Samsung has a new smartwatch that also works on the iPhone. Is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active a serious Apple Watch Series 4 competitor? We searched it out.
Apple Watch Series 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
If you are looking for a new smartwatch, there are plenty of options. As an iPhone user, the Apple Watch is obvious, but the recently unveiled Galaxy Watch Active from Samsung can be an interesting alternative for you. To keep things transparent, we treat the two in different categories.
Design: around vs square
If you put the two watches next to each other, the first difference immediately stands out: the Apple Watch has a square screen while the Active has a round display. As a result, the Samsung smartwatch looks more like a traditional watch, which for some is an important detail.
The Active is also available in the colors silver, black, rose gold and green, while the Series 4 is only available in gold, space gray and silver. Good to know: the Apple Watch is available as a 40mm and 44mm model, while the Active only has one size that matches the smaller Apple Watch. The Active is, therefore, a lot lighter than the smartwatch from Apple.
Both watches have a touchscreen and physical buttons on the side, although the Watch also has the Digital Crown with which you can scroll through watchOS by turning it. There is a heart rate monitor on the back of both watches.
Screen: small, larger, largest
If you just look at the size, the Apple Watch in this category is the clear winner. The smaller 40mm Series 4 has a 1.57-inch OLED screen while the larger 44mm version even has a 1.78-inch display.
The opposite is the Active with a 1.1-inch OLED screen. The resolution of the Active comes with 360 × 360 pixels close to that of that smaller Apple Watch, which has a resolution of 324 × 394 pixels.
Battery life: closer together than imagined
The Galaxy Watch Active lasts 45 hours on a single battery charge, while Apple writes on its website that the Apple Watch Series 4 lasts only 18 hours. In practice, however, we learn that Series 4 lasts much longer than that. Several times we used the smartwatch two days in a row without charging it, which suggests that the two are close to each other in terms of battery life.
As far as charging is concerned, the watch from Samsung does have a big line for it. The Apple Watch can only be charged on the included Apple charger, while the Active can be powered on every wireless charger. You can even put the watch on the back of a Galaxy S10 to give him some extra energy. Apple would consider a similar feature for the iPhone 2019, but for now, Samsung has a plus here.
Software: watchOS vs Tizen
The Apple Watch Series 4 runs on watchOS 5, the latest version of Apple’s wearable software. After a few years, Apple has got watchOS well on track and the software is logical and easy to operate from a small screen on your wrist. You can also use the Digital Crown and Siri to operate the watch.
The Galaxy Watch Active runs on Tizen 2.0, without the rotating screen edge of the previous models. As a result, the Active lacks an additional navigation option next to the touchscreen and voice assistant Bixby. The Samsung smartwatch works with iPhones running on iOS 9.0 or later with a corresponding app. The Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone with the standard installed Watch app.
Functions: Health, health, health
Both the Series 4 and the Active have a clear central function: health. With the watches, you can map your sports performance, without having your iPhone in your pocket. That is why both watches are equipped with a built-in GPS.
Also, the watches both have an app with multiple sports, such as running, cycling, walking and swimming. Both watches are watertight at a depth of about 50 meters so that you can get into the water with peace of mind.
As an extra, the Active from Samsung has a built-in sleep tracking function that tells you more about your sleep patterns. Apple would work on a similar function for new models of the Apple Watch, but it is unlikely that the Series 4 will get this option.
Price: a big plus for Samsung
The Galaxy Watch Active is available from 249.99 euro, a lot cheaper than the recommended price of a 40mm Apple Watch Series 4 of 429 euro. The 44mm-Watch is even slightly more expensive with a suggested retail price of 459 euros. That makes the Samsung watch immediately interesting for people who find the Apple Watch too expensive but are looking for a good fitness wearable with extra features.
Due to the limitations that Apple imposes on other smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch Active has a standard touchline on the Apple Watch. But due to the lower price, the Active is an interesting alternative. The round design and the OLED display look good and the watch has enough in-house to serve the average athlete at his best. Do you want more from a smartwatch, do you want long-term software support and do you have everything from Apple? Then the Apple Watch is a better – but more pricey choice.
Buy Galaxy Watch Active or Apple Watch?
Are you after reading this comparison about and do you want to buy an Apple Watch Series 4 or a Galaxy Watch Active? Check out our handy price comparison in which we list the best deals of the moment for the Apple Watch and visit our sister site Android Plan for more information about the smartwatch from Samsung.