Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Review! Is It The Best Android Smartwatch?

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Review

Product Name: Samsung Galaxy 2 Active

Overall Rank: 4.5/5

Price: $229.99 USD (40 mm), $249.99 USD (44 mm) – On sale right now! (21-11-2019)

Best Place To Buy: Amazon.com (Amazon’s Choice)

Guarantee: 1 year


After only six months after the release of the Samsung Galaxy Active, the giant multinational is coming back with a ”pimped” version of his smartwatch, trying to keep his fifth place in the wearable world (sold worldwide). Some new changes have been implemented with the Galaxy Active 2 including the ability to navigate through menus with a touch bezel. So, forget about the rotating bezel that came with the previous version.

The design looks pretty similar from his predecessor but you now have the LTE option, better heart rate accuracy and ECG sensor like the Apple Watch 4/5 that gives real deep insights about your heartbeat and analyze it for potential issues.

But does this new smartwatch is the best choice Android’s users have? You will know all the ups and downs with my Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 Active review. Let’s go! 

What’s in the Box?

Pretty basic stuff inside the box like most of the smartwatches and fitness trackers in the market.

You get three things inside the box:

  • Samsung Galaxy Active 2 Watch with the band/strap
  • Small User Manual
  • Magnetic Wireless Charger (USB)

I would have suggest including a replacement band and a screen protector for this expensive watch. Unfortunately, you need to purchased them separately from Samsung web store or Amazon.com.

Here’s some links suggesting the replacement parts (screen protectors and bands)

Screen Protector 40 mm

Screen Protector 44 mm

Replacement bands (several choices)


Hardware and Design

 

                                                                                 Credits: Samsung website

 

Bright Display

 

Coming with a 30 mm (1.2”) circular Super AMOLED (360 x 360) display it is packed with a 16M color depth. Once you look at the display you will be happily charmed with his brightness. We can definitely compared it to the Apple Watch 4 or 5 display that also includes always-on technology. The Light sensor allows the display to automatically tune itself based on the outside or ambient light. 

Maximized Screen

 

Credits: Samsung.com

                                                                                   Credits: Samsung.com

Designed with beautiful round case the Galaxy Active 2 has a bigger screen/body ratio, making it more appealing visually and at the same time you get more info on the screen.

 

Robust (military grade) and Anti-Scratch

                                                                                     Credits: Corning.com

Made with Corning Gorilla Glass DX+, the screen is one of the best in the industry. It will endure bumps and knocks while delivering excellent scratch resistance to potential damaging impacts. With this technology you will be sure that the display will last a long time. Galaxy phones and even Apple Watch 4 and 5 are using the same Corning glass in their devices.

No More Rotation Bezel

Samsung has replaced the old school rotation bezel (on the side of the watch) by a built-in bezel that is located on the edge of the screen. To navigate in the menus or to control the functions of your Galaxy Watch 2 Active, you must swipe clockwise or counter-clockwise on the edge of the screen. Thanks to the Tizen OS capabilities.

 

If you want to access a widget (e.g.: Weather or Phone Notifications) you need to select the specific widget by touching the edge of the screen and then swipping left or right to navigate in the widget. The navigation flow feels smooth and sharp thanks to the Dual-Core 1.15 GHz processor.

The two buttons on the side of the watch are the Back and Home keys. Holding the Home Key will also turn on or off the watch.

Customize it with your own watchface

Beside having some cool but limited pre-installed watchfaces (click here to see a video showing them) the watch allows you to take a picture of anything you want and use it as a background image. It may sound childish but it works like a charm. That way you can customize your watchface and match it with a custom strap/band.

Credits: Samsung.com

Another thing to add is that you can purchase a new strap and you can scan the QR code from the package to get a link to download a watchface that matches it. Please keep in mind that you can also install third-party watch faces that you can find on the web.

Lightweight and Waterproof (IP68)

Weighted at only 30 grams the Galaxy Active 2 watch is super lightweight making you forget that you are wearing it. It is also waterproof with an IP68 grade that let you use the watch on any conditions. Adding the ATM5 water resistance you can swim with the watch and it will also automatically record your swimming session.

Battery that last 3 days

With is 340 mAh battery you will get around 3 days of typical usage before you need to recharge it again. Expect even less if you use most of the sensors (more specifically GPS and Wi-Fi), it can go down to 2 days at maximum.

You can charge the Galaxy Watch 2 active with the original wireless charging pad that comes in the box or with another wireless pad due to his built-in wireless charging coil. It takes around 2 hours to fully charge the watch. Another cool way to charge the watch is to use the wireless Powershare technology. If you have a device/phone with the same technology it will act ”like a wireless charging pad” it will charge the watch!

This is a great feature if you don’t have your charger with you and you need a quick charge on the go! If you are looking for a bit more of juice you can buy the 44 mm model that has a bigger battery capacity.


