Samsung claims its new wearables can measure your blood pressure

Tech giant launches new smartwatch and fitness trackers

On the back of the new Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Fold phones, Samsung has added the Galaxy Watch Active smartwatch, and Fit and Fit e fitness trackers to its range of wearables.

Galaxy Watch Active smartwatch

The Galaxy Watch Active is priced in the lower range of Samsung's smartwatches
The Galaxy Watch Active is priced in the lower range of Samsung's smartwatches

Aesthetically, the new Galaxy Watch Active doesn’t look all that different to the Galaxy Watch released last year, bar the rotating bezel, which is gone.

Priced at £229 / $199 / AU$TBC the Watch Active slots in next to the G3 Gear watch in Samsung’s range — though on paper the feature set rivals its more expensive cousins.

Claimed to weigh 25g, there are two buttons on the side of the aluminium case and a 360x360px Gorilla Glass Super AMOLED touchscreen.

As you’d expect with a wearable released in 2019, it has an inbuilt optical heart rate sensor. However, Samsung says it also has integrated ‘Blood Pressure Monitoring’ through the My BP Lab app.

With a built-in GPS-chip the new Samsung doesn’t need to use your phone to figure out where it is

Developed in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco this feature was previously available on the Galaxy S9 and S9+ phones, and utlilises the optical sensor next to the rear camera to take measurements.

Samsung hasn’t said how exactly this feature will integrate into the watch, but we’d guess the watch will do the same via the built-in optical sensor. Based on our previous experiences with the accuracy of optical HR, readings should be taken with a grain of salt though.

The watch also uses the built-in HR monitor to keep tabs on your stress levels, to let you know when you might want to take a deep breath, and tracks your sleep too.

Carried over from its predecessor is the automatic workout detection feature. The watch will track your ride without any input or you can manually choose from 39 different activity modes. Using the built-in accelerometer, barometer and gyro sensor Samsung says the watch can determine when you’re active.

Also new are the Fit and Fit e fitness trackers
Also new are the Fit and Fit e fitness trackers

With a built-in GPS-chip the new Samsung doesn’t need to use your phone to figure out where it is. In fact the Watch Active can ping the GLONASS, Beidou and Galileo networks for ultimate accuracy.

Compatible with both iOS and Android operating systems, there’s no cellular option available with the initial pre-order, so you’ll have to stick with Apple or Garmin for the moment if that’s your make or break feature.

However, the new Galaxy active does feature Bluetooth, WiFi and NFC connectivity, and plays nice with third-party apps, such as Spotify and Strava — no word on support for external Bluetooth sensors.

Battery life is claimed at 45 hours for typical usage and up to 90 hours of low usage —  Samsung doesn’t quantify what either of these means. The watch utilises wireless charging, and if you’ve got a Galaxy S10, you can top up your watch by placing it on the back of your phone.

Currently available for pre-order, the Galaxy Active Watch is available in four colours.

Galaxy Fit and Fit e fitness trackers

The compact trackers feature built-in optical heart rate and Bluetooth connectivity
The compact trackers feature built-in optical heart rate and Bluetooth connectivity

The new Fit and Fit e fitness trackers appear to slot in below the Fit 2 Pro. The Fit features a 120x240px screen while the Fit e is slightly more compact with a 54x128px screen. The units are claimed to weigh 24g and 15g respectively including the strap.  

Both feature the same sleep, stress analysis and auto workout detection as the Galaxy Active, though the Fit and Fit e allow for users to select from 90 activity tracking modes.

Bluetooth connectivity allows for the trackers to display notifications from your phone, and will automatically sync your alarms, calendar and the weather. Neither tracker has built-in GPS, so both will use this connection to piggyback your smartphones location services.

Samsung hasn’t said if the Fit and Fit e will support third-party apps, but each features a bit of built-in memory.

Claimed battery life is pretty vague, with the devices pegged to last ‘about a week,’ with no further information available.  

The company is yet to confirm a release date, but the Fit will cost £89 / $99 and the Fit e will set you back £35 / $35. Australian pricing is still to be confirmed.

Colin Levitch

Staff Writer, Australia
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides in Sydney, Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his former European pro father convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he enjoys the occasional mountain bike ride, too.
  • Discipline: Road, mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Tarmac mountain climbs into snow-covered hills
  • Current Bikes: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9
  • Dream Bike: Mosaic Cycles RT-1
  • Beer of Choice: New Belgium La Folie
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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