It’s been mere months since Samsung released the Galaxy Watch Active, but that hasn’t stopped it from announcing the Galaxy Watch Active 2 ahead of its Unpacked event this Wednesday. The second-generation smartwatch features a few welcome upgrades in the form of a digital rotating bezel, enhanced fitness features, and a more fashionable, customizable design. It also comes in two different sizes and offers optional LTE connectivity.
We got a chance to spend some time with the new watch and have some first impressions.
Two Different Versions
Unlike its predecessor, the Active 2 comes with optional LTE connectivity. The two models differ in design, though. The Bluetooth-only watch is made of aluminum, while the LTE version is stainless steel.
To accommodate more wrists, both versions models come in 40mm and 44mm case sizes. 40mm models feature a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display and a 247mAh battery, while 44mm models have a 1.4-inch display and a 340mAh battery.
The Bluetooth-only model comes in black, rose gold, and silver, all of which come with a matching silicone strap. The LTE model comes in black, gold, or silver with a leather strap. Samsung also offers a variety of 20mm watch straps, both leather and silicone, to swap out your original band with.
Digital Rotating Bezel
In an effort to keep the watch light and thin, Samsung has yet again left out the rotating bezel found on the Galaxy Watch. The Active 2 features a digital bezel instead, and it feels relatively similar to the physical one thanks to haptic feedback as you rotate it. Navigating through menus feels smoother and more intuitive than it does on the original model.
Running Coach gives you real-time feedback during your workouts to help keep you on track. Whether you’re going for a brisk walk, a light jog, or an endurance run, the watch provides you with a breakdown of what your session looks like beforehand. Then throughout your run, it coaches you with audio cues you can hear through the speaker in the watch or via Bluetooth headphones.
With My Style, you can choose a watch face that’s customized specifically for your outfit using the Galaxy Watch app. All you need to do is take a photo of your attire and the app then generates a variety of different watch faces based on the colors you’re wearing.
Enhanced Support for Social Media Apps
While the watch receives notifications from apps on your phone, the LTE model has enhanced support for apps like Twitter and YouTube. In addition to interacting with tweets, you can also watch short clips straight from the watch without your phone connected.
ECG and Improved Sensors
Following in the footsteps of the Apple Watch Series 4, the Active 2 has an electrocardiogram sensor to help detect signs of atrial fibrillation. But it won’t be available for use upon launch, as Samsung says there’s still research to be done before it’s fully capable of taking ECG readings. Additionally, the Active 2 features an improved accelerometer and heart rate monitor for faster readings.
Pricing and Availability
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 will be available on September 27, with pre-orders starting on September 6. The 40mm Bluetooth-only model is priced at $ 279, while the 44mm size is $ 299. Pricing for the LTE models will vary by carrier. Check back in September for a full review. And come back later this week for details from Samsung’s Unpacked event.
The Best Smartwatches
For more on the original Samsung Galaxy Active (pictured here), and other models you can buy right now, check out our roundup of The Best Smartwatches.
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