Is this the best full-featured budget android smartwatch on the market right now? (I’m as surprised as you’ll be.)
Samsung is hot on the heels of Apple and it shows...From folding phones to QLED TVs and of course, smartwatches, there is a lot to love—especially with the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2.
Product Name: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Product Description: In the immortal words of Ash (from the cult classic Army of Darkness), “Hail to the King, Baby!” What Samsung has managed to accomplish (for under $250) with the Galaxy Watch Active2, is an impressive feat worth shouting about...so continue reading my full review below for all the juicy bits. Improved ergonomics, a comfortable fit, new touch bezel, and a suite of well designed built-in apps, make the Galaxy Active2 a real contender against arch-rival, the Apple Watch Series 5. Now, you may be thinking that the Active2 is only going to be a real contender as an Android Smartwatch because it runs Samsung’s Tizen OS and not Apple’s WatchOS...I can assure you now, that isn’t the situation. Never fear: I do a deep-dive below on how the Galaxy Active2 wearable works on both Android and iOS.
Offer price: 249.00
Offer URL: https://amzn.to/3bPPw0j
Valid until: May 1, 2020
Is this the best smart watch for 2020? I’ll say this: if you’re using an Android phone like the phenomenal OnePlus 7T, then definitively yes, this is the best full-featured affordable smartwatch you can buy. Are you part of the Apple ecosystem? Then you’ll need to read all the way to the end to fully understand that there are some minor limitations when paired with an iPhone on Apple’s iOS operating system. So I don’t confuse you, know now that the Samsung Active2 isn’t a Google Wear OS watch, but runs on the superior Tizen OS (more on this below).
- Price! A full-featured lifestyle smartwatch for about half the cost of an Apple Watch Series 5.
- New capacitive bezel (controlled via touch) simplifies navigation.
- Two sizes to choose from at 40mm and 44mm.
- Built-in heart rate monitor and ECG.
- Improved build quality and comfort make this a watch you can wear 24/7.
- Available in aluminum and stainless steel in a multitude of color options.
- No physical rotating bezel may turn off those familiar with past Samsung Galaxy smartwatches; however, I prefer the more modern touch-sensitive bezel.
- ECG functionality is not active yet. Samsung is working on bringing the feature live soon. Note: the heart rate monitor is active and works great.
- Some 3rd party apps need more work, but the Samsung suite of apps will be enough for most people. The native Samsung apps on the wearable are very well designed.
- Battery life is average under heavy use. BUT, this is more of a critique applicable to ALL current-gen lifestyle wearables and not just Samsung.
Price, design, and function are flawlessly merged to create what is probably the best android smartwatch of 2020. If you’re considering a full-featured lifestyle wearable device to help you manage your life, your workouts, health, and more, then put the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 into your shopping cart. I’m exceedingly pleased with the removal of the physical bezel (found on many past galaxy watches), and in its place, a touch-sensitive one. A beautiful edge-to-edge AMOLED screen and a case offered in a bevy of materials and finishes make it a fitting choice for the fashion-forward crowd.
Battery life is good, but not incredible. Pretty much nearly every lifestyle smartwatch on the market suffers from okay batter life. Luckily, you can charge the Active2 using your Samsung smartphone by merely placing it on the back (which is too cool). Bixby (the voice assistant) still sounds a bit robotic, but it works reasonably well in all of my tests. Here is Bixby in action if you want to see it firsthand.
I’m not sure there is anything wrong about the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, so I’m going to use this section to drop some more truth on you about Bixby…It’s now a solid voice assistant. Period. Full stop. Lots of other reviewers still seem to think that the Bixby of today, is the Bixby of three years ago—and that’s old news and just not true. Bixby shines on Samsung’s phones, and I’m sure they’ll continue to improve it on the android watch / Tizen watch implementations of it. …By the way, you’ll hear me mention “Android Watch” in the article because typically Samsung’s watches are very popular with the Android crowd, but know that the Active2 is actually running Samsung’s Tizen OS. (more on this below.)
Release Date: September 27, 2019
So what do you think so far? Please let me know in the comments. Especially let me know your thoughts on my new style of formatting articles…You’re reading the first article I’ve ever constructed in this particular layout, and I don’t know if it will be a (hopefully) huge hit, or a swing and a miss. I’m really wading into some untested waters here because, as far as I know, this new layout I designed isn’t found on any other review sites—so I do hope you like it. Love it? Hate it? Either way, let me know below.
