Samsung Galaxy Watch Series: What You Need to Know

Our review of the Galaxy Watch line

The Samsung Galaxy Watch wasn't the company's first foray into smartwatches, but it represents a big step forward from its previous offerings. The Galaxy Watch Active2 was announced at the 2019 Unpacked event, which also unveiled the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy S10. Here's a look at the Galaxy Watch series. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active fitness watch face.
What We Like
  • LTE version acts as a standalone device.

  • Estimated 45-hour battery.

  • Built-in heart rate monitor.

What We Don't Like
  • LTE drains battery faster than the Bluetooth model.

  • Expensive.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is the fitness-minded sibling of the Galaxy Watch, and it not only tracks your workouts and other data, but it also gives you advice and inspiration while you exercise. It comes in four colors and there's a variety of straps available. Like all smartwatches, it has a customizable watch face, so you can show just the time or an array of data.

It comes in two forms: Bluetooth and LTE. The LTE version can act as a standalone device since it doesn't need to be in the vicinity of your smartphone to work. You can use it to make calls, text, stream music via apps like Spotify and Tidal, and more. The downside is that the LTE drains battery power quicker than the Bluetooth version.

The watch uses a Daily Activity program to encourage you to move more, sit less, and get exercise. It can also automatically track seven different types of exercise. You can use the watch to track your stress levels and get guided breathing exercises or meditation to calm your nerves. A built-in heart rate monitor can alert you of irregular heartbeats. If you wear it to bed, it tracks your sleep. It's water-resistant up to 50 meters, but you can't take it diving.

Samsung Health integrates with the Galaxy Active Watch so you can sync all your stats and view your history. You can quickly respond to messages using smart replies when you're on the go.

Samsung says the watch lasts more than 45 hours on a single charge. It comes in 42mm and 46mm sizes.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Black Samsung Galaxy Watch in 42mm size.
What We Like
  • LTE or Bluetooth models available.

  • Samsung Pay compatible with LTE models.

  • Comes in three colors.

  • Can control smart home device.

What We Don't Like
  • LTE drains battery faster.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 was released in August 2020 along with flagships from the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Z product lines. It can go for more than a day on a single charge, and it supports wireless charging for when you need to top it up.

The watch has built-in GPS to track your runs and can recognize as many as 40 different workouts. The fitness features come courtesy of the Samsung Health app, which reminds you to get up and move, and even helps slow your heart rate if it detects a sudden increase.

Like other smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch displays notifications, including incoming calls and messages, and also lets you control music playback and other tasks. When your watch is connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth, you can use the watch to answer phone calls and respond to messages.

Major wireless carriers sell LTE versions of the watch, enabling you to make and answer phone calls without pairing it with a smartphone. With LTE, you can also send and receive texts, stream music, and receive notifications, even if you leave your phone at home. The LTE versions of the Galaxy Watch are also compatible with Samsung Pay, so you can grab a coffee or snack on your way home from a run, for example. Using LTE drains the battery faster, though. You can also control smart home devices using the Samsung SmartThings app and receive notifications from compatible devices.

The watch comes in three colors: black, silver body with a black strap, and rose gold. The black and rose gold models come in size 42mm, while the silver and black model comes in size 46mm. The straps for each can be swapped out for third-party straps in sizes 22mm and 24mm, respectively. 

  • How many versions of Samsung Galaxy Watch are there?

    There are four main Samsung Galaxy Watch models: the Samsung Galaxy Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. Each model comes in several variants with slightly different features. The next version will be the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

  • How do I set up my Samsung Galaxy Watch?

    After charging your new device, set up your Samsung Galaxy Watch

    by syncing your smartwatch with your phone. For Android, you need to use the Galaxy Wearable app. For iPhone, use the Galaxy Wear app.

  • Which is the best Samsung Watch?

    The top Samsung Galaxy Watches include the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2. If you're just looking for a fitness tracker, consider the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 or the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier.

  • Which operating system do Samsung Galaxy Watches use?

    Samsung smartwatches run Tizen OS. Tizen is an open-source operating system based on Linux, and it's used by products like Samsung smartwatches and smart TVs.

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