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Samsung - Galaxy Watch Active Smartwatch 40mm Aluminium - Rose Gold-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.4 out of 5 stars with 950 reviews

90%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.1 out of 5 stars with 10 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Next Best Fitness Tracking Smartwatch

    Posted
    Njuice
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    I have used Activity Trackers for several years now and they have become a habit to always have on and feel weird when I don't have it. I was excited to upgrade to this Galaxy Watch Active as it was more fitness oriented - so far I have been very impressed! FYI - my experience with this Watch has been pairing it with a Galaxy S10+ phone and JBL Free True Wireless earbuds. PROS: - When you take the Watch out of the box the first thing you notice is how small and light it is. It has a smaller watch face compared to other round watches which seems weird but you end up loving it because it is not too bulky. - The Screen is beautiful! It really pops when it is on and is easy to see how everything looks on it. Plus with the round shape Samsung was able to do some cool design changes with it. - Some of you will wonder - how is it without the rotating bezel that's been common with Samsung Smart Watches? I personally am a huge fan. The touch screen and two button operations is more than enough to make this Watch function well. Plus without the bezel, the size is minimized and sleeks - overall it's a very easy to use touch system! - A huge reason I love Samsung Activity Trackers is they are the only ones that currently allow Spotify streaming on Wifi and most importantly OFFLINE! This is such a huge deal that I can download my playlists or stream new songs on this Watch, while connected to bluetooth headphones, and not have to bring my phone with my while working out with this on. I really love that feature! - The overall activity tracking has been great and I have not gotten any hiccups! Tracks my steps, calories accurately and reminds me when to get up. The "workout" mode is nice to select what you are doing but it will autodetect and start tracking your workout if you forgot to hit "start". - This is new to me, but I like how Samsung has incorporated the "Heart" goal every day. Basically it has three aspects: Active calories burnt, workout times, and move hourly. If you hit all three goals you complete your heart - nice! It's a good extra goal to make as opposed to just steps or floors. - Sleep tracking is a great feature to have as well. It really is nice to have so every week you can see if you need to get to sleep more or less. - Finally, the Galaxy Watch Active is fully waterproof so you can swim laps at the pool, scuba dive in the ocean, or swim in the lake with it on. Huge perk to never have to worry about taking it off and have great tracking. CONS: - The main con that everyone will say is the bezel. The watch face looks really nice but the bezel is really thick around the screen. I think if they made an infinity screen type watch face on this, this smart watch would do so much better in sales just from a look perspective. - Samsung almost nailed this but they missed one thing. It’s always bugged me on their past devices that you could not easily toggle on and off the main battery drainers: Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, and NFC. On the Watch Active you can toggle ALL of those from the drop down quick menu besides Bluetooth - you can turn on Bluetooth but not off. In order to turn Bluetooth off you have to dive deeper into the settings. It would seem like a really simple feature to have but for whatever reason, Samsung wants to make it hard to turn off Bluetooth. - The Galaxy Wearable App and Samsung Health App's are nice to use on your phone but still are not fully formed in my opinion. It's still not as simple to change all the settings of your Watch from your Phone as I want it to be. They are still nice Apps to have but I wish they were a little better. - Battery life is about two days which is fine but the device takes a while to charge up with the included charger. I would recommend charging it at work or a time you are sitting down for a few hours because if you wait until you are home or in bed at night, just know you won't be able to wear it for a few hours if you want a full charge. BOTTOM LINE: - If you are looking for a Smart Watch that is dedicated mainly to activity tracking and you will barely notice it's even there - this is what you want. It offers great fitness tracking, with offline Spotify, and is very simple to use. I think Samsung really set the bar here for Android Smart Watches and these could become the new norm!

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Samsung

      Njuice, thank you for leaving us your insightful review. You really went the extra mile to fully analyze our Galaxy Watch Active, and we're honored that you endorse our hard work. Samsung strives for quality. We value all feedback, and it's passionate customers like you who make us even better. ^Thomas Samsung

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great watch for active person, or want to be!!

