back to article Samsung Galaxy Watch: A tough and classy activity tracker

Platform rivals to the Apple’s WatchOS have been stagnating for years, with no new silicon from Qualcomm with which to take on the (now) all-conquering Apple smartwatch since 2016. Samsung isn’t dependent on San Diego for silicon though, and it has put the latest it can into its new wearables – and seriously revived the race. …

  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    > That’s a tenner a month for something that’s only really useful in emergencies.

    Depends what you mean by 'emergency'. You can call the emergency services without having an eSIM set up, just as you call 999 (or whatever the emergency number is where you are) from any phone with or without a SIM inserted (or unlocking the phone beforehand). It's mandated by the regulators. Indeed, calling the emergency services is the only time a soft SIM iPad will allow you to make a voice call over a cellular network.

    So, this watch having a cellular chip could be useful should you be out jogging and break an ankle, or feel sudden shooting pains in your chest - both events that would warrant an ambulance.

    But yeah, lesser 'emergencies' such as ringing a curry house to order a takeaway aren't covered - you'll need the EE tariff as you say.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lets be honest if you buy a Galaxy Watch in the first place, you're already well used to throwing money down the toilet.

      An extra tenner a month is neither here nor there.

  2. adnim Silver badge
    Joke

    Just what I need

    a watch that reminds me to breathe.

    1. m0rt Silver badge

      Re: Just what I need

      Useful if you are an android trying to pass for human.

      In which case you would probably set a daemon called <breathing> to run in the background.

      But that wouldn't be a human thing to do, you would use something to remind you externally, like a watch.

      So then you probably would use a watch to do it. But then a human wouldn't need a watch to do it so therefor you would probably set a daemon called <breathing> to run in the background and another called <check_watch> which has a randomisation element for periodally checking the watch. But you would probably not want to do this when you are doing things that shouldn't require you checking your watch like sex or sleeping, so you would need to have states that are checked to ensure that <check_watch.....

      I am thinking about this too much.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Just what I need

        'I am thinking about this too much.'

        Noooo...

        Tell me about your mother.

        1. m0rt Silver badge

          Re: Just what I need

          Let me tell you about my mother....

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          sporty?

          does she go, eh, does she go, eh?

    2. LeahroyNake Bronze badge

      Re: Just what I need

      I think the 'Breathe' button will take to to a Breathing exercise thingy that is designed to lower your stress level. That's what it does on the umm phone version of Samsung health anyway.

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        Re: Just what I need

        @AC

        ...that was a Bladerunner quote for obvious reasons...

    3. King Jack
      Holmes

      Re: Just what I need

      Androids do breathe but not for the reasons you think. Commander Data breathes to control temperature. And he has many internal chronometers so I doubt he would find any watch useful for anything.

  3. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    Half a Review?

    I think it would be helpful to review the other half of wearables - data and what I can do with it. For example, if I want to use the device for running, cycling or hill walking can I download the data as CSV/GPX/TCX or get it into Relive, Smashrun, Strava, etc., and is the resolution hobbled (like with Nike)? A pretty device that locks me into a useless walled-garden of analysis and presentation is pretty useless (to me).

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Half a Review?

      Er, maybe. Strava says it can export data from the Samsung Galaxy Health app (the phone app that this watch sends data to), but has no plans to support Gear ( now called Galaxy Watch). And someone claims to have had success in coaxing a CSV file out of their Samsung account by downloading a Samsung Health SDK. Have fun!

      https://support.strava.com/hc/en-us/articles/218887007-Samsung-Gear-and-Strava?mobile_site=true

      https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-note-5/606733-there-way-export-save-s-health-data-file.html%3famp

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: Half a Review?

        "Platform rivals to the Apple’s WatchOS have been stagnating for years, with no new silicon from Qualcomm with which to take on the (now) all-conquering Apple smartwatch since 2016."

        Please stop ignoring Garmin as a thing El Reg. It is a thing. It makes the best bits of tech that are dedicated to exercise. OK so it used to be dedicated to cycling, running, walking and specialist device swimming but now they wrap all that up in a nice package with all the other health stuff. And you get phone notifications on your wrist. And they are starting to add payment services.

        Theres more tech companies in the world than Apple/Samsung/Google!!!!!!