Table of Contents
You’ll be shocked to find out the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is nearly half the price of the Apple Watch Series 5, while including ECG, fitness, and more.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: Best Budget Tizen Watch / Android Smartwatch for 2020
Short on time and patience? Are my eloquently crafted words interrupting ”Friends” re-runs? Will Ross ever forgive Joey for kissing Rachel? I completely understand…You have things to do and places to be.
You can click on any link in the table below to jump to that section of the article.
|Review Sections||Jump Links / Click to Read|
|Introduction||Back to the top of the page.|
|Design||All about design and aesthetics.|
|Software||Apps, operating systems, and more.|
|Technology||What’s special, what’s new, and all the tech goodness.|
|Specifications||Let’s get down to details with the technical specs.|
|Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)||What you need to know and what everyone’s asking.|
|Pro-Tips||Really amazing stuff you might miss if you aren’t looking.|
|Final Thoughts||No time? ...No worries, skip to the end.|
|Bonus Media||I found a few more things you’ll enjoy!|
Design: Form Elevates Function
To say I’m pleasantly surprised is a bit of an understatement…
Samsung’s creative and engineering teams continue to stun me with their ever-evolving design sensibilities. Across their entire product line-up, you’ll find exciting and frankly, very inspired fresh takes on phones, wearables, and 8K Ultra HD televisions.
Take for example the utterly brilliant visual identity consisting of red, white, blue, and silver color scheme on their Thom Browne Edition Galaxy Z Flip. Or the Aura Glow coatings on their Galaxy Buds wireless headset and Galaxy Note10. See what I mean? It’s next level.
Truth be told, if I have to look at another silver, gray, or rose-gold Apple product, I might just keel over and die of boredom.
As for the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, the packaging will appeal to virtually everyone, provided you personalize with a color and band that suits your tastes. An edge-to-edge display makes the customizable, always-on watch faces pair perfectly with your outfit. You’ll have plenty to choose from with aluminum and stainless steel options, multiple finishes, and bands to suit any occasion. But if I had to pick just one, it would probably be the Aqua Black housing paired with a white leather band.
I really appreciate the slightly rounded case that merges seamlessly with the dial. In contrast, many other wearables opt for a very blocky look, which is a bit tired and perhaps outdated. Both “pushers” or buttons on the side have a slight chamfering on the edge that creates a cohesive package.
If I had to draw a comparison between the Active2 wearable and your standard run-of-the-mill watch, it’s evocative of brands like MVMT, Nordgreen, and Movado.
What’s refreshing is that the Galaxy Watch Active2 undeniably looks like a watch, while housing a robust and full-featured lifestyle wearable. You could very easily purchase a few different bands and pair the watch with your gym clothes, casual wear, all the way up to semi-formal. This is a device that has absolutely broad appeal and would be a perfect choice for men and women.
Keep in mind: if you have to dress up for work, the Active2 is one of a very few select wearables that will look amazing in an office setting…In contrast, many competing smartwatches look about as appropriate as wearing a yellow tracksuit to a funeral.
To wrap up my thoughts on the design, I vastly prefer the Samsung Active2 compared to Apple’s offerings…I’ve said this before in my other reviews, but the Apple Watch looks like a mini iPad strapped to your wrist. Even if you splurge on a ridiculously overpriced Hermès band in their iconic orange color, it still looks like you have an “iDevice” hanging off your wrist.
Samsung’s Active2 wearable looks like a watch—and a damn fine one at that.
There’s one last thing I want to point out that you absolutely shouldn’t miss….
And it’s about customizing the watch face.
I know, it sounds silly while you read about it here and now, but I assure you it’s anything but. Samsung included the ability to take a picture of your clothes using a smartphone, and then change your Active2 smartwatch’s face to match the outfit. I know, you’re rolling your eyes at me, but trust me: it’s super cool and gives the watch immense versatility in the fashion department. You have to remember you can have the watch face on at all times, so a custom watch face changed daily, is a perfect way to add a bit of flair to your outfit.
This particular feature pushes all my fun-buttons, and if you use it just once, you’ll be hooked. I promise.
Wrapping up design, I thought you might want to know the available color options. There isn’t a bad one in the bunch, with each tantalizing and thoughtful in their execution.
