The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the second generation of Samsung’s sporty smartwatch line. It offers a sleek design, a touch-sensitive bezel, a variety of health and fitness features, and optional LTE connectivity. But how does it compare to other smartwatches on the market, and is it worth the upgrade from the original Galaxy Watch Active?
Here is our review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
- Sleek and modern design: The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has a sleek and modern design that is suitable for both formal and casual occasions. The rotating digital bezel is a nice touch, and it makes navigating through the watch’s interface very easy.
- Bright and sharp display: The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has a bright and sharp AMOLED display that is easy to read in all lighting conditions. The display is also very durable, and it is resistant to scratches and smudges.
- Comprehensive health and fitness tracking features. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 can track a wide range of health and fitness metrics, including heart rate, sleep, stress levels, and activity levels. It also has a built-in ECG sensor, which can be used to detect irregular heart rhythms.
- Long battery life: The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has a long battery life, lasting up to two days on a single charge. This is especially impressive considering the watch’s compact size and powerful features.
- Some features are not available in all regions: Some of the Galaxy Watch Active 2’s features. Such as the ECG sensor and fall detection, are not available in all regions. This is something to keep in mind if you are considering buying the watch.
- ECG sensor is not yet active in all markets: The ECG sensor on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is not yet active in all markets. Samsung has said that it will be activated via a software update in the future, but there is no timeline for when this will happen.
- LTE model is more expensive: The LTE model of the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is more expensive than the Bluetooth model. This is something to keep in mind if you are on a budget.
Specifications Of Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
|Display||1.2-inch or 1.4-inch Super AMOLED|
|Resolution||360 x 360 pixels|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass DX+|
|OS||Tizen OS 5.5|
|Chipset||Exynos 9110 (10 nm)|
|CPU||Dual-core 1.15 GHz Cortex-A53|
|RAM||768MB or 1.5GB|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, NFC, LTE (optional)|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyro, heart rate, barometer, ECG (not yet activated), GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/BDS|
|Battery||247mAh or 340mAh|
|Charging||Wireless (Qi) or Wireless PowerShare|
|Water Resistance||IP68 (50 meters)|
|Dimensions||40 x 40 x 10.9 mm or 44 x 44 x 10.9 mm|
|Weight||26g or 30g (aluminum), 37g or 42g (stainless steel)|
|Colors||Black, silver, gold (aluminum), black, silver, pink gold (stainless steel)|
|Price||$249 or $269 (Bluetooth), $399 or $419 (LTE) ,$83 (used)|
Design And Display
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 comes in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm, with a 1.2-inch and a 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display respectively. The display is bright, sharp, and colorful, with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass DX+, which is scratch-resistant and anti-reflective.
The watch looks simple and modern. It comes in two types: one is made of aluminum, and the other is made of stainless steel. The aluminum one can be black, silver, or gold, while the stainless steel one can be black, silver, or pink gold. You can change the straps easily to give it a different look.
One of the main improvements of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 over its predecessor is the touch-sensitive be. That allows you to navigate the watch’s interface by swiping or tapping along the edge of the screen. The bezel also provides haptic feedback, which mimics the feeling of a physical rotating bezel. This feature makes the watch more intuitive and user-friendly, especially compared to the Apple Watch’s digital crown.
The watch is also water-resistant up to 50 meters (IP68 rating), and has a MIL-STD-810G certification. That means it can withstand harsh environmental conditions such as temperature, shock, vibration, and dust. However, Samsung warns that this does not guarantee ruggedness or use in extreme conditions.
Performance And Software
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 runs on Samsung’s own Tizen OS 5.5, which is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The watch has an Exynos 9110 chipset (10 nm), with either 768MB or 1.5GB of RAM, depending on the model. The watch also has 4GB of internal storage, which can be used to store music, photos, or apps.
The watch’s software is smooth and responsive, with a variety of watch faces, widgets, and apps to choose from. You can access these by swiping left or right on the screen, or by using the touch-sensitive bezel. You can also customize the watch face with different complications. Such as weather, battery level, heart rate, or notifications.
