Full smartwatch experience

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Galaxy Watch Active 2

Falls short of a smartwatch

OnePlus Watch

Oneplus Watch Render

It may not be the newest wearable out there, but the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is still as impressive as ever. It offers advanced health/fitness tracking, built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, optional LTE connectivity, electrocardiogram (ECG), NFC payments, and more.

$197 at Amazon

Pros

  • GPS, HRM, NFC
  • Optional LTE
  • Two size options
  • App support
  • Activity/sleep tracking

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Shorter battery life

The primary reason to consider buying the OnePlus Watch is the affordable price tag. If you're new to wearables, it could be what you're looking for. It has GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, and some other useful features. However, it falls short in terms of smartwatch perks.

$159 at OnePlus

Pros

  • Built-in GPS
  • Heart rate + blood oxygen monitoring
  • 14 days of battery life
  • Music storage
  • Activity/sleep tracking

Cons

  • RTOS limits smartwatch features
  • Lacks NFC, LTE

OnePlus Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: Similar in appearance only

While many of the best Android smartwatches tend to look alike, it's almost uncanny how similar in appearance the OnePlus Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 are. Considering how popular the Watch Active 2 has been for the last two years, this isn't all that surprising. However, it's important to be aware that the physical design is where the similarities end.

The OnePlus Watch is a stunning wearable with long battery life, which is a great starting point for a new smartwatch. Unfortunately, it lacks some of the key features that make a smartwatch smart. The good news is that the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 fills in all these gaps. Not only is it full of activity and health tracking perks, but you get some excellent smartwatch features as well.

The OnePlus Watch is a letdown in some important areas

OnePlus Watch reviewSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

One look at the OnePlus Watch, and you can see that it offers an attractive design that's not cutting any corners. You get a gorgeous 46mm stainless steel case and a 1.39-inch AMOLED display. You also get a flexible fluoroelastomer strap that is compatible with 22mm interchangeable bands. Whenever you feel like changing up the look or feel of your watch, simply swap out your OnePlus Watchband.

If you've used smartwatches in the past, you know that most of them run on an operating system such as Wear OS or Tizen OS. The OnePlus Watch strays from this path and runs RTOS, which stands for real-time operating system. Other devices such as Amazfit have used RTOS, but it's not the most popular choice these days. Unlike Amazfit, the OnePlus Watch cannot pair with iOS.

OnePlus Watch Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Display 1.39 inch AMOLED 1.2-inch or 1.4-inch Super AMOLED
Dimensions 46.4×46.4×10.9mm 40x40x10.9mm
44x44 x10.9mm
Sensors HRM, acceleration sensor, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, SpO2, air pressure sensor, capacitance sensor, ambient light sensor HRM, accelerometer, electrocardiogram (ECG), gyroscope, barometer, ambient light sensor, blood pressure monitor
Battery life 14 days 2 days (varies by model)
Water-resistance 5ATM + IP68 5ATM+ IP68 / MIL-STD-810G
Onboard GPS ✔️ ✔️
Microphone ✔️ ✔️
Speaker ✔️ ✔️
Mobile payments ✔️
Optional LTE ✔️

If you're not familiar with how RTOS works, it uses pre-determined time constraints when executing tasks, like launching apps and taking heart-rate measurements. In other operating systems, it's not uncommon for watches to lag due to the extra effort required to execute tasks. The good news is that RTOS leads to snappy, fluid performance without too many slowdowns. OnePlus says it decided to go with a real-time operating system so the watch would offer longer battery life.

Perhaps one of the biggest Oneplus Watch bummers is the lack of third-party app support.

As you can see, there are some benefits to a watch running RTOS. With that said, every system has its drawbacks. In the case of the OnePlus Watch, smartwatch features are much more limited. Perhaps one of the biggest Oneplus Watch bummers is the lack of third-party app support. You'll also see that notification support isn't what it should be. For example, a notification that's already been cleared on your phone tends to still show up on your watch.

Despite missing some important marks, the OnePlus Watch quickly sold out after it was announced. If you want to enjoy the main benefit of RTOS — 14 days of battery life — the OnePlus Watch may be a good fit for you. As long as you understand that you won't get the full smartwatch experience, you shouldn't be too disappointed.

Aside from long battery life, the OnePlus Watch has some other nice features, including built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, factivity/sleep tracking, blood oxygen monitoring, music storage, and mic/speaker support for Bluetooth calls. It may have a mic and speaker, but you don't get a voice assistant. The OnePlus Watch doesn't have an always-on display, either. Finally, you won't have support for NFC payments.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 hits all the right marks

Galaxy Watch Active 2Source: Android Central

Whether or not you're an avid smartwatch user, you've probably heard of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. It's been around for nearly two years and it's still one of the most talked-about wearables on the market. It has all the essentials and more, including built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, advanced health/fitness tracking, Samsung Pay, and optional LTE connectivity.

The watch comes in both a 40mm and 44mm case. If you opt for a standard Bluetooth model, it will come in an aluminum case. The LTE models come in a stainless steel case. Both variants offer a crisp AMOLED display and a digital rotating bezel for smooth navigation. You'll also appreciate that Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 bands are compatible with 20mm interchangeable straps.

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is equipped with a more accurate LED-based heart-rate monitor.

Samsung states that the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is equipped with a more accurate LED-based heart-rate monitor, an advanced accelerometer, and improved GPS accuracy. These are just a few reasons that it's one of the best smartwatches for fitness.

You'll find some other useful features on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. For example, it has an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, which can detect irregular heartbeats that may be a sign of a more serious condition. It can also provide blood pressure readings after completing the one-time calibration with a cuff-based blood pressure monitor.

We'd be remiss not to mention the Running Analysis feature, which is designed to help you become a better runner. You'll also be able to work on improving your form. The Watch Active 2 can measure VO2 max, which indicates the maximum amount of oxygen you can use during intense activity. This is instrumental in determining your fitness and performance capacity while helping you increase your endurance.

OnePlus Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2Source: Android Central

When the time comes to choose between the two, you'll want to consider a few key factors. While cost is often one of the main concerns, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 isn't wildly more expensive than the OnePlus Watch. The primary selling point of the OnePlus Watch is its stellar battery life. If you don't want to be bothered with frequent charging, this might be the right choice for you. Just remember that you're not getting the full smartwatch experience due to RTOS.

If you don't mind spending a bit of extra money and you're not bothered by more frequent charging, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a far better option. The OnePlus Watch may have copied the design, but it doesn't measure up to the real thing. In addition to a robust health and fitness tracking suite, you also get optional LTE connectivity, mobile payments, app support, and more. You can rest assured that you'll enjoy the full smartwatch experience with the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Full smartwatch experience

Galaxy Watch Active 2

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Still impressive two years later

Some smartwatches lose their pizzazz a year or two after the initial release, but that's not the case with the Galaxy Watch Active 2. It's still as popular as ever and offers tons of features. You'll have GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, ECG, optional LTE, mobile payments, and much more.

Falls short of smartwatch

Oneplus Watch Render

OnePlus Watch

Not that impressive

The OnePlus Watch is here! It has some nice perks, but it's not much of a smartwatch. If you want a cheap introductory wearable, it may meet your needs. You get GPS, automatic workout-tracking, 14 days of battery life, heart-rate monitoring, and more. It runs RTOS, so don't expect too much.

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