Samsung Watch Active 2 Review
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2 inches, 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: dual-core 1.15 GHz | Strap size: 20 mm | Internal memory: 4 GB | Battery life: about 2 days | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: 50 m | Connection: Wi-Fi. Bluetooth.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2, launched six months after its predecessor, includes several coveted features missing from the Galaxy Watch, such as a digital rotating bezel and an LTE version. Watches are therefore more expensive.
This is still a subtle option. It is perfect for fitness enthusiasts who want all the features of a full-fledged smartwatch. The device features a 1.2-inch 360 x 360 display, which may seem small, but we found it easy to interact with. It reads great. Apps looked great.
The watch is equipped with a heart rate monitor, can automatically track workouts, has GPS, as well as memory, which allows you to download music to the watch and listen to songs using Bluetooth headphones. If you don’t want to do it manually, you can use the Spotify app on Tizen.
Although the price has increased, the Active 2 is still more affordable than the most expensive smartwatches on the market. If you are looking for a small size option for both workout and daily wear, the Galaxy Watch Active is a great choice.
- High quality design. Digital corpus. 44mm and LTE versions now available.
- The price increase brings the watch closer to the Apple Watch. Features are still limited compared to iOS.
Best Samsung smartwatches
Samsung is one of the best smartwatch manufacturers on the planet as it competes with the best devices on the market, including the Apple Watch 5 and Fitbit Versa.
The brand has been making smartwatches since 2013, when it introduced the boxy Samsung Galaxy Gear. Over the past five years, we have seen different variations of wristwatches, and since then, the manufacturer has introduced a completely new series of devices.
Here are some of the best Samsung smartwatches on the market right now, including the beloved Samsung Galaxy Watch, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 sports watch, and even the Gear series.
We should also note that we have not yet been able to properly test out the recently announced Galaxy Fit series. We expect the device to appear on this list in the coming months.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2 or 1.3 inches, 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: dual-core 1.15 GHz | Band sizes: 22mm or 20mm | Built-in memory: 4 GB | Battery life: 4 days at 46 mm / less at 42 mm | Charging method: wireless | IP rating: 50m | Connection: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
The Galaxy Watch is undoubtedly the most well-designed smartwatch from Samsung. The device comes in two versions, which are very different from each other. If you are looking for a larger watch, the 46mm version with a bright 1.3-inch display should be purchased.
Then there is the 42mm option. Both products are equipped with a rotating body that allows you to easily select all the functions offered by the device.
This is a feature that you’ll hardly see in other smartwatches, and it works so well on the Galaxy Watch that it is one of the device’s most significant benefits. Plus, it has Samsung Pay, GPS, swim tracking and more.
The watch can work as a fitness device as well as a premium watch. We tested the larger version of the watch and found that the battery lasts about four days under average load.
If you’re sure you want to use your watch with Tizen software, the Galaxy Watch is the way to go.
- Impressive battery life. Excellent rotating body.
- Irritant charger. Bixby, the virtual assistant, isn’t the best.
Samsung Gear Sport
OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2 inches, 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: dual-core 1 GHz | Strap dimensions: 22 mm | Built-in memory: 4 GB | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: 50 m | Connection: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
On paper, the Samsung Gear Sport doesn’t seem to be as strong as the Galaxy Watch, but if you compare the two you’ll notice a lot of differences.
The Gear Sport has fixed a lot of issues, which is a great option, especially considering how low the price of the Gear Sport is.
Much of what you get from the next generation of devices is here, along with the latest Tizen software, so you have access to all the apps you use on your Samsung Galaxy Watch.
The screen on the watch is large and easy to navigate. The watch can track your location while running, you can also download music and listen to songs via Bluetooth headphones.
If there is a drawback, it is that the overall design is not so clearly implemented. It’s still a pretty watch that you might want to wear on your wrist if you’re looking for a high-spec device but don’t want to spend a lot of money.
- Sleek design. Effective software. Limited exercise tracking.
