Galaxy Watch Active 2 vs. Galaxy Watch Active: What’s the Difference and Should You Upgrade?


fill gaps

Galaxy Watch Active 2

OG Fitness Smartwatch

Galaxy Watch Active

Sometimes upgrades fall short of the mark. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Galaxy Watch Active 2. It improves existing sensors through faster and more accurate measured values. It also adds some other new perks that fill in the gaps left by the predecessor.

$ 200 on Amazon


  • Optional LTE
  • Digital rotating bezel
  • Improved sensors
  • built-in GPS
  • Ongoing analysis & VO2 max


  • With the LTE model, the battery is discharged faster
  • More expensive, especially with LTE

The Galaxy Watch Active is still a formidable smartwatch. It has all the features you would expect like built-in GPS, activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, Samsung Pay, smartphone notifications, and much more. It’s also less expensive.

$ 149 on Amazon


  • built-in GPS
  • Great fitness tracking
  • Cheaper option
  • Now has a digital rotating bezel


  • One size option only
  • No LTE connectivity

Galaxy Watch Active 2 versus Galaxy Watch Active: A big improvement

If you’re a tech geek, you can probably look forward to device updates and new models being released. Samsung is one of the top competitors when it comes to finding the best Android smartwatch. The original Galaxy Watch Active was released in March 2019. A few months later, we were spoiled again with the release of the Galaxy Watch Active 2. Is it worth the upgrade?

When it comes to new and improved features, there is a lot to unzip. With that in mind, the first edition is still a very powerful smartwatch with many advantages. Not to mention, it’s more affordable for budget-conscious customers too. Both Samsung smartwatches have a lot to offer. It is up to you to decide which is the better choice for your needs.

Galaxy Watch Active 2 versus Galaxy Watch Active: What’s new

Galaxy Watch Active 2

Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central Pictured: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

These two smartwatches have a lot more in common than just their names. Both come with great features like advanced fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring, built-in GPS, smartphone notifications, and Samsung Pay. However, due to some minor improvements, upgrading to the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is worth a second look.

They also have a real-time electrocardiogram (EKG) function that can help you detect irregular heartbeats. There is also a more accurate LED-based heart rate monitor, an advanced accelerometer, and improved GPS accuracy. In conjunction with the new Samsung Health Monitor app, Samsung has also added cuff blood pressure monitoring to the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

It’s also worth noting that an update has brought many of the features of the Galaxy Watch 3 to the Galaxy Watch Active 2. The “Run Analysis” feature is designed to help you become a better runner, improve your form and prevent injuries. Users can now measure VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen that can be consumed during intense activity. This feature can help you determine your overall fitness and performance levels in order to improve your endurance over time.

Active 2 (40 mm)active
display1.2 inch Super AMOLED1.1 inch Super AMOLED
Dimensions40 x 40 x 10.9 mm39.5 x 39.5 x 10.5 mm
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi b / g / n, LTE (selected models)Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi b / g / n
Water resistanceUp to 50mUp to 50m
Battery life2 days (varies depending on the model)2 days
SensorsHRM, electrocardiogram (EKG), accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, ambient light sensorHRM, accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, light sensor
operating systemTizenTizen
built-in GPS✔️✔️
NFC payments✔️✔️
Optional LTE✔️

Galaxy Watch Active 2 users now have access to the fall detection feature. If a potential fall is detected, you will be given the option to send an SOS notification to up to four preassigned contacts. Communication on the wrist is another useful update. Instead of using your phone when receiving a notification, you can now easily view emoticons and photos on your wrist. In addition, your watch will automatically show your chat history, rather than just a single message. The scroll capture feature allows you to take a screenshot of your watch that will be sent to your phone as an image.

The main change is that the Galaxy Watch Active 2 offers optional LTE connectivity.

The main change is that the Galaxy Watch Active 2 offers optional LTE connectivity. As usual, your wearable will receive notifications from apps on your phone. However, the LTE model has improved support for apps like YouTube and Twitter. This means that you can watch video clips and interact with Tweets right from your wrist without connecting your phone. You can also use this feature to make calls, send and receive texts without having to fool around with your phone while exercising.

