Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch Active in February alongside its Galaxy S10 phone line-up, and already, it is out with the next iteration – in time for the Galaxy Note 10 global reveal (August 7, 2019). The second-generation Galaxy Watch Active, or Galaxy Watch Active 2, may not look all that different from the original but Samsung’s promise of its “new, intuitive, and refined features” surely look promising – at least on paper.
The biggest takeaway – the Galaxy Watch Active 2 brings back Samsung’s signature rotating bezel. With a twist. Instead of opting for a physical rotating dial, Samsung is using a new ‘digital’ bezel in the Galaxy Watch Active 2 which makes the border around the screen sensitive to touch. I don’t even know why Samsung removed it in the Galaxy Watch Active – although, one of the reasons could be to cut cost – but I am sure even Samsung believes it was a bad idea which is why it’s bringing it back now. A digital rotating bezel may not be as good as the real thing (like it is in the Galaxy Watch) but at least you get the option now. The Galaxy Watch Active 2’s touch-sensitive bezel also gets haptic feedback to ensure interactions feel more natural.
Samsung is also offering more options with the Galaxy Watch Active 2. Unlike the original Galaxy Watch, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 comes in two sizes (40, 44mm), with two different build materials (aluminum, stainless steel) and two different connectivity options (Bluetooth-only and LTE).
The original Galaxy Watch is still a very capable fitness-focused smartwatch – which is also why Samsung isn’t discontinuing it just yet – but as is the norm with any next-generation product of its class, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 also brings some very useful upgrades – and some gimmicks.
Samsung says it has updated the heart rate monitor and accelerometer in the Galaxy Watch Active 2 for better results – the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is also said to be faster. And there’s ECG – much like the Apple Watch Series 4. The feature isn’t available at launch though. There’s Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC, as well as GPS so you can use the smartwatch for fitness tracking even without your phone.
Now the gimmicks. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has a feature called ‘My Style’ that lets you custom design your watch faces basis on the outfit that you’re wearing. Samsung has also re-worked on third-party apps like YouTube so you can now watch YouTube on the Galaxy Watch Active 2’s tiny screen through its own dedicated app.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 will be available for buying in the US from September 27 at a starting price of $280 (roughly Rs 20,000).