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Samsung brings Galaxy Watch Active features to older smartwatches

You'll get the slicker interface and improved health features.
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Chris Velazco/Engadget

You don't have to spring for the Galaxy Watch Active to put Samsung's latest software features on your wrist. The company is rolling out an update that brings the Active's One UI interface, health features and other optimizations to the regular Galaxy Watch, Gear S3 and Gear Sport. You should now have a livelier, easier to parse interface that matches One UI on more recent Galaxy phones. There's more control as well, with settings that can toggle waking on touch, the Goodnight mode and the frequency of Daily Briefings. Some of the Active's watch faces are also available to download if you've been pining for them since the newer wearable's February premiere.

On the health side, you now have faster, simpler workout tracking through both the Samsung Health app and the widget. It now tracks outdoor swimming, too. You'll find Apple Watch-style high heart rate alerts and more detailed sleep tracking that compares your average to your age group. And when you launch Samsung Health, you'll see the Daily Activities screen right from the start to keep tabs on your progress.

Your watch might even last longer. There are promises of better battery life, in part through more aggressive memory management that closes background apps and tweaks settings. You can fine-tune other settings, such as the brightness and screen timeout. While these features won't be so hot if you aren't enthused with One UI's memory management, they could be helpful if you're determined to get through a weekend without recharging your wristwear.

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