Did we mention the rotating bezel is here and better than ever? The new digital rotating bezel allows you to seamlessly navigate the Active 2 surface while maximizing the screen size. It’s right on the AMOLED screen with no clunky moving parts to worry about. You can rotate it both clockwise and counterclockwise to expand the screens and select apps. However, this standout feature is no longer just available for the second edition, which we’ll get to in a moment.

There aren’t many big changes when it comes to fitness and health tracking. However, the improved Running Coach feature now gives you real-time pace metrics. You will be given a breakdown of what to expect from your workout before you begin. Whether you are running, jogging, or jogging, this feature gives you audio cues that you can hear through the watch’s speaker or through bluetooth headphones.

Galaxy Watch Active 2 versus Galaxy Watch Active: Something similar

Galaxy Watch Active

Source: Android Central Pictured: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

As you may know, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 was originally marketed as a long-awaited solution to the missing rotating bezel on the original Watch Active. For users who loved the original device but still longed for a rotating bezel function, their prayers have been answered. In fact, many users agree that the capacitive faceplate is one of the main highlights of the new device.

It is worth mentioning that there was an update with which this unique function is now also available for the predecessor. If you’re not thinking of investing in the Watch Active 2 for the larger 44mm option, EKG or blood pressure monitoring, or the optional LTE connectivity, it’s hard to imagine why you’d spend so much more on the successor . Finally, you still get the same tracking and smartwatch features that are available on the original watch.

Many of the features that made the Watch Active 2 special are now available on the original Watch Active.

The update does more than just introduce the capacitive bezel to the Galaxy Watch Active. The original Watch Active now has a new My Style feature that allows users to customize watch faces to match their outfits. Additionally, after downloading the software update, users will be able to better take advantage of Bixby, including using Bixby Voice to start exercise routines. Many of the features that made the Watch Active 2 special are now available with the first edition.

After all, the activity tracking remains largely the same with this new successor. It can still track 39+ workouts, monitor sleep patterns, and along with guided meditation help manage stress. As you can see, the Galaxy Watch Active is still an amazing wearable and worthy competitor – but the new edition offers some additional perks for specific audiences.

Galaxy Watch Active 2 versus Galaxy Watch Active: Should you upgrade?

Galaxy Watch Active 2

Pictured: Galaxy Watch Active 2Source: Android Central

If all of these enhancements and features speak to you directly, the upgrade might be worth it. You also have two different size options: 40mm and 44mm. The larger size is great for those with larger wrists and has a gorgeous 1.4-inch display. There are also two different styles: lightweight aluminum with a soft fluoroelastomer strap and high quality solid stainless steel with a leather strap. You will also appreciate that the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 bands are interchangeable.

If you’ve been waiting eagerly for an LTE-friendly fitness smartwatch and are already familiar with the Galaxy ecosystem, the upgrade makes sense. You will enjoy some of the other new perks it has as well, such as the EKG feature, improved sensors, and a larger option to name a few.

When you compare these two models, you might be leaning towards the Galaxy Watch Active 2. You will love all of the new updates and the careful attention to the details that matter most. We recommend buying if you are not satisfied with the original Galaxy Watch Active. Those who are happy with the original Galaxy Watch Active and don’t need an EKG or LTE may not want to spend the extra money on an upgrade.

The price of the new smartwatch varies depending on the model chosen. The 40 mm Bluetooth edition made only of aluminum is the cheapest of the whole range. If you go for the larger 44mm model or add LTE connectivity, the price goes up. Either way, both watches are solid options for the fitness-minded user. Now that the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has been around for a while, a new successor may be around the corner. For some users, it is advisable to wait for the new model to be released.

fill gaps

Galaxy Watch Active 2 (40mm)

Galaxy Watch Active 2 (40 mm, GPS, Bluetooth)

No more FOMO

This beautiful smartwatch may look similar to the original, but it brings a lot more warmth. Passionate athletes do not want to pass on the new EKG, the improved sensors or the LTE connectivity.

OG Fitness Smartwatch

Galaxy Watch Active

Galaxy Watch Active (40 mm, GPS, Bluetooth)

Stick to the basics

For those who missed the rotating bezel and have been waiting for an LTE version, it may be time to part with the Galaxy Watch Active. However, if you are happy with the original, why pay more to upgrade?

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