Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: At Rs 19,990, this Apple Watch rival is a steal

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New Delhi | Published: June 26, 2019 12:33 PM

Samsung's new Galaxy Watch Active with its BP and heart rate monitor is a steal deal if you are looking for a substitute for the Apple Watch

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Watch Active in India after months of announcing it alongside the Galaxy S10 range. Galaxy Watch Active comes as an improvement over last year’s Galaxy Watch with a new, petite design but with a tradeoff. Unlike the Galaxy Watch, the Active model lacks the rotatable bezel, which proved to be really useful in our review for the last year’s marquee model. But, everything else has been kept intact, in addition to native support for Spotify in India.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is priced at Rs 19,990, which pits it against the newly launched Fossil Sports Smartwatch that costs Rs 17,995 and comes with Wear OS. Starting June 25, it will be sold on and Samsung e-store when buying online but offline buyers can get it from major retailers across the country. Galaxy Watch Active comes in Black, Silver, Rose Gold, and Deep Green colours with changeable straps.

There is a 1.1-inch round AMOLED display on the Galaxy Watch Active that has a resolution of 360×360 pixels. It is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top. The design looks modern – a little improved from its prequel’s – but the bezel has been removed. Galaxy Watch’s biggest usability was the bezel that minimised the touchscreen interaction in favour of a much more comfortable hardware substitute to perform different tasks. But with Galaxy Watch Active, Samsung is targeting the athletes, swimmers, and runners, who would like a lightweight wearable even if it means losing the bezel.

Galaxy Watch Active is powered by Samsung’s dual-core Exynos 9110 processor with 768MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. The storage on the smartwatch is crucial for the apps to run but more than this, the users can download songs on the Spotify app when the paired phone is not in proximity for the data connection. It runs a Tizen-based OS that has become a standard across Samsung’s non-mobile devices. Tizen has a handful of apps available in Galaxy Store but not quite as much as on Wear OS. Bixby comes preloaded on the smartwatch as well.

Samsung has integrated the Galaxy Watch Active with a 230mAh battery that is rated to deliver 45 hours of life on a single charge. Samsung’s smartwatches usually offer good battery life. In fact, we found the Galaxy Watch last up to 5 days in our review.

Coming to the health-centric functionalities, the Galaxy Watch Active borrows almost everything from the prequel. It has a heart rate sensor, a pedometer, and other sets of sensors to track workouts. The smartwatch synchronises data with the Gear app on both Android and iOS to keep a log of all the information. The Galaxy Watch Active also offers blood pressure monitoring, which is only available in select markets. It is not as lucrative as Apple Watch Series 5’s ECG feature but is a step in the right direction.

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