Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 vs. Skagen Falster 3: Which should you buy?

Galaxy Watch Active 2
Galaxy Watch Active 2 (Image credit: Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Galaxy Watch Active 2

One of the biggest advantages of buying the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is that it offers optional LTE. Keep in mind that you'll pay more for this perk, but if you want to stay connected when you're on the go, this is a great feature to have. You also have built-in GPS, automatic exercise recognition, heart-rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and mobile payments.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Go farther with fitness

Optional LTE
Two size options
Built-in GPS
A lot of fitness perks
Digital rotating bezel
Electrocardiogram feature not active yet
App selection could be better
More expensive with LTE

Skagen Falster 3

Skagen Falster 3 Gunmetal

Those who are familiar with Wear OS might prefer the Skagen Falster 3. While LTE connectivity isn't present, this watch has some major upgrades from its predecessor. The new processor means better performance, and you'll also get GPS, battery saving modes, Google Assistant, mobile payments, and heart-rate monitoring.

Skagen Falster 3

Classy as can be

Sleek, classy design
New Snapdragon Wear 3100
Built-in GPS
Google Assistant
Finally, a built-in speaker
Short battery life
Only one size option
Lacks LTE connectivity

What is your main reason for buying a smartwatch? This is a good starter question to help you narrow the playing field, especially if you're choosing between the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and the Skagen Falster 3. If you want a watch that keeps you as connected as possible with a special focus on fitness tracking, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the better choice here. If you're more concerned about having a stylish timepiece on your wrist with a good set of features, then you may be taken by the Skagen Falster 3.

Stay connected while getting fit

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a wonderful choice for fitness junkies. It's lightweight, compact, and has a crisp AMOLED touchscreen that's easy to navigate thanks to the new digital rotating bezel. You can choose between a 40mm and 44mm model. If this is your first time using a wearable that runs on Tizen OS, you can expect a smooth and battery-friendly experience. While the app support could be better, the basics are present, including Spotify and Strava.

As the name of this device suggests, it's all about health and fitness tracking. In addition to onboard GPS, you'll also have automatic exercise tracking, sleep monitoring, heart-rate tracking, and more. The Running Coach feature is also better than ever. You'll now have real-time pace metrics with a full rundown of what to expect from your workout before you begin. You'll receive audio cues that can be heard through the watch speaker or Bluetooth headphones.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Gaalaxy Watch Active 2Falster 3
Dimensions44 mm x 44 mm x 10.9 mm42 mm x 42 mm x 11 mm
Display1.35-inch AMOLED1.3-inch AMOLED
SensorsHeart rate, electrocardiogram (ECG), accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, ambient light sensorHeart rate, accelerometer, altimeter, ambient light, gyroscope
Operating systemTizen OSWear OS
Water resistance5 ATM3 ATM
Battery life2 days24 hours
Built-in GPS✔️✔️
Mobile payments✔️✔️
Optional LTE✔️

Some of the other perks include 5 ATM water resistance, mobile payments with Samsung Pay, and an electrocardiogram (ECG) feature for detecting an irregular heartbeat that could indicate an underlying condition. However, Samsung still has yet to roll out this feature on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 but it's expected to be available soon. As for the notifications, it's an effortless experience for Android users. You can read your notifications on your wrist and reply using your voice, the built-in keyboard, or use a standard quick reply.

As always, we're left wishing that battery life could be better. However, two days is more than what you'll get on the Skagen Falster 3 and many other Wear OS watches. You might be able to squeeze some extra juice out of the 44 mm model since it has a larger battery. You can also take advantage of convenient wireless charging, which works with the Galaxy S10's Wireless PowerShare feature.

Looks and smarts

Skagen Falster 3

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central Pictured: Skagen Falster 3 (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Those who don't feel the need to have an obvious piece of technology on their wrists may want a more minimalist design. The Skagen Falster 3 accomplishes that while being classy and full of helpful features. There's no rotating bezel here, but you do get a colorful touchscreen and three side buttons, so it's fairly easy to navigate. Wear OS has its issues, but it's certainly not lacking when it comes to app support. The operating system is also running much smoother considering that the Falster 3 has the new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor as well as more RAM.

While this smartwatch wasn't necessarily made with fitness fans in mind, it does cover the basics pretty well. You'll be able to track your steps, workouts, heart rate, and sleep with the Skagen Falster 3. It's also got built-in GPS, so you can track your route when you exercise without bringing your phone along.

It's 3 ATM water resistant, has a built-in speaker that makes Google Assistant easier to use, and mobile payments with Google Pay. You'll get up to 24 hours of battery life, which can be extended with battery saving modes but be prepared to sacrifice some features when using them. You can better manage this with rapid charging that gets you to 80% in under an hour.

Bottom line

It's time to figure out what you're deciding factors are. If you like the sound of having LTE connectivity on your wrist, you should buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. You'll also eventually have the ECG feature that's baked into the watch among other fitness-focused perks. For those who are already familiar with Tizen OS, this option is probably even more appealing. It shares many of the same features as the Skagen Falster 3 but boasts optional LTE along with extra tracking features. If these are necessities, then you'll be happy you chose the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Some people want to keep things simple with a functional smartwatch that looks good and feels good on the wrist. In that case, you might find yourself eyeing the Skagen Falster 3. This gorgeous wearable is available in a few classy variants and it's easy to change the band to something that's more your style. You'll enjoy built-in GPS, Google Assistant, Google Pay, standard fitness/health tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and more. If the basics wrapped in a stunning package are enough for you, then the Skagen Falster 3 has your name on it.

Courtney Lynch

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.