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Half a Review?

          And Garmins work with Strava and half a dozen other fitness apps.

          A fitness watch with none of the common fitness apps is about as useful as a turd wrapped around your wrist.

          Sorry Sammy I've been desperate to like your watches for the last 5 years but until you throw some cash at third party support you're a dead dog.

          Also no black or silver smaller version for my spindly man wrists? Shame on you!

        2. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: Half a Review?

          "Please stop ignoring Garmin as a thing El Reg. It is a thing. It makes the best bits of tech that are dedicated to exercise."

          Also Suunto, who do watches basically equivalent to Garmin's with generally better GPS but worse interface. It's almost as though companies dedicated to watches and sporty things are better at making sports watches than mobile phone companies who keep trying to get people to strap phones to their wrists. It's the battery life that still makes me laugh. Apparently the new Galaxy watch is amazing because it can last a week. Meanwhile Garmin and Suunto watches will happily last a month or more if you're not using the GPS, and still manage over a week with continuous GPS use if you're not using the high accuracy modes.

      2. Jeff 10
        Thumb Up

        Re: Half a Review?

        There's a Strava logo on the Product Page that shows Under Armour, Uber and other partners...

        https://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/wearables/smartwatches/galaxy-watch--46mm--silver--bluetooth--sm-r800nzsaxar/

  4. K Silver badge

    Let me save you 40-50%

    And give you a longer battery life:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Xiaomi-Amazfit-Stratos-Smartwatch-Waterproof/dp/B07CBSYM1R

    Your welcome!

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Let me save you 40-50%

      From a review of the Amazafit:

      "it's the display that really lets the show down here. The 300 x 300 resolution is often difficult to read and fares dreadfully when lighting is poor. Colours look faded while, more peculiarly, text often appears uneven when displaying notifications."

      Also mentioned is inaccurate heart rate monitoring, and a screen that often fails to register taps and swipes.

      - https://www.wareable.com/xiaomi/amazfit-stratos-review

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Let me save you 40-50%

        "Also mentioned is inaccurate heart rate monitoring"

        To be fair, all of these "fitness" wearables have inaccurate heart monitoring to go along with their inaccurate step counting, and etc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Let me make your wrist all grown-up...

      https://www.rolex.com/watches/sky-dweller/m326935-0007.html

      Also welcome!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let me make your wrist all grown-up...

        £35,000 for a watch. It makes me sad that people spend car/house amounts of money on such frippery that is purely for fashionistas/the gullible/footballers/poseurs.

        It has very little function other than the ability to rub other peoples noses in it.

        There is a certain threshold at which paying for luxury items becomes obnoxious, and for me, this Rolex has definitely exceeded this threshold.

        Rant over. Back to my Luminous Orange Lambo.

    3. jakeisatwat

      Re: Its secure... right?

      It's you're, not your. If you're going to make a pithy statement at least get your grammar correct.

  5. Pantera

    well yeah but

    all-conquering is a bit over the top, less than 1% of iphone users has a watch so its more the "able to move finger" in the country of the totally paralized

  6. garetht t

    Are you sure?

    "Not that speed is a particular bottleneck: the main frustration with smartwatches [...] is slow activity startups"

    Speed is not a problem, it's the damn slowness!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get back to work...

    You don't have time to comment here.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    God that’s ugly!

    That is a seriously ugly looking piece of kit. The bezel makes it look like the tat that dodgy salesmen hawk round service station car parks. At least it’s not been labelled a “timepiece” like an infomercial channel would.

    1. whoseyourdaddy

      Re: God that’s ugly!

      Seconded. Its round and garish for the sake of being garish and round.

    2. thomas k

      Re: God that’s ugly!

      Yeah, hard to beat the beautiful LG G black monolith or even the original Moto 360.

    3. Martin
      FAIL

      Re: God that’s ugly!

      It's also HUGE.

      For people like me with a small wrist, 34mm is the largest watch I can wear without it looking clunky and oversized. Most men's watches are 38mm at the most.

      42mm across is far too big. 46mm is just silly.

      1. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: God that’s ugly!

        "It's also HUGE.

        For people like me with a small wrist, 34mm is the largest watch I can wear without it looking clunky and oversized. Most men's watches are 38mm at the most.

