Samsung has announced the Galaxy Watch Active alongside its Galaxy S10 range of smartphones. 

The new smartwatch succeeds the Gear Sport and sits alongside the Galaxy Watch that launched in August 2018. Here are our first impressions. 

Design and display

  • 49 x 46 x 13mm
  • 1.1-inch AMOLED display
  • No rotating bezel

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is a sportier version of the Galaxy Watch, offering a smaller, neater and lighter design to the company's main wearable. 

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch Active initial review Slim sporty lightweight image 4

Featuring a solid aluminium casing and a redesigned durable silicone strap with a case-matched metal buckle, the Galaxy Watch Active is simple in its design and comfortable on the wrist. It offers waterproofing up to 50-metres and it comes in a choice of black, silver, rose gold and green. The green won't be available in the UK however.

Aside from its physical size and the sportier appeal, the Galaxy Watch Active has one key difference to the Galaxy Watch and its predecessor, the Gear Sport: It's missing that rotating bezel we love so much.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch Active initial review Slim sporty lightweight image 6

In place of the proprietary bezel is a 1.1-inch 360 x 360 AMOLED display that seamlessly blends into the casing though, offering a refined and elegant design. Based on our first impressions, the display appears bright and punchy with a sharp resolution but we will test it in full when we get it for review.

There are two function buttons on the right edge and there's a heart rate monitor underneath.

Features and software

  • Heart rate monitoring 
  • Built-in GPS
  • Auto exercise tracking
  • Smartwatch functionality

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active runs on the Tizen OS platform with the One user interface, offering a simplified user experience than previously.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch Active initial review Slim sporty lightweight image 13

The software means the Galaxy Watch Active will pair with most smartphones, including both Android and iOS. App support is more limited compared to the likes of Wear OS or Watch OS but it's a simple to use interface and there is plenty to like.

In terms of features, the Galaxy Watch Active offers built-in GPS and heart rate monitoring, along with automatic exercise tracking for six exercises, as well as manual tracking for more. Sleep tracking is also available - something the Apple Watch doesn't offer without a third party app - and the Galaxy Watch Active will track four stages of sleep, as Fitbit does.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch Active initial review Slim sporty lightweight image 14

Additionally, there is also stress level monitoring on board the Galaxy Watch Active, like the Galaxy Watch and you can choose from 60,000 watch faces. The Galaxy Watch Active offers all smartwatch functionality too with smartphone notifications coming through to your wrist as they do on the Galaxy Watch.

Samsung's Health app is at the centre of the Galaxy Watch Active in terms of data collection and there is some support for third party apps including Strava and MapMyRun. We will dive deeper into all the Galaxy Watch Active's software and features when we come to review it.

Hardware and performance 

  • Exynos 9110 processor
  • 4GB storage 
  • 236mAh battery

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active runs on the company's dual-core Exynos 9110 processor, coupled with 4GB of storage space. 

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch Active initial review Slim sporty lightweight image 17

There's Bluetooth 4.1 on board, along with Wi-Fi connectivity but the Galaxy Watch Active misses out on LTE connectivity, despite rumours suggesting this would be the case.

It also offers a smaller battery capacity to the Galaxy Watch with a 236mAh cell under its hood. The Galaxy Watch Active is claimed to last all day though and it supports wireless charging meaning those with any of the new S10 devices will be able to charge their Galaxy Watch Active on the back of their smartphone.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch Active initial review Slim sporty lightweight image 7

We weren't able to test the performance of the Galaxy Watch Active during our time with it but we will be sure to put it through its paces when we come to review it in full. 

First Impressions

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is a lovely simple and sophisticated smartwatch that offers a smaller, sportier version of the Galaxy Watch. 

We're sad to see the rotating bezel go but the Active's seamless design is nice and it looks great on. 

We'll let you know how it performs when we come to review it in full. 


Samsung Galaxy Active deals

Pocket-lint may get a commission from these offers.