Galaxy Watch For Fitness: Tracked (Day 0)

 Introduction:

Over on Reddit’s r/GalaxyWatch thread, there has been a lot of discourse over the Galaxy Watch’s ability to serve as a fitness tracker. There have been several threads pointing to the Galaxy Watch just being not only inaccurate but just plain not working. I’ve been using a Galaxy Watch for about 4 months now that replaced my old every day watch (Casio WSD-F10 Android Wear). While I’ve never really questioned and/or cared about “fitness” performance from the Galaxy Watch, I’ve honestly only ever looked at the steps as a Goal, not meaning that I walked that specific number, but actually more like experience points that I needed to reach. However, since it’s the New Year, and of course, I’ve been a bit lazy it’s now time to bring the Galaxy Watch’s ability into question.

 

Over the next few weeks, while I work on my fitness goals, I’m going to be comparing my Galaxy Watch to my Fitbit Charge 2 and to a lesser extent my Casio. I’m going to ATTEMPT to use the Scientific Method here, but bear in mind it’s probably been a good 15-20 years since I’ve used it, so I’m going to use the 5th grader version and combine some steps. I’ll try to keep things and simple as possible and keep a journal on how it’s going. I’m going to evaluate it at the end of a 7-day period and give my summary. So, Let’s begin.

A Bit About Me:

So we all know what we’re working with:

  • I am
    • Male
    • 33 years old.
    • 6’7″ in height (79 inches)
    • 261.5 lbs as of January 15th.
    • Activity Level: Sedentary
      • There is some confusion on activity level, the consensus I’ve seen is that you put your day-to-day lifestyle in and do not count your exercise. Since I work an IT desk-job, that’s what I’m using.
    • Basal Metabolic Rate: 2,475
      • I did one that said 3,400 I didn’t like that number but BMR is based on an average, so I did a couple of others from around the internet. 2,475 seems a good fit.
    • Body Fat %: 27%
      • Technically, I’m obese. 🙂
    • My stride is about 17 inches when walking.
      • Feet per step: 1.4
      • Steps per 100ft: 71
      • Steps per mile: 3,771
  • Hardware I’ll be using:
    • Galaxy Watch 46mm (On my left wrist)
    • Fitbit Charge 2 (On My Right Wrist)
    • Casio WSD-F10 (On my right wrist)
  • Software I’ll be using:
    • MyFitnessPal
    • Fitbit Software
    • Samsung Health both on watch and the phone
    • Android Wear and Google Fit
    • Basic online calculators

Scientific Method Step 1 (Questions):

It it my purpose that I want to validate the Galaxy Watch’s fitness tracking abilities, evaluate, and determine the following:

  1. Is the Galaxy Watch Step tracker accurate?
  2. Is the Galaxy Watch stair calculator accurate?
  3. Will caloric burn during various exercises be similar to other sources?
  4. How is the performance of the Galaxy Watch compared to Fitbit?

I’m going to be comparing it to the Fitbit, mainly due to its popularity and of course I have one. I understand/realize that these evaluations are not 100% scientific, but at least evaluate it as best as possible for me.

 

Scientific Method Step 2/3:

I’ll be performing my own research, which is only a data point for other evaluations. Once again, this isn’t a peer-reviewed journal and I’m not going to research each devices programmed statistics, measurements, or any algorithmic performance. Just looking at numbers at the end of the day for me.

However, I will provide a Hypothesis:

  1. The Galaxy Watch will show fewer steps/stairs vs fitbit and fewer than calculated in trials.
  2. The caloric burn for the Galaxy Watch will be higher when compared to other sources, including Fitbit.
  3. The Fitbit will be higher when compared to other devices/sources.
    1. (This is based on some annecdotal evidence already, since I looked at my calories burned yesterday and it’s saying 4,400 calories in a 24 hour period.)
  4. Overall, the Galaxy Watch will have values that are lower, but at least are consistently lower by the same percentage. (Example, if I took 100 steps, GW would say nearly 60 every time. Whereas the Fitbit will represent more.

Why?

My assumptions above are based on some small evaluations over time. I have trouble hitting my 6,000 step goal on Samsung but can easily beat that on my Fitbit everyday even if I don’t try. However, I have noticed my sitting in my chair and from moving my arms the steps does increase while the Galaxy Watch remains the same. In fact if I stand and swing my arms my Galaxy Watch remained the same and the Fitbit increased by 10. (the number of each swings I took.) There has been some criticism about this stating that the Galaxy Watch doesn’t seem to pick of short little strolls. Mainly I just want to assist anyone else in determining if the Galaxy Watch is a valid platform for health tracking or at least for accounting for differences between it and other platforms.

Day 0 Summary:

Overall that’s going to be the pace for the next 7 days. I’ll do my best to update it everyday but at a minimum I’ll be updating them in 24 hour increments to account for my full days use. The data for today will be available tomorrow.

 

 

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