 

Fitness Features

Accurate Heart Rate sensor (8 photo diodes)

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

                                                                                            Credits: Samsung.com

If you are looking for a watch that calculate heart rate beats correctly, this one is great pick. Compared to an Apple Watch 5 they give almost the same results. Still, it could fluctuate when compared to a watch that uses a chest-strap (the best way to monitor HR).

                                                                                                                                                                        

Calorie Burn and Step Counter

Another feature that we love to check is the calorie burn. With the Galaxy 2 Active you will get decent accuracy but not perfect. Step counter is also accurate more or less a couple of foot. 

Automatic Activity Tracking

After spending around 10 minutes doing your workout the watch will auto detect the type of workout you are doing. There’s a bunch of workouts/activities available on the watch. Running, cycling, climbing just to name a few. 

Running Coach and Built-in GPS

The Galaxy Active 2 includes a Running coach that can help you stay whit in the pace that you have preset by prompting an audio sound or notification directly on watch’s screen. The built-in GPS is pretty accurate due to his capability to track GPS, Beidou, Glonass and Galileo satellites. This helps the watch to acquire a position faster and more precise. This is definitely a feature that I love! Thumbs up!

ECG and fall detection embedded but…

Being able to monitor if your heart is pumping too fast or slow could help diagnostic a potential health issue. Like the Apple Watch 4/5 this feature could save lives. But it is still under development for Samsung and they should be releasing a firmware update activating the feature by 2020. Too bad!


Software and Connectivity

LTE enable (option) and Wi-Fi connectivity

The Galaxy Watch 2 Active comes with Wi-Fi to help you transfer your files or stream your music/playlist from Spotify. The LTE function is great to have if you want to make calls directly from your wrist. You can also reply to emails and text messages. Take note that not all phone carriers are compatible with this watch. Click here to see the list of compatible carriers all around the world.

Samsung Pay (with NFC only)

This feature lets you pay your stuff (e.g.: at the grocery store) with your watch. Make sure that the store you are getting in have NFC (near field communication) payments available since MTS (magnetic secure transmission) is not compatible with the Active 2.

Bixby Integrated

With this new watch Samsung added their own digital assistant, Bixby. It sounds a bit robotic compare to Siri (Apple assistant) but it does the job.

Store Music on your wrist

With his 1.4Gb of internal storage the Galaxy 2 Active lets you store transferred music. This can be helpful if you don’t want to use Spotify or other streaming music services.

Third-Party apps

third-party apps

Apps like YouTube, Spotify or Twitter are all available with this watch and you can also install many fitness apps like Endomondo, Strava and My FitnessPal are all compatible.


Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Awesome display and great design
  • Accurate GPS and HR sensors
  • Ability to customize your watchface and your strap are almost limitless
  • Reverse Wireless Charging and Bixby assistant are great additions
  • The virtual Running coach is handy
  • The new rotating bezel is surprisingly easy to use

Cons:

  • ECG and fall detection is lacking (only available in 2020)
  • Health insights are limited (compared to his competitors)
  • Battery Life (2-3 days) can be a pain for some users (like me!)

The Final Verdict

With this watch you get all that you need: beautiful watch, robust screen, bright display, high-end technology and accurate sensors. The Samsung Galaxy 2 Active Watch is definitely a good competitor against the Apple Watch 4 or 5. Even if some new features are still ”pending”, this watch got all the bells and whistle to make you happy on the long run.

Instead of getting the LTE version (that will drain your battery in 1 day) we suggest you go for the 44 mm model that includes a bigger battery capacity, that way your watch will last a bit more. Also, having a virtual running coach that monitors your runs is a plus that I loved since I am a big runner.

If you are using an Android phone, you won’t be disappointed with this watch. Is it the best available in the market? I think so. It is overall the best smartwatch (including the price) out there. But things can change quickly in the wearable world…

I hope you enjoyed my Samsung Watch Active 2 review! Make sure to drop a comment if you have any questions or if you already own this smartwatch.

Thanks for tuning in! Stay active !

Al ”Alvaro” Paez

 

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About Alvaro ''Al'' Paez

I am a passionate fitness/wearable enthusiastic person who loves to share to the world, news and reviews about what I call fitness wearables. Ive been using wearables since many years and I found they can be a useful tool to improve your health, increase your fitness level and lose weight. There's a fitness wearable for every person. Let me show you the good path! Alvaro ''Al'' Paez.

View all posts by Alvaro ''Al'' Paez →

38 Comments on “Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Review! Is It The Best Android Smartwatch?”

  1. Thank you so much for the awesome post!  I’m glad you made this post because I am a Samsung fan, but I am always seeing reviews on the Apple Watches, and I get annoyed with that.  This watch looks like something I would like and need, so I’m probably going to hint around at with my wife for Christmas!  I’m glad they got rid of the rotation bezel too, because those are so annoying!