    Posted
    blah
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Great watch if you are an active person, or on the road to be. Had this watch about a week now, having never had a smartwatch before. At first I found the watch a bit on the feminine side, but it has defintely grown on me. I wish the watch face was bigger, but I bet it saves on battery consumption. It is very easy to setup, I am on a LG v30, and it was pretty easy to setup, via Samsung Wearables app, and Samsung Health app for general tracking. Battery life on the watch itself isn’t too bad. The more you look at the watch, receive notifications, it will drain faster. I am a very active person. I walk a few miles a day in the middle of the day, then workout for about an hour. If I charge the phone to 100 right before bed, and moderately check notifications, by the time I go to bed again I am at around 65% on the battery. My hardest workout days are one day a week, I have an early 1 hour swim fit class, and I was thrilled that this watch caught every single lap of swimming! You first set the watch to track swimming, and it will set a mode on the watch so it doesn’t turn the screen on, or accidentally register a splash as you touching the screen, or hitting a button on the face. This watch is rated as being water resistance of 164 feet, but don’t go pressing either of the two physical buttons on it. When you are done with that swim mode I mentioned, the watch even reminds you to shake the water off before using again. Probably because moisture might get in via those physical buttons. I do shower with the watch on, without putting on that water mode, and noticed when warm water hits the watch it does register it as a touch. I have the “gesture” mode on the watch set to off, as otherwise when you move your arm up to look at the watch, it will turn the screen on, which often turns into it to turning the screen on just walking around, or lifting weights. Touching the screen makes the watch “wake up”. Ok, back to my hardest workout day of the week … I then walk about 8 miles in the middle of the day, and by this point, my battery is fairly low, around 35-40%. Then, my last 1 hour workout of the day, after that I am down maybe 20% or so. Not too bad overall, considering it is tracking steps, GPS, and heart rate during all that time. What is bad, is the Samsung Health app on my phone. Not only will it not sync with Google Fit, MapMyRide, or anything other than Strava. The Samsung Health app is a serious battery drainer on Android. Prior to installation of Samsung Health, on my LG v30, I had alot better battery life. This is not a deal breaker, and battery life did improve a little once uninstalling Google Fit, but it is something to be aware of. Ok.. so on to tracking my workouts… if you do not actualy start a workout activity, there are nearly 100 of them there to choose from, the watch will realize after about 5-10 minutes that you are being active and try to figure out what you are doing. First workout I did, was alot of plyometric jump training, and I didn’t start an actual track for that activity, and the watch started one for me, called “Dynamic Training”. The next few workouts, I would just start it myself, as this is the most accurate way to track it. I love that it tracks my heart rate as I am working out, EVEN WHILE SWIMMING, and even senses when I take a break, asking if I am done, or if I should continue. For me, I workout at home, and usually take way too many breaks until I got this watch. Now I am encouraged to KEEP GOING, so the tracker doesn’t ask me that, and I can see that I am getting a better, and faster workout because of it! For me, this is worth the asking price alone!! It is a fitness MOTIVATOR!! Other side notes.. You can control music playing on your phone via, play, pause, skip track, volume up/down, and it shows you the art on the watch face. Also you get notifications for texts, and emails if you want it too. You can also shut that off per app on the phone, within the Samsung Wearables app itself. I don’t like to get annoyed by emails all day, so I only have it set to notify me on my watch for text messages. It shows the person texting you, and, I really like that I can respond back via voice to the watch! It was fairly accurate the few times I did use this while I was out walking. I have not tried typing on the watch, but there is an option for it. So far so good with this watch. I highly recommend it if you don’t need all the features of much more expensive smartwatches, and are either looking to inspire yourself to be more active, or push it even further!

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Samsung

      Hey there! We're so happy that you've found that the Galaxy Watch Active is such a perfect fit for you! Thanks for being a part of the Samsung family! ^Thomas Samsung

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Quality and Features

    Posted
    HonestJohn
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    This is an excellent smart watch. I applaud Samsung for its minimalist packaging, all of which can be recycled. Small point, but important to many of us. The box contains the basics: watch, extra-length strap, (a great!) charger, and a quick-start guide that is actually clear enough with large print and good illustrations to be useful. The watch has a solid, substantial feel, and while I only tested its ability to resist water in a couple of showers, the construction left me with few doubts that it would handle more lengthy water activities. Also, it is stylish and with the screen dark the watch even looks elegant for its simplicity. As for that charger, it plugs into any standard USB port and is magnetic. No clips to open, no manual adjustments, just put the watch on the charger and it snaps into place for wireless charging. Neat! Syncing the watch to my phone stalled for about 30 minutes. I decided to delete the app and restart the phone before reinstalling the app. It then synced quickly. The band, unlike several others I have tried, is both comfortable and easy to buckle. Using various included apps was frustrating as I had to accede to the demands that I grant many, many permissions or the apps would not work. (Had I not been using the watch for evaluation purposes I would not have granted the most intrusive permissions.) For example, I am sure there is a reason why the watch needs to have access to my stored photos, but I could not figure out what that might be. Like many contemporary tech tools, I felt it was needlessly stalking me. The step-tracking function accurate to within about 1-2%. Usability was compromised by the size of the fonts on some faces. There were, of course, several built-in options with the ability to get more at a nominal price. The watch is pleasantly (for some purposes) tidy in size (see photos). The downside is that trying to read steps or other metrics which may be displayed on several faces is very difficult. I wonder how someone who requires glasses but might not use them for exercise or workouts would be able to read the information from the watch. My guess is they would choose one of the less cluttered digital options. In the photos you will see one screen that displays more than a dozen data points from the number of steps to a weather forecast. A user must determine whether this is helpful or needlessly confusing. The screen was very responsive and reacted instantly to my swipes. I have not experienced this speed and certainty with some other devices and it was refreshing. Overall, this is a good, solid product with many features that could enhance a varied workout regimen (and if you don’t turn off this feature it will remind you—often erratically—to get up to “move.” After several days of wear and use, I felt very comfortable with the elegance of the watch. Samsung has gone to great lengths to provide alerts, connectivity information, and surprisingly readable weather reports, emails, and texts. Strongly recommended.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Load of features - short battery life

