Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: which should you buy?

Samsung has released two smartwatches in the space of six months, which is best?

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung has just announced the second generation of its sporty smartwatch called the the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2. It comes just six months after its last smartwatch, the original Samsung Galaxy Watch Active.

The Active2 looks like a direct replacement for the Galaxy Watch Active, with a new touch-sensitive rotating bezel, improved heart-rate monitoring, and ECG function. 

It does, however, create a dilemma if you're in the market for a new Samsung smartwatch. Do you opt for the newer model, or is the original Galaxy Watch Active an excellent affordable alternative? What exactly has Samsung changed?

We've compared the two smartwatches to answer these important questions and help you decide which smartwatch is for you.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: Design

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active and Active2 look very similar, both feature modern, streamlined designs.

The original Galaxy Watch Active comes in one size. It measures 39.5 x 39.5 x 10.5mmm and weights just 25g. It's suited to smaller wrists, but still perfectly suited to larger wrists as well.

It's incredibly comfortable to wear, with rounded corners and a light weight design, which means you can pretty much put it on a forget you're wearing it.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active features a 1.1-inch 360 x 360 AMOLED display

The interesting change here is there's no rotating bezel.

(Image credit: Samsung)

The new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm.

The smaller smartwatch has a 1.2-inch 360 x 360 Super AMOLED and weights 26g, while the larger model has a 1.4-inch 360 x 360 Super AMOLED and weights 30g.

It's also available in two styles, lightweight aluminum with a casual Fluoroelastomer Band, and premium solid stainless steel with a leather strap. The smartwatches can be personalised with a range of additional stylish strap and watch-face options.

The interesting change here is there's no mechanical rotating bezel, but there is a touch-sensitive rotating bezel.

The buttons have also been slightly redesigned, making them easier to differentiate.

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: Hardware

Inside, the watches are pretty much identical. Both have a 1.15GHz dual-core Exynos 9110 chipset and 4GB of storage.

The 40mm Active2 has the same 247mAh battery, while the 44mm has a slightly larger 340mAh battery.

All three watches should last around two days between charges.

Both the Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy Watch Active2 offer GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The Galaxy Watch Active2 does also offer a 4G model, which allows you to use your watch to receive calls, messages, and data away from your smartphone. This has 1.5GB of RAM.

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: Fitness features

Both of the smartwatches are running the same software and all are focused on fitness, with a heart rate monitor, GPS, an altimeter, a barometer, and water resistance all on board.

For the Active2, Samsung has doubled the amount of photodiodes to eight, which, in theory, enables faster and more precise heart rate monitoring.

Both can track 39 different exercises, with six of them auto-tracked, and can also track your sleep, measure your stress and vibrate on your wrist to remind you to move more.

Both models also feature blood pressure monitoring feature, but the Active2 goes one step further with the ability to take ECG readings.

All models are equally light and comfortable, which is important when exercising.

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: Other features

The smartwatches also have a similar feature set, as they're both running Tizen 4.0. 

Both allow you to make contactless payments with Samsung Pay, and both have Samsung's AI assistant Bixby baked in.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: Price

The Galaxy Watch Active is price at £229 / $199.99 and is avilable to buy now.

These are the best prices on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active now:

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 will be available to buy from the 27th of September, with prices starting at starting at $279 for the 40mm or $299 for the 44mm version. 

We expect the steel, cellular models will be even more expensive than the base price.

That's considerably more than the original version.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: Verdict

We liked the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active a lot, and think it's one of the best smartwatches you can currently buy.

You can currently pick one up for under £180, and that's a genuine bargain. It's capable, comfortable, and stylish.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch2 is even more capable, with the ECG function, and even easier to use thanks to the 'digital' rotating bezel.

It is a lot more expensive, however, so you're got to really want those two features.

Ultimately, you've got to decide how important the larger size, 'digital' bezel, and ECG function are, but, if it were us, we'd buy the original Samsung Galaxy Watch Active while it's still available for £179.