Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: Hands-on

Тhe brand new Galaxy Watch Active 2 is official and it now comes in two different sizes and has a few new features. 

Just five months after Samsung unveiled its sporty Galaxy Watch Active, the second-generation successor is about to hit stores soon, and we took a look at it at the IFA tech show in Berlin.


New sizes and a classic look

First, the Watch Active 2 looks just a lot better. The original watch was tiny and it felt a bit too plasticky and toy-like, while this new one feels premium. It is available in two versions, one with an aluminum frame that by default comes with a sporty band, and a more premium version made of stainless steel which by default comes with a stylish leather strap.

The two sizes are also very welcome: you can choose between a 40mm watch and a much larger, 44mm one.

A cool new feature allows you to match the colors of your watch face to your daily outfit – simply take a picture of yourself and the watch will extract the key colors and apply them to the current watch face.

Rotating bezel, kind of

Most Samsung watches recently featured a very useful rotating bezel that you could use to navigate around the watch. While the Watch Active 2 does not have a physical rotating bezel, it resurrects this idea with a virtual one. Simply slide your finger along the edges of the watch and you can move around menus just like you would on a physical rotating bezel. It takes some getting used to, but it works surprisingly well.

ECG, fitness and notifications

Electrocardiograms are supported, but will arrive later on

The biggest new health feature in the Watch Active 2 has got to be the addition of an ECG sensor. This allows the watch to measure your heart's activity and potentially warn you about some dangerous issues (and hopefully save you bigger trouble). The feature will not be available at launch, but it’s coming via an update in early 2020, according to Samsung.

The rest of the functionality revolves around activity tracking and notifications. You have a total of 39 activities that you can track, and seven of those that are tracked automatically – running, walking, cycling, swimming, rowing machine, elliptical machine and dynamic workouts. The new watch also sports the Running Coach feature with seven different running programs.

Samsung also clarifies that the actual sensors on the back of the watch are improved and should get your health data much faster.

Final Words

The Watch Active 2 now also features a cellular model so it can be used even when you don’t have your phone on you. This follows a path similar to the model Apple uses to sell its Apple Watch.

Are you sold on the new watch? The Active 2 release date is set for September 27th in the United States, and prices start at $280 for the smaller, 40mm aluminum model and $300 dollars for the 44mm aluminum version. Stainless steel models will come at a higher price.



2. Tipsy.trex

Posts: 20; Member since: May 17, 2016

"too plasticky and toy like" ...the watch active is made out of glass and aluminum and is the same size as the 40mm one. If I may be so blunt, why the hell are you talking about something when you very clearly have never used the it?

16. srgonu

Posts: 557; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

Vitor met his expectations. Nothing surprising here.

3. MsPooks

Posts: 157; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

Not even considering it until ECG is live.

4. Cat97

Posts: 1923; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Looks too feminine, even the black one. Kind of like the Apple Watches. And this is not a good thing. I mean, compare this with the Galaxy Watch. The Galaxy Watch has double the battery size and looks more masculine. Samsung should offer more styles.

5. wickedwilly

Posts: 723; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

It’s good iif you are woman, most who would prefer a feminine watch. Unlike the Apple Watch, which is also feminine, you have a choice with the Samsung Watch. I have S3 Frontier, my wife has an Active, we are both happy.

6. peschiera

Posts: 33; Member since: Sep 17, 2017

PA: you are so biased and this knowingly. It hurts. You write: "The Watch Active 2 now also features a cellular model so it can be used even when you don’t have your phone on you. This follows a path similar to the model Apple uses to sell its Apple Watch." You know exactly it follows a path similar to all 4 Galaxy Gear S series before which is the Samsung path and which Apple decided to follows, too.

9. oldskool50 unregistered

Exactly. The Galaxy Gear S, has had cellular capabilities since the first model. Apple didn't even have cellular on their watch until 3 years later. How the heck is this following Apple. he is a Samsung hater, just like most of the scrubs that come here. Stop writing Samsung reviews Victor. You are an open Samsung hater and we see it. You couldn't be unbias towards Samsung if Samsung gave you a million dollars you would still hate them. Yet Apple pays you zero. Did you return your Note 10 yet? Because it's actually to good of a phone considering your daily driver. Just do your normal biased to Apple, Apple reviews and keep Samsung out of your mouth. You are a total disingenuous writer.

7. Matte_Black13

Posts: 27; Member since: Oct 12, 2018

They really need to drop a new Galaxy Watch 2 instead of just more actives.

8. oldskool50 unregistered

Why is it, Victor is the only one who reviews Samsung devices. Why use person who has show mass discuss for Samsung products to give a review of them. His God is Apple and he hates anythign by Samsung by default. Stop allowing him to review Samsung products because he can't so objectively. We have all complained about it to a point you all should so something about it. Same for Alan Friedman. They both should not ever review anything related to Samsung whatsoever! EVER! Because Victor is pissed that EVERYTHING about the S, Note and nearly everythign aboyt the Galaxy Watch are so much better than what Apple offers, that his whole reviews are typical negative. He NEVER points out anything negative about the iPhone. NEVER. He has never complained about the facts that even though the iPhone is as big as the Galaxy, the batteries are still still 40% smaller. He didn't complain about lose of FPS. he doesn't complain about the backwards UI like the fact all the settings are still in one place and how you have to leave the app to change settings.

12. apple-rulz

Posts: 2186; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Samsung has gone way backwards in their watch design. The S3 Classic is, in my opinion, the best looking smart watch to date.

14. oldskool50 unregistered

The Gear S is a totally different device vs the Active. The Gear S/Galaxy Watch, were meant to be a more business or premium type device, while the Active, was meant to be a stylish sport model for peopel who workout. In case you haven't noticed. many sport watches tend to be bulky and manly looking, while Samsung was going for something thin, light, elegant and less sport looking and something that can be worn with any clothing, whether casual or dressed up. But ebcause your brain is so use to boring Apple product that have no kind of design on this level, then you are totally out of reach of anythign else. The fact you are comparing the Galaxy Watch Active to the Gear S/Galaxy Watch; shows you are out of touch with reality and know zero about the product you are criticizing. It's call the Galaxy Watch Active for a reason. "Active" being the key word. Just liek there is a Gear S and a gear S sport. The sport was a more robust sportier looking device design to deal with beign used in extreme conditions. It was less dressy and stylish. The Gear S was a premium model that had all the bells and whistles, including cellular since day one. Then you have the Fit, which is what the Active replaces, as the fit was kinda fugly in an attempt to look like other fitness bands. For a person looking for a more watch looking device, the Galaxy watch is what replaced the gear S. The Galaxy Watch Active is for people who want a stylish device, that double as a workout accessory, but yet doesn't look sporty and bulky.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.