Fashion Reviews

Do You Run and Listen to Spotify? This Is the Smartwatch You Should Buy

Do You Run and Listen to Spotify? This Is the Smartwatch You Should Buy

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Lively ($200+) is a smaller, lighter, inexpensive and extra fitness-focused (therefore the “lively”) model of the corporate’s smartwatch from final yr, the Galaxy Watch ($300+). It’s designed to work greatest with any of the newest Samsung and Android smartphones, like the brand new Galaxy S10, and its ecosystem of apps, however you possibly can nonetheless use it with an iPhone — which is what I did. I examined the smartwatch for 3 weeks to see if it might sustain with my way of life.

The Galaxy Watch Lively was capable of monitor my exercises, strolling minutes and stressed minutes. Samsung is one of some smartwatch makers with a partnership with Spotify, so, as a Spotify premium subscriber, I might save operating playlists instantly on the smartwatch and take heed to them with out an LTE connection or my smartphone close by. (Proper now, solely choose Garmin and Samsung help Spotify offline listening.) Between that and the brand new integration with the Calm app, Samsung is throwing elbows to attempt to be the chief in health-minded smartwatches. And, for probably the most half, it’s working.

The Good: The Galaxy Watch Lively is a light-weight and minimalist smartwatch that I slipped on my wrist a number of weeks in the past and it hasn’t come off since. It’s snug and sweat-resistant. The rose gold face is stylish and easy. This minimalism spreads to the software program as properly. For those who exercise, there are 15 preloaded exercises like strolling, stretching, biking, operating, plus extra particular workouts like arm curls, again extensions, leaping jack, lat pulldowns and extra. It has fairly good battery life in comparison with different smartwatches, together with the Apple Watch Collection four. Spotify offline listening is an enormous cause for anyone, Samsung smartphone proprietor or not, to get this smartwatch. In case you have a smartphone operating on Android Pie OS, you’re capable of attempt Calm, a meditation app/expertise by means of the Samsung Well being app, after which management these meditation periods on their smartwatch.

Who It’s For: Anyone with a current Samsung smartphone will get probably the most out of the Galaxy Watch Lively, and that merely comes right down to compatibility and knowhow; when you’re not used to Samsung’s apps and interphase, there’s a studying curve. Runners, walkers and gym-goers who wish to exercise with out their telephones will discover the Spotify integration useful. It can save you your favourite tunes (as much as four GB) and this makes logging miles or understanding with no telephone attainable. When you hate charging your watch nightly, this one claims to final for as much as 90 hours. Relying on what number of actions I logged, I discovered the battery survived for a day and a half sometimes, which made it potential for me to plug it in in the course of the day once I’m at work or house.

For those who’re a Spotify Premium subscriber, you’ll be able to obtain Spotify playlists onto the Galaxy Watch Lively and take heed to them offline.

Watch Out For: In case you’re in Samsung’s ecosystem, determining the interface will probably be a clean course of. Should you’re a lifelong iPhone proprietor, like me, it’s going to probably take a couple of days to get used to the Samsung Galaxy Watch Lively. The Spotify integration isn’t as seamless as I might have appreciated; in an effort to obtain playlists, it’s a must to hook up with Wi-Fi, discover your playlists inside the Spotify app, then discover the ‘Obtain’ button, and despite the fact that that sounds prefer it’d be simple, it simply wasn’t. Connecting my AirPods to smartwatch wasn’t a problem, however after utilizing them with the Galaxy Watch Lively, I had some hassle getting them repaired to my iPhone. When listening to music throughout exercises, remember to begin the music and set the quantity earlier than you go; the smartwatch doesn’t have a bezel or crown dial, so it was fairly troublesome to boost or decrease the quantity.

Options: Final yr’s mannequin, the Galaxy Watch ($300), continues to be out there with most of the similar options, albeit 6mm bigger, which takes up a bulk of your wrist. The older fashions from Samsung’s line which might be nonetheless obtainable and in addition work with Spotify embrace the Gear Fit2 Professional ($200) and the Gear Sport ($280). Garmin makes a few of the solely different watches that assist you to obtain Spotify music to your tracker — the Vivoactive three Music ($280) is heavier and barely greater than the Galaxy. Outdoors of that, Fitbit’s Versa Lite ($160) is that this small, with an oblong face and has most of the similar options — steps, energy, sleep monitoring, 24/7 coronary heart fee, waterproof and four-day battery life, however no music storage. An Apple Watch Collection four ($399+), is a nonetheless the perfect smartwatch for anyone with an iPhone and lives in Apple’s ecosystem.

Assessment: I’m somebody who brings their smartphone on each run. I are likely to stuff it in my leggings or should take off the case to get it to slot in a pair of shorts. I hate feeling it jostle round, admittedly. The factor is that the Spotify integration (for offline listening) shouldn’t be out there on the Apple Watch, so I’ve to deliver my telephone with me. With the Galaxy Watch Lively, I didn’t have to do that. It was fairly liberating.

