The 5 Best Galaxy Watch Features

Your watch can do much more than tell time

The Galaxy Watch, released in the fall of 2018, is Samsung's flagship model. It boasts up to five days of battery life and has a rotating bezel for navigation. It also supports wireless charging, which is convenient. The watch runs on Samsung's Tizen OS, not Wear OS by Google, and is compatible with Samsung smartphones as well as Android phones running Android 5.0 and later (with at least 1.5GB RAM), and iPhones running iOS 9.0 or later. The watch comes in 42 and 46mm sizes, and there's a choice of three colors: black, silver, and rose gold.

Here are the five best Samsung Galaxy Watch features.

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Phone Calls and Texting Capabilities

Samsung Galaxy Watch display with three quick reply options: Nope, OK, and What's up?

The Galaxy Watch comes in two versions: Bluetooth and LTE. The LTE model can make and answer phone calls and texts on its own: you can leave your smartphone at home. The Bluetooth version requires a connection to a smartphone. The LTE version is a bit more expensive, plus you'll need a data plan. On T-Mobile, the only wireless carrier offering the LTE Galaxy Watch as of this writing, that'll cost about $10 per month. With LTE, you can also use Samsung Pay on your Galaxy Watch at the register.

You can make calls as you would on the phone: by dialing directly or scrolling through your contacts or recent calls log. To answer a call swipe the icon right or turn the bezel right; swipe or rotate left to reject a call. You can also decline with a message by swiping up and selecting a canned reply. Go to your smartphone's Galaxy Wearable settings to edit the decline messages.

Likewise, you can also send and reply to messages. From a conversation, tap a quick reply to compose a message. You can also call the sender, send your location, view the message on your phone, add the sender to your contacts or delete the message.

In addition to phone calls, the built-in speaker can play music.

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Sleep Cycle Tracking

Samsung Galaxy Watch display with sleep tracking information, including sleep time, and efficiency score.

Wear your Galaxy Watch to bed, and it will record your sleep and send you notifications with the amount of time slept, calories burned, how long you spent motionless, in light sleep, or restless, and a sleep efficiency score. Launch the Samsung Health app to see patterns, such as average sleep length, and daily sleep and wake times as measured against your sleep goals.

Use this data to discover sleep issues and improve your sleep hygiene.

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Reminders to Keep Moving

Two Samsung Galaxy Watch displays with Health Nudge and Inactive Time notification settings.

The Galaxy Watch can also keep from getting sedentary by sending you inactivity alerts and Health Nudges. You can turn these on and off in the watch settings. When enabled, you'll get an alert when you've been sitting down for a length of time, encouraging you to get up. There's also a Torso twist alert that encourages you to do some twists to get the blood flowing.

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Calorie Tracking

Samsung Health screen next to a scale showing calorie burn stats.

With Samsung Health on the Galaxy Watch, you can track calories burned from exercising and even sleeping. You can also log your food intake on your phone to get a full picture. While walking, for instance, you'll get a vibrating alert after 10 or more minutes to encourage you to keep it up. Check your wrist, and you'll see calories burned as well as your heart rate, which is also an encouragement. Launch the Health app to see daily, weekly, and monthly trends.

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Stress Management Features

Two Samsung Galaxy smartphones and watches one showing stress level information, the other, a guided breathing exercise. A woman is seen stretching in the background.

 Stress management is an important part of your overall health. The Galaxy Watch measures your stress levels and offers relief in the form of guided breathing exercises. The Watch guesses how stressed you are based on your heart rate, which may not always be accurate. You can also measure your stress with your watch at any time by going to Samsung Health > Stress Tracker > and tapping Measure. The screen then shows a series of concentric circles pulsing as you inhale and exhale to a soothing soundtrack.

As with calorie and sleep tracking, you can also view your stress levels over time to see the big picture.