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Samsung chases Fitbit with new sleep tracking features in One UI 5 Watch

Of course, Samsung's sleep tracking features aren't locked behind a paywall, so there's that.

Published onMay 4, 2023

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro displays its App Library including Google and Samsung native apps.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
  • Samsung is introducing new Galaxy Watch sleep tracking in One UI 5 Watch, coming later this year.
  • Some of the features are reminiscent of Fitbit’s own sleep tracking.
  • Samsung is also introducing smarter fitness and better safety features.

When it comes to sleep tracking, few wearable companies can compare to the mighty Fitbit. Runners might want Garmin smartwatches for their superior athletic metrics, and tech fiends might want a Galaxy Watch for a better app library. But if sleep tracking is what you want, Fitbits are the best.

It looks like Samsung has noticed this. Today, the company announced new Galaxy Watch sleep tracking features that are quite similar to those offered by Fitbit. Samsung is even incorporating an animal icon into the feature, which is directly lifted from Fitbit’s own Sleep Profile.

This and other updates announced today will land with One UI 5 Watch. This unreleased version of the Wear OS skin will land first on the Galaxy Watch 6 series, launching later this year. The Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4 series will see this update at a later date. Starting this month, Galaxy Watch 5/4 users can opt into a beta to check out One UI 5 Watch for themselves.

Galaxy Watch sleep tracking updates

Galaxy watch sleep tracking update May 2023

The image above gives you an idea of the new features Samsung is rolling out. First, you can see your numeric sleep score is now paired with a word-based score. In this case, a sleep score of 82 is labeled as “good.” You also get an image of a penguin.

The penguin is interesting. Fitbit’s Sleep Profile uses animals to represent six different sleep styles. At the end of each month, users get assigned an animal profile that represents their sleep habits over the past 30 days. While a penguin isn’t one of the options, penguins are noted for being interesting sleepers that take many short naps throughout the day.

The new Samsung sleep tracking also gives suggestions on how to make your sleep habits better. This is personalized based on your sleep history.

Of course, the key differentiator between these new Galaxy Watch sleep tracking features and those offered by Fitbit is money: Fitbit locks a lot of its sleep metrics behind the Fitbit Premium paywall. Samsung does not have a subscription service for these metrics, so they will almost certainly be available to all for free.

Other Galaxy Watch updates coming to One UI 5 Watch

Outside of the new sleep tracking features, Samsung is also announcing some other new Galaxy Watch perks. One is Personalized Heart Rate Zones. Instead of just getting a number for your heart rate, you’ll see it separated out into zones representing “warm up,” “fat burn,” “cardio,” etc.

Also, the safety features get an upgrade. When fall detection is triggered, users will be able to directly communicate with an emergency service number. Additionally, fall detection will be on by default for users with advanced ages.

We expect the Galaxy Watch 6 series to land in August, so we’ll know a lot more about these features then.