    Posted
    Beradon
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    I will preface this by saying I have owned a number of smart watches to this point, both fitness watches and the more all-around type smart watches like this one. I have to say this is definitely one of the best I've had in most respects. To start, the packaging is relatively unassuming. It's a small box with Samsung's trademark large print and half an image of the device inside. It's tasteful and not over the top. Inside is no more over just containing the watch itself, an extra strap (longer), the Qi charger and various getting started manuals. Setting it up was extremely easy, particularly since I own a Samsung phone. It immediately popped up on my phone saying that there was a nearby Galaxy watch wanting to be set up. This is also a concern if you're setting it up in a more public place. It actually popped up on my wife's Samsung device first then on mine after I canceled it on hers, so be aware of that. Seems a bit like a security concern. Setup and pairing goes without a hitch, it validates a few things between devices to make sure you're authorized to use it, downloads the app, and it's done. From that point it's just a matter of managing all the various features the phone offers, which I have to say are extensive and I have not managed to get to all of them (I likely wont in the entire time I own the watch really). The device runs Samsung's own Tizen OS which is both good and bad. Good in that navigation is smooth and seamless, bad in that it's going to have limited outside developer support since most of that sort of thing will be focused on Android or Google's WearOS. It really is beneficial to own a Samsung phone to pair with this. Not that it wont pair with other Android devices, but there is definite interoperability with an existing Samsung phone. The screen is gorgeous without being huge. I've read that some people are disappointed with the lack of a rotating bezel in this version of the Galaxy watch, but I think it lends itself to reduction in bulk and it would not look any more out of place on a woman's wrist than a man's, so it is worth considering if you're in the market for a smart watch as a woman and don't want the significantly larger Galaxy watches. Navigation is super simple, though it has loads of screens to scroll through, so if you're trying to find one individual thing it might take some time until you get used to all of the features and locations of objects. Notifications are good, though you need to be sure you have them enabled on your phone or your watch will not get them (makes sense, but if you've individually disabled a notification in Android, that also means your watch doesn't get it, so it's just something to be aware of). If you receive a text (or other chatting type notification that supports it) you can actively reply from the watch, and I dont mean some set number of canned responses. The watch has handwriting recognition which allows you to type whole responses (not sure you'd want to?) just from the screen of the device. It's pretty nice that you're not limited to a set number of responses that almost never match what you're trying to convey, even in just a small number of words. The fitness attributes are great too, although there appears to be some back-and-forth from Samsung about whether these devices will allow you to monitor blood pressure as well as heartrate, but the watch itself pairs with things like MyFitnessPal as well as Google Fit and various other standard Fitness apps. One unfortunate thing however is that Samsung ships the watch (as they do with their phones) with basically all features turned on. This means battery life is horrendous out of the box. Between features like always on screen, lift your wrist to view, brightness turned way up and many many other options, you're lucky to get around a day out of the watch (they advertise about a week). You'll want to go in and disable just about anything that automatically turns on the screen so you can save battery life. Samsung does not seem to get that not every one of their features needs to be on to make something useful. Even with many of those features turned off I'd be lucky to get 3 days out of it, I'm still trying to find those buttons and nobs in the settings that I need to turn to stretch this a bit longer. On the flipside of the battery conversation however, is the fact that this is chargeable with a Qi charger, which at least makes charging it as easy as running the battery down, particularly if you have a Galaxy S10 series phone where you can charge the watch directly from the phone's battery. Now while it says it is Qi charging compatible and I was definitely able to charge it from the phone, I cant seem to charge it from the Samsung fast charging Qi charger FOR my phone. The only external charger aside from the phone I've managed to get it to work with is the one that came with it, so I may need to look around a bit more. All in all, I love the watch. It looks great, has loads of features, great notification capabilities and good fitness tracking options. The biggest drawback is the battery life. If they shipped the watch with fewer 'convenience' (read: battery sucking) options enabled, and if they could work out the Qi charging compatibility that would definitely improve the experience.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A Nice Smartwatch and Activity Tracker

    Posted
    Evolved1
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    I have owned the Samsung Galaxy Active Smartwatch for just under a month now. I was a little skeptical about it, but I must say that I am rather impressed with it. As a heads-up, I owned a lesser known tracker/watch for almost a year and it worked well for what I needed. That is the basis for my comparison when working with the Galaxy Watch Active Smartwatch. First, let’s talk about the unboxing. When opening the box, I found the watch with the smaller band attached and they included the longer one just in case. I am decent sized 6’ guy and I found the smaller band to work well. Continuing with items in the box, there is a quick start guide, a smaller manual, and the charging cable with attached pad. With the last item, I was pleasantly surprised by the wireless charging feature. It’s magnetic so it holds the watch in place to ensure proper charging. It’s also very quick to charge the watch. I have found that I can go from 30% to full in just over 2 hours. That’s good because the battery life is one thing that I have to ding this watch on. As it stands right now, I get about 36 hours on a full charge. I was hoping for more considering I could almost get a month on my old one. That was certainly a big change. Fortunately, I am desk jockey so I can charge it when I am working. I suggest using your Do Not Disturb, Theater, and Goodnight modes to save the battery when possible. A nice thing is that you can even set a schedule for the Do Not Disturb option. Stepping away from the battery flaw, this watch is sharp and can do quite a bit. I love seeing my texts, and images, and being able to reply to them. I did notice that group texts can be a little tricky though. They are being sent to everyone individually. I am trying to figure out if I can change that though. The ability to “write”, say, or send emojis are nice features. The vividness of the images for texting are impressive too. The next biggest win is the exercise tracking. I have found this to be a lot better than my old one. I typically wear a chest heart rate sensor and the watch is pretty close to it statistically. My old one was way off on calories burned as well as steps. A huge bonus here is if you also have a Samsung phone and sync the watch with S Health. If you ever leave your watch charging, the steps you take with the phone will sync with the watch and vice versa. While you can tell the watch you are doing a certain workout, it can also pick up your movement and start recording a "dynamic" one so that you have a record of it. That's pretty smart and beneficial to have. Some of the other nice features with this watch are being able to listen to music with wireless earbuds, checking the weather, setting reminders, checking your calendar (and getting notifications), and checking stress and heart rate levels. I have these all as widgets on my screen that I can swipe to at any given time. You can also modify things like the base watch face as well as those widgets. The interaction with the phone or just on the watch screen is quite simple to perform those tasks too. All in all, I think this is a solid watch for activity tracking and general use. I look forward to using Bixby more and seeing how my testing of settings goes to improve battery life. Those items may make or break the life of this model.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Excellent replacement