Samsung Gear S3
OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.3 inches, 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: dual-core 1 GHz | Strap dimensions: 22 mm | Built-in memory: 4 GB | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: 50 m | Connection: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
The Gear S3 isn’t far off the Gear Sport, but it looks older in comparison and is much harder to recommend to any consumer.
If you can find the Gear S3 for a much lower price tag than the Gear Sport, it might be worth getting them.
However, it’s still better to overpay a little and get a Galaxy Watch or Gear Sport.
- Animated always on display. Intuitive interface.
- They look very large on the wrist. Relatively old.
You may still be able to find Samsung Gear S2 or even original Gears, but we don’t recommend buying them in 2020. It is best to pay attention to the options above, as older devices are unlikely to be updated in the future and may be out of date very soon.
Unless you find an absolutely incredible price, we think it is worth spending more on the above products, or consider a watch that does not have Tizen software installed.
Samsung’s new smartwatch design and display
If you were hoping for radical changes from the original Watch Active, don’t be disappointed. We liked the lightweight feel of the Watch Active compared to the heavier Galaxy Watch, and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is just a slightly improved version.
The Watch Active 2 comes in a 44mm version, which is good for those with large wrists but don’t want to use the 46mm Galaxy Watch.
Otherwise, the physical differences are negligible: the watch screen has been enlarged by 0.1 inches compared to its predecessor. The Active 2 smartwatch has a 1.2-inch display in the 40-mm model and a 1.4-inch display in the 44-mm version. The buttons on the right side have a colored outline in some body colors.
On the back of the smartwatch, Samsung has doubled the number of photodiodes to eight. This should allow for more accurate heart rate monitoring, which we will definitely check how the watch will end up with us for a longer period.
The smartwatch also features the usual array of accelerometers, gyroscopes, and barometers found in most smartwatches, along with the new electrocardiogram (ECG), a flagship feature that was first introduced in Apple Watch 4.
The watch retains IP68 water and dust resistance and 5ATM pressure resistance just like the original Active watch.
As for the display, the Active 2 watch looks identical to its predecessor. They have a rounded Super AMOLED display (360 × 360 resolution). Compatible with any replaceable 20mm watch strap.
The aforementioned touchscreen display works pretty well. It’s sensitive enough to either navigate gently from one app to another, or quickly switch between (and through) them. With the help of feedback, the watch informs us about the switch, creating vibration and characteristic “ticking”. Vibration is done in moderation, digital rotation feels tactile but not intrusive.
Battery life without recharging
The 40mm Watch Active 2 has the same 230mAh battery as its predecessor. Samsung claims that on average the watch will last up to 2 days on a single charge, assuming you’re not doing a lot of power-hungry tasks (e.G. GPS is always off).
This is a little disappointing, but expected given the small size of the watch. For example, the large 46mm Galaxy Watch held a charge for almost 5 days. For those who need more capacity, the 44mm Active2 has a 340mAh battery, 37% more than the smaller model. Of course, you can increase the battery life by using the various battery saving settings, which we will fully test in our review.
Watch Active 2 performance and software
Nothing has changed on the specs. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 runs on the same 1.15ghz Exynos 9110 dual-core chipset as its predecessor (and the Galaxy Watch, by the way). They have the same 4GB of storage and 768MB of RAM, while the LTE model has 1.5GB of RAM.
And that’s not a bad thing at all, as we navigate the Active 2 interface as easily as we do with older Samsung watches. I wish Samsung had shipped more storage as 4GB shrinks to 1.5GB of free space once the operating system boots.
Samsung‘s user interface runs on the same Tizen operating system and has barely gone through any changes. You can still open the list of apps by pressing the bottom button, but using the digital rotating dial is a much easier way to switch between them.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is even more tightly integrated with the Samsung Wearables mobile app, adding an interesting feature: take a picture with your phone, and the aLGorithm will create a color watch face with a SIMilar digital pattern for your Active 2. It is assumed that you want to customize the design for each set of your clothes, but you can also take a picture of the sky, on a cloudy (or clear) day, according to your mood.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review, release date
We got our hands on the new Galaxy Watch Active 2, we prepared a review for you, analysis of characteristics and conducted initial testing. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the result of rough arithmetic: Take the thinner Samsung Galaxy Watch Active and add the best of the more powerful Samsung Galaxy Watch, including its rotating dial, and you have the best of both worlds.
