There’s a common assumption that apps made by the phone vendor itself aren’t good. This is true much of the time—especially with Android phones—but not always. For example, Samsung Health is an excellent app for your fitness needs.
You Don’t Even Need a Samsung Phone
For a long time, I held that same assumption. I used Samsung Health on my Samsung watch because there aren’t many great alternatives, but I didn’t want to use the app on my phone. I did things like sync all of my data to Google Fit rather than simply try the Samsung Health phone app.
Well, it turns out the Samsung Health phone app is actually pretty good. I should have tried it much sooner. You don’t need a Samsung phone to use Samsung Health, either. Anyone can download it from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
Let’s get the basics out of the way: Samsung Health has all the health-tracking abilities you would expect—and maybe some extras, too. First and foremost, it can track steps. Whether you have a smartwatch or just a phone in your pocket, the app can track your steps.
Along with steps, you can track heart rate (compatible device required), weight and BMI, calories intake, how much water you’re drinking, blood sugar, blood pressure, women’s cycle, and sleep.
With pretty much all of these things, you get a nice read-out of information in graphs. It’s super easy to see how your weight has fluctuated over time, your heart rate throughout the day, and much more. That’s arguably even more important than the tracking itself. If the data isn’t being put to good use, there’s not much point in recording it.
The second type of tracking you might want to do is exercise tracking. Samsung Health can track all the big activities, such as running, walking, biking, swimming, etc. It goes well beyond the common activities, though.
For example, it doesn’t only have “Running” as a basic activity. There’s also a “Running Coach” that can provide guidance during a run and there’s a “Treadmill” mode as well. Similarly, there’s “Cycling,” “Mountain Biking,” and “Exercise Bike.”
If you do a lot of your workouts in a gym, there are plenty of activities for that as well. “Circuit Training,” “Weight Machines,” “Arm Curls,” “Bench Press,” “Deadlifts,” and many more. Heck, Samsung even has “Hang Gliding” tracking.
Just like with health tracking, all your fitness tracking gets nice charts and graphs to help you see your progress. You can view your stats in monthly and yearly read-outs and change which metrics you want to see.
Sticking with fitness tracking, many of the activities offer quite a breadth of information about individual events. This can depend on which type of device you’re using for the tracking. I use a smartwatch while running, which means I get a lot of information.
The chart above shows my pace, elevation, cadence, and heart rate as they changed throughout the run.
Next, I can see which zone my heart rate was in during the run.
For running, there’s an “Advanced Running Metrics” section that has some cool information about your form.
There’s a lot of information you can sift through here. Not all activities have this much information available, but many of them do. Not many apps that I’ve tried provide this much detailed analysis.
If you don’t care so much about diving into the details, Samsung Health also has a very friendly “Daily Activity” graph. The heart-shaped graph shows your steps, active time, and how many calories you’ve burned through activity.
The nice thing is these metrics can be customized to yourself. 6,000 steps may not be realistically possible for your day-to-day life (it’s not for mine), so you can make that a more attainable goal. Same for active time and calories.
Samsung also puts this little graph on the calendar so you can see how you’ve done in past days. The goal is to fill up the rings as much as possible. It’s a nice simple way to get a look at how active you’ve been that day.
Compete With Friends
The last feature is something I haven’t personally used, but I think it would be fun. The “Together” tab is for creating challenges with your friends and having some friendly competition.
For example, you could create a challenge for being the first person to reach a certain number of steps or distance. These challenges can be set up for individual competitions or for competing as teams.
If you don’t feel like roping your friends into challenges, you can also join the Samsung Health challenges with other users. Whichever type of challenge you choose, you can always see how you’re doing on a leaderboard. And if you love prizes, there are achievements up for grabs.
I think the moral of the story here is to not overlook manufacturer apps. I assumed Samsung Health was the company’s half-hearted attempt to have its own version of Google Fit. In reality, it’s much, much better than Google Fit, and more people should know about it. If you’re on the lookout for a good health app, give this one a try.
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