this little review/impression is written one week after my purchase so it may be biased by the novelty and the honeymoon.
Novelty, not so much: two years ago I was wearing for three months a Samsung S3 Frontier, another bezel driven 46mm smartwatch. It was beautiful but I did not find it reliable on one important point: sudden battery drains especially when using the simple of function of... stopwatch... the samsung application was a disaster.
I had enjoyed the ergos and the beautiful screen but regret not to be able to swim with it.
Anyway from the Frontier i have jumped in the Garmin Fenix 5X and 5XS experience and since November into the Garmin instinct the last being a real technological wonder IMHO.
My first thread about the Instinct is here:
So I was a happy bunny with my Instinct minding my own business when as the occasion of Father's day, the wifey deiced to surprise me with a Samsung Galaxy Watch 46mm. She's is an Apple user and I am an Android user. I really like the way she uses her AW4 for being able to answer to many different sollicitations on the go.
Well, now I'm obliged to wear that 46mm GW. And the only way to be freed of it is to push it to its limits and then being able to go back to my beloved Instinct.
So how will I include that "smart watch" when I only need a good Outdoor watch ?
The Samsung Galaxy is now one year old. The 50meters water proof case is also rated to some military level. So it means it is suppose to withstand some action life. I have read review of surfers using their Galaxy Watch everyday with zero issue and we know how salt water can be aggressive to any gear.
The case is silver, metallic with some shiny parts and brush steel parts: it looks really high quality.
Two years ago I have noticed the bezel of my Frontier was really "scratchproof" . A friend of mine got his Frontier for two years of everyday use and the watch is still beautiful: I expect at least the same longevity for the GW46mm. The OEM band is nicely done with curved spring bars which give it a very modern and masculine aspect. Coming from G-Shocks, I don't feel it "that" clunky at all. The bezel is still fun to use and the two large buttons complete it well. A friend of mine even thought they were two USB plugs !!
No plug in that watch: everything is done by induction.
The watch act like a proactive robot: it study the owner and then propose services without to be intrusive. It has learned quick that I dont want to be disturbed in the evening and even recognize when I fall asleep. It recognize when I am brisk walking for more than 900 steps and transform the walk into activity. It is done automatically and I enjoy that.
Also it propose some briefing in the evening or the morning.
I don't have any issue with waking up with my wrist BTW. I am even able to wake it up in a slow wipe by raising my arm.
Everything works perfectly. Zero frustration.
What I loved with my Garmin was the possibility to have shortcuts by combination of its 5 keys.
With only two buttons, there is only one shortcut on the Samsung by pushing the Home Button twice.
I have chosen music control. Because I need to be able to shut it off quick in cas of a phone call or visit.
My widgets/pages chosen so far
One push on the home button and I have set the menu to bring me the last application I have used. It worst almost all shortcuts.
Also they are shortcuts widgets you can for example add 6 applications on each them. I have two group of widgets: one with timers, multitimers, stopwatch and alarms and another one with different navigation and GPS applications.
Then is the Weather widget which works great. I was happy with the Instinct weather widget but this one works great too by bringing forcast for the 6 next days and also the time of sunset or sunrise.
Then the altibaro widget: nothing to report, it is beautiful and seems to work OK. My main grief is not being able to have a longer graphic than the 6 last hours. On the Instinct I was able to see a 48 hours graphic.
Then comes the Samsung Health which I'm trying to couple with MapMyRun.
MapMy Run is working great, I have been able to get the same kind of visualization as on my Fenix 5X.
The Watch can use its own GPS/Glonass chip or the smartphone's if you carry it.
As I always carrying my phone, this morning I have been able to walk one hour without losing 1% of battery: I have left home at 100% and back at 100% !! And I was waking up the screen a lot of time to check the red track on the map.
Ah battery life: that was one of my biggest concern especially after being a Fenix 5XPlus user.
Hey so far so good: I have not be able to go below 70% after a full charge in a day of playing a lot with the watch.
I have even noticed it has lost only 5% in 8 hours of rest.
Also I have re install the infamous Samsung Stopwatch application and this time the battery drain issue seems to be solved.
BTW I am on Tizen 22.214.171.124 and UI One 1.0: everything works perfectly. No concern at all.
So MapMyRun seems to be the bread and butter for my walks as it uses in priority my big phone battery and sensors (Samsung S9 Plus) for the GPS position. I always got a powerbank with me, so I don't mind using the phone battery.
I only need now to figure how it will exchange it information with Samsung Health but at least I got a simple way to track my walks. Most complains about that application seems to come from users who run without their phone. Hey, I walk with mine so zero issue. But beware if you want to leave your phone behind.
Sleep monitoring works fine too and brings me the same as Garmin's. The novelty is that the watch brings me also all the charts: I'm not obliged to fumble in the phone application to find them. It's complete monitoring with all the sleep phases: light deep and paradoxal sleep.
I have tested some other activities apart from walking. It is fun to here the watch following my dumb bells reps by counting.
My last widget is a calendar.
On the application side I have downloaded some multitimers and stopwatches. I can monitor 4 events beyond 24 hours. This is great as "mission" timer or just for cooking.
I also need a calculator with % and I have found it.
One thing i have enjoyed is some Wrist Camera application (Camera One) which works great for spying and remot controlling my phone camera. It is useful as some kind of light endoscope too: it's been used in a car engine to spot a leak.
Also I have a Tide Chart which is something I really enjoy on a watch.
So, so far so good. The battery last very long: around 20% by day. The Super OLED screen is gorgeous and visible even under the sunlight. I can check emails, messages and even answering a phone call when I got both hands trapped in camera handling. This is a fun watch. Looking forward testing it in the sea. It is really what I wanted on my Frontier 2 years ago: waterproof and long lasting battery.
I"m going to upload some pictures from my phone.
Wifi has surprised on the Samsung: for any reason if the bluetooth connection is lost with the phone, the watch will look for a known wifi network to continue to be connected to your samsung account.
First thing I have notice: the Samsung GW46mm got no compass. Why do I need a compass in the first place?
I often need to know where is the South for my video jobs for example, especially when they are clouds.
So I have found a work around with a GPS compass.