Smartwatches are more ubiquitous now than they’ve ever been, and Samsung are the market leaders for Android Wear devices. The breadth of different device types on Android Wear means there is something for everyone, but the activity focussed smartwatch has always been a popular option. Samsung only recently entered this market with a true full screen offering in the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. Now the Korean company is rolling out several feature updates with new software.
The feature that has caught my biases unaware is the new ability to automatically detect when the wearer is swimming and will begin tracking the exercise. Interestingly, there’s also a new feature that can alert you if your heart rate remains under a user-specified beats per minute value for 10 minutes.
Another major enhancement comes it the form of the UI. A big part of what makes other Galaxy Watch devices such a joy to use is the rotating bezel, which the Galaxy Watch Active obviously doesn’t have. The UI was frustrating in that it forced you to slide your fingers around the edges of the display, as if to mimic the interaction with the rotating bezel. Luckily this is no more and the update allows you to more easily spin through the app tray by horizontally swiping across the screen.
The Goodnight Mode has also received a reworking, with its own bespoke view with relaxing colours, and instead of barraging you with unnecessary bed-time details, like step count, the only data point it shows is the time.
It’s encouraging to see Samsung continually updating software on their wearable devices, as it shows they are wholly committed to this market and making these products as good as possible. As more players enter the market and make really compelling products, the consumer is the biggest winner at the end of the day.