I’ve said it before, I’m a Apple fanatic and loyal Apple Watch user. However, every now and then I like to broaden my horizons and test other smartwatches. I have tested watches from Fitbit and I have tested watches from Garmin and Huawei. This time around, the turn has come to Samsung. Namely the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. These are my first thoughts about the watch because I only had it for a few days.

Build quality and appearance

The Active 2 comes in two sizes – 40mm and 44mm, both measuring 10.9mm thick. The 44mm version weighs just 30g without the strap, which is 17,8g lighter than the aluminium 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 that I use as my everyday watch. The weight is of course a matter of taste, some want the watches to be feather light, while others want it to feel like you have a watch on your arm. I belong to the latter category and sometimes I think that Active 2 can feel a bit “cheap” due to the light weight.

The looks is nothing but premium though. The Active 2 has a large, crisp and bright OLED screen that’s easily readable outdoors, plus an excellent selection of digital and analogue watch faces, and a large store of third-party offerings as well. The build quality is top-notch with the pebble-like shape and the slight curve to the glass covering the display that meets up perfectly to the rounded stainless steel case is very pleasing to the eye.

Image credit: Samsung


All of Samsung’s smartwatches run the firm’s own Tizen operating system (rather than Google’s Wear OS or Android). Tizen is based on a rotary interface, which makes the most of round watch screens, but can also be swiped with your finger. Tizen is intuitive and the learning curve is not very steep at all, so it should go fast for most users to learn to use all the smart features. However, even it’s easy to learn, Tizen offers a lot of customization, almost to the point that it can feel overwhelming. Thus, it could take a fair amount of digging through the settings both on the device itself and the phone app to get things the way you want them. But if you are willing to take the time to set it up, the Active 2 will serve you very well.

Otherwise, a lot works as we expect it to work. For instance, tap a notification to expand and scroll through text, or swipe up to dismiss. You can action the notification with the same options you’d have on your phone or quick reply to messages using canned responses, a T9-like keyboard, drawing letters on screen or dictation.

Samsung Health

Samsung Health is Samsung’s most comprehensive health-tracking services available and is built into the Active 2. It has all the usual features we learned to love: constant heart rate, stress, steps, floors climbed, activity and menstrual cycle. But it also has hydration, caffeine, weight and sleep.

Models specifications

SpecsWatch Active 2 44mmWatch Active 2 40mm
Dimensions44mm x 44mm x 10.9mm40mm x 40mm x 10.9mm
Weight44g/Stainless Steel, 30g/Aluminum37g/Stainless Steel, 26g/Aluminum
ColorsBlack, Silver, Gold/Stainless Steel – Aqua Black, Cloud Silver, Pink Gold/AluminumBlack, Silver, Gold/Stainless Steel – Aqua Black, Cloud Silver, Pink Gold/Aluminum
Display1.35-inch, 360×360, Super AMOLED1.2-inch, 360×360, Super AMOLED
Memory1.5GB RAM, 4GB/Stainless Steel, 0.75GB RAM, 4GB/Aluminum1.5GB RAM, 4GB/Stainless Steel, 0.75GB RAM, 4GB/Aluminum
Operating SystemTizenTizen
ProcessorExynos 9110, Dual core 1.15 GHz Cortex A53Exynos 9110, Dual core 1.15 GHz Cortex A53
SensorsAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart rate, Barometer, Altimeter, NFC, ECGAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart rate, Barometer, Altimeter, NFC, ECG
Water and Dust resistance5ATM, IP68, MIL STD 810G5ATM, IP68, MIL STD 810G
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0, 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, LTE available in the Stainless SteelBluetooth 5.0, 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, LTE available in the Stainless Steel
LocationGPS, GlonassGPS, Glonass
Speaker and MicrophoneYesYes
ChargingGPS, GlonassGPS, Glonass
Image credit: Samsung


The Active 2 is light, well-made, small with a large, bright, always-on screen. There are plenty of watch faces to choose from, the battery lasts two days (though charging is pretty slow) and it has a rich selection of apps. I’d say it looks more premium than any Fitbit watch but I don’t think that health tracking is as good.

I have encountered some bugs with notifications that did not show up correctly, but then it must be said that I have had the watch connected to an iPhone. This means that I can not really recommend the watch as a first choice for iPhone users, but on the other hand for all Android users (during my test period, I also had it paired with my Mi Note 10 and it went much better).


  • Looks premium
  • Rich selection of apps
  • Good health tracking


  • Slow charing
  • A bit bugy from time to time