Just six months after the first Galaxy Watch Active’s release, Samsung followed up with the upgraded Galaxy Watch Active 2, which was the only version Samsung should have manufactured in 2019.
Two new sizes, an LTE variant, better sensors, a somewhat larger display, the latest iteration of Bluetooth, an audible Running Coach, and a rotating bezel navigation option are just a few of the enhancements.
All You Need To Know About The Samsung Galaxy Watch Series 2
Although I did not get the opportunity to try out the Galaxy Watch Active before writing this, I have heard that the software on the first generation device has been updated to provide the same user experience as the Active 2, making hardware the distinguishing feature of the revision.
The 44mm stainless steel black model with LTE connectivity was the one I ultimately decided to buy. On Samsung’s official website, you may save $30, bringing the total to $419.99. The WiFi version of the watch costs $269.99 and comes in a number of attractive colorways, with a body made of aluminium.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE is made from premium materials like stainless steel, glass, and plastic. The glass screen gracefully curls down into the watch’s sides, making it much more streamlined than the Galaxy Watch.
The Watch Active 2 replaces the traditional rotating bezel with a digital bezel that can be activated by dragging a finger around the screen’s periphery. It’s nice to have a large brilliant display in a body that is comfortable to wear for long periods of time and looks excellent, while previous Samsung smartwatches like the Galaxy Watch and Gear Frontier S3 were very bulky.
The Watch Active 2, especially in its larger 44mm stainless steel form, makes it considerably simpler to get a good night’s rest. The upper button on the right side acts as a back button, while the lower button acts as a home button.
Right and up top are mic holes, while the left side is for the speaker. You really shouldn’t listen to music on the speaker for very long, but it comes in handy for phone calls and other situations where you don’t have headphones handy.
When compared to GPS sports watches, the optical heart rate monitor on the back appears to perform admirably. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 can be used with any band that is 20 millimetres wide. There was a black leather band but no silicone one in the package.
Given that this watch is intended for rigorous use, I find it strange that a silicone band wasn’t included. During my runs with the Watch Active 2, I’ve been using one of the 20mm bands I happened to have hanging around. Changing the band is a simple and fast process.
The features of the LTE-equipped Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 are as follows:
- Samsung Exynos 9110 dual-core/li processor at 1.15 GHz.
- 35-inch Super AMOLED with Gorilla Glass DX+ and 360×360 pixel resolution
- Tizen OS 4.0 and OneUI Watch 1.5 are the installed operating systems.
- The LTE version has 1.5GB of Memory.
- Internal Memory Capacity: 4GB
- LTE, Near Field Communication (NFC), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, and Global Positioning System (GPS)/Glonass
- Accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, heart rate, and ambient light sensors
- In addition, it has a built-in speaker and microphone and meets MIL-STD-810G standards for dust and water resistance (IP68 and 5 ATM).
- Power source: rechargeable 340 mAh battery with Qi wireless charging pad
- Weight: 44 grammes; size: 44 mm x 44 mm x 10.9 mm (44mm stainless steel model)
The Galaxy Watch was the last Samsung watch I wore. So, it’s been great fun to wear a watch that’s 2.1 millimetres narrower and weighs 19 grammes less. The sleek, sophisticated appearance makes it a more wearable timepiece, and despite its size, I get a great big-screen watch experience.
The larger 44mm model I’ve been testing includes an LTE radio, so it’s reasonable to assume I can go two days between charges. It has lasted through a full charge, seven hours of sleep tracking, a run of 45 minutes, a full day of wear, and another night of sleep tracking.
Battery life will decrease when using Spotify, leaving the screen on constantly, and making extensive use of LTE in standalone mode. During the day, I usually leave the watch face on and tap it to activate the lift and twist feature.
While a Samsung phone with Wireless Powershare can be used to charge the Watch Active 2, a wireless charging cable is included in the box. While I’m sitting at my computer late at night writing ZDNet articles, there’s usually no reason to wear it other than to charge it up.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is still powered by Tizen and has been refined for use with a circular smartwatch display. You can get around the watch via the buttons, the touchscreen, and the digital spinning bezel.
Samsung Pay may be accessed by pressing and holding the top-right button. Under the settings, you can assign a different action to the double-press of the bottom home button besides launching Bixby.
You can turn off the watch or activate touch controls by pressing and holding the home button. Simply swipe down from the watch face to access six fast controls and a summary of your current connection and battery status.
Power saving, aeroplane mode, ringtone controls, do not disturb, always-on screen, and brightness controls are some of the preset options. If you swipe across, you’ll see additional buttons, including a “settings” button.
