Big Samsung Galaxy Watch Active update adds better Bixby support and more

New snazzy watch straps are on the way too
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While the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 might be the talk of the town right now, Samsung is still improving the powers of the Galaxy Watch Active by rolling out a big new software update.

Top of the improvements list is support for Bixby, Samsung's smart assistant rival to Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri. Now you'll be able to use Bixby to start customized exercise routines, find out time zones in different cities and take better control of your Samsung SmartThings tech.

Essential reading: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active tips and tricks

Samsung says Bixby can also adapt and learn based on your most frequent questions and routines to make your interactions with the Active more personal.

Other improvements include updating the Galaxy Watch Active's App Tray UI to make it easier to search the interface and launch apps. This is something we commented on in our review, which in part was due to retaining a UI that was designed for the rotating bezel that isn't included on the Watch Active.

The Goodnight mode, which mutes all alerts apart from alarms and notifications now has a dedicated view and when activated will let you check in on the time by pressing the physical button.

On the sports tracking front, the Active will now automatically recognise when you're in the pool swimming while a new Heart Rate - Low Alert feature sees Samsung beef up the health monitoring features of its smallest smartwatch. The feature will notify users when their heart ate drops below a specific, user-set value for 10 minutes. Last up is an improved look for the Breathe Guide option making it easier to access breathing rate information and guidance to ensure you breathing comfortably.

Big Samsung Galaxy Watch Active update adds better Bixby support and more

In addition to the software updates, Samsung is also releasing a series of new straps that are exclusive to the Galaxy Watch Active. The Strap Studio collection includes an Active Rubber, Textile, Leather and Leather Dress collections to help you switch between a sporty and more dressy watch look. The bands are all priced at $29.99.

Essential reading: Best Samsung Galaxy Watch Active bands

Those updated features should start rolling out now, so if you've got yourself an Active, your smartwatch should have those improved skills soon.

TAGGED Samsung

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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