- Stainless Steel (LTE only): Black, Silver, Gold
- Aluminum (non-LTE only): Aqua Black, Cloud Silver, Pink Gold
- Under Armour Edition (non-LTE only): Aqua Black
Software: Better than Google’s Wear OS thanks to Tizen
Everyone always squabbles over hardware technical specs, but let me tell you this as someone who spent a decade in the information technology world:
It’s the software that very often determines whether your experience with a technology product is full of smiles, or shouting and tears.
The wonderful news is that Samsung has made massive leaps in their development of Tizen OS (which is the operating system making your Samsung Active2 watch work its magic.)
I’ll dig into Tizen OS vs. WatchOS vs. Google Wear OS in a bit, but what you really need to know is that you’ll find using the watch’s interface to be super responsive and speedy. Navigating through apps, menus, and more happens almost instantaneously, which is a far cry from some of the early competing Google Wear OS smart watches.
As for the user interface: it’s clean, attractive, and customizable to suit your personal tastes. You can add and remove features, widgets, and more. All of which are simple and efficient to navigate via the touch-sensitive (capacitive) bezel.
Two “bonuses” are the Twitter and YouTube apps…
Do you enjoy arguing on the internet with people who often don’t wake up until 11 am each day?
Then you’ll be ecstatic to know that Twitter is available on the watch itself. So is YouTube. Will you really want to use Twitter and YouTube on a smartwatch? Probably not. At all. Ever. It’s a party-trick in my opinion, but it could be useful if you need to waste time at the office.
Spotify is included, and if you have a Spotify Premium subscription, you can download entire Spotify playlists directly to the smartwatch’s internal storage.
I’m curious, are you on the Spotify train yet?
Let me know in the comments which streaming music service you like best and why. I’m a diehard Spotify fan for a lot of reasons, but the main one is that I love the playlists created by other users of the service…Some of them are solid gold. Gone are the days of listening to 20 albums to find one or two songs that I like. Instead, I just let the cool-kids do the work for me. Now, if you haven’t used Spotify yet, it’s completely free to use, as in forever. But note that the free version is ad-supported. You can check it out here, and I would vigorously encourage you to give it a go.
As for wearable device operating systems, there are four primary ones, and probably some other options I admittedly don’t know much about. The big four are:
- Apple WatchOS
- Fitbit OS
- Google Wear OS
- Samsung Tizen OS
I bring up operating systems because they have a massive impact on whether you’ll love to use your wearable, or if you want to rip it off your wrist in frustration. An operating system is nothing more than a piece of software that controls your smartwatch, laptop, tablet, or phone. If that operating system is well-built, highly optimized, and engineered with quality in mind, you’ll have a fantastic user experience.
And if it’s poorly cobbled together and poorly built, then you wind up with things like the Windows phone or the Blackberry Storm…And DEAR GOD: I was one of the unfortunate people who bought into the hype and actually purchased a Blackberry Storm way back in 2008, and I still cringe at just how truly awful it was. Blackberry, if you don’t make it, I’m not showing up to your tech-funeral.
Getting back on track, Samsung’s Active2 smartwatch is powered by Tizen. To be clear: Tizen is open-source software, meaning you can do whatever you want with it—however, it’s primarily developed and maintained by Samsung. In my review of the Active2, I’ve found that Samsung is taking Tizen’s development seriously, and they are really closing fast on Apple.
The key takeaway here is that if you’re an Apple user and on the fence about buying a smartwatch with a Tizen operating system, you have nothing at all to fear. It’s capable, fast, snappy, and has a quality user interface that is intuitive. If you still need a bit more information about Tizen, Mike’s video provides more than enough information to help you make the right decision; I don’t agree 100% with all of his points, but overall I think our opinions pretty well align.
Now, if you’re an Apple iPhone user and considering the Samsung Active2 smartwatch, I discuss the compatibility with Apple iPhone/iPad iOS operating system in the FAQ section a little further down. If you’re an Android Smartphone user, then you can expect absolutely no issues or limitations pairing your phone with a smartwatch based on Tizen OS.
Performance: there’s a lot of it. What I’m trying to say is that the watch is fast and responsive. Responsiveness is vital when you’re dealing with a touch-sensitive bezel. In my tests, there was never a point where I was unhappy with the speed of the watch’s user interface or the apps, and it was genuinely pleasing. This is far removed from early iterations of many competing watches using Google Wear OS.
I’ve decided to discuss all of the fitness options and lifestyle management features in the Technology section below, so don’t leave now, there are more goodies to entice you with.
