Samsung is still working on enabling the best Galaxy Watch Active 2 feature... someday

Samsung is still working on enabling the best Galaxy Watch Active 2 feature... someday
Samsung unveiled quite possibly its most robust and feature-packed Apple Watch alternative to date nearly eight months ago, but while our in-depth review and head-to-head comparison confirmed the Galaxy Watch Active 2 was indeed a worthy contender for the Series 5's title of best smartwatch in the world, something big was missing to completely level the playing field.

We're talking about ECG monitoring and fall detection, two game-changing features that Apple brought to its market-leading smartwatch family back in 2018 and that Samsung promised to eventually enable on the Galaxy Watch Active 2. While the company never explicitly committed to a firm release schedule, the general expectation was that users could begin to gain more insight into their health at some point during Q1 2020.

We even heard whispers of a February software update looking to activate the dormant life-saving hardware, but unfortunately, that hasn't proven to be the case, and worse yet, Samsung is staying completely mum on the matter. 

All signs seem to point to some sort of a delay in the FDA approval process, including a reply from a company "product expert" in one of multiple Samsung Community threads where people are complaining of false advertising and even threatening legal action if they don't soon get what they were promised back when the Galaxy Watch Active 2 was released.

The device is also listed as "not approved or cleared by U.S. FDA" in the documentation of a clinical trial scheduled to start on May 1, 2020 and end on May 1, 2030, although you should keep in mind those dates probably have nothing to do with the potential rollout of the aforementioned ECG-enabling software update.

Meanwhile, the folks over at TizenHelp spotted another Samsung Community reply from a "Health Manager" claiming to be the "person in charge of operation of Samsung Health Service", who says the company is "currently preparing for the electrocardiogram service through Galaxy Watch Active 2", warning however that it may still "take time to provide stable service."

In other words, it sounds like no one knows when the feature will become active (pun very much intended), and the uncertainty over the FDA approval could well be exacerbated by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Keep in mind that Samsung absolutely needs the US Food and Drug Administration's green light to provide electrocardiogram measurements on the wrists of Galaxy Watch Active 2 owners, which can reveal serious heart conditions like atrial fibrillation and tachycardia, potentially saving or at least improving many lives.

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