    Posted
    SteveC
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    I’ve been using fitness trackers for a while now; I’ve had the Samsung Gear Fit, and Gear 2 , Jawbone UP4, and the one I’ve use the most lately is the Fitbit Charge2. Being that the battery was not holding a charge as well as it did when new I decided it was time to start looking for a replacement for the Charge2 and decided on trying out the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. Unboxing and first impressions: The Active came in a simple box, well protected, and also included a longer band for larger wrists, a wireless charger and an instruction manual nestled in anther thin box in the top cover. You need to look for the pull tab inside the top cover or you can miss it “like I did”. The one I received is Silver bodied with the grey straps; it looks nice and doesn’t stand out. I was really surprised by the weight; it’s not heavy at all. Initially I was wondering how much more it would weigh over the Charge2, but it’s barely noticeable. The Charge2 weighs in at 1.37g and the Active is 1.64g, only a .27g difference and like I stated it’s barely noticeable. Using: Since the Active doesn’t come with a power adapter, just the wireless dongle I plugged it into one of my multiport USB chargers I have at my desk. I set the watch on the magnetic disk and it stuck to the back of the watch with the display showing it had a 35% charge. I didn’t time how long it took for the initial charge to top off but it was somewhere around an hour. I did notice that the magnetic charging dongle, while it does stick to the back of the watch the magnet doesn’t feel very strong and it’s very easy to knock that off or get it misaligned so it stops charging, “I’d like to see a stronger connection while charging”. After setting everything up and installing the Samsung health app on my LG V40 I went about adding the Active to my account and was ready to go. I was surprised that this shows blood pressure and glucose. The blood pressure readings seem to be pretty close to what I’m getting on my home unit. It’s not as accurate to the number but it’s within a couple points. I also had my yearly physical this last week and the glucose reading was right on for what my blood test shows. I don’t have any problems with that so I probably won’t monitor very often. The stress reading was pretty interesting, I have it running all the time, “you can set it so you do manual reads to save battery life”, I wanted it to monitor all the time. We are in the middle of selling our house and moving and sure enough it shows whenever I’m stressed out. It also suggests some breathing exercises to help, and following those instructions it really does help lower my stress levels. I regularly use recumbent cross trainer and monitor my workouts. The calorie count between the Active and the Charge2 is about 40 calories, with the Charge2 showing a lot more calories being burned. The Active reads about exact to the readings my cross trainer shows. I have a feeling the Charge to is the one that isn’t as accurate. Customizing: There are plenty of apps and watch faces you can download, I’ve only added a few but you should be able to find plenty of custom options to suit your needs. It’s pretty much as customizable as all the other Samsung watches I’ve had. The only aftermarket item I’ve added is a screen protector; I really don’t like scratches and wanted some that would help protect my new device. The one application that doesn’t come preinstalled is a timer or stop watch; fortunately they are available in the store. Final Thoughts: I’ve been using this for about a week now, and I do like all the customization options over the Charge2. The screen is outstanding, very vibrant, bright and clear. It does have a fairly large bezel but that doesn’t bother me. There should be plenty of space between the edge of the screen and side of the watch to protect the inner workings pretty well. I also like the fact that the Active is rated to water resistant rated so you can swim and shower with it, the Charge2 is basically splash resistant and I always had to take care not to get it really wet. I really like the wireless charging over the charging dongle of the Charge2, I do wish the magnetic connection were stronger but it works. Battery life is my largest complaint, with the stress monitoring running all the time I get about a day and a half, with it turned to manual I can get a good couple days. It’s just nowhere near the 5 I get from the Charge2 but then again the Charge2 does not have the full color screen the Active has or monitors near as many things. If you are looking at a good fitness watch I’d take a close look at the new Active watch.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Samsung

      Hello there, Steve. I appreciate all the great things you've highlighted about your new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active! It's a privilege to have earned your support. ^Thomas Samsung

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Nice fitness tracker/Mediocre smartwatch

    Posted
    JMan
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I spent a month using a Galaxy Watch with an S10+. I switched to the Galaxy from an iPhone and purchased the Galaxy Watch Active to replace my Apple Watch Series 3. I was debating between the flagship Galaxy Watch and the Active. I eventually chose the Active because I mainly use a smartwatch for fitness and prefer the design and form factor of the Active. One thing I never liked as an Apple Watch owner was the boring, square, utilitarian design of the Apple Watch. The smooth and stylish round face of the Active looks much better than my old Apple Watch and even slightly better than the Galaxy Watch IMO. Its very unobtrusive and blends in with your wardrobe without standing out. The Active gives me pretty good battery life. I get just about two days off a charge. I strictly use the watch for fitness. I don’t use it for playing music, GPS navigation or non-fitness related apps. The processor is snappy enough for my needs. The OLED display is nice and crisp. The interface is not the most intuitive to operate and the omission of the rotating bezel makes it even tougher. That’s one of my gripes. The screen is bright enough for most uses but can wash out and disappear in very bright sunlight, even at max brightness. Performance-wise, I’d heard complaints about the step counter being inaccurate. I believe I got lucky because I compared the Active to my old iPhone, my S3 Apple Watch, my work phone (S8+) and even a stand-alone pedometer. It was consistent among all devices in tests, including the pedometer. I’m comfortable with it. The band is soft, very comfortable and easy to clean. The watch ships with two bands, short and long. The grey and silver combo may appear boring at first glance but it looks really nice on the wrist and matches any outfit worn. The silver case is also versatile enough to match any color or style band you throw at it. You can place and answer calls from the watch but not hold conversations from it. That is because it does not have a speaker and is another of my gripes. Whenever you make or answer calls, it simply says continue on handset. Call place/reject can be useful, but only if you have earbuds or some other type of secondary external audio device to handle calls handsfree. Otherwise, you may as well just use the phone. I don’t normally place lengthy calls through a smartwatch but it was very convenient to have the ability to make, answer and even have a very brief phone conversation when necessary on my Apple Watch. Another thing that irked me about this watch was the debacle with the blood pressure monitoring. In the weeks leading up to launch, the Active was being touted as the only smartwatch capable of monitoring blood pressure. I personally know people who bought the watch specifically and almost solely for that reason. What they got instead was lots of frustration. The app was delayed and is only compatible with certain phones. It also requires users participate in a research program and share their data. After going through the delays and agreeing to participate in the study, many users are reporting glitches, shaky reliability and wildly inaccurate results. I know people who decided to pass on installing the app for that reason. If this was supposed to be an answer to the new Apple Watch ECG feature, it failed big time. A lot of people actually returned the watch after the blood pressure monitoring turned out to be such a huge disappointment. I personally like the Active, particularly the styling. The best feature of the watch is by far the price. I realize the trade-offs will very likely be too numerous for some and the blood pressure ordeal left a bad taste for many who pre-ordered. I also saw that the flagship Galaxy Watches were recently on sale for $50 off. That only further complicates the decision making process. I personally can live with the trade-offs, although some are definitely more irksome than others. I consider the Active more of an activity tracker than a smartwatch, hence its name. As long as those are the expectations going in, there is likely to be far lest disappointment. So to sum all this up in two sentences: * If you want a true smartwatch comparable to an Apple Watch, buy the Galaxy Watch. * If you primarily want an activity tracker that will also give you alerts and limited apps, buy the Active.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Beautiful watch plagued by poor user experience

