Samsung Galaxy Watch Can I Call
Samsung was one of the first to develop the smartwatch market and experimented with its devices for a long time trying to figure out what a comfortable and functional smartwatch should look like. You can recall at least Galaxy Gear 2 with integrated camera or Galaxy Gear S with a huge screen, a diagonal of 5 cm.
As a result, the company managed to come up with a revolutionary solution, which has no analogues on the market. Rotating bezel has become a hallmark of all smart watches from Samsung.
Today, we will take a closer look at the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, the main feature of which was precisely the lack of a bezel that many loved to control the device.
Frankly, the expectations were great. Indeed, in fact, the company stopped radically updating its line of watches after the release of the Galaxy Gear S3. The Galaxy Gear Sport was a big step backwards. The Galaxy Watch model announced in August 2018, in addition to the design and the lack of MST technology, was no different from its predecessor.
And here we have the Galaxy Watch Active. Who were they created for? For what reason can someone prefer a new product to more functional, albeit older, models (Gear S3 or Galaxy Watch)? We will try to answer all these and many other questions in this review.
First, list the brief features of the Galaxy Watch Active:
- Dimensions: housing 39.5 mm, thickness 10.5 mm, weight 25 g
- Display: 1.1 ″ Super-AMOLED with a resolution of 360 × 360 (pixel density 302 ppi)
- Materials: Gorilla Glass 3, aluminum body
- Strap: standard 20 mm
- CPU: Exynos 9110 (2 cores with a frequency of 1.15 Hz)
- Memory: 4 GB main and 768 MB RAM
- Antennas: NFC, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi
- Moisture protection: there is, 5 ATM or 50 meters MIL-STD-810G
- Sensors: heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer and light sensor
According to the characteristics, this model very much resembles a smart watch Samsung Galaxy Sport, announced in the summer of 2017. Unfortunately, there is nothing fundamentally new here.
Review Galaxy Watch Active. Appearance and usability
Appearance is the main (if not to say. the only) change in comparison with previous models. After almost 4 years, the company decided to continue experimenting with design, and this time it is simply impossible to miss the similarity between the Galaxy Watch Active and the Apple Watch. This is how many imagined the Apple Watch in a round case:
The watch is made in a minimalist design. In fact, this is a small smooth aluminum “washer” covered with glass, under which a small display is located. There is no bezel or other pronounced design elements here. The strap has become very comfortable, because now its end does not hang, but gently hides inside:
This is a complete copy of the design of the strap from Apple Watch with a slightly different clasp.
Continuing the analogy with the “apple” product, it is impossible not to mention the new charger. Samsung for the first time in many years changed its design by copying the charge from Apple Watch:
Such a number of borrowings in terms of design is a bit upsetting (showing the company’s inability to come up with something original), although it makes the product more convenient in some respects.
Speaking of convenience. As already mentioned, Samsung has deprived the new model of the main control element. the bezel. However, the watch interface itself has practically not changed. This suggests that either the decision to remove the bezel is temporary (and he will return in future models), or spontaneous, and the company simply did not manage to adapt the watch management to gestures.
As a result, we see, for example, a list of applications that is very inconvenient and illogical to scroll swipe left or right, since the principle of scrolling is tied to the use of a bezel (all icons scroll in a circle, repeating the rotation of a mechanical bezel):
Users of previous models of watches with a bezel will be very uncomfortable at first, because even after a week of daily use, you constantly want to rotate the missing bezel to scroll through the menu or set a timer. Of course, you can get used to everything, but why was it necessary to remove such a successful solution?
Do not forget that the bezel played an important role in terms of protecting the screen from physical damage. On all previous models, the display was a little “recessed” relative to the bezel, and this particular design element took on any blow. Scratching or even breaking the screen of the new model has become much easier due to the lack of such passive protection.
As for the other controls, namely the side buttons Back and Home, everything remained unchanged:
By the way, due to the lack of a bezel, another inconvenient moment appeared. If earlier it was possible to control the clock without touching the screen (received a notification. scrolled the entire text with a bezel and returned back with a mechanical button), now combining svaypas on the screen with pressing mechanical buttons has become not so convenient. After scrolling text with your finger on the screen down up intuitively want to do swipe from left to right to go back. But, alas, such a gesture is not supported.
