June 16, 2024
Samsung Health widget on the Galaxy Watch 6.
Joe Maring / Digital Developments

I’m wanting ahead to seeing the Samsung Galaxy S24, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip 6, and particularly a Samsung good ring in 2024.

However behind my thoughts, there may be one product I positively don’t need to see from Samsung subsequent yr — one I worry might turn into inevitable. The Samsung Well being app is at the moment utterly free, and I don’t need to see the corporate flip it right into a subscription-based service.

Health subscriptions are in every single place

Samsung Health workout report.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

I gained’t be the primary to complain about subscriptions for well being and health wearables or the sheer variety of subscription plans encouraging us to open our wallets even wider usually. Subscription fatigue is an actual factor, and most of us can be aware about not letting it get uncontrolled. Discovering, utilizing, and recommending a totally free platform is an excellent factor, however one that’s changing into uncommon.

Samsung Well being is a type of few really useful well being platforms that doesn’t require any fee in any respect. You’ll be able to entry all its knowledge, see all of the developments, use all of the options, and even dig right into a surprisingly intensive library of exercises and health-related classes all with out spending something additional on the units used to entry and feed it with knowledge. The app seems good and is straightforward to grasp, which implies you’ll most likely use it for longer.

Apple’s Well being and Health apps are very comparable, however they take a barely totally different strategy by solely charging a month-to-month subscription to Apple Health+ and all its exercise packages. That is completely acceptable because it’s not pushed by your knowledge, and you must need to make use of the service earlier than paying. Each Samsung and Apple do the alternative to Google, Fitbit, and the Pixel Watch 2, the place you should pay $10 per thirty days to see, make use of, and absolutely interpret all your personal knowledge. If you happen to don’t, you’ll miss out on loads of useful insights and options.

One path results in the darkish aspect

The home page of the Fitbit app on an Android phone.
Joe Maring / Digital Developments

These are the 2 methods firms appear to strategy subscriptions within the well being and health world. Fitbit, Oura, Whoop, and others all use subscriptions to entry common knowledge, and if you don’t pay, the units vary from compromised to thoroughly ineffective. Firms like Garmin, Withings, and Apple all use subscriptions for companies that improve the expertise. For instance, Garmin’s subscription-based options cowl area of interest actions like crusing, dwell satellite tv for pc monitoring, and digital biking routines.

One is extra acceptable than the opposite, and an organization that at the moment doesn’t function any type of pay system for its apps has a alternative of which one to undertake if it decides that is the trail it desires to take. Charging for extra companies that will not have a large attraction, as Garmin does, possible makes these options potential within the first place — and is, subsequently, solely cheap. Charging to see the info I provide or to have it offered and interpreted just isn’t.

Oura Ring, iPhone 13 Pro, and Apple Watch Series 7.
An Oura Ring subsequent to an iPhone and Apple Watch Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

I’m involved Samsung is at this crossroads and is deep into the method of deciding which path to take. In Might 2023, a report from a Korean information supply quoted Samsung’s digital well being workforce head, Hon Pak, who mentioned about Samsung Well being:

“Proper now the service is totally free however we’re exploring totally different choices. Sooner or later, we’re considering a premium mannequin or a subscription-based service.”

The report additionally talked about Samsung and Pak’s dedication to enhancing sleep monitoring and a complete sleep well being replace was launched and promoted with the Galaxy Watch 6 sequence. Lively plans had been clearly being mentioned within the report on the time, and it made me nervous, particularly now we’re coming to the right time for Samsung to place its subsequent plan into motion.

Galaxy S24 and Samsung Well being Plus?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and the Samsung Health app.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Traditional and Samsung Well being Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

Within the coming yr, there can be loads of alternatives for Samsung to indicate off “Samsung Well being Plus” or no matter it could resolve to name its health-pay-to-play function. We’re not distant from its first main occasion, because the Galaxy S24 sequence will possible arrive early in 2024.

If Samsung has been taking a look at introducing a subscription-based addition to Samsung Well being, it could accomplish that with this fashionable product line. Alternatively, it could wait till the Galaxy Watch 7 sequence nearer to the tip of the yr — or when it decides to make the Samsung Ring an actual product, as Oura has already linked good rings with subscriptions within the public consciousness.

However the timing is much less vital than what it could announce. Samsung Well being is likely one of the higher platforms on the market, and once I in contrast it to Apple Well being, it was tough to separate the 2, with each doing a wonderful job of maintaining me knowledgeable without spending a dime. It pairs very well with the good Galaxy Watch 6 Traditional, and I’ve no downside recommending them. It’s far tougher to do the identical with the Google Pixel Watch 2 and the Fitbit platform, primarily due to the excessive, ongoing price concerned.

Hopefully, I’m worrying about one thing that gained’t occur. But when it does, and a subscription-based platform from Samsung turns into a actuality, I sincerely hope it chooses the trail taken by Apple and Garmin and never the one taken by Fitbit and Oura. I don’t need Samsung to break an incredible product by forcing us to contemplate yet one more subscription for a well being and health wearable.

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