Overview

Considering to buy a new smartwatch for your Android 7 smartphone but feeling indecisive when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3? Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place. In this Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Active 2 review, you might be able to weigh down the pros and cons of these two great choices and get yourself the best fit for you. 

The Active 2 was launched in September 2019 but is still a smooth digital watch with many features that are centered in assisting you during workouts and when you’re not on your morning jog, but sleeping soundly. This smartwatch includes practical and useful FDA-approved health features and also includes other commonly used apps. 

However, the new Galaxy Watch 3 has been launched just a few months ago and it’s aimed at those who have a dynamical and versatile lifestyle as well. This new watch has also fitness apps incorporated just like its predecessor, Active 2, and includes more storage space which we will discuss further on.

Battery Life

Firstly, let’s dive in a universal concern when it comes to technology: battery life. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 watch has a 48 hours battery durability. However, there’s a few things you might wanna keep in mind: if the display is set up in always-on mode, then this will obviously drain your battery. This might be an annoying factor for those who enjoy that feature, but for those who don’t, this is a considerable amount of time for a battery life. Luckily, the LTE version takes about two hours to fully charge, depending on the size of the watch you get. Other features such as location accuracy, listening to music apps while running trackers can decrease its battery life frighteningly. These ‘issues’ are controllable and if battery durability is the most important feature for you. By turning off the always-on display, whenever you raise your wrist you can use it and conserve more energy.  

Now, the new Galaxy Watch shares the same battery life. Unlike the original Galaxy Watch’s 96 hours of endurance, the Galaxy Watch lasts for 48 hours just like Active 2. Both watches’ batteries can be drained if the display and multiple apps are in simultaneous use.

Design / Wearability 

The fun part of owning watches is the aesthetic that it reflects. Its design adds to your daily life not only for its usage but for its wearability. Active 2 has more varieties of colors than Galaxy Watch. It comes in Aqua Black, Cloud Silver, and Pink Gold and the LTE versions are available in black, gold, and silver. It also has a Golf edition and you can even design the smartwatch which is a nice factor to consider if you like customizing your stuff. It adds uniqueness and also, with this you can choose a silicone band from a variety of colors to choose from if you feel that sweat and leather shouldn’t be mixed. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Watch only has available Mystic Bronze, Samsung’s current signature color, and Mystic Silver. 

Both smartwatches are incredibly sophisticated and classy. With the leather band, you could easily wear it to a fancy event and use the silicone bands for your workout routine. It has been heavily stressed that the leather bands get icky when combined with sweat or water, so switching to durable silicone bands is recommended.   

As for the interface display, the Galaxy Watch 3 has a new feature that competes with the Active 2 and for some, wins over the latter. The rotating bezel is the winner here, because this digital crown adds a more natural feeling to users and satisfying clicks when navigating the interface. The rotating bezel is an elegant element that brings satisfaction to most customers compared to Active2’s touch bezel. Also, there’s a great deal of widgets to choose from for your home display. Just by sliding your finger around the edge enables you to choose from so many widgets, watch-faces and more. 

Usage

Talking about widgets and apps, Active 2 has 4GB capacity storage whereas the Galaxy Watch 3 has 8GB. So you can distribute storage according to your wants and needs whether it’s using your favorite social media apps like Twitter, music apps like Spotify (you can use Spotify offline if you are a Premium member), or entertainment apps like YouTube on your wrist. On the other hand, there are practical apps that can make your day easier and are ideal for smartwatches like maps, messaging, fitness, or health apps. As it was said above, enjoying more than two apps simultaneously can drain your battery life. 

Both also have automatic tracking that automatically records movement and the steps you’ve taken and the calories you’ve burned off. Its advanced sensors automatically track up to 7 activities: rowing, walking, cycling, running, dynamic workouts, elliptical trainer, and last but not least, swimming. Since it is waterproof, there’s also a water lock mode that avoids unintentional touches on its screen while you swim. 

Keep an eye on updates for the Watch Active 2, since it supports the advanced running metrics, fall detection, and VO2 Max readings for athletes that are also available on the Galaxy Watch 3.

 The LTE version of Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 can make phone calls and respond to messages even when your smartphone is out of Bluetooth range or just over Wifi. Of course it’s more expensive than the Bluetooth editions and the Active 2, however, it is considered to be worth the price since the Galaxy Watch’s microphone quality is outstanding. With the Active2 LTE model, you can also make calls, but it lacks a speaker and it needs a paired phone in order to initiate a call. 