Traditionally, on the back of the case there is a heart rate sensor, and a little to the right is a service connector:
The distance between the ears is 20 mm. Any watch straps of this size will fit the watch. The complete rubber strap is quite pleasant to the touch, it is removed very easily:
The watch box also has an extra strap for a larger wrist.
Speaking of size, the Galaxy Watch Active is a very compact watch. Weighing 25 grams, you simply do not notice them on the arm. And thanks to the absence of a bezel and streamlined design, the watch fits without problems under the cuffs of a shirt or a narrow sleeve of a sweater. In this regard, the novelty has become much more convenient than previous models.
And, of course, the main question is whether the Galaxy Watch Active can be worn by men or is it a purely women’s watch? Here’s how they look on a man’s wrist, a circumference of 17 cm:
If you have a larger wrist, it is better to try on a watch before buying, as it looks really tiny. A photo on the Internet does not transmit the actual size. But be that as it may, for traditional “mechanics” the size of 39-40 mm is a classic men’s watch.
As for the girls, the Galaxy Watch Active will look very elegant on the female wrist:
For comparison, here’s what the previous Galaxy Watch looks like in a 42mm case:
To summarize, it should be said that the new smart watch evokes mixed feelings. On the one hand, the Galaxy Watch Active has become less convenient in terms of management. On the other hand, they are more comfortable in terms of daily wear.
Review Galaxy Watch Active. Smart Watch Features
If you previously used a smart watch from Samsung (starting with the Galaxy Gear S3), then all the new features will be completely familiar to you. The watch works, like all previous models, running the Tizen 4.0 operating system.
So what can Galaxy Watch Active do?
One of the significant advantages of this watch is their ability to automatically determine training (running, walking, cycling, etc.). If you engage in any activity for at least 10 minutes, the watch goes into tracking mode. In the general list of all classes, such training will be marked auto:
For example, after a walk, the smart watch will automatically draw up a detailed report that will show the distance traveled, calories burned, average and maximum walking speed, pace, and even weather:
There is also the ability to start training manually. In this case, more than 30 types of exercises will be available to you, including such as lunges, deadlift, bench press, press swing, push-ups, bending the arms and much more:
In most strength exercises, you can adjust the number of sets and reps. The clock will read them automatically, offering a short break between sets. By connecting Bluetooth headphones to the Galaxy Watch Active, you will also hear voice prompts. Before the first performance of a particular exercise, the watch will show information on how to correctly perform it:
After the training is completed, the report can be viewed both on the watch itself and in the Samsung Health app:
Here you can find detailed information about the lesson, including average and maximum heart rate, total number of repetitions, time, etc.
In addition, the watch is equipped with a GPS antenna, which means that you can record the tracks of your runs or walks without the participation of a smartphone (if you want the GPS on the watch to turn on even when training is automatically determined, you must enable the corresponding option in the watch settings). Such a report will contain a lot of additional information about the training, including ascents and descents (both maximum values and detailed graphs) and the route:
Pulse and stress
The watch is equipped with an optical heart rate monitor and is capable of measuring heart rate in 3 modes: continuously, every 10 minutes, and upon request. There is also a proprietary function. measuring stress levels:
For more detailed reports, see the Samsung Health app:
The principle of operation of this function is based on measuring heart rate variability. If in the same Apple Watch you need to independently interpret the indicators of variability, then Galaxy Watch Active gives an already finished result. It is important to note that the longer you use the function of continuous analysis of measuring stress, the more accurate the results of its work (since it takes time to understand how the body behaves in different situations, including sleep or training).
Continuous measurement of stress and heart rate, of course, significantly affects the autonomy of the device, but we’ll talk about this later.
Galaxy Watch Active can monitor the sleep, showing detailed statistics on the phases of sleep, bedtime and waking up. You do not need to run or install anything separately, just do not remove the clock for the night. You can watch reports as on a watch:
So in the Samsung Health app:
If all previous watches and bracelets from Samsung have never been particularly accurate in measuring sleep, the novelty in this regard has become even worse. Using this function is simply impossible. The clock does not accurately determine the time of going to bed and, especially, the time of awakening. Talking about the phases of sleep is generally meaningless, this information has nothing to do with reality.