Establishing Spotify was a bit irritating, admittedly, however as soon as I used to be in a position to hook up with Wi-Fi and downloaded my operating playlist, I simply synced the watch to my AirPods and went out for my regular run. The primary time I utilizing Spotify offline on this watch, it was a bit finicky, too — the music stored slicing out for the primary 5 minutes, however the longer I used it, the extra seamless the music sounded.

The smartwatch proved to be a reasonably dependable health tracker, and it was a seamless expertise from a GPS standpoint. Whether or not I used to be logging three miles, ten miles or a monitor exercise, the one button on and off change was a breeze to faucet. Whereas the choice was there by no means to make use of my telephone, I sometimes carried it with me to examine distance by way of the Nike Operating app. On the few events that I forgot to log my runs, the app mechanically acknowledged that I used to be on a run and recorded it anyway.

The large push round Samsung’s new watch is that it options an in-app reference to Calm, the perfect promoting meditation app. You possibly can choose Calm’s watch face and it tells you to breathe, the place you press on the watch face, hit begin after which comply with the nudges to breathe out and in. On the finish of the six breaths, the watch will let you already know in the event you’re nonetheless confused and when you ought to sit nonetheless for a couple of extra breaths. Over the three weeks, I just about all the time acquired the ‘you’re fairly confused’ message and the choice to maintain respiration. Every so often, I’d see a graph of my stress (on a coloured line that goes from blue to orange) and an arrow that factors to the place my coronary heart price was earlier than the train and after.

The watch face of Samsung’s mediation app seems similar to the Breath function on the Apple Watch.

The very last thing to hit on is that this smartwatch’s sleep monitoring potential, which, sadly, is the place I had probably the most problem. In contrast to any Apple Watch, the Galaxy Watch Lively’s prolonged battery life and sleep monitoring options encourage you to put on it to mattress. To match towards, I had the Withings Sleep Monitoring Mat ($100) that lies flat underneath my mattress to log sleep. Once I checked out my sleep knowledge and in contrast the info from the 2 units, frankly, I used to be disillusioned with what I received from the smartwatch. Of the 5 nights that I wore the Galaxy Watch Lively to mattress, I solely obtained knowledge for 2 nights. When researching this problem, I discovered that many others had skilled one thing comparable. The answer is to ensure you activate ‘Goodnight mode’ earlier than you go to mattress, however this begins monitoring your sleep proper if you provoke the mode and gained’t cease till flip it off. Principally, it’s not as automated as I might’ve favored.

Verdict: In case you’re lively and have a Samsung or Android smartphone, this can be a terrific little smartwatch. It’s additionally wonderful for any Spotify premium subscriber in search of an lively smartwatch. It all the time you to run or exercise utterly phone-free, undisturbed from calls, texts and Instagram notifications, and that’s an exquisite factor. Whereas Samsung misses the mark on sleep monitoring, and the Calm function gained’t really feel game-changing for many, probably the most clutch function may be the worth. At $200, it’s half what the Apple Watch Collection four goes for.

What Others Are Saying:

• “It’s competent as a operating watch, too. Throughout testing, it mechanically detected and tracked my runs (it was hit and miss mechanically detecting my bike rides, if that issues to you). You may as well begin a run manually, and though there are solely two buttons, the contact display works properly sufficient with sweaty arms. It wouldn’t be my decide for intervals, as there’s no “lap” function and the running-specific knowledge fields can disappear and require some contact display navigation to retrieve, however the auto-pause function makes the watch completely handy for normal stop-and-go efforts. ” — Dan Roe, Runner’s World

• “The 40mm aluminum case is mild. It doesn’t look small on giant wrists, or giant on small wrists. It’s additionally straightforward to overlook this watch is sitting in your wrist, which makes sleeping with it fairly snug (it may possibly monitor your sleep). It’s skinny and can by no means actually get caught on shirt cuffs. The 20mm straps are interchangeable, and the default silicone strap, which feels fairly good, comes with two sizes within the field.” — Julian Chokkattu, Digital Tendencies

• “Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Lively isn’t making an attempt to prime the Galaxy Watch, and that’s a very good factor, because it in all probability gained’t achieve this. Not a lot stands out on the wearable, however it does function a high-end design, a big show and a few new thrilling well being options. Maybe one of the best information, although, is that it comes at a a lot lower cost.” — James Peckham, Techradar

Key Specs
Measurement: 40mm
OS: Tizen
Sensors: accelerometer, barometer, gyro sensor, HR sensor, mild sensor
Battery: As much as 90 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth v4.2
Weight: 25g
Compatibility: Android and iOS
Water Resistant: 5ATM and IP68

Samsung offered this product for evaluate.

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