        42mm across is far too big. 46mm is just silly"

        I agree, I have a Christopher Ward dress watch and its 38mm and thats just about OK... Just about.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: God that’s ugly!

          The watch Dieter Rams designed for Braun is 38mm. The Timex worn by Steve Jobs in a famous 1980s photo is 38mm, and is similar in simplicity and legibility to the Braun. Many a fine watch from the 1960s is 38mm.

          Functionly 38mm is superior to anything bigger - it's less likely to catch on things. What the hell is wrong with people's eyes these days that they want a huge watch?

          It's a blessing to smart watch makers that the fashion in traditional watches was for big cases - it means the smart watches have more space for batteries.

          Citizen gave just brought out a couple of connected watches with simpler faces than their previous sports-watch inspired efforts. Getting closer, but no cigar yet.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: God that’s ugly!

          Most men's watches are 38mm at the most.

          No - 40mm - 42mm is the norm now. 38mm is a child's watch size, and just looks daft or effeminate.

          I agree, 46mm is a bit daft, but the IWC Big Pilot is surprising wearable at this size.

          A Rolex Daytona or Sub looks good on pretty much everyone regardless of age or gender. Why not try one for size? Much nicer than Christopher Ward.

          1. King Jack
            Trollface

            Re: God that’s ugly!

            '40mm - 42mm is the norm now'. If Arnie wore a watch, what size would it be? Real men wear big watches. This size thing is running parallel to phone sizes. What was once laughed at is normal now.

            I'm waiting for one that doubles as a satellite dish.

      2. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: God that’s ugly!

        Most men's watches are 38mm at the most.

        For real watches yes. For show off t-watches with ludicrous prices there is no upper limit. If you can buy yourself a company with Swiss heritage, all you need to do is churn out garish junk the size of a saucer, cover it in millions of dials, market it as "deep sea diver", "aviator", "arctic explorer" "special forces genuine issue", "sexual conquistador" or similar (or all these things). Stick on a five figure price tag, get yourself a distributor, and watch as wankers fall over themselves to buy it.

        By comparison to such horrible bling, this Samsung is a model of good value, discretion, and functional effectiveness. I'm a Seiko 5 man myself, so for me the Samsung is horrible bling too.

        1. Martin
          Happy

          Re: God that’s huge!

          Judging by the downvotes, there are obviously one or two people here who have wrists on a par with the Incredible Hulk and feel everyone else should have the same...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: God that’s huge!

            It's hard not to like well made kit at a modest price.

            I like the look of the Seiko 5 SNK795, straight hands instead of Seiko's trademark swords, though ideally it'd have a dark grey instead of a black face - white on grey is actually more legible than white on black, bizarrely.

            I like the idea of a mechanical watches, but they need servicing every few years A quartz offers reliability and accuracy and a battery change is cheaper than a mechanical service. I just wish that more quartz watches than the Accutron have a smooth sweep second hand - the tick tick if quartz irks me for some reason.

        2. TheProf
          Windows

          "sexual conquistador"

          Dammit! I want that watch!!

  9. applebyJedi

    OY!

    OY, Jonny Ives, are you watching, do you see what they did there?

    Why, oh why, can't the Apple Watch look like that?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: OY!

      Jony Ive owns an Omega Speedmaster which looks far nicer than this Samsung, as does his Patek Phillipe Nautilus. If he's wearing a smartwatch for function, then a rectangular display just makes more sense, as most phone information - especially text - can be displayed more efficiently on a rectangular display, just as the Speedmaster's information is best disputed on a circular face. Ive's colleague on the Apple Watch, Marc Newson, is more likely to wear one of his own Ikepod watches.

      Still, it would be nice to see Ive and Newson design a stealth smartwatch - an analogue watch with a laser perforated face (like they use for the power LED on Apple keyboards) for simple notifications. Primary function is to tell the time, secondary functions include notification and phone paging. No one would have to know you're wearing a smartwatch.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    A decent enough effort...

    ...and much nicer than the awful Apple Watch - but the caseback needs to be ceramic and not cheap plastic.

    But this is what a proper watch looks like (sfw): https://www.g-central.com/g-shock-rangeman-gpr-b1000-1-with-gps-navigation-system/

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

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