Samsung has announced that its latest smartwatches are getting a health feature upgrade thanks to a new partnership with Natural Cycles. Following the update, your Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro will be able to measure your skin temperature and determine what stage of your menstrual cycle you’re at (provided you have a menstrual cycle).
Fertility tracking was a big addition to last year’s Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch Ultra, which pair exclusively with the best iPhones, giving these rivals the edge over Samsung’s offerings (it wasn't the only addition, of course, but we still think Apple should copy Huawei and Garmin and make its next watch really weird). Now thanks to this upcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 update (which is scheduled to land within the “second quarter” of the year, read: sometime in April, May, or June), Samsung is able to claw back some of the distance between its smartwatches and Apple's, especially in the eyes of pregnancy-conscious consumers.
Unfortunately, those of you who own a different Android phone will still be out of luck – the Cycle Tracking feature will only be available via the Samsung Health app which is solely available on Galaxy phones running Android 8.0 or higher.
The Natural Cycles feature also won’t be available to all users right away – such as those of you who live in Australia – but it is launching in the US, UK, Ireland, and 29 other countries (opens in new tab).
What is Natural Cycles?
Natural Cycles is an FDA and CE-cleared app (the respective US and EU medical regulation bodies) that can reportedly track a person’s menstrual cycle with a high level of accuracy.
Each morning a user logs their body temperature in the app – as well as any optional details about their period if they’re experiencing one, or if they’re sick or hungover – and Natural Cycles’ algorithm uses this data to determine if they’re ovulating or not.
If you’re trying to start a family Natural Cycles claims (opens in new tab) its services help people get pregnant in “3 cycles or less”. Alternatively, for those of you trying to avoid pregnancy Natural Cycles boasts (opens in new tab) that 93% of typical users did not get pregnant following its apps advice over the course of a year – compared with 93% who relied on the contraceptive pill and 87% of people who relied on condoms alone.
Though if you are planning to use Natural Cycles in any way – either via its existing app or the Samsung Health service – we’d recommend talking to your doctor first and following their guidance.