10 tips and tricks to get the most out of Samsung Health

Samsung Health is your one-stop shop for fitness tracking.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read

Samsung recently renamed its S Health app as Samsung Health and added the ability to video-call doctors directly within the app. The new name and feature were announced alongside the Galaxy S8 at the end of March.

With the company's renewed focus on healthy living, there's no better time to give Samsung Health a try. Here's what you need to know.

Not just for Samsung devices

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Despite its namesake, Samsung Health is compatible with the majority of Android devices and is available in the Google Play Store.

You will need a Samsung account to complete setup, regardless of the make or model of phone you own.

Wearable not required

The app itself is capable of tracking your steps and guessing how long -- but not how well -- you slept.

Each morning you will receive an alert asking you to confirm when you went to bed and woke up.

Naturally, if you want the app to track exercises and count your steps, you'll need to have your phone on you at all times. For most of us, that's a non-issue.

Use it with iOS

If you search the App Store for Samsung Health, you won't find it among the weird list of results.

To use Samsung Health with an iPhone , you'll need to own one of Samsung's fitness bands or smartwatches.

Currently, Samsung offers a Gear S app and a Gear Fit app in the App Store. Each one is required to pair, set up, and manage the respective wearable it's designed for.

Inside each app is Samsung Health, where you can view your fitness stats. Unfortunately, sharing your progress with friends or contacting a doctor isn't possible when using Samsung Health iPhone.

Compete with friends

The Together tab in Samsung Health is where you and your friends can compete with one another to see who is the most active.

Additionally, you can view how your stats match up to fellow Samsung Health users your age.

Set up for Together involves Samsung Health sending a text message on your behalf as a means to verify your account.

Once the app has verified your phone number, you can view which of your contacts uses Samsung Health, create challenges and send invites to your friends.

Contact a doctor

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When Samsung announced the Galaxy S8, it briefly mentioned Samsung Health users would have the added benefit of contacting a doctor directly in the app.

That feature has been added to all Galaxy devices ahead of the S8's launch later this month. However, the Experts feature is not available on non-Samsung devices.

The service is only accessible in the US right now, and it states that most insurance companies cover the cost of a video call with a doctor.

Think of Experts as a means to quickly visit a doctor when you have a common cold or have been running a fever, not for something more serious when an in-person appointment with a physician is needed.

Organize the app

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

On the main screen of the app, under the Me tab, are various tiles containing information or shortcuts to workouts and taking multiple readings.

If you want to remove a tile, or add other types of exercises to the app, tap the "Manage Items" button at the bottom of the screen. Arrange existing tiles with a long-press and then drag and drop.

Slide switches on or off, depending on your preferences, set your goals or opt into a program to get in shape for a 5K or 10K.

Start a workout

Starting a workout is as simple as: open the app and tap on the tile for the corresponding exercise type.

If you forget to start a workout, Samsung Health will try to guess what you were doing and the duration.

Track calories

You can also track your calorie intake by enabling the Food tile. With each meal, tap on the Food tile and search for your meal or the various items that make up your meal.

Samsung Health has a relatively extensive database of food and corresponding nutrition information.

Record heart rate, stress levels (Galaxy only)

Using the camera and flash on the back of a Galaxy phone, Samsung Health can monitor your stress level and heart rate. Tap the proper tile and follow the prompts to begin a test. Be sure to remain as still as possible during the test.

It's all backed up

Samsung automatically backs up your health data, meaning you can restore your history when you start using Samsung Health on a new device.