Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Review

Samsung's Galaxy Watch Active 2 adds bezel controls and more size varieties to an already gorgeous smartwatch

First Impressions

With Wear OS still lacking, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has serious potential to be the best smartwatch for Android users.

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £269

Announced just before the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the Korean brand’s latest attempt to make an Apple Watch rival for Android.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 – Price and Release date

The Watch Active 2 comes in both LTE and Bluetooth options and can be pre-ordered now. The Bluetooth model starts at £269/$279 for the 40mm model and £289/$299 for the 44mm. That price rises to £399 and £419 if you want LTE. There’s no LTE pricing in the US as yet.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Design and display – A seriously good-looking smartwatch

The biggest change for the Galaxy Watch 2 is the addition of a touch-sensitive bezel surrounding the circular OLED display. This works in a similar way to the rotating bezel on Gear watches of old, just with no moving parts.

In my short time with the device it seemed to work really well and I much prefer this method of navigation than prodding around the small display with my finger.

Related: Best smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

I don’t think there’s a better-looking smartwatch out there right now

You can pick up the Watch Active 2 in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm. I tried both and found I was, rather surprisingly, drawn to the larger model, even though I tend to favour dinkier watches. There’s just something about this lovely, simple design that looks even better slightly bigger. It also felt a little easier to use the bezel navigation on the 44mm model.

This is a really well-design swartwatch that doesn’t try too hard to look a traditional timepiece. It’s simple, sits close to the wrist and comes in a couple of tasteful colours. Everything feels supremely well built too, from the bands to the face. I don’t think there’s a better-looking smartwatch out there right now.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Features – Not much has changed here

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 remains a fitness-focused smartwatch packing the majority of features you’d expect. There’s GPS, 24/7 heart rate monitoring and a multitude of sensors for tracking your movement. The body is water-resistant too, meaning you can swim freely with the watch on.

We haven’t spent an extended period of time with the Active 2 yet, so we’ll save our thoughts on the battery life for the full review. However, Samsung is claiming the wearable should comfortably last a day. It packs the same Apple Watch-like charger as the first-gen product.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 features an easy to navigate interface that puts all the important stuff right at the front

The software this watch runs on is Tizen, not Wear OS. Considering Wear OS hasn’t really got its design right, I actually prefer using a Samsung watch. There are some nice workouts and coaching available, along with an easy to navigate interface that puts all the important stuff right at the front.

While I found the selection of faces for the clock a bit limited on the first model, Samsung has added an option here to create faces from pictures. This lets you customise the watch to match whatever you’re wearing.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 – Early verdict

With Wear OS still lacking, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has serious potential to be the best smartwatch for Android users.

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