The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active was launched less than six months ago, but Samsung isn’t wasting any time when it comes to updating the smartwatch, with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 set to arrive in late September with a number of new hardware features.
The Active 2 will be able to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) measurement from your wrist to check on your heart’s rhythym, just like the Apple Watch 4, although this feature will not be available at launch, presumably while Samsung seeks its approval as a medical device in the US and Europe. Once Apple got that approval, it used the ECG to check for signs of atrial fibrillation, a condition you’d want to get checked by a doctor.
That’s not the only similarity with the Apple Watch. If you’re willing to pay an extra premium, there’s a cellular version of the Active 2 with LTE connectivity so you can do things like take calls, answer emails and stream music without having your phone connected to it.
On top of that, Samsung has added a rotating bezel, a standout feature of Samsung smartwatches. While this isn’t the physical bezel that you get on the Galaxy Watch, which is incredibly pleasing to rotate and makes moving through menus a breeze, the Active 2 has a touch-sensitive digital bezel.
Among the smartwatch features are music streaming services like Spotify, with 4GB of space on the watch to load up with your favourite tracks.
When it comes to fitness tracking, the device is able to record 39 different kinds of workouts, with some sports like running, cycling and swimming logged automatically. It has a heart rate monitor and built-in GPS, and if you decide the native tracking isn’t up to snuff you can download third-party apps like Strava or Endomondo to use instead.
There’s also a more expensive Under Armour edition of the watch which includes a six-month premium subscription to run tracking app MapMyRun and closer integration which will include coaching features, focussing on your cadence.
You can also track your sleep on the watch, although that depends a lot on whether Samsung’s claims of a four-day battery life on the Active 2 are borne out in the real world. We’ve found in the past that if you actually use all the features on Samsung smartwatches, including 24/7 heart rate tracking, and fire up the GPS for outdoor exercise regularly, they tend to need charging daily.
The Active 2 will come in two sizes – 40mm and 44mm – both of which have a bigger AMOLED screen than the original Active.
The Samsung Galaxy Active 2 will be available to order from 6th September and will ship from the 27th September. The UK price has not been confirmed yet, and neither has the price of the cellular version. In the US, the standard 40mm watch will cost $279.99 and the 44mm $299.99, which roughly equates to £230 and £250 respectively.