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active has everything you need: step counting including route tracking, sleep tracking, heart rate, stress level, workouts . Some cardio exercises are tracked automatically. Strength – you need to turn it on yourself, but the number of repetitions is considered correct, while the watch monitors heart rate.

And notify by vibration if it is higher than the allowed value. All of this is recorded. You can also manually record the amount of water and coffee you drink. I had no complaints about the accuracy of the tracking. Steps, stress (yes, I was not wrong), sleep, repetitions of exercises, speed and all of this is tracked fairly precisely. The pulse is also within the limits of the allowable error: no more than 3-4%.

The watch supports third-party sports apps such as Workout Trainer or Under Armor Record. But homework is also very functional: there are a bunch of exercises, with the ability to flexibly adjust the number of approaches, reps, pauses between approaches, etc. The native application was sufficient for my purposes.

In addition to the fitness apps, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active comes preinstalled with a music player, weather, alarms, reminders, an app to find a paired phone, a gallery, a height bar, apps for calls and messages, Bixby, Spotify. You can reply to messages immediately from the watch: with a template, using the virtual keyboard, a predefined reply or dictate using the built-in microphone. There are third-party apps, Here Maps, a smartphone camera remote control app, Workout Trainer, Under Armor, Uber, Uklon, Nova Poshta, Portmone, Eda.ua that can help:

During the pairing process, plug-in apps and Samsung Wearable are installed on the smartphone, with which you can set the clock. In fact, everything in the watch is duplicated, but on a big screen it is much more convenient. There is a setting for notifications, widgets, screen, app installation, watch faces. In addition, using the app, you can download music and pictures to the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active:

 

In the dry residue

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is a clear example that less is not worse. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is currently one of the most tempting smartwatches when it comes to value for money. The watch has maximum (or near) to maximum fitness functionality, an elegant and versatile appearance, small dimensions and low weight, protection against external influences and water resistance of 5 ATM.

At the same time, there is a high-quality SuperAMOLED screen with Always On Display, traditional for the line, and a bunch of additional functions, including a music player, the ability to reply to a message (including voice) and a whole bunch of everything, including additional downloadable apps.

Among the disadvantages, one can only note the low battery life and the absence of a branded bezel, with which it is really more convenient to control the watch.Among the competitors, only the Huawei Watch GT can be distinguished, which costs exactly the same price. They live much longer on a single charge and are larger in size (including the screen), but they are much less functional.

 

5 reasons to buy a Samsung Galaxy watch:

elegant and versatile appearance;

  • IP68 and MIL-STD-810G protection and 5 ATM water resistance;
  • high quality AMOLED display;
  • the availability of all necessary sensors, sensors and wireless interfaces;
  • a large number of functions.

2 reasons not to buy a Samsung Galaxy Watch:

modest battery life;

  • there is no proprietary rotating bezel.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

It is the company’s new smartwatch with a classic look, 1.1 inch AMOLED display and sports features.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch Active specifications
Display 1.1 inch, 360×360, Super AMOLED, Gorilla Glass
Dimensions 39,5 x 39,5 x 10,5 mm
Weight 25g (without bracelet)
operating system Tizen 4.0.0.3
CPU Dual-core Exynos 9110 10nm to 1 GHz processor
RAM 768 Mo
Built-in memory 4 GO
Heart rate monitor optical
The communications Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, Glonass
protection 5 ATM, 50 meters, MIL-STD-810G (protection against vibration, shock and temperature from -40 to +70 ° С)
additionally Always displayed
Drums 230 mAh