The watch can use Samsung Pay for making payments without physically touching anything. But it doesn’t work with older card readers that need a magnetic swipe. The watch also has Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant. You can turn it on by holding down the home button or saying “Hi Bixby.” But, Bixby isn’t as good at understanding and doing things as Google Assistant or Siri.
The watch can link up with your smartphone using Bluetooth 5.0 or Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n). It can get messages, calls, emails, social media updates, and calendar alerts from different apps. You can answer some of these notifications with ready-made responses, talking, emojis, or writing by hand. But remember, not all apps work fully on the watch.
If you want to use the Galaxy Watch Active 2 without your smartphone, there’s an LTE option. These models are made of stainless steel and need a special SIM card called an eSIM from your phone provider. With LTE, you can call, text, listen to music online (like Spotify), and use other online stuff on your watch, even if your phone isn’t close by.
Health And Fitness
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is made to keep track of your health and fitness. It has different sensors and tools for this. The watch can sense how you move with an accelerometer and gyroscope. It can measure air pressure with a barometer and can check your heart rate with eight light sensors. It also has an ECG sensor, but it might not work yet. And it can find your location using GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BDS.
The watch can keep tabs on seven types of exercises all by itself. Like running, walking, cycling, swimming (with a special water mode), elliptical trainer, rowing machine. And dynamic workouts (like aerobics or dancing). You can also choose from over 40 other workouts to track manually using the Samsung Health app on your phone or on the watch.
The watch can also measure your VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen you can use during exercise), your running pace, your cadence, and your calories burned. It can also give you real-time coaching and feedback based on your performance and goals. Additionally, the watch can detect if you fall or trip and send an SOS message to your emergency contacts with your location.
The watch also tracks your daily activity levels, such as steps, floors climbed, active minutes, and sedentary time. It also reminds you to move or stretch if you have been inactive for too long. Moreover, the watch tracks your sleep quality and duration, and gives you a sleep score and tips to improve your sleep habits. It also monitors your stress level and helps you relax with guided breathing exercises or the integrated Calm app.
One of the things people were really looking forward to in the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the ECG sensor. It can check the electrical activity of your heart and find irregular rhythms like atrial fibrillation (AFib). But, it’s not ready to use yet when the watch first comes out. Samsung is waiting for approval from the FDA (that’s the Food and Drug Administration) in the US and other groups in different countries. Samsung hasn’t said exactly when this feature will be turned on.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has a 247mAh battery for the 40mm model and a 340mAh battery for the 44mm model. Samsung claims that the watch can last up to two days on a single charge, depending on the usage and settings. In our testing, we found that the watch can indeed last for about two days with moderate use, such as receiving notifications, tracking workouts, playing music offline, and using GPS occasionally.
The watch supports wireless charging via a magnetic charger that comes with the box. It takes about two hours to fully charge the watch from zero to 100%. The watch also supports Wireless PowerShare, which allows you to charge the watch by placing it on the back of a compatible Samsung smartphone, such as the Galaxy S10 or Note 10 series.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a great smartwatch for fitness and beyond. It has a sleek design, a touch-sensitive bezel, a variety of health and fitness features, and optional LTE connectivity. It also has a good battery life, a bright display, and a smooth software experience.
But there are also some downsides to the Galaxy Watch Active 2. For one, it doesn’t have the ECG feature available when it first comes out. The selection of apps for it is somewhat limited, and it’s more expensive than the previous model. Plus, it’s got a lot of tough competition from other smartwatches like the Apple Watch Series 6 or SE if you’re using an iPhone, or the Fitbit Versa 3 or Sense if you’re really into fitness.
In summary, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a good option for Android users who want a smartwatch that does more than just track workouts. It can also work with iOS devices, but there are some restrictions. If you want a smartwatch that can help you keep an eye on your health and fitness goals while looking stylish and being convenient, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 could be the right choice for you.