Watch faces, sounds, vibrations, screens, connections, apps, accounts, security, accessibility, general, power, and about may all be adjusted. Connecting to a different phone, even an iPhone, is as simple as scrolling down.
To access your alerts, swipe the watch face from left to right. To see all the widgets you’ve chosen and configured, scroll from right to left. You may also scroll with the digital rotating bezel by dragging your finger along the display’s rim. It’s challenging to master, but rewarding once you do.
The Galaxy Shop comes with an astounding variety of customizable watch faces. The Galaxy Watch Active 2’s wide variety of customizable watch faces is one area where it excels in comparison to other smartwatches I’ve tried.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2’s automated activity tracking is another great feature. The mile I cover on foot between the workplace and the train station is never recorded save for the number of steps I take.
In Samsung Health, these are automatically logged as “walks” thanks to the Watch Active 2. Although Apple has added the ability to track some actions, Samsung keeps getting better.
While Bixby has received a lot of criticism, the more I use it on my Samsung devices, the more I appreciate it. Even while using an LTE connection in standalone mode, it has been accurate for me and has provided prompt responses to the majority of my questions.
Because there aren’t as many apps for the Galaxy Watch, it’s generally passed over in favour of the Apple Watch. Throughout the years, I’ve realised that my watches’ primary functionalities have reduced my need for any additional apps.
I have installed Arccos Golf, Strava, Microsoft Outlook, the camera controller, and Uber on my Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. The only apps I’d like to see are Nest and OneNote/Evernote, but Samsung Health, Spotify, and others are loaded automatically.
Mobile Phone Applications
Since I last used it, the Galaxy Wearable app has undergone significant changes. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 can be completely managed and set up from your phone, with all of your preferences, apps, and watch faces syncing over to the wearable in no time.
Samsung Pay, Bixby, and LTE service are just some of the features that may be activated using this mobile app. The widgets that show up alongside the watch face can even be moved around.
If the fitness features of the Watch Active 2 are of interest to you, you’ll want to pair it with the Samsung Health app, which displays all of the data collected by the Watch Active 2.
There are gadgets that track your activity level, fluid intake, physical exertion, nighttime rest, heart rate, stress levels, and more. Samsung Health allows you to analyse trends over time and synchronise your data with Strava and Technogym.
Compared to the Apple Watch 5, How does the Samsung Watch Active 2 Stand Out?
Having used both watches, I can say that the Watch Active 2 is my favourite. The Galaxy Watch Active, in contrast to the Apple Watch, does not require a phone in order to make or receive calls, send texts, or access the internet (including services like Spotify) on the go.
- Monitoring slumber
- Stress monitoring
- A graphical user interface revolving digital bezel
- The Galaxy Apps store has a plethora of watch face choices.
ECG and fall detection are two features exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 5 and not present on the Watch Active 2. The Watch Active 2 hardware supports both capabilities, and they are expected to be provided in a future software update.
Daily Usage Experiences and Conclusions
After getting the Samsung Watch Active 2, Polar Vantage V, and Garmin Forerunner 945, I went for a run. While the Galaxy Watch Active 2 lacked the extensive customization options of dedicated GPS watches, it did an excellent job of monitoring both location and heart rate.
Even though I also have a GPS sports watch, I may keep wearing this one because it’s so convenient for everyday use. While listening to my progress via Bluetooth earbuds while running is convenient, I didn’t find the coaching alternatives to be very helpful.
Again, a casual athlete might benefit from the available coaching alternatives for around six distinct forms of running. Since the Samsung Watch Active 2 allows me to make and receive calls and texts without taking out my phone, I may not be returning it.
This beautiful Super AMOLED display allows me to read lengthy messages and emails without having to switch between apps. But right now, I’m having a serious problem with LTE on T-Mobile. When synced with my phone, the watch has no issues with making or receiving calls or texts.
Nevertheless, T-Mobile customers who use a DIGITS line are unable to receive incoming calls or messages. After more than three days of working with T-Mobile, I’m about to delete the Watch Active 2 from my account. This shouldn’t be that difficult, but it appears that T-Mobile has some provisioning issues.
As I already had this operating on my Gear S3 Frontier, I can’t hold Samsung responsible for this failure; nonetheless, T-Mobile needs to improve if it wants to sell the LTE version of this watch. The companion app on my phone has been invaluable for customising the watch to my preferences and for discovering new functions and faces.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is my favourite Samsung watch because it is a part of Samsung’s excellent ecosystem, which also includes the Galaxy phones. The 44mm black stainless steel model has beautiful hardware, and it feels great on my wrist.
I like that I can change the band whenever I want and that it fits perfectly. It’s entertaining to experiment with various watch faces on a daily basis, and you might spend years exploring them all.