Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review: A good but still not great smartwatch
Quick verdict: The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 covers most of the ground you'd want in an upgrade, but Samsung's attempt to imitate its own rotating bezel with touch doesn't work as well as it should for the money.
- Light and stylish
- Lots of watch face choices
- Automatic workout tracking
- LTE option if you want to leave your phone at home
- Better battery life than the original Watch Active
- Digital bezel is very fussy
- Custom charger
- More expensive than the regular Galaxy Watch Active
- 40mm style doesn't come without LTE
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Smartwatches aren't something you buy every day, which has generally led manufacturers to rather slow upgrade cycles. We've typically seen a yearly upgrade for the industry-leading Apple Watch for example.
It's a little surprising then, that around 6 months after debuting the Galaxy Watch Active, Samsung is already selling its successor, the Galaxy Watch Active 2.
It's very similar to its predecessor in a lot of ways, which means it's certainly not a great upgrade option. If you're looking for a watch that's a decent competitor to the Apple Watch – and indeed one that looks more like a classic watch than Apple's effort – it's a good, if slightly pricey alternative.
- 40 or 44m watch face sizes
- Variety of band and build materials
- Sporty look
- Tizen is slick and has decent app coverage
- Samsung Pay compatible
- Digital bezel is a neat idea, but it doesn't work well
- Expect 1-2 days battery life
- Custom Qi charger, but compatibility will vary widely
- A nice smartwatch, but the earlier Galaxy Watch Active is arguably a better buy
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 does improve upon its predecessor in some aspects, but it's somewhat hard to recommend given the price difference between the two models.
If you're dead keen on having an LTE-enabled Samsung watch it's the one to buy, and it's certainly comfortable and stylish. However, the limited way in which you have to opt for the pricier LTE model if you want the smaller watch is annoying and the digital bezel compares poorly to its physical predecessor.