The Galaxy watch active has always been a pretty good smartwatch.
But with the galaxy watch active two, there's definitely a sense of deja vu.
Samsung's decided Added to update the galaxy watch active, just 6 months after the release of the original, but, it has added a couple of pretty useful features, that while it might not be with upgrading if you already have the older model, it's definitely enticing for people that are coming to the watch for the first time.
Those new features include a rotating touch bezel done through software rather than a physical dial.
There's also built in LTE if you choose that option, the choice of two sizes a 40 or 44 millimeter option, plus you get a built in a ECG even though it's not active yet and some extra fitness features.
I have been wearing the 40 millimeter version for a couple of days.
Wearing it through out several different work outs, and also to bed to track my sleep.
Ihave to say this is a really comfortable watch for everyday use.
It definitely feels better on the wrist than the original galaxy watch active, which did feel a little bit plasticky.
Fortunately the active to now comes in two different finishes does either an aluminium and a choice of three different colors, or stainless steel.
The most important feature from the original galaxy watch Which was that really cool rotating bezel that you could use to change features was absent on the Galaxy Watch Active but fortunately now there's kinda, I guess the hybrid of both worlds on the Active 2.
It is a touch bezel that's driven through software.
You run your finger across the edge of the bezel and you can switch through settings.
I really liked it.
It's very intuitive to use the haptic feedback also gives you that kind of satisfying click.
I just find it a lot easier to navigate through menus and she settings rather than strictly using the touchscreen like on the first watch active.
The active two is ip 68 or five ATM which does mean that it's water resistant so you can take it to track your swims.
The color an OLED displays still looks really pretty and really premium and there is slightly more realistic than on the first galaxy watch active.
When it comes to fitness tracking features not too much has changed from the original galaxy watch active.
It can still track a whole lot of workout types, around 39 of them in the watch itself, plus, it can now auto detect swimming, that's on top of the other exercises that it could already auto detect, including running and cycling.
The most interesting fitness feature for me is the updates to the running coach.
You can choose a number of different workouts and have audio cues delivered in your ear or on the speaker of the watch.
I thought it was quite useful because it does now give you pace detection alerts in your ear to let you know if you're going too fast, too slow or your actual miles per hour pace.
Now the only issue with this was the fact that the voice is the big speak voice which is pretty robotic.
It would start giving me like motivational speeches, just really small segments for example, it would say, how are you feeling?
All my personal favorite, tried to smile, which I really did not appreciate when I was on my final lap going really, really hard.
I found out that the heart rate tracking on the Active 2 is definitely improved over the first version.
And I think that's because there are now 8 better diodes on the back of the Active 2, compared to 4 on the original Galaxy Watch Active.
After your workout, you'll be able to see the breakdown of the details.
Either on the watch face itself or in the Samsung Health App.
I think it's fine.
However, if you've used another fitness tracker, say, from Fitbit, or maybe even the Apple Watch, I think the data just looks a little bit nicer on those two apps.
Although I do love how it gives you some information on the heart rate zones and your effort.
It's hard not to draw comparisons.
To the Apple Watch when it comes to some more health tracking features, such as the ECG because the watch acted to does have an ECG.
However, at the moment, it's not active and it's not turned on unlike the Apple Watch which is FDA cleared and totally usable.
I did reach out to Samsung to find out some more information on when to expect this and they couldn't give me an ETA or a timeline.
And this isn't the first time that we've seen the watch launched with a feature that isn't fully active when you get your hands on it.
Be watch active the original version launched with the blood pressure monitor, but it was only in beta and it didn't turn on for a say a month or two after release.
So we'll definitely have to stay tuned to test that out.
There's also high and low heart rate detection.
You will have to have the watch constantly monitoring your heart rate in order to get those readings if they do happen.
Sleep tracking is something that has been on the original galaxy watch for a while, and it hasn't really changed in the implementation across the generations.
And I guess that's actually a good thing because it does work pretty well.
And the watch is really comfortable to sleep with.
So I have no complaints there What I do have an issue with and I hope that Samsung does implement fairly soon is, some sort of female health tracking.
All of the competitors from major brands like Fitbit, Garmin, and of course the Upwatt now do have female health tracking.
So I just think it's an obvious addition for Samsung to add.
Like the previous Samsung watches, this watch does have stress tracking too.
Although I don't find it particularly useful, it's nice to have it.
But I just never found myself reaching for it to actually get any sort of meaningful data.
The Galaxy watches have all been.
Pretty great smart watches, especially when connected to a galaxy device or an Android phone.
And the active two is really no different that you of course can get the option of using it with an iPhone although you do get slightly newer features.
The active two is running ties in and it feels really zippy and speedy.
It's got an updated one UI.
I like being able to customize.
Add widgets, remove features if I want to.
You also get closer integration with services such as Twitter and YouTube, especially if you have the LTE version.
I don't actually know why you would wanna watch videos on your wrist but it's kind of cool that it's there, right?
I mean, I would never use it but I kind of guess I like the party trick hey, my watch can play this video on it.
It sounds a little gimmicky but I do like being able to customize the watch face corresponding to same outfit that I'm wearing.
You can use your phone's camera to take an image of say your shirt or your pants And then choose a color scheme to match with what you're wearing.
You also get the addition of Spotify support.
And if you have a premium subscription, you can download songs to listen to offline.
You can turn on the always-on display so you can always see the time on your wrist, although it does affect battery life, which I'll talk about in just a little bit.
Something that I do love if you do have a galaxy device is using powerless power share in order to change the watch from the back of the phone.
Battery life is pretty good.
So it will differ depending on the size of the watch that you You do get unfortunately I didn't get the 44 millimeter of the watch which does have a large battery.
So I can only comment on the battery life of the 40 millimeter.
And that's without LTE.
It's just the Bluetooth GPS version.
Using the watch nonstop.
I've had notifications turned on.
I had a workout in there too and I got around one and a half I'd say probably for two days at the absolute most of charge before I had to put it back on its charger.
However, battery life does take a beating.
If you're really pushing this watch for example I went out To do an alto run without my phone so GPS was active.
I had Bluetooth and streaming from downloaded music from Spotify and I also had the running coach active with the display always on.
The watch was around 40% when I went out 30 minutes later when I finished my workout and come back, it was down to 15% So just something to keep in mind if you are really gonna push this watch during extended outdoor workouts.
All in all, the watch, Active II, is a really satisfying smartwatch to use, and especially if you are already in the Samsung Galaxy ecosystem.
On Android, you'll definitely be able to get the most features out of this particular watch.
It looks and feels a lot more premium than previous versions, but it does now come with a more premium cost which is $280, at least for the 40 millimeter version.
That's without LTE.
If you want LTE and say the 44 millimeter version it's going to be in the four hundred dollar range.
Do you can find my full review on the galaxy watch active 2 over on CNET, and if you have any questions about the watch itself or how it compares to other smart watches on the market Leave me a comment or find me on Twitter.