Technology: Superb User Experience, but ECG is on Hold
Bit by bit, Samsung is chipping away at competitors like Garmin, Fitbit, and Apple by stuffing a plethora of apps, features, and software into a smartwatch form-factor. Without dwelling too much on the past, it’s safe to say the original Samsung Galaxy Active smart watch was a respectable first try. Version two of the Active watch addresses many of the complaints with the first model. And to the surprise of nearly every reviewer, it was released only six months after version one.
One of Samsung’s best innovations in the wearable space has been their rotating bezel, which is used to navigate the apps, interface, and more.
39 different fitness activities or workout-types are tracked. Many exercises can be autodetected, which now includes swimming. A feature I personally enjoyed was the fitness coach that will provide you with some much-needed encouragement during your workouts, saying things like “Try to Smile!” I know myself pretty well and if we’re being honest, “smiling” is usually the last thing I’m doing while working out, so I would enjoy perhaps some more realistic motivational prompts like:
“It’s okay to cry!”
“Cookies are not a breakfast food!”
…Maybe they’ll add this on the version 3. Still, the idea is cute, and I think it could be helpful for those of us who enjoy the couch, coupled with chronic procrastination.
Now for more serious runners, there are a few goodies. Audible prompts will help you maintain a steady pace while on a run by notifying you if you’re too fast or too slow. On the back of the watch, there are eight photodiodes (up from four in the first version) that improve the accuracy of heart rate tracking.
Before I go further, I want to pause for a moment and clear up something I’m sure many people will ask about regarding heart rate tracking vs. the ECG. To be crystal clear: heart rate tracking is fully functional and works well on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2. The technology for the ECG is included, but currently disabled because Samsung is still working on getting approval from the FDA. I’m hearing gossip that the ECG will go live in Q1 or Q2 of 2020.
Without straying too far off course, let me ask you…
Do you know what a heart rate tracker and an ECG even do? Because a few years ago, I was in the dark on the whole thing. The short of it is this: a heart rate monitor helps track activity, whether that’s during workouts, sedentary activities (like writing Pulitzer Prize-worthy technology reviews), and even during sleep (I’m a pro sleeper). A bit more specifically, it monitors your heart rate so that you can:
- Maintain a target heart rate to achieve specific fitness goals like weight loss or maximizing fat-burning.
- Track your progress during your entire workout and automatically track things like calories burned.
- Prevent under training and overtraining.
- Maintain the correct pace during workouts, which is helpful when training for competitive sports or events.
An ECG or Electrocardiogram is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat. Without boring you to death, the point of having an ECG on a smartwatch is so you can determine if your heart rate is normal, slow, fast, or irregular. Once Samsung achieves FDA approval and activates the ECG function, you’ll be able to receive warnings to let you know something might be wrong and that it’s time to see a doctor (ASAP). And frankly, it really is a wonderful way to have some peace of mind, and I look forward to the feature going live soon.
To complicate things a bit further, you can activate high and low heart rate detection immediately (via the heart rate monitor), but irregular heart rate tracking will be part of the ECG functionality. Phew. Let’s move on!
…Back to the meat of my review.
All of your blood, sweat, tears, (and pilates workouts) data are aggregated and available at the end of each workout for you to review on the watch itself, or on the Samsung Health App. I prefer to use the smartphone app to see how I did, and I find the design, user interface, and the overall experience of the app to be simple to use and pleasing to the eye. At the time of this review, the Samsung Health app has over 800,000 reviews and is sitting at 4.5 out of 5 stars, which you can see on the Google Play store along with a well-edited video showcasing various athletics, with a side of breakdancing.
About the whole “dancing with electronics marketing videos thing”…I’ll assume that Samsung and Apple use the same marketing company because every advertisement involves, well, dancing. They should make a video of me eating pizza on the couch while playing PlayStation and wearing a smartwatch and post that to the app stores if they want to target a new and untapped market segment.
Okay, enough distractions. The Active2 now automatically tracks the following seven activities:
- Elliptical Trainer
- Dynamic Workouts
I found Samsung’s built-in suite of applications to do literally everything I would want to do on a smartwatch—but there is support for 3rd-party apps. One of the better 3rd-party apps is “Map My Run” from Under Armour. With Map My Run, you get real-time form coaching, audio guidance, help with your cadence and pace. And while I haven’t personally tested them yet, you can even pair the app with Under Armour’s connected footwear like the UA HOVR running shoes. If you’re already invested in the Under Armour connected products, then make sure you consider buying the Under Armour Edition of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.
