Samsung Galaxy Watch Active loses twisty bezel, adds blood pressure tracking

New Samsung smartwatch will be available from 8 March
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The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active was revealed at the company's Unpacked event in San Francisco, alongside the new Galaxy Buds and a new fitness tracker called the Galaxy Fit.

The watch, which is a follow-up to 2017's Gear Sport, will live alongside the company's Galaxy Watch – but this one is priced more competitively to undercut the Apple Watch and other major smartwatch rivals.

Wareable verdict: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active review

Here's the lowdown of what to expect from the new Samsung smartwatch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: New design

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active loses twisty bezel, adds blood pressure tracking

The iOS and Android-friendly Active has a sportier look than the Galaxy Watch and measures just 40mm in diameter, making it smaller than the Galaxy Watch too. There's a 1.1-inch, 360 x 360 full colour touchscreen, 20mm interchangeable straps and it weighs in at just 25g.

Essential reading: The best smartwatches to buy right now

The watch comes in silver, black, rose gold and sea green, so it's a slightly broader colour spectrum than the Galaxy Watch. However, this all sadly comes at the loss of the rotating bezel, one of our favourite staples of the Samsung smartwatch family. We've no idea yet why Samsung has ditched it this time, but we're sure as hell sad to see it go.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: Health and fitness features

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active loses twisty bezel, adds blood pressure tracking

As you would hope, the Watch Active does more in the health department than the standard Galaxy Watch. For example, Samsung has added in a new blood pressure monitoring feature, which utilises the optical sensors. Users will be able to download the My BP Lab app – a joint creation between Samsung and the University of California, San Francisco – and monitor their blood pressure from the watch. However, Samsung tells us this isn't FDA cleared and is still in beta, so it shouldn't yet be treated as a serious medical device. It will though be available in beta in a handful of countries including the US, UK, Australia and Germany.

It sounds like Samsung's copied over the same health and fitness features from the Galaxy Watch, which include breathing exercises for mindfulness and tracking for "more than 39" activities. Of those, the watch can auto-detect running, cycling and dynamic workouts. It's also been slapped with a 5ATM waterproof certification, which means you can go swimming with it, but it's not recommended for activities like scuba diving or water skiing.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: Tizen

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active loses twisty bezel, adds blood pressure tracking

The Active runs on Samsung's own Tizen OS (version 4.0) with a dual-core Exynos 9110 processor along with 768MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory powering performance.

Outside of Samsung's suite of features you have the option to install third-party apps including Strava and Under Armour, if you're already deep into those, and Spotify of course makes a return too, as does Bixby.

And on the connectivity front you've got Bluetooth (of course), Wi-Fi, NFC for payment support and both A-GPS and GLONASS satellite mapping support. Sensors include a heart rate monitor, gyroscope, barometer and the standard motion tracking sensors.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: Battery life

Samsung tells us the 230mAh battery will last for over 40 hours on the Galaxy Active. That's less than the Galaxy Watch, which gets around 3-4 days in the smaller model and a bit more if you opt for the 46mm version.

The Active does support wireless charging, and Samsung is even throwing in a free wireless charging pad for people who pre-order the watch before 7 March.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: Price and release date

The Galaxy Watch Active will cost $199.99 and goes on sale 8 March, making it $130 less than the cheapest Galaxy Watch. It comes in four colours: silver, black, rose gold and "sea green". The My BP Lab app, which is already available on Samsung's Galaxy S9 smartphones, will be available on the watch from 15 March.

How we test

Hugh Langley


Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.

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