Samsung is updating its older smartwatches with a host of new features

From The Verge: Samsung is updating the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active with a host of new features that were introduced with the Galaxy Watch Active 2, our pick for the best smartwatch for Android users. These include new functionality for Bixby Voice, more customization options for its watch faces, new Samsung Health features, and a touch bezel interface for the Galaxy Watch Active.

Adding the touch bezel interface to the Galaxy Watch Active should be particularly welcome after complaining in our review that it lacked the rotating bezel of previous Samsung smartwatches. The touch bezel interface felt intuitive when we reviewed the Galaxy Watch Active 2, so hopefully it will translate well to its predecessor. The Galaxy Watch, meanwhile, already has a rotating mechanical bezel.

Samsung is also changing a number of UX elements on both Tizen-based smartwatches. Icons for in-use apps have been shifted, the current time is now visible while you’re using the stopwatch app or on a call, and the icons on the watch’s quick panel are now easier to customize. There are also new customization options, including 24 new sub-dials and complications, for a total of 41.

Bixby is also receiving some updates to its functionality across both watches. Samsung says that its voice assistant can now be used to start exercise routines and control SmartThings devices, and that it now works in more languages including French, German, Spanish, Italian, and, uh... British English? However, given our experience with the Galaxy Watch Active 2, the new functionality is unlikely to be a revolution. On the Active 2, we noted that Bixby is still a mark against the smartwatch, and that the voice assistant can often feel unresponsive and restrictive.

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