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    Can my Galaxy Watch take my temperature? It’s not that simple…

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    Last updated: March 28th, 2019 at 15:15 UTC+01:00

    A lot of people are interested in finding out if they can take a reading of their body temperature with the Galaxy Watch. Samsung's new smartwatch is the true successor to the Gear S3. It came out last year and Samsung did a very good job of improving everything about the device.

    The Galaxy Watch got many new features as well. Samsung particularly focused on improving health and fitness-focused features. We said in our Galaxy Watch review that Samsung had nearly perfected the smartwatch with this device. The significant updates led many to expect that it would be possible to take a body temperature reading with the device. It might sound simple enough since it has long been possible to measure heart rate using a smartwatch. Blood temperature is a different ballgame, though.

    Can my Galaxy Watch take my temperature?

    No, the Galaxy Watch cannot take your temperature. It does not have the hardware onboard which would allow the device to do that. So while you can do a lot with your Galaxy Watch, checking your body temperature is not one of them.

    It's a very capable smartwatch otherwise. The Galaxy Watch is capable of tracking up to 40 different activities. It can automatically start tracking six exercises such as running and cycling in addition to heart rate and sleep patterns. There's even an option to track your stress levels by detecting increased heart rates over a period of time. If the watch detects that, it will suggest that you take deep breaths to bring the heart rate down.

    It's a different story when it comes to body temperature. You can't do that on a Wear OS device since the underlying Android API doesn't allow for a body temperature sensor yet. The Galaxy Watch isn't powered by Wear OS, it runs Tizen 4.0, but that doesn't mean it can do that. There are other concerns that may have prevented Samsung from offering this functionality despite not having to deal with platform limitations.

    The difference between body temperature and skin temperature also has to be recognized. The former refers to the physical state in which the bodily functions operate at their optimal level. The latter is simply the temperature of your skin which can change based on different factors, the simplest of which is outside temperature. Your skin temperature will go up if you're out in the sun for too long as opposed to comfortably seated in an airconditioned room.

    The thing about body temperature is that it can vary from one zone of the body to another. That's why there's a slightly different threshold for fever depending upon whether the reading is oral, axillary, tympanic, etc. The assumption here being that the body temperature reading on the wrist would be different and might be considerably lower on account of it being an extremity of the body.

    There may also be a higher chance of an inaccurate reading due to several other factors. For example, a temperature sensor on the smartwatch may not be insulated from the outside. That would bring environmental factors into play which could throw off the reading. So while it may be technically possible to do this, the potential for inaccuracy may have prevented Samsung from offering this functionality with the Galaxy Watch.

    It may be a different story in the future. Advanced technology might make it possible for us to quickly take accurate body temperature readings from our smartwatches. As of right now, it's not possible to do that with a Galaxy Watch.

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