comscore Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G Review | BGR India
Review

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G Review: Sleek, fitness focused, always connected!

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G brings some key upgrades over the predecessor along with 4G connectivity. But is it worth buying?

samsung galaxy watch active 2 4g review lead

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G 4 5
BGR Rating :
4/5

A recent report from Strategy Analytics revealed a 42 percent year-on-year growth in global smartwatch shipments. It reached a total of 14.2 million units in Q3 2019. And why not, brands like Amazfit, Huawei, Honor, Fitbit and more are launching their affordable smartwatches in India. We recently reviewed the Galaxy Watch LTE, which brings standalone connectivity along with fitness features. Now, we have yet another Samsung wearable for review, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 with 4G connectivity. Also Read - Samsung reveals Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3 features officially, S Pen support confirmed

Roughly seven months ago, we reviewed the Galaxy Watch Active, and we liked its design and performance. Samsung was quick enough to refresh it with some key features. The highlight is the ECG and fall detection feature which directly makes it a competitor to Apple Watch Series 5. Sadly, these features haven’t been activated yet. With that in mind, and a price point of Rs 35,990, is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G worth your money? Let’s find out. Also Read - Amazon Prime Day sale deals revealed: Discount on OnePlus Nord CE, Mi 11X, Samsung Galaxy M42

Specifications

Under the hood, there is a dual-core Exynos SoC clocked at 1.15GHz. You get 1.5GB of RAM and 4GB onboard storage. The OS however takes up a good amount of space, and you are left with just 1.4GB to install apps, and store offline music.  Also Read - Galaxy A22 replaces M42 5G to become the cheapest 5G Samsung phone in India

The smartwatch runs Tizen OS, and it is compatible with both Android and iOS phones. And while the setup process is pretty straightforward, you need to download the Galaxy Wearable app and a few plugins on Android. There is Bixby voice assistant too. You can simply say Hi Bixby, Start a workout, ask for weather updates, add reminders and more. While it’s good to have the assistant, I found it inconsistent, and didn’t end up using at all. 

Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G: Design

The Galaxy Watch Active saw a design departure where Samsung ditched the physical rotating bezel for a full touch display. And as it didn’t go quite well with the users, Samsung has added a touch-based, capacitive ring on the Galaxy Watch Active 2. It mimics the rotating bezel and you also get a nice haptic feedback as you scroll through the menu. Although, I would have preferred the haptics to be a bit stronger.

There aren’t many changes in the look and feel as compared to the Galaxy Watch Active. You get a circular 1.4-inch AMOLED screen with 360×360 pixels resolution. It is pretty crisp and offers punchy color reproduction. It is also bright, and legibility under direct sunlight isn’t a problem either. The touch response of the screen is also very good, and I did not face any issues navigating through the UI.

The notable changes come in the form of buttons. On the right, you have the back button, and it is slightly elongated compared to the predecessor, for enabling ECG reading. Just below it, you have the menu button, and there is a nice red ring, indicating LTE model. There are two microphones – one on the right between two buttons and one on the top. The speaker is on the left.

Another notable change comes at the back. The Watch Active 2 now comes with a total of eight LEDs, compared to four on the Galaxy Watch Active. These help in measuring your pulse more accurately, especially during workouts (more on that later). And then, there is the ECG sensor too. But there is time till it gets activated by Samsung, as it is waiting for the required FDA approvals.

Fitness

The name “Active” is for a reason. The smartwatch is heavily focused on fitness enthusiasts. It can track a total of 39 workouts. Out of these, activities like running, cycling and swimming can be tracked automatically. For the rest of them, you need to manually select from the list. These include, squats, crunches, lunges, burpee test, deadlifts, circuit training, plank, pull-ups, push-ups and more. 

I’m not a totally fit person, but often, I do some squats, lunges and star jumps. And while doing the sets, I noticed the readings to be quite accurate. I also go on a 4-5km walk every alternate day, and the pedometer logging along with distance and GPS location is also quite accurate with minimal error. 

Now talking about the eight LEDs at the back, I found the readings on the Watch Active 2 to be more accurate. At times, on the Galaxy Watch and previous Gear smartwatches, the watch would skip heart rate readings. This mostly happens when you’re working out and hands are sweaty. But that isn’t the case with Watch Active 2, which definitely is an improvement. 

The smartwatch also improves on heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking. I’m not a good sleeper, and often tend to wake up a number of times as I face sinus issues. All that data is accurately tracked, and the watch tells me about light sleep, deep sleep and how much REM I get every night. In terms of heart-rate monitoring, you can set it to measure in every 10 mins or manually.

Continuous heart-rate monitoring option is also there, but it does increase the battery consumption. All this data is logged onto the Samsung Health app. You can access this anytime and also compare it with previous day, week, and month. 

4G connectivity

After Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch LTE, the Watch Active 2 4G is the only always connected smartwatch that you can buy in India. It uses eSIM, and only Airtel and Jio support this for now. The setup process is easy, can be done in a couple of minutes from the Galaxy Wearable app.

On board 4G connectivity means you can go on a run while keeping your phone at home. You can reply to messages and WhatsApp notifications, make and receive calls. There is also Spotify app, where you can stream music online without needing your phone. And if you are a premium subscriber, you can download music on the in-built memory for offline playback.

When I go out on a walk, I usually connect the smartwatch with Galaxy Buds TWS headphones, and stream music on Spotify. I absolutely had no issues with the connectivity. Even phone calls were clear, both via the headphones and the watch, and the recipient could hear my voice clearly. 

Battery life

The Galaxy Watch (46mm) with 472mAh battery lasts about 4-5 days. The Watch Active 2 4G, on the other hand, features a 340mAh battery, and it easily lasts two days. And if you turn on the always-on display, and standalone 4G connectivity all the time, it will still last you one complete day.

I would start my day with 100 percent battery, and I get a lot of notifications on social media, Slack, WhatsApp and more. By the time I reach home, the watch would have around 60 percent battery left. Then, I would go on a walk for an hour with GPS on, and music streaming on 4G (Spotify), and listening on Bluetooth. By the time I come back home, the watch would still have 18 percent battery, good enough till the next day.

If we skip the music streaming part, same usage gives two full days-worth battery life, which is more than Apple Watch Series 5. And full charging takes about an hour and 30 minutes, which is pretty fast compared to previous generation models that I have used. It supports wireless charging too, which means you can use your Galaxy Note 10 or S10 reverse wireless charging feature to charge the watch.

Verdict: Is the Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G worth your money?

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G just falls short from being a complete smartwatch for Android users. It brings in key upgrades over the predecessor. 4G connectivity, better heart rate monitoring and fitness tracking, and improved battery life are some of the pros. Performance is absolutely no issue.

It is the only smartwatch for Android users to have ECG and fall detection features. Sadly, these aren’t available at launch, which is a major miss. Also, at Rs 35,990, I would have expected a slightly bigger battery. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a sleek, 4G-enabled smartwatch, the Watch Active 2 4G could be a good choice. If you want a better battery life and 4G, the Galaxy Watch LTE at Rs 30,990 isn’t bad either. It’s just a tad bulkier.

For those who don’t want to spend a lot, there are other, less expensive Samsung smartwatches available too. Then there is also Huawei Watch GT, Honor Magic Watch 2, Amazfit smartwatches, and Fitbit ones to choose from based on your budget and needs.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: January 21, 2020 9:38 AM IST



new arrivals in india

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G

19,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F22
Samsung Galaxy F22

12,499

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

21,999

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Best Sellers