Addictive in a Good Way!
I’ve been daily driving the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 for around a month and I think it’s about time we talked about some of the health and fitness features of this watch as well as the Samsung Health app which is actually quite good!
For those of you who are new here, approximately a month ago, I decided to upgrade my watch. Back then I was religiously using the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, which is another legendary smartwatch and to date, it’s probably my favourite WearOS smartwatch.
As you can imagine, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, has big shoes to fill and only time will tell whether I prefer it. But in this article, I wanted to start by talking about some of the health features.
I know that the watch is running WearOS, which means that we have access to a wide variety of apps such as Google Fit and Strava, but in this article, I will be talking about the Samsung ones as they are the default ones and the ones I use.
I also wanted to mention that I am not a health specialist and that I will be talking from the point of view of a general user.
Before we go any further, yes that is a case and a screen protector that I’m using with the watch. For those of you who are interested, I am using this Spigen Liquid Air case along with the CAVN Screen protector. Whilst the watch does look absolutely stunning, I feel more secure having it inside a case with a screen protector.
The one thing I always liked about Samsung Watches is that you have a wide selection of workouts to choose from within the watch, and if that’s not enough you can add even more!
At present, I’ve had the chance to try two different activities with this watch and I’m pleased to say that I am satisfied. Each activity has its strengths and weaknesses, but we’ll get into more details about them later in this article.
Let’s start with a basic activity, walking. I tend to walk a lot to keep fit and healthy. It helps clear the mind and it drives ideas about future content as well as work-related.
Whenever I go into the office, I tend to catch the train and the train station is around a 20-minute walk from my house. I tend to use that as a good excuse to go for a walk and that’s on a weekly basis. I could catch a bus or rent a scooter, but it doesn’t work in the same way for me. It’s worth mentioning that I record each longer walk as an activity on the watch, so that includes walks to the train station.
Now that you have an idea of how I use this feature, let’s talk about it. To begin with, I like how quickly the watch seems to lock to a GPS. This is something that would often take a while on the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra.
If I compare the results, I get from other smartwatches such as the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra and the Xiaomi Mi Band 7, the number of steps I take on the activity is similar. I don’t think it’s possible to get the exact same results as it depends on several factors. But if I compare the results, to other watches I tried this year, the results look familiar.
Cycling is more of a weekend activity for me, but it’s one that I enjoy, particularly in the countryside. On average, I tend to go on at least one 25-mile trip during the weekend.
Just like with walking, the results produced by the watch look familiar. But there is a downside which I hope that there will be a fix for very soon! The downside is that the watch seems to be counting steps whilst I cycle.
This isn’t something I noticed with any of the other smartwatches I tried this year, but it may have also happened on them, but I just haven’t noticed.
The other thing I noticed is that during a cycle trip I had 2 weeks ago, I noticed that the cycling activity ended and another random one started in its place. I think that this may have been caused by me wearing a loose coat and it touching the screen, but it hasn’t happened since.
The Samsung Health App
Moving on to the Samsung Health App, I think it’s actually really good! Not only does it provide you with a lot of information, but it also allows you to earn badges and compete against your friends who already use the app.
The home page shows you a health dashboard that summarises your daily activities. I like how it features a lot of information without the screen becoming too overcrowded, something which few apps get right. Selecting a section will give you a more detailed overview. For example, if we select the “Daily Activity” section it will show you the activities you’ve performed as well as some useful charts.
The heart helps me keep track of my daily fitness goals, the green line represents my steps, the blue line is my active time, and the pink line is my activity calories. This is a feature that can be found on many smartwatches and fitness apps, but each has its own system. For example, Apple has rings; the whole idea is that you fill your rings by keeping fit. Not only does this motivate people to fill the rings, or in Samsung’s case the heart, but it also helps people understand their fitness level.
The second tab features a “Together” page which is where you can compete in challenges against your friends and the world. For example, Throughout October, I took part in the Avocado, October step challenge and this month I am taking part in the Moonlight, November challenge. The goal of these challenges is to record at least 200,000 steps, whilst collecting stars on the way.
I find this feature cool and addictive at the same time, but I guess it’s a good thing to be addicted to both for the environment and for my health.
The third tab is the “Fitness” tab which offers trials for training and workouts as well as meditation. This isn’t a feature that I used much, but it is there, and I probably should make more use of it soon. The fourth tab is the “My Page” tab which summarises your health and achievements.
In summary, I think that the Samsung Health app offers great value to users, it’s possibly one of my favourite health apps of all time, I just wish more of my friends had a Samsung device so that I can compete against them.
After using the watch for a month, I think that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is a brilliant watch, particularly in terms of its performance and durability and that’s without wearing the case and screen protector. I guess I prefer to play safe, but at the end of the day that’s your decision and the watch seems durable without it.
The Samsung Health app on the other hand, really impressed me, particularly with the challenges to which I strangely got addicted. But not only is the app well laid out, but it’s also incredibly easy to use and it just makes sense.
As with all tech products, there is something I believe Samsung should spend more time perfecting and that something is the step-counting system because I would prefer it if it didn’t count steps whilst I’m cycling. But other than that, it is a great watch and app.
I have reported the issue to Samsung and am waiting to hear back, hopefully, it’s something that can be sorted out with an update.