    Posted
    sundevilchemist
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Model: SM-R500NZSAXAR Short: Hardware alone this watch looks high end with one of the best screens I have seen on a smart watch, but that is where it all ends. What I liked: - Highly visible in direct sunlight - Bixby worked excellent - Tons of watch faces and ability to create custom watch faces - Swiping left and right worked great - Easy to swap to another band - Some notifications were instant - Comfortable - Cool magnetic wireless charger (seems to charge fast) - Heartbeat, breathing, and all the "health" features are excellent What I didn't like: - No native text/sms app on the phone - Didn't always receive notification(s) of new sms/text message (when I did probably had a 5 minute lag) - Could only use Bixby to send text message from watch (I like being able to do that but not out of necessity) - Had to install 2 additional apps (Samsung Accessory Service and com.samsung.android.gearpplugin) - Out of the box required software update that took 10 minutes to complete - Didn't like how the watch band inserts under the clasp side (will swap to a 3rd party band) - Didn't come with installed protection on the watch screen (wireless charger did) - No wall wart included Long: Unboxing the watch I noticed the screen of the watch had no factory applied screen protection. Non of my other watches have one and none have scratches on the face. Time will tell how scratch resistant this watch face is well at least until 3rd party screen protectors arrive. As with all smart watches on your phone you have to download the appropriate apps, turn on bluetooth, and location services. Once that is done you sync the watch, apply the updates, and then customize your watch to your liking. The screen is vibrant and this makes the dials look really good. Had no issues with the health monitors. Seem to work exactly like my fitbit but provided better feedback. I primarily wanted the watch to use to receive emails and text/sms messages. New email notifications seem to be instant. Text/SMS messages notifications lagged and sometimes never came. Also couldn't find native messaging shortcut on the watch. I had to use Bixby to open up messages. This was really disappointing and the watch showed I needed to relax and take breaths. It showed I was stressed. I factory reset the watch and tried again. Signed into my Samsung account and still had issues with text/sms messages. My other smart watches had no problems and were instant. I would have no problem giving the phone 5 stars if the text/sms once the text/sms issues are fixed (maybe I am only one with the issue?). The hardware and design is no doubt 5 stars and that's why I would recommend it. I am sure Samsung will respond to community issues and polish the software, but nobody wants setup issues from the start.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Really Smart Smart Watch

    Posted
    BogleheadsGuide
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Samsung Galaxy Watch Active Remember the excitement you felt when you explored the nooks and crannies of your first cell phone? Well, with this Samsung Galaxy Active smart watch, it's Deja vu all over again as you explore the numerous options available. The watch comes in an attractive box that includes the watch, a charging device, an extra band for folks with larger wrists, and a quick-start guide. After removing everything from the box, you should charge your new watch to 100%. While the watch is charging, you can download the Samsung Wearable app onto your cell phone. Once your watch is charged, you fire up the Wearable app on your phone and follow the instructions to connect the watch and phone. The app instructions make this step basically fool-proof. The phone app provides a number of different options for your watch's home page display. Once you select one on your phone, it instantly sends it to your watch so that you can see what it looks like there. If you like it, you're good to go. However, if you'd like to see what one of the other options looks like on your watch, just select that one on your phone to send it to your watch. You can continue to try out the various options until you finally see the one that you want to use. Now it's time to explore the seemingly countless options that are available. In addition to telling time, the watch shows the date, remaining battery percentage, temperature, and a number of other optional items, depending on which home page display you chose. It can count the number of steps you take in a day, keep track of the number of calories burned, display your heart rate as well as the remaining battery life, or a number of other things you choose to display. It can provide a report on various exercises you do (running, walking, biking, swimming, cycling, lifting, etc.) Unfortunately, one of my favorite exercises, pickleball, the fastest-growing sport in the country, isn't an option yet. Hopefully, it will be incorporated in a future update. (HINT, HINT, Samsung.) Another neat feature is that it can back up your watch files and settings to the cloud. Should you lose your data or buy a new watch, you can restore your information from the cloud backup to your watch. And the watch can help you find your misplaced, lost or stolen phone. Once set up, you navigate between the available options by swiping up and down and side to side on the watch face. Additional navigation is provided by pressing on one of the two buttons on the side of the watch. It seems like nearly every time you swipe or press a button, you find something new and interesting to explore. My first 100% charge lasted a bit over 24 hours, but there's a power saving mode that can extend the battery life by days. If you’re using one of the regular options that uses more battery life, once the battery life gets low, the watch automatically switches over to the power saving mode. Needless to say, the options you select and how you use the watch determine the length of the battery life. During my testing, when the remaining battery life got low, recharging from 7% to 100% only took a little over an hour. This watch is tightly integrated with your phone. It can show you notifications that you normally see on your phone. It can alert you to your phone's calendar events and texts, tell you who's calling on your phone, originate a call (it downloads your contact list with your permission), provide a voice message to a caller who you can't or don't want to talk to, and so much more. And it includes Bixby for assisting with voice commands. I expect to continue discovering even more features as I use this watch on a daily basis. This watch is definitely smarter than a fifth grader. And it just may well be smarter than me. It's definitely a winner!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Sleek and Accurate

