Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2: Price, Specs, Release Date

In a fairly brief duration of time, Apple has actually ended up being the clear leader in smartwatches. But Samsung isn’t decreasing without a battle, as well as the business has the numbers to verify it. According to 2 different expert’s records, Samsung’s wearables service has actually expanded by greater than 100 percent over the previous year. And currently Samsung is presenting an additional wearable to the schedule, simply a pair days in advance of the business’s anticipated official introduction of a brand-new Galaxy Note front runner smart device.

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The brand-new Galaxy Watch Active2 is an upgrade to the Galaxy Watch Active launched this past February. It’s thinner as well as lighter than the previous wearable as well as features 2 brand-new dimension choices. More significantly, Samsung states this upgrade consists of advanced health and wellness- as well as fitness-tracking choices, taking purpose at the largest marketing factors of the fitness-forward Apple Watch.

The brand-new Active2 can be found in 40 mm as well as 44 mm instance sizes, contrasted to the Galaxy Watch Active, which is just offered in a 42 mm dimension. The Galaxy Watch Active2 has actually likewise been executed the style improvement ringer. It’s a little thinner as well as lighter—no little accomplishment when the initial Active is currently quite little. The Galaxy Watch Active2 likewise sustains a cordless LTE link (though that will certainly cost you added) as well as has an integrated voice translator.

It’s worth keeping in mind that this brand-new version doesn’t have the rotating bezel found on earlier Samsung smartwatches. Instead, it has a digital version of this, which Samsung says was implemented to maximize screen size. The earlier mechanical bezel was a popular feature because it didn’t limit wearers to just swiping and tapping through the user interface; they could twist their way through menus too.

In line with its moniker, though, the biggest advancements are around health data collection and fitness tracking. The Active2’s built-in accelerometer is supposedly improved, for more accurate activity tracking. It has eight LED-based heart rate monitoring sensors, double the number in the Active. This means it will sample your heartbeats at a faster rate, which Samsung claims will lead to more accurate readings. And the Active2 includes an ECG sensor, though it does not offer much at this point. It’s not FDA approved, and Samsung says “it is currently in a research phase, and we will share more information at a later date on the status, when available.”

The watch will auto-record more than two dozen exercise activities (which means you never have to press start or stop; the watch does it for you.) It also displays real-time pacing information during runs and offers seven different running programs. For the times between workouts, it suggests breathing exercises, then shares the data with Calm. (Samsung announced a partnership with Calm in March of this year.)

Like previous Samsung smartwatches, this new one runs on Tizen, Samsung’s homegrown operating system, and it pairs with both iOS and Android phones. The “One UI” on the watch has been updated. I haven’t had the chance to play around with the Active2 yet, so it’s hard to say how this latest UI compares to other smartwatch interfaces.

However, you can opt in to sharing your health and fitness data to other platforms—including Apple Health and Google Fit—if you like the look and feel of a Samsung watch but prefer to use other apps on your phone. All of this data-sharing is enabled through Samsung’s own health app, called Samsung Health.

Watch Yourself

The Galaxy Active2 (no space!) will be available in late September, starting at $280 for the 40-mm watch and $300 for the 44-mm watch. An LTE variation of the watch will also be sold starting on September 27, though Samsung hasn’t released pricing on that one yet. And, note, those are entry-level prices for an aluminum watch; a premium stainless-steel model will cost you more, putting the Active2 more in line with Apple Watch pricing. The Apple Watch Series 4, the newest version of the best-selling smartwatch, starts at $349.

Samsung now has three different smartwatches in its lineup, the Galaxy Watch Active, the Galaxy Watch Active2, as well as the Galaxy Watch. The Galaxy Watch Active, first launched in February of this year, is considered the entry-level model. The Galaxy Watch Active2 iterates on that, while the Galaxy Watch—which replaced the old Galaxy Gear line of smartwatches—is considered the flagship.

Samsung has taken a very different approach to smartwatch releases than Apple, which has introduced one new marquee wearable every fall for the past four years. But then again, Samsung tends to do things differently in general. It unveils a new “flagship” phone every six months, whether that’s the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note, and wants to be perceived as being at the front edge of innovation, even if that sometimes results in product fails.

In this case, Samsung’s release of slightly differentiated smartwatch models either shows a lack of imagination, a kind of Fitbitification if its wearable line; or the company genuinely believes that offering consumers a few different options is a better strategy than a one-watch-fits-all approach. At the end of the day, a smartwatch’s success may have less to do with wrist-worn hardware anyway, and more to do with the software ecosystem the wearer wants to live in––and where they want their health and wellness information to live.

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