The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active and its successor the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 are two of the best smartwatches right now. Although the original is a bit more run-of-the-mill, lacking the fun-to-use rotating bezel of the Galaxy Watch Active 2, it’s still feature-rich and for just $170 at Best Buy (down from $200), is the most affordable Samsung smartwatch that you can buy. But if you want even more accurate fitness tracking plus an ECG heart rate monitor just like the one found in the Apple Watch plus LTE connectivity, then the Galaxy Watch Active 2 would be perfect for you. Read on to find out which Samsung watch suits you best.
— $170, was $200
The Galaxy Watch Active is Samsung’s entry-level smartwatch offering. While it may lack some of the best features of a flagship Samsung wearable, particularly the rotating bezel, it still possesses exceptional fitness tracking, a stunning display, and a user-friendly watch interface. Instead of a rotating bezel, which makes navigation dead simple and super fun to do, you’ll be tapping and swiping the Galaxy Watch Active just like any other Wear OS. While its 1.1-inch OLED screen is a bit tiny and might prove harder to navigate, it’s undeniably gorgeous with striking colors and perfect contrasts. Underneath the hood, Samsung’s Exynos 9110 processor runs things smoothly and efficiently. Its proprietary Tizen operating system looks simple and uncluttered and is quite easy to navigate, although we noticed that this smartwatch is more optimized for, well, Samsung phones. Having any other Android handset will require you to download various plugins, and who has time for that? And if you’re using an iPhone, prepare not to be able to respond to messages, use Samsung Pay, or receive SOS alerts. At least fitness tracking is up to the usual Samsung standard. You’ve got the usual heart rate monitor, distance traveled, step count, and sleep tracking, as well as less prominent capabilities like blood pressure monitoring and torso twists recommendations (you get this if you’ve been sedentary for a while). If you really want to own a Samsung smartwatch but don’t to spend too much money, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active would be perfect for you. Get it for just $170 instead of $200 at Best Buy.
– $380, was $400
Probably the most notable upgrade with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is its optional LTE connectivity. While an LTE model of this smartwatch comes in at a hefty $400 (with this deal you can get it for $20 less), it allows you to make calls and send and receive texts without having to tether it to your smartphone. It also enhances support for apps like YouTube and Twitter, although watching videos on such a tiny screen is a bit ridiculous. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a tad less sporty looking than its predecessor. It’s like a round Apple Watch so it’s guaranteed to go with any outfit as long you’re wearing the right strap. The fitness tracking features that it possesses is basically still the same with the original Galaxy Watch Active, but it now boasts twice the amount of sensors, ensuring far more accurate readings. Samsung has doubled the LED sensors from four in the original Galaxy Watch Active to eight for more precise heart rate monitoring. The accelerometer has also been doubled, so the Watch Active 2 can measure up to 32G’s, whereas the original only went up to 16G’s. And just like the Apple Watch, this smartwatch comes with a functional electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, although it has not yet been cleared for use by the Food and Drug Administration yet. This smartwatch’s 1.4-inch AMOLED screen is perfect, right up there with the Apple Watch’s display. The rotating bezel is present, of course, and it allows you to zip through the menus quickly and simply. And finally, this wearable has been made to perfectly synchronize with just about any Android phone and not just with Samsung’s own. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a handset made by Huawei, LG, or HTC; you’re bound to have a seamless experience with Samsung’s Tizen software, which we think is way better than Google’s Wear OS. Get the best smartwatch for Android right now at Best Buy for $380.
Looking for more? Visit our Deals hub for more smartwatch deals and Samsung Galaxy Watch deals.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.