    1. hahaha! Jessie, well, the Apple Watch is a great product but it is really expensive and the battery last only a day or two. The new features (hardware and software) are a great step forward for Samsung. They trying to stay on top of the competitions. Fitbit and Apple just to name a few. 🙂 Al

  2. Hi, I had no idea that Samsung was into the smart watch scene.  I notice the prices are not as high as I expected them to be. I thought it was only Apple making these, but I guess not. That is pretty cool.

    So what is a smartwatch able to do exactly?  Besides telling me the time. For example, can I say, hey smartwatch, what is the weather?

    That would be pretty sweet.

    Soon enough it is going to be smart glasses, where we will have computers on our glasses. That is going to be awesome. The future is exciting. Thanks

    1. Hi Jake! 

      Samsung been here for quite a while now. Starting with the Samsung Gear Watch models. Their watches are always rugged and well made. Now they are becoming more cheap and this is good for all of us. You are right about this one, it is affordable compared this his competitors. By example the Apple Watch 5 is more than $250-$300! 

  3. My wife actually just got me one of these for my birthday last month! I can attest that it is a great watch to have, Wakefield for those of us that are active. It’s not so big that I gets in the way, but big enough to be able to see any notifications or your steps/exercise / activity information. Very easy to text on this phone as well, and pairs up perfectly with my galaxy phone. If you are looking for a new smart watch definitely look into this one! 

    1. Hi Travis, 

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2! Your not the only one that will be satisfy that’s for sure! All the best. Al

  4. My love for Samsung grows day by day, can’t believe that now I can access a digital smart watch from the Samsung company, I only thought apple had dominated with their expensive smart watch, I believe this Samsung galaxy active 2 has a durable battery, I can’t wait to grab one soon before Christmas, I really appreciate you for sharing such a great article.

    Thank you.

  5. This is a very good post with very relevant information on this Samsung smart watch. I like the fact that you have mentioned that the wristwatch is the best with those that make use of Android phones. I think that the only downside that this might have for me personally is the price but others might very well go with it and very rightly because the features are well worth it. Nice work you have done here on this one.

  6. Hello there thanks for this article i love Samsung and all their products but the the galaxy watch is my favourite among all there products,I got it a few weeks,about two weeks ago rather I have not gotten any reason to regret buy it although it pretty cheap 280 bucks.i love all the features that comes with watch form its slender body to its high speed response Wow Samsung did a good job.

  7. Hi 

    This is an excellent review of an excellent product, as this is a watch that will look good on anybody wrist.  For a smartwatch it seems to be reasonable price, as long as it does as what it says on the tin. To have a watch that comes in two sizes is such a great advantage, as you have a choice to your preferred size. I have never bought a smart watch but based on your description and pros and cons it seems to be a worthwhile to buy in the near future.

    Thanks

    Antonio

  8. Hello!

    Very good review you have made of this Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 smart watch.
    I find it a bit expensive but the benefits it gives you are worth it.
    I’m also a runner as I love to see the virtual race coach who has the watch. 

    I will consult with my lady if it seems so, she also loves to run.

    Save your site if we wish to make the purchase. 

    Thank you!

    1. Thanks Claudio! 

      It is definitely a great smartwatch for runners. Not the best but the running coach is a plus like you said. I am sure you can get better with this feature. Yes, the price is a bit high but it is an high-end product! We can’t deny that! 🙂 

  9. A thoroughly comprehensive review of what must be one of the front runners, in this highly competitive market. Long gone are the days of strapping an ipod to your arm. 

    I was on the hunt for a smartwatch but as a gift for an avid running son of mine. They’ve hinted that it might be something they would like, as they do. Possibly a touch outside my price range but it has given me an indication of what the gold standard is.

    It actually looks more like something I wouldn’t mind wearing as an everyday timepiece, good looking for sure. As I would only be using it as a watch, then the three day charge would be a bonus, rather than winding one up every night. Food for thought.

    1. Cool reply! Love it. It is a no brainer if you wanna go banana! You don’t empty all your pockets for this one. Not like the Apple Watch 5 that will at least cost you 500 bucks! You got it all! 

  10. Thanks for this awesome post about Samsung galaxy watch active 2 reviews, honestly, you have really cleared my doubts on the negative thinking I was having towards the watch because i have used some other galaxy watches and i was not really contented with how they work, but with this great reviews you have posted about this one I think am gonna get one soon, Samsung has really been my best products and the only one i do use always thanks 

    1. There’s a lot of great wearables out there. Not only Samsung but Huawei, Fitbit and Huami just to name a few. Still every brand has their own personal ups and down. That’s why I am there giving you the best out of each of them. 

