Even though the Galaxy Watch is almost a year old, we have every reason to expect a sequel for the much younger Watch Active to be formally unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 10 smartphone duo in just a couple of weeks. Clearly, Samsung is taking fitness and health monitoring features more seriously than ever, aiming to provide stiff competition for the life-saving Apple Watch at last… at some point next year.
Before that happens, the first-generation Galaxy Watch Active is receiving a massive new round of updates focused on improving everything from the usability of the Android and iOS-compatible wearable device to customization, and of course, the health and fitness angle pursued so aggressively by Samsung’s marketing department lately.
In terms of the user interface, Galaxy Watch Active owners are promised a “more natural, intuitive format” for the App Tray UI, which should allow them to more easily and quickly search for specific apps and functionality. At the same time, Goodnight Mode is getting its “own dedicated view”, helping improve your sleep quality by only showing you the time and otherwise blocking notifications when you don’t want to be bothered.
Bixby can also do more on your wrist, using “conversational language” to control smart home devices and get key tasks done across music streaming, communication, and watch settings categories without you ever having to touch the Galaxy Watch Active. Perhaps more importantly, the budget-friendly smartwatch is borrowing the enhanced swimming functionality from its costlier brother, automatically keeping track of this activity after scoring the latest software update.
While Samsung has yet to release an ECG monitoring tool of its own, the company’s smartwatches can keep an eye on your general heart health, and the Watch Active will now notify you when your heart rate slips below a certain value you can customize.
Speaking of customization, more options have been added to Samsung’s first-party Strap Studio shop, allowing you to change the look of your already stylish smartwatch on the fly. You can purchase one of more than a dozen new swanky bands made of rubber, “high-class” textile, or leather right now at only $29 a pop, adding a touch of class or improving the comfort of the $200 and up Galaxy Watch Active.