First Impressions: Samsung Galaxy Active
Recently, I decided that I needed to add more exercise to my life. I was using my smartphone as a pedometer, but that was not working out. I was missing out on an accurate step count because I often forgot to bring my phone with me. I often leave my phone in a bag, or on my desk, and miss out on quite a few steps.
This site has a pretty good comparison chart of the Galaxy Active v. Fitbit Versa v. Apple Watch. If you want to see technical specifications, I don’t want to reinvent the wheel when someone else already did a wonderful job of gathering and publishing the information. You can find the technical comparison here: smartwatchseries.com – NON-AFFILIATE LINK
WHY I CHOSE THE SAMSUNG GALAXY ACTIVE
The link I provided really does lay it all out there for you. I chose not to go with an Apple Watch simply because I am not a user of Apple products. That point alone steers me away from a watch that is meant to to integrate with the Apple family of products. Secondly, there is no way I will way $500+ for the “luxury” of wearing said name brand. Not when other brands can turn out comparable quality products at half the price. So, if you’re looking for Apple love, you aren’t going to find it here. Sorry.
In the end, I purchased the Galaxy Active. The Fitbit Versa and Galaxy Active are very similar products, however, these are the few personal preferences that put Galaxy Active ahead of Fitbit:
FEATURES THAT SWAYED MY DECISION
- Slimmest watch body – A watch, in my opinion, is an accessory, not a focal point. Huge and bulky watches are a turn-off for me, however, I should add that the Galaxy Active is not much slimmer than the Fitbit.
- AMOLED display – The Versa uses a LCD display, and while LCD is more visible outdoors and consumes less battery, I prefer the AMOLED display.
- Picture quality – The Galaxy Active has higher resolution/pixel density which gives it better picture quality.
- Smallest display – While this would be a negative feature to some, I’ll reiterate that bigger isn’t always better. I want my watch to not be a focal point. While the Galaxy Active totes the smallest screen out of the three, it is not a negative to me. I am able to read texts and notifications just fine.
- Lack of a Rotating Bezel – Again, some might find the lack of this feature a negative feature, but I think otherwise. It is just one more moving piece that will break.
- Military Grade – Out of the three watches, the Galaxy Active is the toughest with a military grade rating that can withstand harsher conditions.
- Microphones/Voice Command/Text Reply – The Galaxy Active has both a microphone and loudspeaker so you can take calls and respond to texts seamlessly. Unfortunately, the Versa is limited on what it can do including the inability to play media files anywhere. The Galaxy Active also has access to voice command with Bixby.
- Sport Modes – The Galaxy Active tracks 39 sport modes vs. the roughly 15 that the Versa tracks.
- Wireless Charger – The Galaxy Active comes with a wireless charger vs. a cable or dock. Also, if you bought a new Galaxy S10, you can actually charge your watch on your phone. Not a feature that particularly swayed me, but it’s cool.
- Straps – The Galaxy Active comes with a small and large strap. The Versa only comes with one strap.
FEATURES THAT DID NOT SWAY MY DECISION
- Standalone Smart Watch – The Apple Watch is the only true standalone smartwatch meaning you can make and receive calls without your phone. This was a non-issue for me. If you go out into the wilderness a lot, maybe this feature will suit you better as a safety precaution, but it was not a determining factor for me.
- Memory – The Apple Watch totes the highest on-board memory at 16GB compared to the 4 GB on the Galaxy Active. This was also not a determination factor for me. I don’t plan on my watch doing more than tracking my fitness, providing time, date, and weather, and sending me notifications. I won’t be downloading playlists or files to my watch. Since the Galaxy Active is not a true standalone smart watch, I will have my phone near anyhow. That makes the memory argument a moot point for me.
- Battery Life – The Versa actually has the best battery life out of the three, however, it was not a determining factor for me. I take my watch off nightly anyhow, so the fact that the Galaxy Active only gets roughly 2 days of normal use on a charge did not change my mind.
- NFC Payments – I have no interest in paying with my watch. Heck, the payment apps on my phone only work about 1/3 of the time despite the store saying they accept NFC payments.
I definitely made the right choice for me. The Apple Watch was a definite no-go on price tag alone. The Fitbit Versa comes in a couple of price points as you can pick up the Versa for $199 or get the “special edition” watch for roughly $220. The Samsung Galaxy Active is also $199.
In my opinion, the best overall watch is the Samsung Galaxy Active. I believe you get more bang for your buck out of the Samsung. That being said, I don’t think you’re making a bad choice with any of the smartwatches. They, for the most part, have almost identical functionality. It will come down to your personal preference of how it fits, whether you need it to be standalone, or whether you prefer a certain style.