Note that this is not a rotating mechanical dial. It is touch-sensitive, with tactile feedback. You touch the edge with your finger to “rotate” it. However, this functionality is quite enough for people looking for a unisex sports smartwatch but want more tangible control.
This solution is not comfortable enough to compete with the Galaxy Watch, but it is one step ahead of the control schemes on other smartwatches. In fact, it’s easier to run your finger across the outside of the watch while you run than using a tiny watch face. Compared to the first Watch Actives, nothing has changed other than the inclusion of an ECG. But perhaps these two updates are enough to justify a successor. After all, it’s only been a few months since the first Watch Active began selling, from April 2019.
Tactile touchscreen in action. Notice the small arc at the top where each node is a separate application:
Watch Active 2 early verdict
- The rotating digital dial is very convenient
- ECG function
- LTE version
Fitness features of the Galaxy Watch Active 2
As expected, the Watch Active 2’s fitness apps and features remain largely unchanged. They have 39 workout tracking modes such as running, walking, cycling and swimming. The Running Trainer has been enhanced to track your pace in real time, offering feedback along the way, and tracking your location with GPS and accelerometer.
These additional photodiodes on the back should read readings faster, according to a Samsung press release. This is yet another claim from the company, we’ll check in our full review. Additional sensors should also help with yet another health feature: Managing Stress Levels with Samsung Health Suite, including meditation and sleep tracking with Calm app.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 price review and release date
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 will go on sale on September 27, 2019, priced between 279.99 for the 40mm and 299 for the 44mm version. Samsung has not yet announced international pricing.
The basic equipment includes an aluminum case and a rubberized strap in the colors: Cloud Silver, Aqua Black and Pink Gold. The watch will also come in a more expensive package with a stainless steel case in silver, black and gold with a leather strap, but Samsung hasn’t announced how much it will cost yet. Galaxy Watch Active 2 will also be available in LTE version from September 27, but Samsung did not say how much it will cost.
If a rotating bezel and a few extra features are not a big deal to buy, the original Watch Active will be more profitable as Samsung has already discounted it.
- Very SIMilar to the original Active
- Significantly more expensive than the original
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 has only a couple of big differences, but considering the rotating dial, ECG monitor, and LTE connectivity, they are more different than meets the eye.
Given how little time has elapsed between the release of the original Watch Active and this new model, it’s likely that the rotating dial should have been included in the original, but Samsung didn’t have enough time to develop it. On the other hand, the price increase pushes the Watch Active 2 closer to the Apple Watch price range.
As such, the Watch Active 2 is less of a bargain compared to its predecessor and is a little harder to recommend. But this is still a quality smartwatch that we look forward to testing it out to the fullest.
Considering how long we’ve been waiting for information on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2, the Active 2 may be Samsung‘s only smartwatch this year. And they have every chance of being at the very top of our list of the best smartwatches.
As soon as we conduct a detailed review of the new product from Samsung, we will supplement this article. We also continue to follow the latest IT news and reviews. The most interesting equipment. Subscribe to our group. To know about everything first!
The watch supports communication with the outside world via Bluetooth version 5.0. Low-power, but providing stable communication within a radius of 10 meters. In addition, the watch has a built-in Wi-Fi module. For example, to download music. And for communication with payment terminals and other readers there is NFC. Through it, you can use the Samsung Pay system and pay for purchases even more conveniently than just a phone.
He’s a repetition counter. The hardware consists of a multi-axis gyroscope and an accelerometer. By registering the relative movements of the watch and isolating the phases of movement characteristic of walking, running, cycling and other exercises, the watch registers the number of repetitions. And so the steps are counted.
The counting program can learn. You won’t surprise anyone either.
