Samsung is not only focussing on smartphones in India. The South Korean technology giant launched the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active in India in June this year. The smartwatch is priced at Rs 19,990 and it is available for purchase via Amazon India and Samsung India’s website. Samsung has touted the presence of a number of fitness-focussed features on the Galaxy Watch Active. We spent a few days with it and here’s our review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active:
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active design and display
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active has a minimalistic design, but still looks very elegant. The watch has a compact body and it is very light to wear. Unlike Samsung Galaxy Watch, the device does not have a rotating bezel wheel, so users have to navigate the user interface manually using the screen. If you like watches that don’t look too chunky or big, you can go for the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. Even the ladies wouldn’t find it too big for their wrists. The straps of the watch are made up of silicone and they are extremely soft. So, it wouldn’t be hard for you to wear the watch for a prolonged period of time. We often wore it while sleeping and it did not cause any discomfort. The smartwatch is available in four colour variants including Black, Deep Green, Rose Gold and Silver. The one that we got for review was dressed in Black.
Coming to UI navigation, it was fairly easy for us to do it by swiping the screen. However, is you used the Samsung Galaxy Watch, you may find it hard to get used to as the smartwatch does not come with a rotating dial. The rotating bezel surely makes it easier to scroll through the UI, but then, since Samsung Galaxy Watch Active has a very good touchscreen display, it’s not exactly a problem.
The smartwatch has two buttons on the right side. While the one on the top is the Back button and it takes you to the previous page. The one below it is a ‘Home Screen’ button. In our experience with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, the two buttons always worked perfectly.
Coming to the display of the smartwatch, it has a 1.1-inch circular Super AMOLED (360×360) screen that is protected with Gorilla Glass. While the screen size is less because of the thick bezels, the display is actually very good. The colours on the screen of the watch look rich and vibrant. All the icons are sharp and the sunlight readability of the device is good. We did not encounter a problem viewing it even once.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active performance
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active runs Tizen OS 4.0 and once you launch the apps on the smartwatch, you will see that they have tiny icons that have been arranged in a ring-like shape. A number of Samsung apps are present on the smartwatch including the Alarm, Calendar, Weather, Samsung Health, etc. The device also has support for Samsung’s digital assistant Bixby. Samsung Galaxy Store is also present on the Galaxy Watch Active, so there is an option of downloading a few more apps too. However, don’t expect the kind of variety you find on the Apple Watch.
Samsung’s Tizen OS 4.0 is extremely fluid and it makes the navigation on the smartwatch very easy. During our time with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, we did not encounter any lag on it. A big plus is that you can change the watchface of the smartwatch and you get to choose from over a 1,000 of them if you head to Samsung Store.
As the name suggests, the device is completely focussed on fitness and maybe that’s why, the user interface is kept rather simple. But then, for fitness freaks there are a number of modes that the smartwatch offers including Walking, Running, Cycling, Swimming, Treadmill and Hiking.
During our time with the watch, we tried the Running and the Treadmill modes. Overall, the results that the smartwatch showed were fairly accurate. There was only a marginal difference between the readings on the treadmill and the ones on the smartwatch. We should also mention that the device comes with 5ATM water resistance and hence, you can also take it for a swim. One of the best things about the watch is that when you take a break in your workout, it senses that and pauses the readings too.
Besides this, you can also track your sleep and heart rate on the smartwatch. Sleep tracking was mostly on-point and the data on our phone showed our sleep pattern accurately, whether it was fragmented or undisturbed. The heart-rate monitor also worked well. When we tried to make someone else wear the smartwatch, it shot up immediately.
You would also be able to save some music and photos on your device as it comes with 4GB of internal storage. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active can be paired with Android as well as iOS devices. Since we paired it with our Samsung Galaxy smartphone, we believe our experience was slightly better than people with other Android devices would get. We could reply to most notifications using the smartwatch itself and didn’t have to turn to our smartphone again and again.
Coming to the battery of the device, with our usage, the smartwatch stayed active for almost two days. But then, if your usage is moderate, it should last longer. A tip that will come into use for longer battery life is activating the night mode on the device before sleeping. The smartwatch takes around two and a half hours to be charged completely.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active may be simpler than other smartwatches, but it’s more affordable too. The downsides of the smartwatch include the small screen-size and the fact that it has support for very limited apps. However, it does come with a number of fitness-focussed features that work accurately, is extremely comfortable to wear, and its battery life is lasting. Also, if you can ignore the small size of the display, the screen actually projects sharp images and vibrant colours. You also get other features on the smartwatch like sleep tracking and heart rate monitor.
Overall, we felt that Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is a good buy at Rs 19,990 and the key highlights of the smartwatch are the comfort and the accurate fitness features.
- Accurate fitness features
- Comfortable to wear
- Lasting battery
- Doesn’t support too many apps
- Small display
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