It wouldn’t be fair to you my lovely readers if I didn’t point out that 3rd party smart watch apps are still in the “Wild West” phase…This simply means: some of them are great, and a lot of them are lackluster. But, with the Active2 Tizen / Android watch, Samsung has already included all the apps you’ll really want, and they work fabulously.
A small ding against the Galaxy Watch Active2 is the lack of female health-tracking, which is a popular feature available on many other smartwatches from a bevy of Samsung’s competitors. If female health tracking is on your list of “must-haves,” then check out the Top 10 Best Women’s Smart Watches of 2020 for some awesome alternatives.
GPS & Maps Apps
GPS is built-in (just like the original Samsung Galaxy Active Watch), meaning you can leave your phone at home for GPS-related activities like running, fitness, etc. Keep in mind if you purchase the aluminum non-LTE version, you’ll probably want to download music directly to the watch via Spotify if you plan on leaving your phone behind.
Other notable upgrades and benefits you’ll get with the Active 2 wearable are:
- Gorilla Glass DX+. Corning has much more information on their website, but the gist of this new glass is better clarity and improved scratch resistance.
- Notifications. You’ll be able to customize which notifications you receive through your phone, so you’re not always getting interrupted by those emails grandma forwarded from Facebook. This feature is available on all versions of the watch (LTE and non-LTE).
- Samsung Pay. Most people gloss over this capability, but once you get used to it, busting out your wallet will feel like using a fax machine—in other words, way outdated. Setting up Samsung Pay is easy, and you simply tap and pay at any NFC enabled terminal. Personally, I hardly ever break out my debit or credit cards any longer because paying from your smartwatch is simply easier, faster, and more convenient.
- Sleep Tracking. A built-in sleep tracker is standard along with the ability to disable the always-on screen and notifications via the “Goodnight” mode. Within this category is a top-rated app called “Calm,” which is accessible via Samsung Health. Calm is the #1 app for sleep, meditation, and relaxation. I know many people who can and would benefit from using a sleep tracker and Calm, but here I am finishing this article at 1 am on a Saturday, so perhaps I’ll cut this part short for now. Seriously, it’s well done, and if you’re into health and work-life balance, this is a nice little added feature.
- LTE. LTE is finally available on the Samsung Galaxy Active2. It wasn’t even an option in the original version. A quick down and dirty on LTE is basically this: it gives you full connectivity to the internet without needing your smartphone near the smartwatch. What this means is that you can stream music, watch YouTube, and use virtually every aspect of the watch that requires an internet connection. However, you’ll have to sign up for a data plan from your cell phone provider specifically for the Active2 wearable.
- My thoughts on the Active2 LTE: If you read my other articles, I’m a pretty big fan of LTE, but this time, I’m on the fence. The reason is simple: price. The non-LTE version of the Active2 is such an incredible deal at under $250 for a full-featured lifestyle smartwatch, fitness, and health tracker. I’m not sure spending another $150 for the LTE version is worth it or even necessary in this instance. What do you think?
Was this tech segment too long? Let me know in the comments. But I hope you found everything you needed to make the right decision.
Here’s the key takeaway: Samsung is getting serious. I see an intensity across their entire (massive) line-up of products. Software, design, technology, and user experience are coalescing into some surprisingly innovative products, and the Samsung Galaxy Active2 smart watch is one of them. They’re really making a compelling case to get out of the Apple ecosystem and jump into Samsung’s pool.
Below I have all the specs for both the 40mm and 44mm form factors, as well as the LTE and non-LTE version of the watch.
