Only a few months after the launch of the Active range, Samsung reoffends with the Galaxy Watch Active 2, a watch connected to the most timid improvements. Let's discover it together.
Here is the Galaxy Watch Active 2, shows slightly better finished than the previous one, with a screen a little wider, but no big news. The opportunity, finally, to polish a product already very good. This year, the range grows a little bit, with two sizes of cases (40 and 44 mm). We will focus here on the more menu of the two, incorporating a slightly smaller battery and a smaller screen.
- Exemplary finishes.
- TizenOS, always the best application system for connected watches.
- Top applications.
- Integrated GPS that holds the road.
- Autonomy too low (2 days).
- Problems in fractional exercises.
Samsung Watch Active 2 review
It is therefore by small touches that the Galaxy Watch Active 2 refines the design of the range. Its case enlarges slightly (40 x 40 x 10.9 mm against 39.5 x 39.5 x 10.5 mm for the 1st generation). The screen takes advantage and goes from 1.1 inches to 1.2 inches. The case itself retains its aluminum or steel coating, depending on the version. This is the first version that has been tested here. The side buttons are also a bit better finished. Between them is housed a microphone for voice dictation to respond to a message. In the back, the heart rate monitor slips into a small bump far from being awkward once the watch is attached.
The silicone bracelet is very nice. As on the first generation, it offers the characteristic loop of the Apple Watch. It does not irritate in any case, even wet, and will adapt to all wrist circumferences thanks to a large number of notches. The Watch Active 2 is waterproof up to 5 ATM, so it's possible to swim with it.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
The main novelty of this Galaxy Watch Active 2 is in the return of the rotating bezel navigation (present on the Galaxy Watch and missing on the previous Galaxy Watch Active). And this time, it is not physical, but digital. It is necessary to activate the "Touch dial" parameter via the Samsung Wearables application on smartphone. This new digital telescope works very well and is very responsive. Especially since it is enough to slip his finger in the periphery of the slab, between the icons and the box to make it work. No risk of clicking accidentally on an icon during the manipulation therefore. If it's a perfectly successful feature, it's hard not to miss the physical rotating bezel of the original Galaxy Watch, taking advantage of mechanical clicks to navigate the interface without even having to watch the watch.
On the rest, the Galaxy Watch has an interface strictly similar to that of other Samsung smartwatches. It takes advantage of TizenOS, the operating system developed by Samsung. This is without doubt the best OS on the connected watch market, as it is aesthetically and ergonomically successful. There is therefore the circular menu listing the applications, which can also be displayed in a list. By sliding your finger to the right, or using the digital rotating bezel counter-clockwise, you can access our notifications, clearly displayed. Messages can be answered using a keyboard that is too small to be ergonomic, or voice-activated, but Bixby's voice recognition is very limited. We therefore do not recommend these options and recommend the prerecorded answers, or your good old smartphone. Note that GIFs do not display on the watch.
By sliding your finger to the left, or the rotating digital bezel clockwise, the different shortcuts scroll. It is possible to choose their number and their order. You can access your heart rate, monitoring daily sports goals or local weather. Finally, one movement down, a shortcut panel is displayed - very close to that of Android smartphones. It proposes for example to activate the flashlight or the Cinema mode. If you do not wish to be disturbed, it is possible to switch to Night or Cinema mode, which blocks the notifications and the lighting of the screen when a movement of the wrist is detected. No mode Always-On program on the other hand.
Samsung watch active 2
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 syncs with the smartphone thanks to the Samsung Wear app available on Android and iOS. Very complete and rather intuitive, it gives the hand on all the parameters related to the knockout. She proposes to configure the notifications, rearrange the applications and widgets, adjust the display and choose its shortcuts. It also gives access to the different dials of the watch, the control of stored data (such as music or photos).
For a sportier approach, Samsung offers Samsung Health available on Android and iOS. This intuitive and comprehensive application offers a complete overview of the data collected by the connected watch. It is thus easy to navigate between different information, be it sleep monitoring, physical activity or heart rate. Especially since the various graphics available are quite complete. So it is a faultless from Samsung on that side.
To measure the heart rate capture performance of the Galaxy Watch Active 2, we compared its results with those of the Polar H10 chest strap, which we consider to be very reliable in terms of measurements. We measured the running by linking the laps on a 1.9 km circuit. Regarding cycling, we have a typical circuit of 3.12 km. Like the previous version, this Galaxy Watch Active 2 includes a lot of sensors. There is a heart rate monitor, a GPS, a barometer and a gyroscope. What provide a complete sport monitoring experience. Let's start with the GPS. It offers a good level of performance, with a very small margin of error; less than a hundred meters on an exit of several kilometers. If it is not calibrated at the time of launching a physical activity, it takes only about twenty seconds to locate the user. It is therefore possible to start the session and only the very beginning will not be located.
The heart rate monitor is a little less convincing. It remains relevant on endurance exits, that is to say when heart rate variations are very low. There is a margin of error of only 1% compared to the reference values measured by the Polar H10 chest strap. On the other hand, it is enough to cause sudden variations of the heart rate to lose the watch en route. Thus, during a fractional exercise, the curve made by the Galaxy Watch Active 2 becomes incoherent and unrelated to the actual exercise.
Like other Samsung models, this Watch Active 2 offers autopause: every time the user stops more than 5 seconds, the timer and activity pause. A very practical feature in urban areas, where traffic lights are legion. Finally, and as is fashionable, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 offers sleep monitoring. It turns out to be rather relevant with very consistent bedtime and sunrise hours. As with most sensors, it can be blamed only his naivety: just watch his smartphone waking up, without moving, to deceive his vigilance.
To eat, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has a battery of 247 mAh. It is not enough to offer a satisfactory experience. With intense use, with daily physical activity, receiving notifications and monitoring sleep, the watch only takes two days. It's light ; very light. It remains to be seen if the 44 mm version holds the road more. With its induction charging block, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 returns 100% of its capacity in about 2 hours.
In line with the first model launched at the beginning of the year, this Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a very good product. Driven by an extremely ergonomic operating system and a slab of the most beautiful effect, the watch is positioned as one of the most enjoyable on the market. Unfortunately, his limited battery life and just the right heart rate sensor prevent him from picking up a fourth star. It will be necessary to know what you wish to privilege, because opposite, the Watch GT of Huawei proposes an excellent sporting follow-up but a medium interface and the Fitbit Versa 2 assures the side of the heart rate monitor but sins on the interface and the absence of GPS integrated. It's up to you to define what you expect from a connected watch.
Samsung galaxy active 2