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My week travelling with the new Samsung Galaxy Watch

My week travelling with the new Samsung Galaxy Watch

Companionship

Text: Gwen Ong


I took the smartwatch on a short trip to Sydney to find out how it will fare as a travelling and fitness buddy

 

A wearable is like that one friend who is always there to support and annoy you, and more often than not, it knows you more than you know yourself. On a recent trip to Sydney, I strapped on the Samsung Galaxy Watch to find out if this new buddy of mine is as intuitive as I hoped it would be. Well, Samsung Galaxy Watch is one refined timepiece and here are 5 reasons why it made its way into my friendship circle.

It's discreetly good looking

Aesthetic-wise, the Samsung Galaxy Watch can easily pass off as a high-end wristwatch but without the hefty price tag. The Galaxy Watch comes in two sizes – 46mm and 42mm – I got the latter, it's not the smallest around for dainty wrist but not a problem for me as I do prefer larger watches. The stainless steel case is complemented with a functional rotating bezel and interchangeable straps in silicon or leather –the colour options are aplenty for the 42mm.

I like how easy it was to change up the straps to my style, and how fluid it was to rotate the bezel through the on-screen menus. It was fun to customise what I want to see including the watch face, notification alerts and of course, activity tracking. FYI—there are apparently 60,000 watch faces to choose from on the Galaxy Wearable app.

 

Its solid durability

Throughout my three-day stay in Sydney, I only had to charge my Galaxy Watch once with normal use. By this, I checked my messages and notifications, counted my steps, clocked in a one-hour yoga workout, measured my stress levels (more on this later) and tracked the weather changes every few hours. The Aussie weather is known to be rather temperamental!

The 42mm model boosts a 1.2-inch screen with a 360 x 360 resolution where the Super AMOLED display is great even under the bright outdoors. The screen is crisp, colour rich and you can easily see all the data as is. If you're as clumsy as I am, you'll be rest assured knowing that the Galaxy Watch is protected with military-grade durability and Corning's Gorilla DX+ glass. 

 

 

 

It nags you for your own good

We've all been told that 10,000 is the ideal amount of steps to be achieved daily. But if we're realistic, it is not an easy number to chalk up especially when you're bound to the desk for most part of the day, like yours truly. While I did go past the 10k mark everyday checking out the sights and sounds of Sydney, back home I only managed a pathetic 20 percent of that number. This is where the Galaxy Watch will be that annoying gym buddy, who will nudge you to get up and stretch when you're inactive for a period of time. Torso twists anyone?

I like that there is now a more fitness-focused function with Samsung's new generation of smartwatch. It has an auto-tracked workout feature for six activities including walking, running, dynamic workout, cycling, elliptical trainer and rowing. I tested this out during a quick 5km fun run around Bukit Jalil stadium recently and I was impressed how it could still keep track of my speed, pace, cadence and etc. even when I forgot to press start. The built-in GPS makes it a breeze to map my run, which can be viewed more in depth on the Samsung Health app. 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch can track 39 exercises in total (including indoor workout like planks and squats) with intuitive calorie tracking and it is also waterproof down to 50 metres. Yes, that means you can go swimming with it. And if you're concerned about a balanced intake of food, you can take a photo of each meal and log the nutritional information in the watch as well as the said app for better calorie management.

 

It's my personal assistant

I can't deny how attached I am to my mobile phone in this connected world. As such, I like how the Galaxy Watch paired up seamlessly with my Note9 on Bluetooth. FYI, there is also the LTE version of the watch too. It's pretty nifty to see, dismiss and respond to notifications on my wrist without the need to actually check my phone. My favourite go-to method is responding to WhatsApp texts with a tap on the pre-loaded messages such as 'Ok' and 'See you later', which you can also customise.

The Reminder feature was also great in helping me get up to speed on the events of the day and follow up on my schedule. I'm a rather forgetful person, so I like this 'personal assistant' to set the tone before I start my day. A plus point is the built-in heart rate sensor in Galaxy Watch that you can utilise to measure your stress level at any time of the day and do breathing exercise if you need to manage, well, your rage. Think of it as your personal meditation guru.

 

 

 

It's a smart keeper

The more you wear the Samsung Galaxy Watch, the more it knows of you and your habits. It is intuitive that way. One of the features that I frequently rely on while travelling is the weather and location updates. With the Galaxy Watch, it was able to correctly tell me the forecast and pinpoint the location I was at each time I checked in. I find this really helpful in planning my day and the corresponding fashion choices before I head out the door.

Although the Galaxy Watch also works as a sleep tracker, this is my least favourite function for I'm not ready to face my sins. During my flight back from Sydney, it was able to tell me how little quality sleep I had – no thanks to the snorer seated beside me. The sleep tracking is designed to break down your sleep efficiency including actual resting time and REM cycles. While it is great at keeping track of sleep quality, this was not an essential for me. I find it cumbersome to wear the 42mm to bed, as I prefer my wrist to be free when I'm catching up on my zzz's. But if I had to, I know the 'Do Not Disturb' mode will be a necessity for this light sleeper to keep the Galaxy Watch silent during the night. 

 

Samsung Galaxy Watch retails at RM1,299 for the 46mm (silver) and RM1,199 for the 42mm (midnight black and rose gold).

 

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