Specifications: Details Details…
|Release Date||September 27th, 2019|
|Price (MSRP)||40mm: $249.99 Bluetooth/WiFi
40mm: $399.99 Bluetooth/WiFi + 4G LTE
44mm: $269.99 Bluetooth/WiFi
44mm: $419.99 Bluetooth/WiFi + 4G LTE
|Processor||Exynos 9110 Dual Core 1.15 GHz|
|Memory||0.75GB – Aluminum (WiFi only model)
1.5GB – Stainless Steel (WiFi + LTE model)
|Dimensions||40mm x 40mm x 10.9mm
44mm x 44mm x 10.9mm
|Weight||40mm: 26g – Aluminum. 37g – Stainless Steel
44mm: 30g – Aluminum. 44g – Stainless Steel
|Display Size||40mm: 1.2″
|Display Resolution||40mm: 360 x 360
44mm: 360 x 360
|Display Technology||Super AMOLED. Full Color Always On Display|
|Operating System (OS)||Tizen|
|LTE||Available on LTE / Stainless Steel model only.|
|WiFi||802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz|
|Location Technology||GPS and Glonass|
|Durability / Water Resistance||5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810G|
|Fitness Tracking||Yes. 39 available exercises and 7 tracked automatically.|
|Heart Rate Monitor / ECG||Heart Rate Monitor and ECG included. (ECG pending approval)|
|Mobile Payments||Yes, via Samsung Pay.|
|Materials & Design||Stainless Steel or Aluminum|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is the Samsung Galaxy Active2 Compatible with Apple iPhone?
Yes, the Samsung Galaxy Active2 smartwatch is compatible with all modern Apple iPhones. Pairing the wearable device with your phone is accomplished by downloading the Samsung Galaxy Watch app from Apple’s App Store to your iPhone. You can see your notifications and text messages, but you cannot reply to text messages via the watch’s interface. If you need the entire scoop, I’ve found this video for you here about Active2 compatibility on the iPhone, but the short answer is: yes, it works well with a few minor limitations.
The new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 has a host of upgraded features in comparison to the original version. There is a larger display, LTE is now available, a larger battery, double the amount of LED sensors to improve heart rate tracking, an ECG function, an improved accelerometer, and a touch-sensitive bezel (which is the biggest improvement). For a full side-by-side comparison, check out Android Central’s article.
A charging pad is included with a USB (type A) connector, so you’ll need to plug it into a computer or USB hub to charge the watch. If you prefer something more than the included charging pad, take a look at this fantastic charging dock for only $13.99, or consider purchasing the Samsung Wireless Duo Pad.
Both the 40mm and 44mm with Bluetooth and WiFi only (non-LTE) come in an aluminum case. The LTE versions in the 40mm and 44mm size come with a stainless steel case.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 can get wet in the rain, and you can also wear it while swimming. All versions of the Active2 wearable watch are rated at 5ATM, which means they are water-resistant up to 50 meters, for 10 minutes. You can read more about the 5ATM rating right here, and remember, you can track your swimming with the wearable.
Yes, a heart rate monitor and ECG are both included, but at the time of this writing, the ECG feature is not yet activated. Samsung is waiting on FDA approval before they turn on the ECG function, and they expect to make it available sometime in early 2020.
The warranty period is one (1) year.
There is no built-in camera, but you can control the camera on your smartphone, which is a great way to take group shots. You can also view what your smartphone camera sees from the watch!
Pro-Tips: Master the Minutiae
Below are a variety of tasty morsels I’ve cooked up for you showcasing all manner of fun, interesting, and exciting benefits you’ll get when you purchase a Galaxy Watch Active 2. So please, dive right in!
I know a lot of us are total fanboys and fangirls for a particular brand, but you have to respect Samsung’s relentless drive to innovate. Firstly, there is a feature called Wireless PowerShare, and it works like this:
Take your Samsung Android Smart Phone and place it face down. Then put your Galaxy Active2 smartwatch or Galaxy Buds on the back of the phone and wait. They will charge wirelessly by drawing power from the (much larger) battery of the phone. Wireless PowerShare works with most Qi-Certified devices.
MyStyle Watch Face
You remember in the Design section above how I mentioned you could take a picture of your outfit and match the screen of your Active2 wearable device to the color-pattern of your clothes? Again, I know this sounds petty, but it’s such a cool future. To get the most out of it, make sure you enable the Always-On Display to show off your sartorial sensibilities.
Pre-Charging Before the Big Run
You’ll want to charge your watch prior to serious extended outdoor workouts…This is especially true if you’re a long-distance runner. Consider that you’ll probably be using the BlueTooth, GPS, Always-On Display, Notifications, Workout-Tracking, Streaming Spotify Music, and the Running Coach—all at the same time.
