25 Sep Why I’m Ditching my Galaxy Watch 5 Pro for the Pixel Watch 2
If you want a smartwatch that is both a good fitness tracker and health tracker, the Galaxy Watch ain’t it because Samsung Health sucks. And the customer service is horrendous. And really, it was the customer service that broke this camel’s back. And this is very emotional framing so let me explain.
For the first six-ish months with my Galaxy Watch Pro 5, I was very happy because Samsung Health wasn’t terrible for my needs at the time. I was able to track the things I needed, and I thought it was doing an accurate job. Then I started using CoPilot Fitness because their coaches are amazing if you are disabled, and not only for things like ADHD, and my physical therapist at the BC Pain Clinic was very impressed with the program my coach built for me. That is when I began to learn all the ways in which Samsung is subpar when it comes to both health and fitness.
Heads’ Up: This post will discuss things like calories and food and exercise.
How the Samsung Galaxy Watch Pro 5 and Samsung Health Fail
I don’t want to get too far into the tech weeds, so let me just say that one of the reasons why I purchased the Galaxy watch was it had more health features than Fitbit/Pixel had at the time. Also, because it runs WearOS and is supposed to work seamlessly with WearOS apps. And that turned out to be a big, huge NOPE.
Not only does it not send and receive data correctly to fitness apps like CoPilot and the Google Fit apps, but it also stopped accepting data from Heatlh Connect. For Apple users reading this, Health Connect is the Android equivalent of Apple Health. It was created in partnership between Samsung and Google, so you’d think Samsung Health would accept data from it and send data correctly. It looks like Samsung wants to keep you in its walled garden.
But the problem with that walled garden is that the data it gives you is often incorrect. If you need to track calories for whatever reason, you need to know that it undercounts calories by up to 1000+ kcal per day. That is a lot and very dangerous. You have to start a “workout” to add any calories above base metabolic rate.
The reason I know this is because just over a month ago, I decided to wear both my Fitbit first generation Sense and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro at the same time because I needed workout data that Samsung Health was no longer accepting, and it opened up my eyes to just how shit the Galaxy Watch is. Samsung Health also won’t accept caloric intake data from other apps.
I also bought the Pro 5 because it was supposed to have better heart health tracking and data. That is also not the case. Since I started to wear my Fitbit and Galaxy watch at the same time, I have noticed that my Galaxy watch missed four instances of tachycardia when at rest. I have POTS (among all my other health things) and I need a watch that will track it so that I can monitor if my medications are working. My only complaint in this department with my Sense is that it says my resting heart rate is higher than it is. I’m hoping the Pixel Watch 2 will be better on this front.
When Samsung Health stopped accepting data from other apps, I decided to set up my Galaxy Watch to work with Google Fit, with Health Connect finetuned to accept some data from Samsung Health and the more accurate date from Fitbit. Then One UI 5 came out on the watch and removed the Google Fit tiles, again locking me into a Samsung Garden unless I wanted to work harder to access the Google Fit apps.
Samsung’s Horrible Customer Service
I spent weeks going back and forth with Samsung’s customer service about the Health Connect issues using the Samsung Members app. Sending screenshots of where data wasn’t being accepting to Health but Fit was accepting it no problem. Screenshots of how the data Health was sending to other apps was incorrect. And so much other data. After many weeks of this, they told me to start a support ticket in my Samsung account to upload an error log. So, I did.
Over a week later, they got back to me and told me to update Health Connect and that will fix the issue. Friends, Health Connect was up-to-date and they gave me no way to respond to them. I was to open another ticket. That is another big, huge NOPE. That’s not how to do customer service. It was then that I decided I was done with my Galaxy watch and moving to Pixel.
I Forgot How Much I Love the Fitbit App
After spending the last just over a month in the Fitbit app, I forgot how much I love it. And with its most recent update in the lead up to the release of the Pixel Watch 2, I love it even more. Its design is beautiful and very calming. At least it is to me.
The One Thing I’m Not Going to Like About the Pixel Watch 2
It’s been finally confirmed that the Pixel Watch 2 will only have 24-hour battery life like the first-generation watch. Boo. The Samsung goes for days. My Sense goes for almost a week. Because I don’t like always-on display, I may be able to get a little bit more life out the Pixel, but I don’t know. That said, I’m willing to put up with remembering to charge my watch while I shower than put up with the failure that has become the Samsung Health ecosystem.
If you need both accurate fitness and health data, and like to use non-Samsung apps, then the Samsung Galaxy watch is not for you. I don’t know if the Pixel watch is for you, but I do know that will be for me. I know that I can trust in the metrics that I need to monitor for my health and for managing my chronic conditions.