Samsung adds One UI and battery boosts to Galaxy Watch and Gear smartwatches

samsung galaxy watch active
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Samsung has announced a software update for the Galaxy Watch, Gear Sport, and Gear S3 smartwatch lineup that will not only bring the new One UI interface first seen on the Galaxy Watch Active, but it will also deliver battery life enhancements, as well as improved health and fitness features.

Updated interface

The latest software update, available now, adds Samsung’s One UI, a simplified and colorful interface unveiled last year, and until now, available only on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active model. One UI is designed to ease navigation and decrease watch face clutter for more intuitive operation. Simplified visual settings let you more easily customize and control the watch. It’s the same design theme as the interface on Samsung’s latest smartphones, so Samsung’s wearables and phones will feel and look more unified.

The updated interface also features new advanced settings, including enabling and disabling Touch wake-up, controlling the frequency and timing of Daily briefing updates, and a more flexible Goodnight mode control. New watch faces that were only available for the Galaxy Watch Active are also now available for these three models from the Galaxy Store.

Battery optimizations

The update also adds better battery optimization — the watches will automatically close apps operating in the background to prevent battery drain. You can also customize battery saving settings, such as by adjusting brightness and screen timeout for better performance.

Health and fitness features

samsung galaxy watch active
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Alongside the interface updates, Samsung is enhancing health and fitness features too. There’s now a Daily Activities screen, which shows a daily summary of calories, movement, and workouts. Workout tracking has been streamlined, making it faster and easier to select both on the widget and in Samsung’s Health app. And data is now continuously synced from watch to the paired smartphone for easy tracking — including a new tracker for outdoor swimming, which is available only on the Galaxy Watch. You’ll also see more vibrant animations accompanying the achievement of goals.

For the Galaxy Watch, Samsung has improved heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking, too. A High Heart Rate Alert pings you if your heart rate exceeds a set level, while the sleep tracker update shows the wearer’s average sleep range compared with others in an age group.

Samsung said the update rollout for each product will vary by region, so the new features may not be available for all watches everywhere at the same time.

Product Review

Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 watch has killer looks but deadly battery life

Diesel’s no-holds-barred watch designs are awesome, so we hold its new smartwatch to a similarly high standard. While Diesel holds its end of the deal up, the On Full Guard 2.5 is let down by the battery and Wear OS.
Deals

Garmin Forerunner 935 GPS smartwatch gets price cut with a pre-Prime Day deal

Once known just for GPS, Garmin has become a big player in fitness-focused wearables. Just in time for beach body season, you can get the Garmin Forerunner 935 GPS fitness watch for just $421, down from its original $500.
Wearables

Looking to get into shape? Snag one of these excellent fitness trackers

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Deals

Amazon cuts price on the Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch by a whopping 40%

In the market for a fashionable and powerful smartwatch that fits your active lifestyle? You're in luck, as Amazon is currently offering the Samsung Gear Sport at a massive 40% discount.
Outdoors

The best smart helmets are full of cool tech, and totally worth the messy hair

Helmets might be a haircut's worst nightmare, but they're constantly evolving, and have undergone a 21st-century makeover. No matter your sport, here are the best smart helmets currently on the market.
Product Review

The Bose Frames stuff speakers into sunglasses for a brilliant set of shades

With the Frames, Bose is digging up fertile new ground in the somewhat stagnant audio genre. But can these audio sunglasses offer enough versatility to make them worth their $200 price tag?
Wearables

Fossil is preparing 5 new designer smartwatches, and we can’t wait to see them

Five new designer smartwatches are coming soon from Fossil. Based on FCC listings, it suggests the watches will be released under the Diesel, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani, and the Fossil brand names.
Deals

The renewed Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch drops under $180 on Amazon

Samsung makes some of the best Android phones, so it’s no shock that this tech giant also offers superb Wear OS smartwatches. If you’re willing to buy renewed, then one of our favorites, the Samsung Gear S3, can be yours at a huge…
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for June 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Wearables

The Best Prime Day smartwatch deals: What we expect from the Amazon event

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is right around the corner, and while there are likely to be deals on TVs, gaming consoles, and more, there will also likely be some great deals on smartwatches. Here's what we know about Amazon Prime Day 2019…
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for June 2019

Smartwatches make life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. If you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, here are the best smartwatch deals for June 2019.
Deals

REI slashes prices on Garmin Fenix 5 smartwatch performer bundles

Garmin makes some of the best fitness smartwatches, and if you haven’t jumped into the world of wearables yet, this is a great place to start: The Garmin Fenix 5 Performer Bundle is on sale from REI right now at a $171 discount.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Illuminated keyboards and a retro gaming console

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

The Apple Watch Series 3 is still just $199 before Amazon Prime Day 2019

If you were hoping to find some great Apple deals on Prime day, you’ll have to wait a few more weeks, but if you’re looking to pick up an Apple Watch, there’s really no need to wait. Amazon is currently offering an $80 discount on the…