Samsung Galaxy Buds vs. Apple AirPods
The recent trend of wireless earbuds is an understated game-changer. Long gone are the days of buggy and funny looking Jabra or Plantronics headsets that you see people wearing in every corporate stock photo, ever. What makes these earbuds so useful is the maturation of voice commands and voice search. I could write an entire article about how helpful this new tech is, but for now, know that a pair of Galaxy Buds is an incredible investment if you’re going to buy an Active2 wearable and a Samsung phone. The short of it is this: Galaxy Buds sound great, are highly configurable, and will enhance both your productivity and happiness. Unbox Therapy has a video all about it here. Oh, and the Buds look better than the AirPods…So. Much. Better.
9 More Tips & Tricks
Guiding Tech has a well made, succinct, and useful video here with even more goodies you can try out when your Galaxy Active2 smartwatch arrives from Amazon or Walmart.
If you’re going to use the sleep tracker, make sure to enable “Goodnight” mode so that the always-on screen isn’t glaring in your face, and notifications aren’t disturbing your beauty rest.
Final Thoughts: Jump in Feet First…
Can I ask you one last question?
Did you skip right to the conclusion, or did you skip the conclusion altogether?
I’m genuinely curious where attention spans start and end.
To recap, there is just a ton to love with the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2. While it was only released six months after the O.G. (original) version, there are a bevy of upgrades. You’ll get:
- Optional LTE
- 40mm and 44mm size options
- An AWESOME touch-sensitive (capacitive) bezel
- A heart rate monitor with double the sensors
- ECG capability (to be enabled soon)
- Seven automatically detected and tracked exercises
- 39 exercises overall that you can track
- Built-in GPS
- Integrated high-powered laser cutting torch. Okay, that’s not included, but I wish it was.
Before you go, there is one personal anecdote we should cover, and that’s the advice of those otherreviewers that say, “well, you could just get the Apple Watch Series 3!” I’ve purchased many Apple devices that were multiple generations old, and it’s always ended up the same way: mild disaster and limitless unhappiness. These older products never have enough time left in their support cycle for me to derive enough value out of them. Apps end up no longer being supported or supported well, and not to mention the devices are often painfully slow and frustrating to use.
My two cents: if you’re on a budget, skip LTE and get a newer device that suits your desired price-point rather than springing for something more than one generation old.
What you should leave with is this:
The Galaxy Watch Active2 is not some less expensive Apple Watch knock-off…It is a truly brilliant competitor to the Apple Watch that is superior in many ways. If you want to know why it’s superior, well, you’ll have to go back to the top and read the entire article.
For less than $250 for the non-LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Active2 smartwatch, you’ll have one of the most full-featured and best-looking wearable devices strapped to your wrist.
Click on any of our links or the two red buttons above and get you one today, then come back here and tell me how you like it. I hope to see you around when we launch more articles here soon. And if you have decided for any reason not to pull the trigger on a new Active2 watch, check out these two articles with some other fantastic options:
Once again, this about wraps things up, and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. My name is Ryan, and my info is below if you want to give me a shout or shout at me. Hope to see you all again soon here on BestGear.co!
Bonus Media I Know You’ll Enjoy:
Here are a couple of super-sweet videos from other creators I’m confident you’ll enjoy, and please, make sure to visit us again soon.
- GadgetGeeks is a growing channel with his own interesting take on up and coming tech. Check out his video on the Top 5 Upcoming New Super SmartWatches to Buy in 2020.
- Interested in a very masculine, fresh, and chunky looking Android Wear OS smartwatch? You might enjoy this short video from Android Central: Skagen Falster 3: The BEST Android Wear OS watch for 2020?
- Still have questions about the Galaxy Watch Active 2? I got you fam…Check out this vid from Asian Geek Squad where he breaks down the most popular questions from his viewers.
- There are simply too many tips, tricks, and cool things you can do with the Active2 wearable device. Juan from Andro Dollar goes into many of the most fun and unique things you can do with your Samsung watch here: BEST Tips for the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (Tizen OS Tips).
- Here are 5 Hidden Features on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 from TQnet…Being able to send S.O.S. messages to specific contacts (in all seriousness) could be a lifesaver in emergency situations.
Our Reviews & Affiliate Partners:
Best Gear’s reviews come from the heart and from a crazy amount of research. We poke, prod, fuss with, and put every product through rigorous testing. On top of that, we factor in user-reviews, video reviews, manufacturer data, 3rd party information, and much more—all so we can communicate a clear picture of each product so you’ll be delighted when you follow our advice and make a purchase. On some products, we receive a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our recommendations are always independent and objective…In other words: we don’t get paid to say nice things—we only say nice things when a product has earned it. Thanks for reading! -Ryan.