It looks like Samsung is preparing to launch yet another smartwatch, as leaks have begun to emerge of the second-generation Galaxy Watch Active.
This fitness-focused smartwatch will square up to the Apple Watch Series 4, and is expected to have the same ECG technology and fall detection and as the iPhone-maker’s timepiece.
With Apple evermore positioning itself as a health and fitness company, and its Watch the centre of that offering, Samsung will want to strike back with the Galaxy Watch Active2. It may also see itself go up against the first Pixel smartwatch from Google, but a year on from the first rumours, that particular wearable is still yet to arrive.
It looks like Samsung will show off the Galaxy Watch Active2 as soon as 5 August, just before the launch of the next Galaxy Note smartphone, and perhaps the Galaxy Watch 2, which the company is also claimed to be working on.
With that date now just a week away, here is everything we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2.
We originally thought that Samsung would announce its new smartwatch alongside the Galaxy Note 10 smartphone, which will be launched at the company’s next Unpacked event, in New York on 7 August.
This would be a quick turnaround, since Samsung only announced the original Galaxy Watch Active in February this year. But the company has made a habit in recent years of teasing new products before they are fully announced. Therefore, there is a chance the event will mostly focus on the Galaxy Note 10, but with a brief guest appearance from the Watch Active2 at the end.
This strategy could lend itself to the watch being fully unveiled at the IFA technology show in Berlin in September, a popular destination for smartwatch and wearable launches.
The most recent teaser from Samsung announced officially that the watch will be unveiled on the 5th of August.
You can watch the short video posted on their YouTube channel below:
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH ACTIVE 2: PRICE
Samsung priced the Galaxy Watch Active at £229 when it launched in February, but this was soon cut by some retailers to around the £179 mark. Both of these prices are significantly less than the Apple Watch Series 4, which starts at £399.
We wonder if Samsung will position the Galaxy Watch Active 2 as a higher-end fitness-focused smartwatch, able to compete more directly with the Apple Watch in the premium segment of the market, with the original Watch Active remaining on sale at its lower price.
For additional context, Samsung priced the more premium Galaxy Watch at £279 for the 42mm model and £299 for the larger 46mm version. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine, given the new features outlined below, Samsung pricing the Watch Active 2 at closer to £300, too.
DESIGN AND HARDWARE
It looks like someone at the FCC made a mistake when processing Samsung’s next smartwatch, as instead of the vaguest of details and perhaps a sketch of its case back appearing in official documents, full-colour images of the display, stainless steel case and operating system have fallen into the public domain.
First spotted by DroidLife, the images reveal a Samsung smartwatch with a similar design to the Galaxy Watch Active – in other words, there is no mechanical rotating bezel. The images also show the circular device is running Samsung’s own Tizen operating system, as is usual for its wearables, and information on the case back states it is 40mm in diameter and waterproof to five atmospheres.
It was previously rumoured that the watch will be offered in 40mm and 44mm sizes, exactly the same as the Apple Watch Series 4.
What’s also interesting is how the circular face appears to have a subtle black bezel around its circumference, This is rumoured to house a touch-sensitive bezel, which would hark back to the physical rotating bezel of older Samsung smartwatches – a popular feature which Samsung ditched for the original Galaxy Watch Active, and that we would love to see reinstated.
The leak also reveals how the new watch will have a heart rate monitor on the back (quelle surprise). Also the device is protected by Gorilla Glass DX+, and has a military toughness rating of MIL-STD-810.
Finally for the watch’s design, the images appear to show a strap connected to the case with universal lug bars, and there are two physical buttons at two and four o’clock.
All models of the Galaxy Watch Active 2 are said to feature a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels and AMOLED displays; the screen of the 40mm model will be 1.2 inches, and the 44mm will be 1.4 inches.
Samsung is expected to offer the Watch Active 2 with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, plus a model with LTE. The former will have a 237 mAh battery, while the latter will get a larger 340 mAh to help offset the extra energy required to run its mobile data connection.
SOFTWARE AND FEATURES
As we mentioned above, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is expected to run the company’s own Tizen operating system, as has become the norm for its smartwatches.
With health and fitness a primary focus, the watch is claimed to feature an ECG app, which will let users perform a single-lead electrocardiogram on themselves. According to a report by SamMobile, this means the watch will be able to record the wearer’s heart rhythm, and notify them of signs of atrial fibrillation.
Just like on the Apple Watch Series 4, this potentially life-saving data can be collected and shared with your doctor. This would be welcome news for Android users, as there is currently no smartwatch on the market for them with ECG capabilities, given the Apple Watch is iPhone-only.
That said, the feature is unlikely to be available from day one, as – just like with the Apple Watch Series 4 – Samsung will need approval in each market the device is sold in before switching the app on.
Like Apple, this could be a drawn-out process, and will likely mean the ECG app will enabled by Samsung in different countries at different times, as approval is given in each market – or in the case of the European Union, approved in any one of the 28 member states. It isn’t clear how this approval process will be affected when Britain leaves the EU. More