Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE Review: Premium price for premium features and design

In the last week of 2019, South Korean tech major, Samsung, threw in one last surprise for its consumers in India by launching an all-new 4G variant of the Watch Active 2 in the country. This LTE version of the Watch brought with it everything that the Watch Active 2 did, but promised to be better as it could always stay connected to the outside world through its in-built e-sim capable of handling 4G networks.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE

Samsung launched this version of the smartwatch with a 44mm dial clad in steel, silver, black or gold finish, which regardless of the buyer’s choice would be available to them for Rs 35,990.

Now at the price, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE stands out as one of the more expensive smartwatches available in the market right now. However, Samsung has attempted to justify the price tag with the support of not just 4G LTE, but also the inclusion of a number of other premium features.

We’ve had the Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE with us for a while now. Read our review to find out if it’s the smartwatch for you.

Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE: Design and display
For anyone who has used the original Galaxy Watch Active, the Watch Active 2 LTE’s design would definitely come as a welcome upgrade. As compared to its successor, this new 4G enabled smartwatch flaunts a slightly heftier body, with curves that are more pronounced than what we saw on last year’s Watch Active.

From the dial to its round metallic frame and even its black leather straps, the Watch Active 2 LTE is so much more than its predecessor, which in all honesty, was really a fitness wearable masquerading as a smartwatch. Although this new smartwatch focuses heavily on being a fitness wearable, it looks and feels more like a smartwatch, rather than being a fitness first wearable.
Another point of differentiation between the designs of the two smartwatches are the side-mounted buttons. While both offer a two-button set-up on the right of the frame, on the Watch Active 2 LTE, the upper button is a pill-shaped one -- instead of two round ones on the Watch Active.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE

This latest smartwatch from Samsung has a dial size of 44mm, which should feel just about the right size on most wrists. It’s easy to put on, and once there, it sits nicely on your wrist. The smartwatch isn’t too heavy too, and at 30g without the strap, it’s lighter than a lot of competing smartwatches in the market -- but thankfully isn’t as light as the original Watch Active which was almost toy-like at 25 grams.

Another crucial aspect where the Watch Active 2 LTE has improved over the Watch Active is in terms of the strap that’s being used on the new smartwatch. Unlike the silicone strap flaunting Watch Active, the Watch Active 2 LTE brings with it a leather strap that not only is more visually appealing but is also much easier on the wrist if you plan to wear it for long hours.
But once you’re ready to take the smartwatch off your wrist, you can flip to find the device’s various fitness sensors, including the heart rate monitor that Samsung uses to give the user an accurate sense of their stress levels using a pre-installed application on the smartwatch.

This application -- and the countless others that come pre-installed or can be installed on the smartwatch -- can be interacted with using the device’s 1.35-inch Super AMOLED Always On Display that can churn out a maximum resolution of 360x360 pixels.

Talking about the display of the smartwatch, it feels quite vibrant and gets plenty bright for use irrespective of the fact if the watch is being used indoors or outside. It also impresses when it comes to colour reproduction and in terms of the performance, the panel emerges as one of the positives of the Watch Active 2 LTE.

However, we recently had the chance to use the Huawei Watch GT 2, and when compared to it, we can say that Huawei has surprisingly managed to do a better job with the display. As we found out during our review, the Watch Active 2 LTE does come with an above par panel that also supports Always On feature, however, the Huawei Watch GT 2 particularly impresses in just how vibrant and crisp text and visuals appear on it. And to my mind, it is what Samsung should have been aiming for with the Watch Active 2 LTE.

Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE: Battery and 4G connectivity
Talking about how the smartwatch can be taken out for a swim without worrying about causing serious water damage, it would also be prudent to know that the Watch Active 2 LTE comes with an e-sim fitted inside that allows it to make calls over 4G VoLTE without having to be around a paired phone at all times.

This is because it can latch on to phone networks by itself, and not only transfer voice, but send and receive data using mobile networks, making the Galaxy Watch 2 LTE a smartwatch which performs almost like a smartphone in itself. However, because of carrier limitations, only Jio and Airtel users can make use of the e-SIM functionality in the country for now.

During our review, we used a Jio number to test the LTE functionality of the smartwatch and to be honest our experience was rather mixed. And that’s for two simple reasons.

The first being, network reception on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE is rather average. As we found during the review, the Watch Active 2 LTE would often only show 50 per cent network strength in areas where our smartphone would show full connectivity to the same network.

But even as we attempted to take the watch’s poor network connectivity in our stride, the realisation that it came at a significant cost to battery life ensured that during the course of the review, we were less inclined to use the device in its standalone LTE mode.

But having said that, it would be unfair to point out that despite its issues, the LTE supporting e-SIM brings the freedom to remain completely untethered from your phone, and as freedom’s go, it’s quite a liberating one.
Apart from this, the battery life of the Watch Active 2 LTE is generally quite good, as it greatly improves on the endurance of the original Watch Active. During our review, we found the Watch Active 2 LTE to easily last between 2-3 days with only WhatsApp notifications turned off.

While not as great as what you’d find on Huawei Watch GT 2, this 2-3 day battery promise is still quite good for a smartwatch which brings a ton of functionality and connectivity features.

Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE: Should you buy it?
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is available in a single 44mm stainless steel dial choice if you decide to go for the LTE variant of the smartwatch. Samsung has priced this variant at Rs 35,990, which makes it one of the more expensive smartwatches in the country right now.

However, the price is justified by Samsung brings to the table not just the promise of standalone 4G VoLTE connectivity but also support for third-party apps and a ton of fitness features married to a rather decent battery that helps the smartwatch last longer on a single charge than most of its competitors.

But are these reasons good enough to make you want to buy the Watch Active 2 LTE? The answer I suppose would have to be in the affirmative for now, as there remain very few options in the market with the range of functionality Samsung’s latest smartwatch offers.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE

However, all of this (minus the 4G LTE connectivity) is true for the Watch Active 2 which is currently retailing at a price of Rs 25,990, making it arguably the best bet if you are in the market for a smartwatch for your Android smartphone -- more so if that device happens to be from Samsung.
Next Post Previous Post
Whatsapp Group Join Now
Telegram Channel Join Now
Whatsapp Group Join Now
Android App Download