    Posted
    Danno
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Super lightweight, comfortable and sleek. This is the first smartwatch device I actually enjoyed the preloaded display. After customizing the watch it to fit my needs, I really enjoyed it. If you enable options like Bluetooth, WIFI, GPS, etc. then the battery will drain faster than if they were off. My recommendation is to really evaluate what you need and use those. Disable what you don’t think you’ll use to improve batter life. The initial straps were too small for my wrist, so I was happy to see a larger backup strap in the box. It fits great and provides a comfy feel. So far, I’m getting great compliments about the watch… Mainly people think it’s sleek and stylish. Out of the box, it was very simple to use and get started. The reason why I gave it 5 stars is because of one main reason. It’s called Galaxy Watch Active, so I really feel like it’s geared toward fitness than text messages and phone syncing. It may seem obvious because of the name, but there are other options if you want a smartwatch that syncs better with your phone. This serves my fitness tracking and needs perfectly. Pros: Battery life (when optimized for needs) Lightweight Two watch straps Watch display customization Quick charge Waterproof Workout mode with many options Accurately tracks steps Can display 100% of time or go in standby Clear screen Cons: Watch face quality Battery can drain quickly if not optimized Overall: If you’re looking for a smartwatch with its main focus toward fitness, then this is great for you. I really enjoyed all the different fitness modes: walking, cycling, swimming, curls, yoga, running and more. Another great aspect is it’s super lightweight. Although I can’t speak on its durability, the screen might scratch easily like most smart devices. You can sync your cell phone to this like other smart devices so it really covers a great range of needs. Although I didn’t take a star off for this, it took several attempts to sync the watch with my phone. The phone would always quickly find the watch, but for some reason never connected. I didn’t care about needing my phone and watch to connect, so I kept it a 5 star because it fit my needs.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Good, but not what expected

    Posted
    PsykoPup
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    This is my first Samsung smartwatch. I've previously owned a ZenWatch 1, a Pebble Time and an Amazfit Bip. For reference, I have a Pixel 2 phone. I must say that this Watch Active has some limiting SMS functionality. I even did a chat with Samsung customer support, because I thought I was doing something wrong. Nope... I was told it's because I'm not using a Samsung phone and he would not assist any further. Here are some of the downfalls I'm seeing... 1. In the Galaxy Wear phone app, you do not have access to any Message settings. The only thing you can do is toggle the Message notifications On or Off. 2. The Message app does not show on the watch's app list. However, you can ask Bixby to open the Message app. When I asked it to open Messages, it seemed to have displayed the message I last viewed on the watch. It wasn't even the last message I received from the same person. I tried it again, a couple days later, and it still opened that same message, not any of the messages I received since then. 3. Notifications do not appear on the watch for very long... maybe 2-3 seconds. It would be nice if you had control over how long a notification will stay visible. As far as battery life, it seems to be performing average to above average. Keep in mind that I'm coming from one watch that lasted 10 days and another watch that lasted 3 weeks. With the "always on" set to Off, I was able to get a solid 2-3 days before needing to charge. The first 2 times I tested it, the watch battery was at 24% at the end of the 2nd day. This time around, I'm on my 3rd day, at 1:00pm and the battery is at 14%. With the "always on" set to on, taking the watch off the charger at 7:30am, the battery was at 12% at 10:00pm that night. Huge difference. I was using a watch face that has a dimmed version, but left quite a few items on the screen. Next, I will be trying a different watch face that, when dim, only shows the time and battery level. Tracking activity... I thought I'd give the "Automatic Workout Detection" a try. This did not work very well for me. I had my phone on me, as well, when I went for a walk, so I was able to compare the 2 different programs... Samsung Health and Google Fit. I made sure that Automatic Workout Detection setting was On on my watch. I walked 20 minutes, stopped and sat at a park for 30 minutes, then walked back again, for another 20 minutes. Google Fit detected and recorded that I had completed 2, 20-minute walks. Samsung Health only recorded my 2nd walk, on my way home. It did not detect/track my 1st walk, to the park. Overall, the watch is fairly status-quo for smartwatches these days. They still have a way to go, especially to work with Android phones. I am surprised that Samsung is being to blatant about lack of compatibility with non-Samsung phones. I expected more from a non-Apple piece of hardware. I'm really having a hard time trying to figure out if I'd recommend this watch to a friend. I guess I would say... Only if you own a Samsung phone.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch Will Keep You Motivated

