Price (RRP): $from 549-700
It would be fair to say that Samsung has taken all the best bits from the Galaxy Watch family and wrapped it up in the Galaxy Watch Active 2.
Now before we get into the review, let’s look at Samsung’s pedigree. It introduced the Gear range back in 2013. It was or is, based on Samsung’s Tizen operating system, and the back-end health app is Samsung Health. So, it has had ten iterations of Gear, including its Fit bands and it’s Samsung Health app is up to version 6.8.x. It is considered one of the best consumer health tracking apps outside dedicated pro circles.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, 46mm, LTE model
- Australian website here
- 72-page manual here (it is a PDF so check your downloads folder)
- Warranty: 2 years
- 40mm face $749 4G + Wi-Fi + Bluetooth + Stainless Steel 316L case
- 44m face from $549 Wi-Fi + BT + Aluminium case to $799 4G + Stainless Steel case
- Standard 20mm bands: $49 – textile, $69 sports and $129 leather (as supplied for review)
Note these are RRP so shop around
First impression – EXCEED
I feel quite at home with the larger Galaxy Watch Active 2, 44mm version as I usually wear the hulking big 46mm Galaxy Watch. While I don’t want to compare the two, it’s a bit like chalk and cheese. Galaxy Watch looks like a diver’s watch and Watch Active 2 is more of a trendy fashion statement.
If you have a more slender wrist the 40mm version is the same – just a smaller battery life.
I am testing the SM-R825F, the 44mm version with LTE (eSIM) and it is in a blokey semi-matte black case and leather strap. The other choice is Rose Gold.
Summary: More elegant yet just as tough as the Galaxy Watch with 5ATM + IP68 /MIL-STD-810G
Specifications – EXCEED (40/46mm)
- 40 (round) x10.9mm x 37g (44 round x 42g)
- 30mm 360 x 360 circular Super AMOLED (34mm), full colour, always-on, Gorilla Glass DX, touch, ten brightness settings
- Uses standard 20mm straps
- Battery 247/340mAh for up to 131 hours use
- Charge: Wireless WPC charge pad (USB-A) or Samsung Power Share on Galaxy Note9/S10 or later
- 3G plus 4G LTE model Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, and 20, 66, GPS, speaker and mic (for calls)
- Wi-Fi 2.4Ghz, BT 5.0 and NFC (for Samsung Pay)
- Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, HR Sensor, Light Sensor
- 4GB storage (1.4GB free for about 350 typical MP3 songs)
Setup – EXCEED
Easy as – download the Galaxy Wear and Samsung Health App.
As I already use a Galaxy Watch my Note10+, it found it immediately and voila. An on-screen tutorial made sure I was familiar with swiping and buttons.
At this point, you should explore the Wear app settings. For example, you can select the apps that can use notifications, reorder apps to suit your use, play with widgets, change vibration/volume, and so much more.
One thing you will want to do it search the hundreds of free and paid watch faces to get one that suits you. These are essentially classic, minimalist, trendy, informative, health, time focused and more. Try the free ones first – my favourite is MD111 (see image above) that has Step, Floors, Heart Rate, Calories, Moon phase, date and digital time.
Use – EXCEED
I have used several watch operating systems – this is Tizen (and I am most familiar with that), Google Wear OS, Huawei OS 2 and a few other proprietary OS like Garmin and Fitbit.
While Google Wear OS has a larger app base, Samsung Tizen does not really lack as it has everything you need. In fact, Google Wear feels a little more dated and clunky – perhaps because it must run on so many brands and models of watches.