Written by Lieze

Expert review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 comes in 2 versions: the Sport and the Fashion. Thanks to the plastic strap, you can also wear the Sport during a workout. The Fashion has a classic look with a leather strap and a stainless steel case. I tested the Sport version. Not only is it a complete smartwatch, it's also a stylish watch for during sports activities.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

Buddy Discount
Measures heart rate, steps, sleep, and more | Integrated GPS | Shows smartphone notifications
Retail price 189,- 172,-
in stock
  • The AMOLED screen is remarkably sharp and colorful.
  • You can quickly navigate through your apps with the new touch version Bezel.
  • Besides calling contacts from your phone, you can also call new numbers.
  • The Player4Youtube is nice, but too small to easily look up and watch videos.
  • The chosen watch face changes to a simple version with the always on display.

On my wrist: small, but clear

With its fine and minimalist lines, the design of the watch is the first thing you notice. The bezel-less screen has been fully utilized. It's an AMOLED screen and it shows. The screen is sharp, bright, and colorful. Putting on the strap is quite the hassle, but once it's on, the strap doesn't stick out. It looks sleek and matches the minimalist design. Striking is that the watch is relatively small. I have a narrow wrist circumference of 15 centimetres. This makes it look lovely on my wrist, but many people will find it too small. Fortunately, there's also a 44-millimeter model.

Touch edge and voice control

Touch edge controls Active2

At the top of my 'to be tested' list is the touch bezel that Samsung created to give their well-known bezel a new look. On the older models, this was a physical ring that lets you navigate apps by rotating it. Now it's an invisible ring; you just swipe the edges of the screen. The edge responds quickly, and it gives feedback on my actions via small vibrations. Am I going to use it a lot? I don't think so. While it works fine, I prefer tapping the apps. This is a matter of personal preference. The same goes for operating with your voice via Bixby.

Call whoever you want with the watch

With the Active2, I can call not only contacts from my phone book, but any number. I expected that entering the numbers would be a hassle, but the screen is large enough. The call function only works when the watch is connected to Bluetooth, of course. I was unable to hear the conversation through my headphones. The sound comes from the watch itself, so I don't use it often to call when I'm outdoors.

Also for sports

Sports menu

The sports version of the Active2 is not only a full-fledged smartwatch, it's also a sports watch. Why is it a sports version? Because it has a plastic strap that you can easily clean after a workout. The fashion version has exactly the same functions, only with a leather strap that's less suitable for during sports. The watch automatically tracks 7 types of sports and it has a heart rate monitor. When I cycled to work, the watch picked it up surprisingly quickly.

Listening to music and watching videos

The Active2 has an independent music player that allows me to listen to music anywhere, without taking my phone with me. I can pair the watch to my phone and to an audio device, so I continue to receive notifications while I listen to music. I can even watch YouTube videos on the watch via the Player4Youtube. While it's a nice feature, I find I hardly use it. The search function is too small to easily use, and the video itself is also very small.

Camera controls with live display

Active2 with live display

What I find a cool and innovative function, is the camera control with live display. It took a while, but it turns out that you can install the Camera Controller app on the watch via the Galaxy app. With this app, I take selfies and group photos without anyone holding my phone. Let your phone rest against something and check if everyone's (looking alright) in the photo by clicking on the display of the watch before you take the photo.

Battery life

Battery life Active2

The Active2 has a fairly good battery life for a smartwatch. For me, it lasts 1.5 to 2 days with the always-on display. I like it when the time always shows, but if you want the battery to last longer, just turn off the always-on display. I didn't work out this week, but keep in mind that the battery always runs out faster in GPS mode.


Buddy Discount
Measures heart rate, steps, sleep, and more | Integrated GPS | Shows smartphone notifications
Retail price 189,- 172,-
in stock

The Active2 has a new fan. The AMOLED screen is colorful and sharp, and it responds quickly to my touch. This makes the watch easy to use. The sports version is mainly a smartwatch, but it's also suitable for sports. The touch edge works well, but I don't think I'm going to use it much. I'm very enthusiastic about the call function that I can use to call contacts from my phone book, and all other phone numbers.

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