IT’S been a busy month for Samsung: Between unveilings of a new tablet and a new flagship smartphone, the South Korean tech giant has announced a new smartwatch set to take on the unrivalled Apple Watch. The Galaxy Watch Active2, which will also work with an iPhone, is set to get its very own EKG sensor, allowing it to check for heart rhythm disorders, like on the Apple Watch.
However, this rare health function on smartwatches is only set to be activated in 2020, according to Samsung. Samsung watches have traditionally been known for their handy rotating bezels that let you flick through content without your finger covering the screen.
This time, for a more minimal look, the Active2 has turned this into a digital control, letting you drag your finger around the edge of the watch face to scroll through menus. One fun feature is a watch face designer that lets you generate a colour combination based on a photo of the clothes you’re wearing, so your watch perfectly matches your outfit.
The Active2 can be wirelessly charged using the same charging pad used for phones, meaning you won’t need to carry an extra smartphone cable around, as often the case for Wear OS models.
As usual, the new watch runs on Samsung’s own Tizen operating system, designed to work with Samsung and iOS phones, rather than the Androidbased Wear OS, which has a larger app ecosystem. You’ll also find the usual sensors for NFC payment, heart rate monitoring and automatic screen brightness.
Going on sale in September, the Galaxy Watch Active2 starts at US$280 in the US, making it cheaper than the latest Apple Watch, and is available in 40 mm and 44 mm case sizes, with the latter sporting a slightly larger battery.
Add an extra US$50, and you get the LTE option that lets you stay online even when your smartphone’s battery is dead. – dpa