Just a few months after the first generation Galaxy Watch Active, Samsung quickly launched an upgrade with many improvements in both design and features. The price is also slightly increased, from 6.5 to 7.5 million for the 40mm version, plus the launch of the 44mm version for more expensive 500 thousand.
Previously, Watch Active received many mixed criticisms. Praise it because of its beautiful design, elegance, compact enough and criticism for lacking in features, thick screen borders and no control wheel anymore. Therefore, the launch of the Watch Active 2 generation is making many fans curious, more interested, whether the watch is worth upgrading to those who are using the old Galaxy Watch series, or change from Other brand products?
Design: Old but also new
At a glance, Galaxy Watch Active 2 looks exactly like the first life with a 100% round screen, soft 3D curved glass and a rough painted border in aluminum. The color tone that Samsung uses is slightly different from the previous generation, when pink is lighter and black is slightly bluish. However, in general, the design of the new model is still considered a big plus, since it is round like a traditional watch, does not create too rough feeling and has a significantly thinner screen bezel. Unfortunately, Samsung does not make the gray version, which is the popular color.
In addition, Samsung this time added a 44mm option alongside the 40mm. This is a good move as the 40mm size may be small for many, including Asians. Moreover, the 44mm version is not too big because the border has been shrunk, plus a larger battery inside.
The feeling of wearing Galaxy Watch Active 2 on the hand is very comfortable because it is gentle, the rubber strap is soft and firm. One small minus point is that Samsung does not offer extra bands of different sizes. If you have a small wrist and want to use the 44mm version, then chances are high that you have to buy an extra cord yourself.
A small change on the Watch Active 2 that may not be a common wearer, but for those who exercise, especially jogging, it is very practical: the upper hardware key has been changed. from circle to oval. With this larger and longer key area, runners can easily press the LAP switch without slipping / missing due to sweaty fingers.
Back key is bigger, higher raised, so it is easier to press, very suitable for anyone who runs.
Screen: Bigger, bright and beautiful as ever
The first merit about the Watch Active 2 is the larger screen size, to 1.2 and 1.4 inches compared to 1.1 inches in the old version. The number sounds small but makes a difference when putting two generations together.
Because of its smaller size, the resolution is the same, so the 40mm version is clearer. If looking unfamiliar, the 44mm version looks a bit porous. SuperAMOLED panels are as good as ever: Bright colors, high brightness, and comes with a light sensor. You only need to adjust the amount of light used indoors (about 4-5 is moderate), but when out in the sun or in the dark, the screen will adjust itself enough to see. This is a very smart feature from Samsung, and you'll almost never have to adjust the brightness manually in any case.
Features touch border works quite well though not feeling "has" as rotating mechanical borders.
Another plus point for Watch Active 2 is the border touch feature, which provides a rotating control experience similar to the older generation watches from Samsung. Of course, the feeling of "accumulating" when the mechanical rotation is no longer available, but the experience on Watch Active 2 is still not bad, helping you move menus and icons faster, without having to swipe your finger one page at a time. .
Tizen interface for smartwatches need to be upgraded, improved immediately and always.
Tizen OS interface for the clock is almost no different from the previous generation, looks a bit rough, not very modern. A strange thing is that when the screen size increases, the size of the icons also increases in proportion, even the screen now only contains 6 icons, not 8 as before. Perhaps Samsung needs to "makeover" early for this platform as it turns TouchWiz into OneUI so that it will not be inferior to rivals.
Connectivity: Enough, except LTE
Galaxy Watch Active 2 version sold in Vietnam has all the necessary connections, from Bluetooth 5.0 to Wifi and GPS. However, because carriers have not yet supported eSIM for smart wearables, this feature has been cut. You can only receive calls through the speaker of the watch but the volume is not too loud, enough to answer the phone when in a closed room but out on the street or in a noisy place, it will be hard to hear the other end of the phone. what.
Watch Active 2 has a built-in speakerphone for easier voice calling, but only in a quiet environment.
Compared to the original Watch Active, the second version was upgraded from Bluetooth 4.2 to 5.0 to save more battery while data sync speed is also faster. If you've ever used Watch Active 1, you can immediately see the difference in data transfer speed with the Health app on your phone is significant, especially when performing synchronization on your Samsung account.
Previously, the writer himself was very frustrated with the Music Tuning Widget on Watch Active 1 because it was very lag, sometimes the music ran for 10 seconds and the watch screen still did not show new posts. This affects many times when running but want to adjust through quick post or adjust the volume. Fortunately, the Watch Active 2 with Bluetooth 5.0 has fixed this part, everything is synchronized very quickly.
