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
- 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:
- 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:
- Is the Galaxy Watch Step tracker accurate?
- Is the Galaxy Watch stair calculator accurate?
- Will caloric burn during various exercises be similar to other sources?
- 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:
- The Galaxy Watch will show fewer steps/stairs vs fitbit and fewer than calculated in trials.
- The caloric burn for the Galaxy Watch will be higher when compared to other sources, including Fitbit.
- The Fitbit will be higher when compared to other devices/sources.
- (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.)
- 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.
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.