A truly smart watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Ideal activity companion

Samsung Galaxy Fit

Six months after the release of the Galaxy Watch Active, Samsung is spoiling us with a second edition and it's mighty fine. You'll enjoy built-in GPS, NFC payments, a rotating bezel, and improved sensors for optimal tracking.

$280 at Samsung

Pros

  • LTE capability
  • Two size options
  • Rotating touch bezel

Cons

  • No activity tracking updates
  • LTE version likely to drain battery

It might be small but there's a lot of power packed into this compact device. The Samsung Galaxy Fit is the ideal activity tracker that also tracks heart rate, sleep, and stress levels. You'll have everything you need at great price.

$100 at Amazon

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Great activity tracking
  • Lightweight, compact design

Cons

  • No GPS or NFC
  • No LTE option

For some fitness fanatics, this choice might seem like a no-brainer. If you want all the features you could need, get the Galaxy Watch Active 2. However, when you take a closer look, there are many reasons to consider both of these wearables.

Both are stunning

It might seem like a bare-minimum fitness tracker on the surface, but the Samsung Galaxy Fit has a lot to offer when it comes to health and fitness tracking. It's quite affordable for all its features, too. You'll have activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, notifications, plus sleep and stress tracking.

When you first see the all-new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, it'll be difficult to peel your eyes away. This sleek and stylish wearable is the definition of new and improved. You'll have the option of an LTE model this time around, which is one of the major upgrades. It also boasts a new sensor, the electrocardiogram (ECG) feature that can detect signs of irregular heartbeat related to atrial fibrillation.

The Active 2 will likely become an industry favorite rather quickly. From what we know so far, and we won't know for sure until we get our hands on it, it's the winner of this race by a long shot.

Galaxy Fit Galaxy Watch Active 2 (40mm model)
Display 0.95-inch AMOLED 1.2-inch Super AMOLED
Dimensions 18.3 x 44.6 x 11.2mm 40 x 40 x 10.9mm
Connectivity Bluetooth v5.0, LE only Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, LTE (select models)
Water resistance Up to 50m Up to 50m
Battery Life Up to 7 days 2 days (varies by model)
Sensors HRM, accelerometer, gyroscope HRM, electrocardiogram (ECG), accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, ambient light
Operating System Realtime OS Tizen
Notifications ✔️ ✔️
Built-in GPS ✔️
NFC Payments ✔️
Optional LTE ✔️

The word on the street is that the ECG feature won't be available at launch as there are still some details to be worked out, which is rather anti-climactic, but at least it's coming down the pipe eventually. Samsung also says that the heart rate monitor and accelerometer have been improved on the Watch Active 2.

Key differences

Pictured: Samsung Galaxy Fit

So, what are the key differences between this fitness tracker and smartwatch? Most notably, the Galaxy Fit can provide smartphone notifications via Bluetooth connection, but you won't have Wi-Fi or optional LTE connectivity like you do with the Galaxy Watch Active 2. For some wearable enthusiasts, this could easily be the deciding factor.

The Galaxy Fit does offer some nice activity-tracking features, but you won't have built-in GPS or the Running Coach feature for monitoring real-time pace metrics like the Galaxy Watch Active 2 will have. This neat addition provides you with a breakdown of what your workout session will look like before you begin. During your routine, it coaches you with audio cues you can hear through Bluetooth headphones or the speaker in the watch.

If you want the full smartwatch experience with Samsung Pay, you'll have to spring for the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Additionally, the Galaxy Fit isn't equipped with NFC for contactless payments. If you want the full smartwatch experience with Samsung Pay, you'll have to spring for the Galaxy Watch Active 2. It's also worth noting that the Fit runs on Realtime OS, which is far less robust than Tizen OS on the Watch Active 2.

There are some physical differences as well. The size options this time around are a 44mm with a 1.4-inch display along with the 40mm with 1.2-inch display. Additionally, both sizes are available in an aluminum case, which is the standard. You have the option of upgrading to a more heavy-duty stainless steel one if you're willing to pay for it. The Active 2 features a new digital bezel that you slide your finger around to navigate the interface without any bulky moving parts. It appears Samsung heard our cries when the rotating bezel was left out of the original Galaxy Watch Active.

There are various band and color combinations, so you'll be able to sport the Watch Active 2 in style. Speaking of style, with the Galaxy Wearable app, you can use the My Style color extraction app to take a photo of your outfit and it will generate a selection of watch faces based on the color scheme for you to choose from.

Inevitably, these upgrades do come at a cost. The 40mm aluminum model starts at $280 while the 44mm aluminum model comes in at $300. When you opt for the stainless steel model and LTE, the price will continue to go up from there.

If you're content with a solid set of tracking features, the Galaxy Fit isn't a bad choice. In addition to tracking steps, distance, heart rate, sleep, and stress levels, you have automatic activity tracking for six workouts. This device can automatically track running, walking, cycling, elliptical training, rowing, and dynamic workouts. You can also manually select from 90 additional activities via the Samsung Health app, which is pretty impressive.

Pictured: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

While the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has plenty of smartwatch-related features, there is still emphasis on the "active" element of this wearable. There are some nice improvements to look forward to, like a faster and more accurate LED-based heart rate monitor, an advanced accelerometer, and improved GPS. Let's not forget about the ECG feature and the optional LTE that we mentioned earlier.

Other than that, you can expect the same core fitness tracking features that came with the original Galaxy Watch Active. The new edition follows the original in its ability to track over 39 workouts, offers stress tracking plus guided meditation, sleep tracking, and the aforementioned improved Running Coach feature.

Which do you buy?

When it comes to feature sets, the Active 2 defeats the Fit by a mile. Then again, it all depends what you're looking for in a wearable. If you simply have no need for all the extra features, then it doesn't make sense to pay top dollar for them. In that case, the Galaxy Fit will handle all of your basic tracking needs.

For those who want the best of the best when it comes to tracking and tech, the Active 2 is the clear choice here. You can't beat the important sensor upgrades, the physical improvements, or all the new features. We would definitely recommend the Galaxy Watch Active 2 to anyone who's looking for a true fitness smartwatch experience.

Unfortunately, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 isn't out yet. Pre-orders on Samsung.com will begin Sept. 6 and the device will officially be on sale as of Sept. 27. According to Samsung, this is also when the LTE edition will be available for purchase at AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon.

A truly smart watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

All or nothing smartwatch

If you have an all-or-nothing attitude when it comes to your wearables, you'll be more than pleased with the Active 2. This new Samsung fitness smartwatch really does it all and it does it with a sense of style that's hard to beat.

Ideal activity tracker

Samsung Galaxy Fit

Track the essentials

You can't go wrong with a compact yet sturdy fitness tracker that provides you with tracking for all of the essential metrics. If you're casually tracking your heart rate, activity, and sleep, this is a good choice at a good price.

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