The Galaxy Watch Energetic ($200 at Amazon) is the sportier, slimmer sibling of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Watch ($294 at Amazon) from 2018. It is a lighter model of the watch in each sense of the phrase, with a noticeably thinner physique and a barely smaller display screen that is available in just one measurement with no LTE choice. Nonetheless, it is at a value that is arduous to beat.
At $200 , it is virtually half the worth of an Apple Watch Collection four ($385 at Amazon) and $130 cheaper than the unique Galaxy Watch. It additionally lacks the Apple Watch’s extra superior coronary heart and well being options. However it one-ups the equally priced Fitbit Versa ($194 at Amazon), with onboard GPS, higher integration for Android telephones, and Spotify help, though the Fitbit nonetheless wins for battery life.
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The Galaxy Watch Energetic has a sportier look than its predecessors.
If you have already got a Galaxy Watch, you’ll be able to most likely skip the Energetic (until you are actually craving that sportier design), but when that is your first smartwatch and you are a Galaxy or Android consumer, it is positively a high contender. It has all of the options you will want from a smartwatch and health tracker in a snug, well-priced bundle.
A design that will not weigh you down
The Galaxy Watch Energetic improves upon one in every of my largest design complaints of its older sibling, its thickness. However sadly it is on the expense of one in every of my favourite from earlier Samsung smartwatches: That rotating bezel.
I have been an enormous fan of the spherical watch face and rotating bezel on Samsung’s good watches because the Galaxy Gears. Samsung refined the look in final yr’s Galaxy Watch, making it look extra like a conventional analog watch, and it lastly seemed good on my comparatively skinny wrist. The rose gold colour choice did not damage the look both. The one factor getting in the best way for me was how a lot it stood (profile smart) above my wrist. It wasn’t snug sufficient to sleep in and would always get caught on my exercise garments once I peeled off layers on the fitness center.
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The rose gold Galaxy Watch Energetic subsequent to the unique Galaxy Watch with that rotating steel bezel.
After carrying it for a number of days, I can positively say the Galaxy Watch Energetic is a way more snug match. It is so slim and lightweight that I might generally overlook I used to be carrying it. It nonetheless feels a bit thicker than the Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, however the heart-rate sensor lies flush towards my wrist so it does not press in as a lot once I tighten the band. However this consolation comes with some sacrifices. The Galaxy Watch Energetic appears to be like fairly plain subsequent to the Galaxy Watch, particularly within the strong black colour I examined it in (it additionally is available in silver, rose gold and sea inexperienced) and also you lose out on the scrolling options on the bezel.
The face of the watch appears to be like naked to me with out that rotating steel bezel and the rubber straps really feel primary. You’ll be able to after all swap them out for different types, however they’re 20mm thick, which implies they don’t seem to be backwards suitable with another Galaxy Watch straps. You are additionally restricted to the 40mm watchface — not like the Galaxy Watch, which is available in a 42mm and 46mm choice.
On the plus aspect, the Watch Energetic retains the spherical AMOLED show that is nice to take a look at, even in direct daylight. It has Gorilla Glass three just like the Galaxy Watch, however does not have Corning’s DX+ composite coating. The coating’s supposed to cut back glare and shield towards scratches and I’ve had no complaints on that entrance throughout my testing to this point, though that is solely been about 5 days at this level.
In the event you’ve used a Samsung watch earlier than, navigating via your content material on the watch will appear acquainted. You’ll be able to swipe or faucet to maneuver round and you continue to get the 2 bodily buttons on the aspect of the watch to pick out your choice or return. The watch is fairly simple to maneuver, however I did miss that rotating bezel for scrolling with out having to depart fingerprint marks everywhere in the contact display screen.
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Aspect view of the Galaxy Watch Energetic’s bodily buttons.
Well being and health options that may get you shifting
The Galaxy Watch Energetic has a number of minor UI adjustments that make it appear barely extra health centered. There are sportier watch faces that may show extra exercise data, and a heart-shaped dashboard that helps you retain observe of energetic minutes, energy burned and stand time at a look, much like the ring system on the Apple Watch.
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The Energetic provides you day by day well being stats at a look within the form of a coronary heart, much like the exercise rings on the Apple Watch.
However for understanding, the Galaxy Watch Energetic provides a virtually equivalent expertise to the Galaxy Watch. It comes loaded with nearly each bodily exercise you’ll be able to consider (39 complete), auto pause and the flexibility to detect some exercises (like working and biking) mechanically with out having to hassle setting them on the watch. (Notice that the Apple Watch and Fitbit Versa can do this as properly.) It is also rated at 5 ATM, so you’ll be able to safely take use it to trace indoor and open-water swims.
The Galaxy Watch Energetic additionally has a barometer that may register altitude on hikes and a built-in GPS that makes distance monitoring extra correct. I left my telephone behind throughout my ordinary three-and-a-half mile run and was capable of see my complete route mapped on the Samsung Well being app as soon as I bought again to my telephone. This is among the options I missed probably the most on the Fitbit Versa.
I additionally appreciated that the watch reveals you a breakdown of your coronary heart fee zones, based mostly on depth: average, vigorous or most. It is a sensible method to make use of your heart-rate knowledge. The Fitbit additionally has an identical breakdown for exercises. I did not check the Galaxy Watch Energetic towards a chest strap, the gold commonplace for coronary heart fee monitoring in athletes, however I did discover a little bit of a lag in the true time coronary heart fee knowledge on the watch based mostly on how arduous I used to be working throughout my run and wanted a number of seconds to catch up.
The watch additionally makes use of the optical coronary heart fee sensor on the again to calculate energy burned, analyze sleep and hold observe of stress ranges similar to the Galaxy Watch. The calorie depend for my pilates exercise appeared fairly in step with what I get on different trackers, however I believe it underestimated the energy on my run.
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The Galaxy Watch Energetic has built-in GPS to trace your routes.
Celso Bulgatti / Proinertech
I do not normally put on my smartwatch to trace my sleep. I am a light-weight sleeper and I hate the additional bulk on my wrist once I’m in mattress. Final yr once I was testing out this function on the unique Galaxy Watch I ended up tearing it off in the midst of the primary evening as a result of it saved waking me up, however I wore the Energetic for 4 nights in a row with out it interrupting my sleep (an excessive amount of). And I did be taught a number of issues about my sleep patterns (or lack thereof) that I would not have in any other case. The Samsung Well being App provides you a breakdown of your complete sleep time, the phases of sleep (gentle, REM or deep sleep) and the standard of your sleep. That is one thing that Fitbit does properly, however that you just nonetheless cannot do natively on the Apple Watch.