Apples (AAPL) new smartwatch, the
AppleTechnology companyWatch Series 4, might have stolen the show during the companys big Sep. event, but its not the only intelligent timepiece on the market.Samsungs new Galaxy Watch is designed to be the South Korean tech companys answer to Apples own device.
Samsungs Galaxy Watch is the
smartwatchA smartwatch is a wearable computing device that closely resembles a wristwatch or other time-keeping deviceto buy if you arent an Apple(apple.com) lover.More
featuresSpecial attractiona classic, circular watch design, as well as a battery power that lasts longer than the
AppleTechnology companyWatchs and works with not only Samsung(samsung.com) smartphones, but
iOSApple iOS is a proprietary mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.and other Google(google.com) (GOOG, GOOGL) Android devices, as well.For Android fans, its one of the most compelling smartwatches available.
Spin me right round
Unlike the Apple Watch, Samsungs Galaxy Watch features a traditional, round watch face.The design is important as it allows for Samsungs slick rotating bezel.It might seem like a silly marketing play.Be that as it may, the rotating bezel, which
SamsungTechnology companyhas used on its previous smartwatches, is useful and intuitive.
Want to navigate to a different application screen with the Galaxy Watch? Just twist the bezel left or right to peruse the applications of your choosing.Of course, you may still tap and swipe astride the Watchs touchscreen display, but the bezel is just more fun.Two buttons on the Watchs right side give you access to your onboard apps, while the other brings you directly back to the home screen.
View photosThe Galaxy Watch next to the Apple Watch Series 4.MoreThe Galaxy Watch comes in two sizes: a 46mm model that comes in silver, and 42mm version that comes in black or rose gold.The 46mm Watch is absolutely massive.Its the kind of watch youd buy only if you love very much the chunkiest of timepieces.Im not that person, so I opted to use the 42mm Watch during my review.
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I found the Watch comfortable to wear all day, whether just sitting at my desk or running on the treadmill.The base strap included with the Watch feels a little too sporty for going out to events.Luckily, you can purchase an assortment of bands that are far more stylish, including the Urban Traveller leather band for $39 and the Urban Dress band for $29.
Time to get started
To use the Galaxy Watch youll need to download the Galaxy Watch app.This is where you pair the Watch with your phone, as well as manage notifications for apps, set up widgets and adjust advanced settings.Its managing your notifications, though, that can create or break your knowledge with the Galaxy Watch.
Too many nudges from your wrist for things like work emails, Instagram notes and Facebook(facebook.com) (FB) Messages could have you ripping your Watch from your wrist in frustration.To help get your notifications in order, the Galaxy Watch app automatically populates a list of apps on your smart-phone.You can then choose whether or not notifications from each app are sent to your wrist.
Its important to note that if you constantly receive notifications, youll end up running your Watchs battery down fast.I ended up enabling notifications for my Alarm, Email, smartphone calls, Instagram, Messenger, Twitter, Weather and Spotify (SPOT).
View photosThe Galaxy Watchs weather app.MoreThe Watch also comes loaded with a number of pre-installed widgets that you can navigate between by swiping from right to left on the touch screen or twisting the dial to the right.True to form, though,
SamsungTechnology companygives you way too many widgets from the outset.The company is known for giving you way too many options, and thats exactly what happens here.You get an altimeter/ barometer, Flipboard, Music controls, Workout shortcuts, Stress gauge, Calendar, Reminders, Contacts, Activity and Weather.
Thankfully, you can delete the widgets to make them more manageable, allowing you to customize the Galaxy Watch as much as you want.I cut mine down to Music controls, Activity and Weather.
Swiping left to right on the touch screen or twisting the bezel to the left lets you view your notifications.To dismiss them, though, you have to swipe all the way past your last notification, which can be annoying.
Samsungs Galaxy Watch also lets you change and customize watch faces without having to open the Watch app.Its not a deal breaker, since youll likely only change your watch face once in a while.Still, its nice to have the option to change it without having to pull my phone out, which is the whole point of a smartwatch.
Exercising and health
A smartwatch isnt complete without a fitness tracker, which is why the Galaxy Watch is able to automatically detect your exercises or let you log more than 39 different exercise types ranging from hiking and bench press to running and yoga.And since the Watch is rated for use in up to 50 meters of water, its simple to take for a swim.
You can also track your daily steps, what youve eaten, how much youve had to drink and how much caffeine youve had each day.Im not a big fan of having to track my drinks or food, so I didnt take advantage of these functions.
That said, the Galaxy Watch did automatically start a workout once I was walking about my neighborhood.The one thing the Apple Watch offers that the Galaxy Watch does are Apples insanely addictive Activity Rings, which features three concentric circles that close as you meet your movement, exercise and stand goals.
Times ticking away
Swiping down from the top of the Watchs display pulls up the watchs settings menu.That lets you turn on the always-on display, so you dont have to lift your wrist to see the time; battery life; airplane mode, display brightness and audio settings.
The one issue I had with the the Galaxy Watch compared to the Apple Watch was that it took just a hair longer for the Galaxys display to wake up when I lifted my wrist than the Apple Watchs.Its barely noticeable if youre not the kind of person who wears a smartwatch every day, but if you are, you might take issue.
View photosThe Galaxy Watchs activity tracking feature.MoreThe Galaxy Watch does, be that as it may, beat the Apple Watch when it comes to battery life.I regularly get about about 2 full days of use out of the Apple Watch.The Galaxy Watch, on the other hand, managed 3 days.Thats good news if youre the kind of person who wants to use the sleep tracking
featureSpecial attractionon the Galaxy.
The Galaxy Watch also has one more thing going for it versus the Apple Watch: It works with more devices.See, while the Apple Watch only works with the iPhone, you can use the Galaxy Watch with Samsung smartphones, the iPhone, or any Android device.Granted, certain features only work with iPhones, such as Samsungs S Health features and the ability to reply to messages from the Watch, but its something.
Should you get it?
Samsungs Galaxy Watch cant quite match the aesthetic appeal of the Apple Watch, and, at times, it can overwhelm you with options.But its certainly attractive in its own right and matches Apples functionality.If youre a Samsung fan or Android owner, I suggest opting for the Galaxy Watch.It has a unequaled design, powerful features and plenty of battery life.If youre an
iPhonecellular phone made by Appleuser, though, stick with the Apple Watch.