Music controls widget now works very fast, synchronized instantly with your phone.
Wifi connection is still stable. Auto Wifi mode saves battery power by turning on the network only when you open an application / widget that needs a fast network, such as streaming music via Spotify, chatting with Bixby or getting weather information. However, you can turn off Wifi and use the network via Bluetooth is good enough.
Tracking activities: There is improvement but not really clear
Samsung advertised that Galaxy Watch Active 2's activity tracking capabilities were more accurate, but in actual use, you would hardly see the difference. Functions such as counting steps, tracking sleep or reading the heart rate still work stably, nothing satisfactory, but automatic mode to identify exercises is still quite "bad luck". In addition, some exercises such as burpee or squat are sometimes underestimated and you cannot intervene manually when the device displays wrong.
The Samsung Health app is as beautiful and as good as ever.
Weightlifting exercises are also integrated quite a lot in this watch, but not all. For example, a back / bucket training session you won't be able to measure perfectly when the tracking option of Watch Active 2 does not have enough exercises, so the alternative is that you can click on the "Other exercises" section and the watch will automatically measure your heart rate and calculate the length of time the exercise will give you calories burned.
For some distance measurement subjects, GPS Watch Active 2 gives quite accurate results, partly because the internal GPS has worked very well. To test the accuracy of Watch Active 2, the writer went to Hoa Lu Stadium (Ho Chi Minh City) to jog, because the pitch in these places always had a clear measurement distance for comparison.
You can easily connect Watch Active 2 to movement tracking services like Strava. The data is recorded very accurately, from the number of laps, GPS positioning to speed over time.
More specifically, a lap run in Hoa Lu has a distance of 400m and Watch Active 2 gave exactly 6km after the writer ran exactly 15 laps. Parameters such as a map of the distance traveled, heart rate, average speed, speed at each pace … are clearly listed on the Samsung Health app after completing the run.
Similarly in swimming, Watch Active 2 also measures the length of the pool, knowing exactly how many lapses the wearer has.
Even the Health app can track movement in great detail.
Two features, ECG monitoring and fall warning, are not yet available. You may have to wait until early 2020 for Samsung to update officially.
The Samsung Health app is also nothing new, except that the data has been synced much faster than before. Information such as step count, time of day activities, exercises, heart rate … are displayed fully, beautifully, easily visible. In addition, you can refer to the relaxation features, easy to sleep with the integrated audio and video.
If you want to live healthier, you can refer to the exercises and support features available in Samsung Health.
Battery: Use for long, also long charge
This is the most different aspect between the 40mm and 44mm versions and can make you change your mind. The Galaxy Watch Active 40mm has a 247 mAh battery, which is higher than the old one, but the battery life is only up to nearly 2 days for each charge, while the 44m version with a 340mAh battery is good for 2.5 days. It doesn't sound like much, but the difference in the half day will make the 44mm version much more attractive.
If you want a better battery, buy the 44mm version with a 340mAh battery.
Above is the test result when turn on Bluetooth connection only, turn off all Wifi, NFC, GPS and enable touch sensor, manipulate screen brightness and touch screen light. If the screen is always bright, the 40mm version will last for about 1.5 days, and the 44mm version is 2 days – not bad at all.
If you regularly use Wifi or GPS, the battery life will decrease very quickly, only about 1 day of use. So, if you only use Watch Active 2 to receive notifications, control music, watch the weather or receive calls, you should turn off other connections, leaving only Bluetooth is enough.
Unfortunately, the charging time for both versions is quite long.
Galaxy Watch Active 2 does not support fast charging is understandable, but in fact, the machine takes too long to fully charge. Tested with 44mm version, from 15% that charged in 30 minutes, the battery only increased to 33%; charge 60 minutes to 58%. In total, the watch takes at least 2 hours to fully charge. The smaller 40mm battery, on the other hand, charges faster, but it is not worth it.
With prices ranging from 7.5 million to 10 million, many people will have to consider carefully before buying Galaxy Watch Active 2. If you're using the previous generation, chances are you will not find anything too interesting or outstanding to upgrade; But if you're using an old smartwatch or want to experience above-average smartwatch for the first time, Watch Active 2 is not a bad choice. It has everything you need in a smartwatch, plus a luxurious round design, a variety of control software, easy personalization and more-than-a-day battery life.
If you like it, just "inch", and the only thing to consider carefully is whether you want better battery life or compact size to fit your wrist to choose the 40mm or 44mm version that best suits your needs.