    Posted
    stoptheclocks
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    I have to say I am really enjoying this Samsung Galaxy watch. It has helped me with motivation to get moving, either at the gym or just simply walking. It is a great compliment, with all the information it gives you, for exercise. Here are my Pros and Cons. Pros • Works with a Smart Phone app to give custom information on your health with 40 different kinds of measurements. • Some of the information you receive from the watch and smart phone app is: Steps, Heart Rate, Sleep analysis, Calories burned and oh so much more. When you get the watch you can choose which features you would like to display. In the app you can select on/off activites, so it is really easy to customize what you want out of your workouts. • It has two bands for the right fit for your size wrist. I had to choose the longer one and it feels comfortable. • The Samsung Galaxy watch is incredible lightweight and sturdy. When you put it on your wrist you hardly know its there. • You can choose between Android and iOS smart phones. I chose Android and had no trouble working the Samsung Galaxy watch. • The watch is definitely sweatproof and waterproof as well. • One of the coolest things is that you can choose your watch face. There are a lot of choices you can pick from to display on the watch face. Some are built in as part of the smart app (free), others you can download for free on your smart phone (easy to follow steps). • The Galaxy smart watch can accept your texts and you can choose to read them on your phone or as you regularly view them on your phone. It is a convenient part of the watch features. • The watch tells you that a phone call is coming in. I had to answer it on my smart phone. In the list of things to use carefully check what would be best for you. There should be a setting to answer the call on your Galaxy smart watch. • The screen is sharp looking and vibrant with color and a 360 x 360 resolution. If you have average 20/20 vision you should be able to see all that the watch displays on its face. I have to use reading glasses on some of the settings, but for the most part I can read the face without any issue. • Charger is a wireless circular magnetic pad that charges the watch fast. • Bluetooth is another great feature that the Samsung Galaxy has as well. Cons • The watch face feels as if it could be scratched. It is kind of feels soft and if you were to bump it into anything hard, it might leave a mark. I admit that I baby it some, but I have had no trouble. • The Samsung Galaxy watch battery life is supposed to be 90 hours. My watch falls well short of that. I get a little over 35 hours then I need a charge. I have to plan around sleep so my watch has enough power to see me through the night. • I think that changing the watch face often probably wears down the battery. They are easy to change and come in such variety of colors that the watch faces that the battery cannot take all those different faces. • You really need the app to get the full effect of the of the Samsung Galaxy watch features. The app gives you all the information you need. So if you don’t use the app you will really be missing the key part of activities information. All in all, the Samsung Galaxy watch is a great companion to your workout and motivation. It is also a great looking watch for exercise with 40 activities, and ready for a night out by changing the face. This versatile Samsung Galaxy watch is really worth getting if you are interested in exercise information that is easy accessible.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Fitness Tracker

    Posted
    Robb0688
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    I went back and forth over whether this was 4 stars or 5, but I ultimately landed on 5 because I feel like this watch excels based on the identity it was designed to have and the price point it was designed at. No, this might not be the most feature-packed smart watch out there. There's no speaker/microphone so it can't play music or place/make phone calls without you physically using your phone, but at $200, it wasn't meant to. It's the Galaxy Watch Active and I think it really nails the Active part. It's small, simple, super light and easy to forget it's there. It automatically tracks a large number of workouts, it's swim-proof, and it also tracks a bevy of other physical things like pulse, stress, sleep, weight, calories, caffeine, water intake, etc. I don't know what else you can track without having something much more invasive hooked to your body. Because of this, I'd call this more of a fitness tracker than a smart watch. Since it DOES still have a lot of smart watch features like notifications, texting, calendars, weather, email, Samsung Pay, etc, etc, etc, I would say it's one very full-featured fitness tracker, thus the 5 stars. I've never used other fitness trackers or smart watches, but this one checks all my boxes. Small side note: some people have complained about the phone app and editing settings from there, but I like it because it's a much bigger screen, which makes changing things so much quicker and easier. The only cons I can think of is that battery life is about 2 days at most (I could turn some features off, but then what's the point?) and I wish there were more watch faces, or that the ones that are on it had more colors. TL;DR: Feature-packed fitness tracker that does everything that it says it will, well. Battery life could be a little better.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Works well, miss the bezel, HORRIBLE BATTERY LIFE!

    Posted
    darien87
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    I have had the Gear S2 Frontier since it came out and I have really liked that smart watch. It is my alarm clock every morning and has all my music stored on it for my daily workouts at the gym. It has been rock solid since day one and I really have no issues with it. I was hoping that the Galaxy Active would be the next step in the smart watch evolution. Unfortunately it has not worked out for me. On the plus side the Active is nice and light. You barely even know you have it on. Also the band that it comes with is nice and grippy but not too grippy. The watch will stay in place but not feel like it is stuck to your skin. I like to wear my smart watches a little bit loose and not be snug on my wrist. The band of this watch allows me to wear it loose but not have it slide around so much that it is annoying. On the minus side, coming from the Gear Frontier with the rotating bezel I really found the lack of a bezel on the Active to be a real downgrade. Selecting apps and settings was quite a pain because the screen size is so small. It is easy to accidentally scroll right past what you're looking for. The bezel on the Gear is a much easier way to get to what you want. The watch face is pretty small. So small in fact that it makes the watch look feminine. I'm sure the Active looks great on a female wrist but on mine it looks a bit girly. The major deal breaker for me on this watch is that I could not get the heart rate monitor to turn off. I have no idea why someone would want a constant reading of their heart rate. Why is that even a feature? Maybe this is nice when you're doing cardio but I have no need to see my heart rate during the day when I'm at work. The heart rate monitor is the biggest power drain on this watch. Even when I selected "Never" on the heart rate monitor setting I found that whenever the watch was touching my skin the monitor was on. If I took the watch off the flashing green light would turn off. But within a few seconds of putting the watch back on that stupid green light would be flashing again. The first day I tried to use the watch it didn't even make it the whole day before needing to be charged! Not even a single day! It was fully charged in the morning and by the time I was done with my workout at about 7pm it was down to 5% battery. I called Samsung customer service and they told me to send the watch in for repair. So perhaps I just got a lemon but that's pretty sad to have happen on a review sample. So if the heart rate monitor problem I experienced was just a glitch on my sample then I would say this is a nice watch. If the monitor being on 24/7 is how this watch works then that is pretty stupid and Samsung needs to change that. Reviewing my sample unit as-is I cannot recommend this smart watch. Shame.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Samsung