Fitness/ Health

Let’s be honest, most of the smartwatch users benefit apart from the wearability, the access to fitness and health features that either coach you throughout your workouts and check your heart rate or throughout your day if you’re anxious or your sleep schedule. Both smartwatches include an electrocardiogram sensor and coaches that help your train from seven different guided programs to help you enhance stamina or increase speed which includes warm ups before training and cool downs after the workout. These features have vocal signals that can be used even via Bluetooth headphones that are paired directly to the watch. It also warns you to slow down or speed up through vibrations. In addition, it possesses GPS maps for your running route and tracks distance as well. 

For long term apps that benefit your health as well, both Samsung watches track your sleep and it’s unlikely that this feature uses up all the battery. When using it for a period of time, these watches will give you a report of your data based on your REM cycle plus tips to improve your sleep habits. Yet some customers have reported that the watch’s sleep tracker isn’t as accurate as other health apps that have sleep trackers, so you might want to consider downloading an app for sleep tracking.  

Like it was said before, the EGC monitor tracks how many calories you’ve burned according to the steps taken throughout that day. Along the new update, it came a new option of blood oxygen measurement, which is an insightfully great addition. Samsung reminds customers to avoid interpreting or making any medical decision based on the device’s output before consulting a qualified healthcare professional first.

Durability

Let’s talk The Galaxy Watch Active 2 was designed with durability in mind. It has a 5 ATM rating which means that it’s water resistant for up to 50 meters in depth, but it’s not appropriate for high pressure water activities, so it’s not intended for scuba diving. Since it’s IP68 and MIL-STD-810G-certified, it has been tested against drastic temperatures, falls from almost five feet, low pressure or high altitude, and is able to resist sand, dust, and dirt. 

To ensure a lengthier durability, make sure to dry the watch with a soft, clean cloth after a swim; if you took a swim in the ocean, it’s best to rinse the device with freshwater and dry as advised above. Keep in mind that taking proper care is always a factor that lengthens the durability of your smartwatch. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, since both watches are similar regarding apps and sensors; which smartwatch should you buy? Well, it not only depends on the design you’re looking for, but in the price you’re willing to pay as well. Both watches are entirely different aesthetically, yet almost the same since both are fitness oriented with the Samsung Health App. Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Active 2 have an automatic rec tracking for more than 5 activities. The storage is something to pay attention to, since Galaxy Watch 3 has 8GB for offline music or/and apps, and the Active 2 has half of it with only 4GB. Are you a melomaniac who enjoys having a variety of playlists to listen whenever you want? If so, are you willing to pay more for the option of having a limited space for music or other apps?

If we talk about prices, there’s a $100 gap. It’s evident that the Galaxy Watch 3 costs much more  than the Galaxy Watch Active 2.  If you’re planning to buy yourself an LTE model, then it’s  going to be more expansive as well. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Bluetooth edition costs from $249 for the 40mm size to  $269 for the 44mm size. Now, if you want LTE, it’ll cost you from $399 for the 40mm size to $419 for the 44mm version. In addition, for cellular connectivity, you’ll have to pay a premium: $429, to be exact. There’s also an elegant stainless steel alternative that starts at $379 and an Under Armour special edition model for running aficionados that costs $279 (the 40mm size) and $299 (the 44 mm size). Which is basically aesthetics that can be easily sacrificed if your budget is tight right now. 

Since we’re discussing once again the smartwatches’ design, let’s revise the aesthetics of these two watches to wrap it up, shall we? The Galaxy Watch 3 has an expensive feature: the rotating bezel, which can be a pro since it protects the screen’s edges. Whereas the Active 2 has just the touch bezel, but it has a variety of colors to choose from and you can even customize it. Even though both smartwatches differ from body size, the Active 2 being smaller, both share the same screen size, which is approximately 1.2 inch screen for the smaller version and 1.4 inch for the larger one. As for their weight, the Galaxy Watch 3 ranges from 49 – 54 grams while the Active 2 ranges from 26 to 30 grams. In other words, the Galaxy Watch’s weight can be the equivalent of an average plum on your wrist whereas the Active 2’s weight can be the equivalent of a slice of wholemeal bread. 

Are you looking for a watch that is lighter and more compact than most so you can jog, run errands, or go through your daily life; a watch that is also customizable and offers a variety of colors to choose from according to your wants and needs; and a watch that is currently more affordable than most smartwatches in the market but it doesn’t compromise style, app use, and a neat interface? Then, you’ve got to get yourself the Active 2. 

Did the paragraph above not resonate with you? Then, are you looking for a watch that is stylish; are you not thrown off by the very limited selection of colors and bands; are you in love with the idea of a physical bezel that with each rotation and the sound of it clicks, it gives a sense of satisfaction? Are you okay with the 8GB storage? Do you want to be able to call from your phone via WiFi without the need of a paired smartphone and outside the Bluetooth range? Then, look no further: the Galaxy Watch 3 is the smartwatch for you!