Samsung have announced a new smartwatch this week - the Galaxy Watch Active, which isn’t a replacement or upgrade to the Galaxy Watch released last year. Instead, it joins the Galaxy Watch range as a more fitness-focused option.
What you need to know
It’s smaller and lighter than the Galaxy Watch with improved ergonomics (fit) to make the heart-rate tracking more consistent.
It’s also a bit of a strange one to be honest, lacking the rotating bezel of the original Galaxy Watch (the feature that made it so good). The rotating bezel was ditched to make the Active lighter and more comfortable on the wrist. In use, it means you can no longer scroll through the UI or apps. You have to swipe through.
The design’s sweet though. The 1.1-inch always-on AMOLED display has a 360x360-pixel resolution. There’s a gloss black bezel around the display which blends in seamlessly, giving the Watch Active a very sporty look. It comes on a silicone strap which is available in a wide range of colours to suit most tastes. The case is also colour-coded to some straps with the rose gold offering being particularly nice.
The Active automatically detects six different activities such as cycling, running and swimming so you don’t have to enter activity mode manually. In total there are 42 workout modes making it a comprehensive detection feature. A 50m water resistance rating means you can swim with the Watch Active, but not dive with it.
Inside the case there’s a dual-core 9110 Exynos chipset with 4GB of onboard storage, 728MB of RAM and a 230-mAh battery. Samsung says the Watch Active will last a full week before needing to be recharged. There’s also NFC connectivity.
Pricing and availability
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active has a seriously impressive starting price of $200. It’s available directly from Samsung and authorised retailers. Pre-orders are now open with shipments to commence from 8 March.