      I would like to thank you for providing this detailed feedback, Darien. We do strive to make every customer experience a good one, and learning about your experience will help us to achieve this goal. ^Thomas Samsung

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The best smartwatch!

    Posted
    George
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This watch is excellent for what it was designed to be. It can't be beat at this price point. It has so many more features than expected. The pictures really don't do it justice for how nice it looks. I was expecting a really tiny watch based on other reviews and videos, but it's really not, it's the ideal size. It's so comfortable that I forget i'm wearing it. As far as the features go, I love being able to send texts and read emails on the watch. It's extremely easy to us for having a small screen.. it just works and that's what makes it great! I've had zero issues. There's no lag or freezing. I also love the daily activity summaries and I never have any doubt about what the weather is going to be before I start my day.. this watch will always notify you at just the right time! It recognizes my workouts automatically and I love the popup message with the timer, distance, and number of steps after i've started a walk or run. I find the watch to be extremely accurate in recognizing when i'm actually sleeping as well. The battery life is 1.5 days, although there are plenty of settings to help extend the battery life such as power saving and a watch only mode. It would be nice if it lasted 2 or 3 days, but the battery life is acceptable. The features of the watch outweigh this shorter battery life compared to larger watches like the Galaxy Watch. I do not agree with the algorithm Samsung has chosen for number of steps. I think it's wrong, but I've come to accept that 8,000 steps on this watch is about 10,000 on others (for me anyway). The watch doesn't begin counting steps until you've done 10 or more steps and then you see them accumulate. Doing one or two steps does not add to the daily total. I'd just like to be able to choose whether it counts ALL steps. Whereas with a Fitbit you may end up with 500 steps after taking a shower, that is not the case with the watch.. so it is more accurate in this respect. The step count is not overinflated like a Fitbit, and that is something that i've gotten used to and appreciate the greater accuracy. I think that the algorithm could instead begin counting after 3-4 steps, and it would still reduce the overinflated step count that you get on a Fitbit. My Galaxy S9 counts ALL steps, so i'm unclear as to why the watch doesn't. It's something Samsung should address or make clear if they're striving for greater accuracy which appears to be the case. One last thing, the watch appears to be durable. Another reviewer mentioned a scratch on the glass after a day. I've accidentally hit my watch on things and there's no scratches at all, it's a tough watch. So newsflash.. if you have a scratch on the glass, it's because you actually hit something very sharp that would scratch any watch. Overall, this an excellent smartwatch and I would purchase the same one all over again if I had to.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A very good watch (not so good on iOS)

    Posted
    Aditya
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    It is a good fitness band/watch with GPS/Heart rate monitor. You cannot make calls with this thing as even though it has micro phone it lacks a speaker. Yes, you can connect it with a Bluetooth headset and in that case, call goes to that, but that functionality is not there on iPhone, only on Android. You get Phone, Contacts & Samsung Pay when you sync it with an Android, these options are not available when you connect it with iPhone. I checked the app store and as of today, there are very few applications and the best health app you can use is Samsung Health, which itself is pretty good but if you are already using some app it may get some time and you will lose your progress. The Samsung Health App is mediocre at best on iOS, it kept telling me that there is no wearable device; though the galaxy app was showing the watch as connected. So, if you are using an iPhone, I will stay clear from it or wait till proper support is there. I have still given it 4 stars as it all works wonderfully on any Android device. The sync is seamless, all details is shown correctly the interface is good. Please note that If you are used to of using some fitness app, Samsung OS might not have it as this is not android wear it is Samsung own Tizen. Tizen is not bad, there are lots of faces to download and some of them are pretty good. Battery life is decent with location off, though goes down by EOD if GPS is on (Which is standard considering the battery size). Charger is magnetic wireless, and no hassle. I think the size is perfect for people with small - medium wrists and is very light weight. The band is smooth and seems to be good quality. There is one extra L size band included in the box along with a charger. I have been testing this for over a week now with iPhone, and the only thing which I really thing missing is the support to make calls from the watch it self. Yesterday I synced it with Android (do note that the watch will reset when you change phones so make sure you have backup your data). It connects to your phone (Apple/Android), and can alert you in case of notifications, which is handy as you can silent your phone and still get notification. It auto detects your workout, walking, running, cycling. Tizen interface is very responsive and the applications I used, they all worked as intended and I had no issues using them. It was very pleasant to use, full marks there. To conclude, it is a very nice-looking premium feel watch which works great with an Android phone. So, 5 stars for that. iPhone experience is half baked at best; so, 3 stars for that. Decide based on which phone family you come from. Recommended for Android users.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Samsung

      Hello Aditya. We are thrilled to know you're getting great use out of all the wonderful features this Samsung Galaxy Watch Active Smartwatch has to offer. Thank you for picking Samsung! ^Monique Samsung