  11. Hello. Thanks for summarizing such an amaizing review about Samsung  Galaxy watch active 2. 

    Because the Christmas holidays are almost here I want to buy this watch to my wife as a gift. She goes to the gym and monitorizing here activity almost all day. I think this watch will be perfect. Maybe it is not very cheap but when I consider quality is more important than price, for me is the best choice.

    Best wishes and good luck!

  12. Now i can confidently go for the this Samsung galaxy watch active 2 without having to bother about the rotation bezel because that was so annoying in the earlier one. I almost lost my cool and decided to sell it. Thanks so much for sharing this here. I really love the outlook and the performance totally. Especially the 3days of action without having to bother about charging. That’s a thumbs up for me

    1. Some people loved the rotation bezel. I love it too but sometimes you need to look at the competition and see how good they are doing. and changing the way to navigate in the menus is definitely a knocker. A+

  13. Hello Alvaro, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I am really very proud of where technology goes, it is becoming better each passing day. I already heard about these smartwatches but I thought if I can get one for me to feel that experience. Samsung is one of my favorite brands so I will definitely take my hands on this smartwatch, it is pretty affordable.

    1. It is affordable and it is getting better every year! I still remember the times when the Samsung Frontier came out with a freaking high price tag. Not $200 but more than $400! What a change! 

  14. Thas is a good review on Samsung  glaxy 2 smart watch. 

    From this review anyone can know the positive use of this watch.

    This watch really a best smart watch.     

    This type of informative review helps anyone to find the most useful products. 

    Thanks for sharing your experience after using this watch.    

    1. Hey Nahem, 

      I happy that you found this review very informative. Make sure to like me on IG and FB to get all the new reviews in the near future! Al

  15. I have no experience with smartwatches, so take my comments as coming from someone accidentally coming upon your article.  I found your review thorough and informative about a type of watch I knew practically nothing about.  All the bells and whistles are intriguing for someone like me who is not a fitness fanatic.  Reading your review made me question my lackadaisical approach to personal fitness.  I started thinking that a smartwatch would not be such a bad idea.  Reviewing a smartwatch within the more general topic of fitness and health makes a great deal of sense and fits perfectly in that niche.

    1. Hi Bj, 

      Thank you for the warm reply. That’s what I want to give to the world. A better understanding of the words fitness wearables. I hope I am delivering that the good way ! Al

  16. I have been looking around at different watches as my Apple Watch broke and I miss it terribly but just can’t afford to replace it just yet. Unfortunately the Fitbit is also no longer. 

    The Samsung is priced a bit better but does it work with the iPhone or only a Samsung I wonder?  I like that you can also change the faces like the Apple but pity it doesn’t have all the medical technology that the Apple does.  

    1. The good thing with the Galaxy Watch is that it works also on iOS. The medical ID and info is no way good than Apple but you get decent info and insights about your health. ECG is possible but can’t be done at this time with the Galaxy Watch 2 Active. Let’s wait for next year hopefully with an firmware update. Al

  17. This was a very interesting article about the Samsung Galacy Watch Active 2. 

    You said this was the “best available in the market” fitness watch do you truley believe that? Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Samsung fan, but I have a Garmin forerunner905. And she works like a beaut. I love it. Especially when I can put up my custom workouts and battery life that lasts me up to 7 days.

    However, I was wondering whether or not to get this for my dad for christmas (he loves samsung as weel).

    1. Hi Conor, 

      For the price tag and his compatibility with Android it is the best one out there. The Garmin Forerunner is an elite watch and yes it works also good with Android.I can’t complain too since I own a Vivoactive 3 and it works great with Android. 

  18. I got the first one and I have to say that I really love it a lot. Nice watch, it’s very easy to use, you have virtually everything you need on it, I don’t really care too much about the third-party apps. The only thing that I would say is that you need very careful with the watch because the watch can get scratches very easily. I love its fitness features.

    Regards!

    1. With the Active 2 model you scratching the display shouldnt be a problem since it comes with Gorilla Glass 3 technology. If you are really picky in terms of scratches you can still buy screen protectors on Amazon that are not expensive. Al

  19. I’ve been thinking about getting a proper smart watch for myself, now I have a watch from AliExpress which is only good for counting my steps every day. Counting the steps was actually the reason why I bought it. But it’s not very accurate, sometimes I’m walking and it is showing that I’m riding a bike 🙂 Or playing tennis. It’s a bit crazy, not reliable.

    What I like about this Samsung watch is the ability to customise the watch face and have a matching strap, I’m a girl 🙂
    I just can’t decide whether it’s better to buy the 40mm watch or the 44mm one. What would you recommend me?

    1. I think for a lady you should go with the 40 mm. AliExpress is packed with wearables but some are not reliable. I think you can buy Amazfit watches that are well recommended. Still with the Galaxy Watch Active 2 you won’t go wrong!  🙂 

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