Here’s what a typical sleep report looks like in the Samsung Health app:
You don’t need to be a specialist or even use another device for comparison to understand how absurd this report looks. Deep sleep time (dark blue bars) is less than 20 minutes overnight, and the number of awakenings is more than 30 times (pink bars). Discussion of REM sleep (the phase of rapid eye movement or the REM phase) does not make sense in such an analysis.
So that you have no doubt that the Galaxy Watch Active is not able to take into account sleep, here are statistics broken down by phase for a week:
If you like to stay awake, using the Galaxy Watch Active is a bad idea. There are many fitness trackers and smart bracelets that cope with this task an order of magnitude better.
Updated 01.16.2020: After the next update, the Samsung Health app has become much better at taking into account sleep and displaying this information in a more colorful and interesting way. We did not have the opportunity to retest the operation of this watch with the new version of the application, but the Galaxy Watch Active 2 with the new version of Samsung Health began to display sleep very accurately.
Pedometer and competition
Smart watches, of course, consider the number of steps taken per day. There is no difference from previous models (or devices of other companies) here. On the Internet, however, there are reports that the Galaxy Watch Active incorrectly counts steps, underestimating the values. We cannot confirm this information. For all the testing time, the discrepancy in the readings of the pedometers on the Galaxy Watch Active and other devices (previous Galaxy Watch, Honor Band 4 and Mi Band 3 bracelets) was no more than 30-50 steps for every 1000 steps taken.
But what distinguishes the Galaxy Watch Active from other bracelets is the Together function. Samsung has created the largest online community of active people in the world, allowing you to compete with other users and participate in global walking competitions:
We have repeatedly written about this fascinating feature, so you can explore it in more detail.
If the watch has not recorded a single step within 60 minutes, a proposal to do a small warm-up will appear on the Galaxy Watch Active screen:
By pressing the button Yet, You can choose the type of workout. The watch will automatically count the number of repetitions in each exercise. A very convenient and useful option for those who have sedentary work!
In addition to the dials and applications, Samsung watches are supported widgets. These are small applications that do not require a launch and constantly display some information on the screen.
To view widgets, you need to swipe the dial to the left (swipe from right to left):
You can add new widgets (about 20 pieces are available from the box on the watch), delete or reorder:
The great advantage of widgets, as mentioned earlier, is precisely the speed of work. you do not need to wait until the application starts and displays the information of interest. Also, directly from the widget, you can perform certain actions, for example, enable / disable the alarm clock or start a workout.
Galaxy Watch Active watch out of the box contains 13 dials for every taste and color. from strict classic to funny, with cartoony animation:
The main function of any smartwatch and fitness bracelet is to notify you of new events, including incoming calls and event reminders. The watch is doing pretty well with this. Despite the reduced display size compared to previous models, reading text on the watch screen is quite comfortable:
You can also reply to messages in one of the ways convenient for you: template answers, entering text with gestures, using the keyboard, or dictated by voice:
Among all these methods, the most stable one is keyboard input. Voice recognition is just disgusting (both in speed and in the quality of recognition itself). As for entering text with gestures (you write a letter on the screen with your finger on the screen, and the watch automatically recognizes it). you can use this method if you adapt.
There is also a huge selection of emoticons:
It is worth noting that sometimes notifications come with a significant delay (from 10 seconds to several minutes). In other situations, the watch vibrates in literally 1-2 seconds. For comparison, the notification on the Honor Band Magic smart watch is displayed the same second as it appeared on the smartphone.
As for whether it is possible to view the message history on the watch. it all depends on the availability of applications. If such an application is available for Tizen, you can work with messages fully.
The functionality of the watch depends, again, on the quantity and quality of installed applications. Out of the box, the clock can:
- Play music (both from a smartphone and directly from the watch, transmitting sound to wireless headphones)
- Create reminders
- Display weather with a detailed forecast for the next 5 days
- Work with an alarm clock (there is no “smart alarm”)
- View and reply to SMS and email
- Display world time
- Work with calendar
Review Galaxy Watch Active. Autonomy
The watch battery capacity is 230 mAh. They charge long enough. from one and a half to two hours. During the same time, you can charge a smartphone with a battery capacity of 15 times the battery of the watch.