Surprisingly, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 can automatically distinguish 7 types of activity:
- Elliptical trainer;
- Workout. Whatever it is;
Manual workout control makes it possible to fine-tune the calorie counter for the type of workout. There are dozens of such settings.
Review of smart watches Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Just on August 9, 2018, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Watch Smart Watch. Then came their little brother. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. And now, a year later, a new model Galaxy Watch Active 2 appears on the market. In the review we will figure out how Samsung surprises its user. At the same time, we will try not to fall off in comparison with the previous generation. But it will not be possible to completely get away from such a comparison.
Smartwatches always have a basic set of fitness features. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is no exception. Let’s take a closer look at what the watch can do.
Pulse and breathing
For better performance of the HR sensor. That is, the heart rate. It was equipped with as many as eight LEDs. It shines through the vascular bed more efficiently, allowing you to assess not only the fullness of the vessel, but also the “darkness” of the blood, which allows you to assess the level of oxygen saturation. And indirectly draw conclusions about the level of stress and fatigue.
Of course, it is worth listening to these indications only evaluatively, without making a diagnosis. The watch is not a medical device.
But the pulse is counted correctly. If the heart speeds up or slows down excessively, the watch will certainly inform the owner. This is important both in training and in moments of nervous tension.
The watch collects a lot of information from the HR sensor and other sensors, accumulates it, and provides the owner in the form of various statistical reports. And they also form useful advice on improving health and the quality of life in general.
The watch distinguishes between the phases of sleep. They do this by the absence of movement, by the absence of surges in the pulse. Therefore, some moments before falling asleep, when the owner is just reading a book, for example, can be regarded as a dream. This should not be surprised.
Sleep is the most important part of a third of human life. We do not give ourselves up to any other occupation with such a degree of immersion. Therefore, it is important to monitor the quality of your night’s rest.
For example, the clock shows that there is little slow sleep. What does this mean? The fact that it is worth taking care of a more comfortable bed, pay attention to the ventilation of the room, and provide better sound insulation.
Generally speaking, all the statistics, which are collected and presented in the form of various graphs by the clock, are displayed for the owner for a reason. And in order to make his life better. By analyzing the changes, the owner of the smartwatch understands how much he has achieved the goal.
The watch is protected from water and dust according to IP68 standard. In principle, the instruction contains a warning that you should not check your watch by diving to 50 meters. They are a little more than useless when diving, completely different information is more important to the diver than the Galaxy Watch Active 2 will give you. But you can swim in the pool without steaming at all. But to really steam in a Russian bath, hammam or sauna in hours is not worth it. No standard provides for protection from hot air, and even more so, water vapor.
Shock protection is made in accordance with the US military standard MIL-STD-810G, which indicates a decent level of performance of the case and glass, as well as a thin but durable “movement” of the watch.
Naturally, the screen is touch-sensitive. Naturally, the sensor covers the entire screen surface. And not only tapes are supported, but also swipes. It would be strange if it were not so.
Naturally, with an outstanding filling. About it below. There is no talk of any interface lags.
The watch allows you to listen to music, including from your own memory. If you don’t take your smartphone with you for a run, it helps a lot. They easily connect with wireless headphones, especially the “native” ones from Samsung.
Round screen apps for Tizen are not limited to fitness programs. There are also games.
The watch allows you to remotely control the camera shutter of a Samsung smartphone. Not all models, read the documentation. That makes it possible to take cool pictures. The selfie stick does not have such capabilities. The main thing is not to leave your smartphone on a tripod further than 10 meters, otherwise Bluetooth will not reach. And watch carefully so that some of the passers-by do not take possession of poorly worthwhile property. This is especially true in tourist places, regardless of the host country. The lack of local picks is successfully compensated by newcomers.
To accurately count steps and reps of training movements, the watch is equipped with a multi-axis gyroscope and accelerometer. In addition to these two, the watch has a barometer, a light sensor and an HR sensor. HR stands for Heart Rate or heart rate sensor. Judging by the design, the pulse sensor works on the principle of PPG. Photoplethysmography. Calculates the heart rate by filling / emptying the vascular bed of the capillaries, which are translucent with a green laser.