Samsung Galaxy Active review, Heart Rate and Zwift


Watch review


Let's first give you my review of the Galaxy active watch.



Galaxy Active watch unboxing

Here are some pictures of the watch while unboxing. The watch comes in a nice small box measuring 9.5cm x 9.5cm x 5.5cm, well packed with only what you need : the watch, USB charging dock and an additionnal band.

The watch is light (25g), small and has a great modern look.

The documentation is behind the top cover : you need to pull it out. I discored this a few days after I bought the watch.

Samsung Galaxy active watch unbox closed



Samsung Galaxy active watch unbox open
Samsung Galaxy active watch unbox content






Wrist band

At first sight, I was surprised by the wrist band were you can find a hole, but after a few hours wearing the watch, I found this system very comfortable because the end is below the band and never goes out.

Samsung Galaxy active watch wrist band


Samsung Health and Galaxy Wearable

There are 2 different applications that you can use together with the Galaxy Active.

Galaxy Werable is usefull for watch configuration, updates, applications... You will have access to all the technical settings (vibrations, luminosity, battery...), add some widgets...

Samsung Health is more for user's statistics.

  • Steps
  • Sports activities
  • Sleep
  • Heart Rate
  • Stress
  • Glas of water
  • Food
  • Weight

Samsung Health Heart Rate


Screen

The watch has a nice 1.1 inch OLED screen with a resolution of 360x360. The touch sensitivity is good and the navigation in Menus is easy. If you swith from right to left, you will access the widgets you choose, from left to right the current notifications. The screen remains always readbale even in high luminosity.

Samsung Galaxy active swipe screen


Battery

The battery of 230mAh is not the best point of the watch. It allows you to use the watch for 1, maximum 2 days but no more. I personnally need to recharge every day, although I don't use it intensively (30 min bike activity in the morning and another 30 mins in the evening).

Samsung Galaxy active battery


Track Sleeping

Of course you can track your sleep with the Galaxy Active watch. You will be able to compare each night to your average nights.

You can track :

  • Light Sleep
  • Deep Sleep
  • Paradoxal Sleep
  • Time Awake

From my experience, numbers seem to be interesting. I was surprised by the deep sleep, I had the impression that I slept well but the watch tells me that I had very little deep sleep, much less that what my Vivoactive says and much less than what is expected for a standard night. This is the only point where it seems not so accurate.

Samsung Health Sleeping


Swimming

The watch can be put into water for up to 5 ATM. It can be used for swimming. I did a small test and I must admit that the data is well accurate. I find the swim detection better than with the Garmin Vivoactive HR I had previously.

Of course, you get indications on :

  • Calories burnt
  • Mouvment count
  • Swolf
  • And Heart Rate !!!

I was surprised by heart rate, even in water, everything is well tracked and works as if out of the water...

Swimming with Samsung Galaxy active


Cycling

GPS accuracy is nice and has been improved since first Gear S3 I previously owned. As you can see here below, we have an average speed of 28 km/h with the Samsung Galaxy Active vs 27.9 km/h with the Garmin Edge unit which is close. Max speed : 57.2 km/h vs 58 km/h.

The elevation gain was 335m with the Galaxy Active vs 364m with the Garmin which, I know, tends to be too optimistic. For this reason, the Galaxy Active may be more accurate!

With this ride, I was able to compare the heart rate from the Samsung Galaxy Active watch with a noname optical armband sensor. As you can see, the rate of the Galaxy Active sometimes drops out. The weather was a little bit cold on this day and the skin contact was not perfect. It still gives you an estimation on how hard you are training.

Samsung Galaxy Active Cycling


Strava Uploads

Strava Uploads are not that intuitive. You can pair in theory Samsung Health but it was not so successfull for me. I think the best option is to simply download the Strava app on the watch but in this case you need to be aware that :

  • Bluetooth Smart sensor such as heart rate sensor cannot be connected today
  • Beacon will not be active
  • Activities are limited, you cannot record a swim for example

Strava Logo


Summary

The Galaxy Active is a very nice watch to wear everyday. It has an outstanding modern look and allows you to track a lot of interesting health and fitness parameters. Only the battery and conection to external Bluetooth Smart sensors could be improved.

Samsung Galaxy Active



Broadcast Heart Rate and Running Speed


Broadcast Heart Rate and running speed from your Galaxy Active watch (or any other Samsung watch) to Zwift or to any other Bluetooth Smart head unit.

Logo HR Speed transmitter


Download HR and Speed Transmitter

In order to download HR and Speed Transmitter, open the Galaxy Wearable app and then go to the Galaxy Store. Be sure that you have selected "Wtach" on the bottom right corner.

Search the app by entering "BIPR" and you should see it directly.

Install the app

Reboot your watch first

Start HR and speed transmitter on the watch

Samsung Store


Broadcast HR to Zwift

Pair your watch with Zwift as every standard Bluetooth Heart Rate or Running Speed sensor!

Take 1 min to read our following recommendations :

  • Today, Zwift's beta Windows Bluetooth connection is not working properly with the watch. You can try but we highly recommend to go through Zwift companion app on your phone which is well supported.
  • The watch needs to be tight to your skin to ensure a good heart rate value. If your sensor is not able to read new values, you may get disconnected.
  • If you want to quit, just press the back button of the watch.

Brodcast heart rate to Zwift with Samsung watch


Broadcast HR to GPS head units

Every GPS head unit that respects the Heart Rate Bluetooth Smart profile is compatible with the app. You will be able to broadcast heart rate directly from your watch to your head unit.

Here is a list of compatible GPS head units :

  • Garmin Edge 530
  • Garmin Edge 830
  • Wahoo Elemnt / Bold
  • Giant Neos Track
  • Polar V650

GPS head units


Samsung compatible watches

The Galaxy Active is not the only watch compatible with HR and Speed Transmitter app, other are :

  • Gear S3
  • Gear Sport
  • Galaxy

Samsung Smart Watches