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Your life on your wrist

Apr 12. 2019
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By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Nation Weekend

The new Samsung Galaxy Active watch ensures you know all about your health from waking to sleeping

A SLEEK smart watch, the Samsung Galaxy Active will ensure you stay active with its fitness tracking functions and various exercise apps and its heart rate sensor.

It comes with a built-in GPS chip so that you can use Samsung Health app to do various exercises, like walking, running and cycling that uses the GPS to track the distance and speed of your exercise.

Other exercise modes include hiking, swimming (pool), swimming (outdoors), treadmill, exercise bike, circuit training, and weight machine.

The watch also serves as your fitness tracker, counting your steps, the number of floors you have walked up and burned calories as well as tracking your sleep.

As a smart watch, Galaxy Watch Active can alert you and display notifications and messages from your smartphone. This allows you to read SMS messages or emails on the watch. You can also use the watch to type text messages or record voice messages to be sent via the Bluetooth-connected smartphone or use the watch to answer or reject phone calls.

The watch is available in four choices of colours –Silver, Black, Rose, Gold, and Sea Green so you can choose the one that best matches what you wear. I got my hands on the Black option and was surprised at how sleek it looked.

The watch has a footprint of 39.5x39.5x10.5mm and it weighs about 25 grammes. I found it comfortable to wear during the test.

It comes with 1.1-inch Amoled display with 360x360 pixels that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The watch is powered by Samsung Exynos 9110 dual core processor running at 1.15 GHz.

It runs on Tizen-based Wearable OS 4.0 and it comes with 768 megabytes of working memory or RAM and 4 GB of internal storage.

During my test, Galaxy Watch Active was responsive when I interacted with its control buttons and touch screen.

To start using the watch, you will need to download and install the Galaxy Wearable app. The watch and app support Samsung Galaxy smartphones and other brands of smartphones that run on Android 5.0 or above as well as iOS devices.

For wireless connectivity, the Galaxy Watch Active supports Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi. It will take over the Wi-Fi setting from the connected smartphone for firmware update form using apps that need to be online, such as Spotify.

The watch is easy to navigate with its touch screen and two control buttons - the Home button and the Back button above it.

The home button lists the available apps. You select the one you want by tapping on it and you can return to the previous screen by pressing the Back button. The touch screen makes it convenient to use the watch. You simply lightly tap the screen to launch an app and select a menu item or press an on-screen button.

Lightly tap an image twice to zoom in and out. Or you can touch and hold items to access edit mode or view available options.

You can also swipe the screen by lightly dragging your finger vertically or horizontally across the screen to view panels. For example, you can swipe down the home screen to view battery status and other status or swipe right to see notifications.

Apart from the Samsung Health app, there are several preinstalled apps on the Galaxy Watch Active, among them Contacts, Bixby, Weather, Alarm, Calendar, Reminder, Email, Music App and Gallery.

Bixby is a voice service that helps you use your watch more conveniently. You can talk to Bixby to launch a function or provide with information.

The Email app lets you view emails received on your smartphone and reply to them.

The Music app is fun and adds a lot more value to Watch Active. You can Bluetooth-link the watch to a pair of Bluetooth headphones and use the Music app to play the music.

If you decide to do that, remember to first upload music files to your watch by using the Galaxy Wearable app to sync music files from your smartphone to the watch. If that doesn’t grab your fancy, them use the watch to play music files on your smartphone directly.

The Gallery app is used to view and manage images stored on the watch. You can use the Galaxy Wearable app on the smartphone to copy images to the watch for viewing and you can delete them later.

There is also Spotify app that lets you connect to your Spotify account and stream the music to your connected Bluetooth headphones.

Of course, the Samsung Health app makes most of this fitness watch. Apart from using various exercises, you can use Samsung Health to view a graph of your steps count records. The watch counts the number of steps you have taken and measures the distance travelled.

The Samsung Health also lets you view a graph of your floor count records after the watch tracks the number of floors you have walked up.

The watch also automatically monitors your sleep and you can use the Samsung Health app to review your sleep data.

The watch always monitors your heart rate and tracks it. You can also use the Samsung Health app to measure your heart rate at the moment.

The watch also monitors whether you are under stress and you can also use the Breathing exercise, which is part of Samsung Health app, to follow the on-screen guide for inhaling and exhaling to reduce stress.

I tested the Galaxy Watch Active by using it to record my 10-km walk. Its GPS was connected fast and it provided accurate location data of my neighbourhood.

The first screen of the Walk exercise displayed the elapsed time of my walk and the pace of my walk as well as my current heart rate. When I swiped to the second screen, I can see the distance I had walked and my speed.

At the end of my walk, I could use the app to review other details, such as the amount of calories I had burned, average heart beat, the max heart rate, max speed, average speed, max pace and average pace, the workout duration and distance.

On a single charge, the watch keeps track of your daily activities for some 45 hours. It comes with Wireless Power Share for you to recharge it by placing on the back of your Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone in case of emergency.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active has a suggested retail price of Bt8,900.

Key specs:

Colour: Silver, Black, Rose Gold, Sea Green

Display:  1.1 inch (28mm) 360 x 360 AMOLED, Full Colour Always On Display protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 

Strap: 20mm (interchangeable)

Battery: 230mAh

Processor: Exynos 9110 Dual core 1.15 GHz

OS: Tizen-based Wearable OS 4.0

Memory: 768MB RAM + 4GB Internal Memory

Connectivity: Bluetooth4.2, Wi-Fi b/g/n, NFC, A-GPS/Glonass

Sensor: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Barometer, Heart Rate Monitoring, Ambient Light

Charge: WPC-based wireless charging 

Durability: 5ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810G

Compatibility: Samsung Galaxy, Android 5.0 or above with more than 1.5GB RAM; iPhone: iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above

Dimensions: 40mm, 39.5 x 39.5 x 10.5mm

Weight: 25g


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