If instead of a full charge, use reverse (as on the Galaxy S10 or Huawei Mate 20), then the charge time is doubled:
How much can a watch work on a single charge? It all depends on the number of functions used. If you turn on all the sensors (constant measurement of heart rate and stress level, NFC, Wi-Fi), then the clock is unlikely to last two days. When AOD (Always On Display or a constantly working screen) is on, the operating time is reduced by another half times.
If you turn off Wi-Fi, NFC, heart rate and stress levels, do not use the AOD mode, then the watch will last up to 3 days at best.
The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Watch (previous model), despite the larger screen, is better than the new one.
If you need a watch that you don’t have to worry about charging for at least one week, the Galaxy Watch Active will definitely disappoint you. On the other hand, this watch does not differ in autonomy from the new Apple Watch 40 mm.
Review Galaxy Watch Active. Answers on questions
Before proceeding to the conclusions, I would like to briefly answer those questions that a potential user of a novelty may have:
– Can I take a shower or swim in the Galaxy Watch Active?
The watch is protected from dust and moisture according to ISO 22810: 2010. This means that you can take a shower without even the slightest fear, or even swim without having to take off your watch. Read more in our specials. What is ISO 22810? The story of how moisture protection has changed. ”
However, do not forget that the manufacturer’s warranty in any case does not cover damage caused by water entering the inside. In case of breakdown, you will have to pay for repairs.
– Can I use the Galaxy Watch Active with the iPhone? Will everything work?
Yes, the watch can be connected to the iPhone. However, it should be remembered that in the case of using the Galaxy Watch Active with the iPhone, you will encounter a number of restrictions, namely:
In all other respects, there is no difference in the work of watches with the iPhone and Andorid.
– How to connect Samsung Galaxy Watch to iPhone?
To do this, download the official Samsung Galaxy Watch app from the App Store. Then enable Bluetooth on the iPhone, launch the installed application and follow simple instructions on the iPhone screen.
– Why Galaxy Watch Active incorrectly consider the floors passed?
Indeed, watches can count the number of floors, but they are not always accurate. Sometimes the watch informs of a successfully completed goal by floors, even while walking in the park. This is due to the fact that the watch uses a barometric altimeter. That is, the height is determined by the pressure drop. And pressure, as you know, can vary for various reasons.
– Is it possible to connect wireless headphones to the watch and listen to music directly from the Galaxy Watch Active?
Yes, the watch supports connecting a headset or Bluetooth headphones. The watch also has 4 GB of memory for music, photos and applications. After downloading music on the Galaxy Watch Active, you can go for a run without a phone.
– Is it possible to answer a call right from the clock?
If wireless headphones are connected to the watch or smartphone, then when you pick up the handset on the watch, the call will be redirected to the headset. Otherwise, picking up the phone on the watch, you still have to talk on your smartphone. Unlike previous Galaxy Watch, the novelty is not equipped with a speaker.
– Can the watch measure the pulse continuously?
Yes, as mentioned above, the watch supports 3 types of measurements. once every 10 minutes, continuously and manually. At the same time, continuous measurement of the pulse increases the charge consumption.
– How to set up a smart alarm clock on the Galaxy Watch Active?
None of Samsung‘s fitness bracelets or smart watches, including the Galaxy Watch Active, support a smart alarm. Given how disgusting the clock determines the phases of sleep, the lack of this function becomes justified.
As for the work of an ordinary alarm clock. By setting the wake-up time on the smartphone (in the standard application Clock), in the morning, both the smartphone’s alarm clock and the clock will work (that is, the devices work synchronously). If you add a new alarm clock only on the watch, the smartphone will not ring.
– Does music management work only with a standard Samsung player or can I use third-party applications?
The music on the watch is controlled regardless of the player used on the smartphone. over, in the settings of the Galaxy Watch Active music player, you can (and should) specify the application that is used on the smartphone to listen to music: