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Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: small, smart, sporty
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active Wearables Samsung Unpacked 5 min read 4 comments

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: small, smart, sporty

The Galaxy Watch Active could be, besides the Galaxy S10e, the secret star of the Samsung Unpacked event ahead of the MWC 2019, because the sleek watch has a lot to offer. We took a closer look at the new wearable device for athletes.

The Galaxy Watch Active is quite affordable

Samsung announced a price of $199.99 or 249 euro for the Galaxy Watch Active. For a simple fitness tracker, that would be way too much, but for a full-fledged smartwatch, the price is more than reasonable. The Galaxy Watch Active is available in black, silver, rose and green and is compatible with different bracelets. Sales will start on the 8th of March 2019. If you pre-order your sports watch now, you'll get the new power bank with wireless Qi charging thrown in for free.

Small and well made, but without rotating bezel

Compared to the Galaxy Watch from last year, the new Active version is quite small. The case measures just under 40 millimeters and is 10.5 millimeters thick. This is extraordinary for a smartwatch with heart rate monitor and complete sensor equipment. The well-made case of the Samsung smartwatch takes normal watch straps in a width of 20 millimeters, so you can combine the Galaxy Watch Active with an unlimited array of straps. Without the strap, the sports watch weighs a featherweight 25 grams. With the Samsung straps, it is 46 grams.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy watch active front
It's a slim design. / © AndroidPIT

One of the distinctive features of Samsung watches in recent years has been the rotating bezel, which makes for pleasant operation as you don't always have to fiddle around with the small display. The Galaxy Watch Active doesn't have such a bezel. Here everything goes via the touchscreen and the two push buttons on the right side. Too bad , but somehow the clock had to become so small.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy watch active back
On the underside, you'll find the various sensors. / © AndroidPIT

The Galaxy Watch Active is IP68 certified and therefore well protected against water and dust. It can withstand up to 5 ATM water pressure and is therefore safe for showering, bathing or swimming. Samsung is yet to release exact details about the display of the smartwatch. The readability, however, is good in bright surroundings and is sharp enough for all purposes. The performance of the watch is fast, the navigation through the menus is a breeze - unfortunately, not every smartwatch can do this basic function in 2019. The Galaxy Watch Active uses Samsung Pay for those who enjoy paying by smartwatch.

The Galaxy Watch Active knows when you do burpees

Samsung's weapon of choice for software is the in-house operating system Tizen. It doesn't have as many apps as Wear OS, but the most important functions for everyday life are on board. Even though the Tizen watches can be used with all Android smartphones in principle, they feel particularly at home in combination with a Galaxy smartphone and in the cosmos of Samsung services.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy wristbands
The options for straps are endless! / © AndroidPIT

The rotatable arrangement of the icons in the menus of the Galaxy Watch Active is due to the fact that the current version of Tizen was developed for the smartwatches with a rotary wheel, which the little sports watch doesn't have. Instead, you can navigate through the menus with a swipe gesture at the bottom of the touch screen. It works fine, but using the bezel is simply a bit more pleasant.

Samsung has added a number of new sports features to the Galaxy Watch Active. The watch can record your performance during 40 different exercises. Seven training types are automatically detected. Even relatively complex workouts like burpees can be recognized by the smartwatch, unlike most fitness trackers. The Galaxy Watch Active can also be used for sleep monitoring and sleep optimization. Samsung can also measure blood pressure, but this will feature will probably not come to every market.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy watch active models
An array of Samsung Galaxy Watch Active samples. / © AndroidPIT

In addition to the sports and fitness functions, the smartwatch also has all the usual features such as notifications for calendar events, emails and much more. Samsung has intensified the pairing with your smartphone to make operation easier. With one click on the watch, you can also switch your smartphone to "Do not disturb" or switch off the alarm clock on from wrist instead of your phone.

The battery charges wirelessly

The exact battery life of the Galaxy Watch Active can only be determined after we have fully tested the watch. Samsung says it will last two days without needing recharging if GPS and the heart rate monitor are not permanently activated. Charging is wireless , with any Qi charger - or directly via the Galaxy S10 with Wireless Power Share, the new reverse charging system.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active technical specifications

Battery size: 230 mAh
Screen size: 1.1 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 360 x 360 pixels (463 ppi)
RAM: 768 MB
Internal storage: 4 GB
Connectivity: NFC, Bluetooth

Light as a feather and elegant

The Galaxy Watch Active works well and has many practical functions - not only, but mainly, for athletes. It will be especially people who like to wear smaller watches and you'll be pleased that Samsung has something to offer in this market - most sports watches are rather large and bulky. If you have stronger arms and wrists and enjoy the bulky feel and look, you will probably prefer a different smartwatch or fitness tracker, at least in everyday life.


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  • Just pre-ordered mine from Bestbuy says it comes with a wireless charger, but nothing about it being a power bank too, hope that is the case though would much rather have that

  • Seriously? No electronic payments? How can that NOT be a typo!?!?!?
    Samsung made a great product and it has all the essentials for a runner or athlete - Except ONE ESSENTIAL feature. Electronic payments!
    Returning from a run or a workout I want, no I need, to pickup a gallon of milk or other staple without carrying my smartphone or wallet.
    Doesn't everyone need to make a purchase without carrying around their phone or wallet? - Especially athletes who can't vary around a wallet, purse, etc for convince or security (gym locker rooms)
    With my MS Band 2 just falling apart I need a replacement and was hoping to get a replacement from Samsung that would leverage my Samsung Pay Account I have and use on my phone.
    Too bad; big miss and a big disappointment to Samsung users - bad move Samsung.

    • Nicholas Montegriffo
      • Admin
      • Staff
      3 weeks ago Link to comment

      Hi John, we checked this out and we have some good news, as well as a mea culpa on our behalf. The Galaxy Watch Active uses Samsung Pay, which isn't available in Germany (where we got our hands-on with the device). But for other markets, including the US, you can use it for electronic payments. We've amended the article to reflect this.