Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active comes with several features which aren’t in older watches. However, to ensure that those with the older Galaxy Watch, Gear S3 and Gear Sport don’t feel left out, Samsung has promised to bring many new features to older Galaxy watches.
New features to older Galaxy watches
Samsung’s latest software update will bring new features like increased control over battery life, fitness-related features, a new interface and the ability to add new watch faces to older watch models. The fitness features coming to older models include high heart rate alerts, a streamlined workout app, an outdoor swimming mode and age-based demographic averages to compare against in sleep tracking. Health data is also now continuously synced with the user’s smartphone, and users will see more vibrant animations when they achieve their set goals.
Owners of older watch model will also have access to faster, simpler workout tracking via the Health app and the widget. On launching Samsung Health, users will now see a daily activity screen which will allow them to check the progress they have made. The screen shows a daily summary of workouts, movements and calories.
Other promised new features coming to older Galaxy watches include more customization features and controls to optimize the battery life, such as better memory management which closes the apps in the background. Users can also boost battery life by fine-tuning other settings like brightness and screen timeout.
New features coming to older Galaxy watches also include a new interface similar to the One UI on the latest Galaxy phones. Such an interface was only available on the Galaxy Watch Active for now. Samsung’s One UI is designed to ease navigation and reduce watch face clutter to offer a better user experience.
The older models will also get newer watch faces which are available on the Galaxy Watch Active. Samsung is also adding more controls, such as Goodnight mode, frequency of Daily Briefings and a toggle for waking the device on touch.
Galaxy Watch Active vs. older Galaxy watch
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active is smaller, featuring a 1.1-inch display compared to the 1.2- or 1.3-inch displays on the older models. Samsung’s older watch models come in two sizes, 46mm and 42 mm, while the Galaxy Watch Active comes in only 40mm. The display technology on the older models and the newer one is similar. They all have AMOLED displays with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels.
The older watch models have a more traditional design than the Galaxy Watch Active. The bezel around the display is also functional and helps users make selects in the software. The Galaxy Watch Active, on the other hand, is simpler with a basic round look.
As far as dimensions, the older models are either 41.9 x 45.7 x 12.7 mm or 46 x 49 x 13 mm. Moreover, the older models weigh 49 g or 63 g without a strap. On the other hand, the dimensions of the Galaxy Watch Active are 39.5 x 39.5 x 10.5 mm, while it weighs just 25 g without a strap.
Other than the design, a big difference between the standard Galaxy Watch and the Galaxy Watch Active is the battery life. The older watch models are fitted with either a 270 mAh or 472 mAh battery, while the Galaxy Watch Active has a 230 mAh battery.
This means the 46 mm Galaxy Watch with 472 mAh battery lasts three to four days, while the 42 mm Galaxy Watch models with 270mAh battery survive two to three days. The Galaxy Watch Active’s battery life can stretch to a maximum of two days.
In terms of pricing, the older watch models start at $280 for the 42 mm version and $300 for the 46 mm model. However, the Galaxy Watch Active is more affordable and comes with a price tag of $200.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active features similar specs as the Galaxy Watch, which came out last year. The watch is powered by the same dual-core Exynos 9110 processor and features 4 GB of storage, 728 MB of RAM and a battery that supports Qi wireless charging. Like most of Samsung’s wearables, the Galaxy Watch Active also runs on the Tizen operating system.
A major shortcoming of the newest Galaxy Watch Active is that it lacks an LTE variant. Hopefully Samsung will add an LTE variant in the future.