This is the one product I don’t want Samsung to launch in 20…

Samsung Health widget on Galaxy Watch 6.
Joe Maring/

I look forward to seeing the Samsung Galaxy S24, Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip 6 in 2024, and especially the Samsung Smart Ring.

But in the back of my mind, one product is definitely No Want to see from Samsung next year – I fear it may be inevitable. The Samsung Health app is currently completely free, and I don’t want the company to turn it into a subscription-based service.

Fitness subscriptions are everywhere

Samsung Health Workout Report.
Andy Boxall/

I’m not the first person to complain about the vast number of health and fitness wearables subscriptions or subscription plans that encourage us to open our wallets even wider than we normally would. Membership fatigue is a real thing, and most of us would be careful not to let it get out of control. It’s a wonderful thing to find, use, and recommend a completely free platform, but it’s becoming rare.

Samsung Health is one of the few recommended health platforms that does not require any payment. You can access all of its data, see all of the trends, use all of the features, and even anything extra on the devices used to access and feed the data to it You can also access a surprisingly extensive library of workouts and health-related sessions without spending a dime. The app looks good and is easy to understand, which means you’ll probably use it for a long time.

Apple’s health and fitness apps are very similar, but they take a slightly different approach by only charging a monthly subscription for Apple Fitness+ and all of its workout programs. This is perfectly acceptable as it is not driven by your data, and you have to want Use the service before paying. Both Samsung and Apple work, unlike Google, Fitbit, and the Pixel Watch 2, where you Sure Pay $10 per month to see, access, and fully interpret all your data. If you don’t do this, you will miss out on a lot of useful information and features.

a path leads to darkness

Home page of the Fitbit app on an Android phone.
Joe Maring/

These are two ways that companies try to gain membership in the health and fitness world. Fitbit, Ora, Whoop, and others all use subscriptions to access common data, and when you don’t pay, devices range from compromised to completely useless. Companies like Garmin, Withings, and Apple use subscriptions for services that enhance the experience. For example, Garmin’s subscription-based features cover specific activities like sailing, live satellite tracking, and virtual cycling routines.

One is more acceptable than the other, and a company that doesn’t currently operate any type of payment system for its apps has the option of choosing which one to adopt if it decides that’s the path to take. Wants. Charging for additional services that may not have widespread appeal, as Garmin does, is probably what makes these features possible in the first place – and is, therefore, entirely justified. It is not appropriate to charge a fee for viewing or presenting and interpreting the data I provide.

Ora Ring, iPhone 13 Pro, and Apple Watch Series 7.
An Ora ring next to the iPhone and Apple Watch Andy Boxall/

I am concerned that Samsung is at this crossroads and is in the process of deciding which path to take. In May 2023, a report from a Korean news source quoted Hon Pak, head of Samsung’s digital health team, who said about Samsung Health:

“Right now the service is completely free but we are exploring different options. In the future, we are considering a premium model or subscription-based service.

The report also talked about Samsung and Pak’s commitment to improving sleep tracking and a comprehensive sleep health update introduced and promoted with the Galaxy Watch 6 series. Active plans were clearly being discussed in the report at the time, and that made me nervous, especially now that we’re coming to the perfect time for Samsung to execute its next plan.

Galaxy S24 and Samsung Health Plus?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and Samsung Health app.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and Samsung Health Andy Boxall/

In the coming year, there will be plenty of opportunities for Samsung to show off “Samsung Health Plus” or whatever it may decide to call its health-pay-to-play feature. We’re not too far from its first big event, as the Galaxy S24 series is likely to arrive in early 2024.

If Samsung is considering introducing a subscription-based additional feature to Samsung Health, it could do so with this popular product line. Alternatively, it could wait until the end of the year for the Galaxy Watch 7 series – or when it decides to make Samsung Ring a real product, since Aura has already cemented smart rings in the public consciousness with subscriptions Is.

But the timing is less important than its announcement. Samsung Health is one of the better platforms out there, and while it was hard to split the two when I compared it to Apple Health, both did an excellent job of keeping me informed for free. It pairs really well with the fantastic Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, and I have no problem recommending them. This is very difficult to do with the Google Pixel Watch 2 and Fitbit platforms, primarily because of the high, ongoing costs.

Hopefully, I’m worrying about something that won’t happen. But if it does happen, and Samsung’s subscription-based platform becomes a reality, I fully expect it to choose the path taken by Apple and Garmin, not the path taken by Fitbit and Ora. I don’t want Samsung to ruin a great product by forcing us to consider yet another subscription for a health and fitness wearable.

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