by Matt Weik
I kid you not, the title of this article is not clickbait. I want you to go buy a Samsung TV to help improve your health and fitness. But hold on now, don’t whip out your wallet just yet. The Samsung TV I’m talking about isn’t just any old television, nor does it allow you the ability to sit in front of it and magically improve your health and make your body fat disappear. So, what television set am I referring to? It’s the Samsung Q7-series with the new Smart Trainer feature that utilizes a camera (that you need to supply).
The brand announced their Samsung Health app back in 2020 when they rolled it all out with a new offering of televisions. But let’s not overhype things – this technology is nothing new. However, this new Samsung TV provides you with these features directly from using their television versus purchasing some other interactive piece of fitness tech like the Mirror or Tonal.
Why Would You Want This Samsung TV?
At-home fitness is booming, and it makes sense why the brand would launch a “Smart Trainer” and health app with the purchase of a Samsung TV. People are looking for ways to get in a workout without leaving their home or needing to purchase a bunch of equipment that takes up space or costs an arm and a leg to invest in. Additionally, the thought of spending time driving to and from the gym as well as getting stuck in traffic is enough to drive someone insane. Think about how much time and money you would save if you no longer needed the gym and could exercise in the privacy of your own home.
Another great feature of this Samsung TV tech rolling out is the fact that you can get the whole family involved. While all of you may not fit in the box to have your reps counted and form checked (which will be discussed shortly), more than one person can follow along and partake in the activities to make it a family affair.
Does this Samsung TV “Fit” Your Lifestyle?
As mentioned above, other than purchasing a specific Samsung TV to use the Samsung Health features, you’ll need a webcam. Luckily for most, due to remote working over the past year, many Americans already have invested in a webcam that they can toss on top of their Samsung TV and connect it directly to the television set. However, this technology does not come without a few flaws and drawbacks that can negatively affect your user experience.
After calibrating your camera and ensuring it’s picking up your movements, you MUST ensure you are staying inside the viewing window at all times, otherwise, you risk some of your activity not registering or getting counted.
There have also been some cases where depending on the type of clothing you are wearing (such as all one color), the unit cannot make out or track your movements since parts of your body blend together.
A nice feature about the Samsung TV with the Samsung Health app is that using the software will do all of your rep counting for you along with checking your form. If your form is off, it will tell you. Do I feel that this new feature with the Samsung TV is the best out there? No. Actually, I don’t think it’s anywhere close to what you would get with a system like Mirror or Tonal. That said, it IS an option for you.
The software uses rings displayed on your screen that need to be filled in order to show your progress. I look at this in a similar fashion to that of the Apple Watch, where you have various rings to complete each day according to your goals and milestones. Is this the best method for adherence and motivation? I can only speak for myself, but I don’t think so. After about a week of using my Apple Watch, I really didn’t care about completing my rings each day. If I glanced down at it, great – if not, then no big deal.
So, will the Samsung TV and app be enough to keep people motivated, or will they simply plop down on the couch and watch television versus getting up and active with the health and fitness software? I’m not convinced it will unless you’re self-motivated and committed to your health and fitness.
Next are the programs. From what I have read, the compatible content you can use with the Samsung TV is somewhat limited. However, I’m sure as they continue to roll everything out, more will become available. Nonetheless, right now, it appears that the only content available is a program from Jillian Michaels, barre3, and Obe Fitness.
Would I Buy into This “Smart Trainer” Technology?
Sadly, I would not – but I have a caveat. If I were in the market for a new television, I might consider it once the technology improves, kinks are straightened out, and more content is available to be used with the Samsung TV.
With so many things available for at-home fitness, it’s hard to beat the new technology out there today. Again, Mirror and Tonal are absolutely dominating the market, and there are rave reviews for each out there. You really don’t hear much about the Samsung TV Smart Trainer (at least not yet).
I’d personally save my money for a Mirror or Tonal if I had to make a choice now of what direction to go. That’s not to say the Samsung TV Smart Trainer is a total waste, it just doesn’t suit my wants or needs – you may have a difference of opinion based on your own needs. But one thing I always like to throw out there and make sure people don’t dismiss is resistance bands. If you want something small and compact that you can use at home to get in some resistance training, it’s hard to beat a good quality resistance band set.