Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 // Sports & Fitness First Run & Tests

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 // Sports & Fitness First Run & Tests


[Awesome music entrance] Hey folks, Ray at DCRAINMAKER.com here,
today I’ve got the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 or, maybe it’s just Active Watch
2, Active, Active……it’s a lot of words so I’m just going to go with Active 2,
because that’s what everyone’s really gonna call it. And I’m gonna put it
through its paces from a sports/fitness kind of technology standpoint. And not so
much from like a general usage standpoint. There are endless videos out
there on YouTube that’ll cover that. I’m gonna talk about sports..that’s what I do!
I’m going to talk about things like is the new heart rate sensor better? Is GPS
improved? Are the UI, are all the apps better from sports and fitness
standpoint? Has anything changed there? It’s only been like six or seven months
since the last version came out. So I’m gonna talk all about that. But
before I do that I want to briefly touch on the digital bezel, mostly because I’m
seeing a lot of people do it wrong. Now the catch is a lot of people don’t
realize it’s actually not enable by default. So I’m going to show you how to enable that really quick. Simply swipe down first, click the little Settings icon there. Go
down to advanced. And then within advanced you will see ‘Touch “Bezel”. In my
case I’ve turned on. Now obviously I could turn it off right there, and that’s really how
you get that touch bezel working. I think for the most part it
works fairly well actually better than I thought it would, and a heck of a lot
better once you turn it on than it did without it on. Now let’s go ahead and
talk about that new optical heart rate sensor.This is probably the biggest,
probably this is the biggest exterior or difference between these two watches
from a hardware standpoint because if you look from the top down they look
virtually identical and when you turn them on here you’ll notice they’re still
pretty similar in terms of like display brightness and stuff like that obviously
have different watch faces on them right now but it’s when you turn them over
that things are holy cow different and the case here the sensor looks
dramatically different they’ve consolidated the LEDs down into kind of
a single pot in the middle there versus on this side here you had four LEDs
there and you remember in the past the accuracy of the active one was not super
hot my super hot I mean it was basically dumpster fire status they improved GPS
and the active watch compared to past samsung watches but not so much the
heart rate sensor it was kind of useless now if you let me compare this to the
Apple watch other series four or series five because the optical heart rate
sensors are between the two of them you’ll notice
that they’re pretty darn similar so you know is why I mean maybe that they’re
doing this because there’s reasons from ECG standpoint the base particular
designs need to be similar but given that other ECG watches like the Withings
watch don’t look anything like that yeah there’s probably a more simplistic
explanation for that still it’ll be used to see what not this proves itself as
more accurate once it’s out on the road as in the case
of the Apple watch and generally speaking it is a very accurate off of a
heart rate sensor though there are some courses series 5 but overall though it’s
definitely a better design than what Samsung seemed to have in the past now
before we get to that though let’s briefly talk about some of the different
health widgets so things that are accessible on the watch itself so you
can go ahead and track like activities and stuff like that so access those make
sure your display is on simply swipe to the right right there and you can go
ahead and see kind of your activity overview for the day you can tap that
and you can look at activity you look at workout in my case even though I’ve
already done my run it won’t show up here because I’ve used endomondo so I
won’t see that workout time and there unfortunately you can see if I move
hourly goals are listed there that seems like it might be undercutting things a
little bit but it is what it is and it’s sort of the overview for the week itself
I can go ahead them back out and swipe to the right and this is where we go
ahead and start an activity and I can add activities kind of this little Quick
Start menu there this is my heartrate my current heart rate in this case it’s
trying to search for it which is two blinking obviously it’s on the table so
it’s probably not succeed there I can measure it right there and I can look at
the min and Max values of my heart rate – over the course of the week so I think
through here kind of an on sport thing about the weather though today it was
very much a sport thing I’ve got my calendar and amando widget is on there
so I can see my last run right there and quick short of workout to sleep
functionality in this case this is actually relatively close to what my
actual sleep time was last night I woke up a little bit later that made about
15-20 minutes but I believe that’s actually when the watch had died you
know when I went to bed is still 22 hours of battery life left when I woke
up some you know 4 hours later it was dead so that’s kind of a bit of a bummer
so there’s out there and I can add widgets into this role here again kind
of all the same widgets that you have seen in the past
a lot of breakouts for sport and fitness ones or more kind of Fitness ones there
for example you can add floors climbed your exercise for the day food health
summary leaderboard a multi workout there’s caffeine as well in there I mean
lots and lots of options okay before we head outside I just want to give you a
quick cautionary note on all the Trish ins and all the times you have to
approve something on this launch in order to actually use it from a sport
and fitness standpoint this morning before my run I counted no less than
five times that I had approved commissions for this watch to access GPS
to access GPS again to access my location yet again to go ahead and
access my heart rate sensors and to access my data on samsung health which
is kind of nut it’s just way too many layers in most of the time it’s very
wavy down the menus says if you wear that and don’t talk before you press the
start button on your workout that you actually do have a GPS you do have heart
rate all that kind of stuff with that warning out of the way let’s go for a
run okay so here we are outside it’s all the things you don’t want it to go for
run it’s windy it’s cold it’s raining sweat it’s just not ideal but I got four
watches with me here I’ve got the actor to right there on this wrist over here I
have the Apple watch series five I’ll begin holding here the 9:45 from Garmin
and they pull Vantage V and then I’ve got a chest strap on right here the HRM
dual and the armed right there underneath my shirt I
have the Polaroids one the heart rate strap so that’s our rate sensor to go
ahead and measure as well so lots of sensors paired up logo head record
everything giving all study here now in the case of
the act of two I’m going to use the end of mondo app because that’s really the
only app that allows me to get the full fidelity the daven I would have it so
with all that said I’m gonna go ahead and give it started and we’ll cook and
I’ll catch up in the park somewhere okay so one apologize right now for any one
that’s gonna get in the lens on this run that’s gonna get back to life today so
sorry if those little dots on there initial impressions about a mile into
the park at this point and it’s not so hot like heart rate accuracy it goes in
steps so I’ll be sitting there like 132 beats per minute and then five seconds
later go boom 148 and then I’ll show it again the same thing the next time I see
it so if you introduce to you what the recorded data looks like
let the on display data it is very latent now like completely useless but
definitely not good from a GPS pay standpoint it’s just a roll of dice
right now look 658 but for the first two seconds seven and a half
it shows 7:30 so again very late and like the refresh rate is all rotten wack
whatever look again 633 right now actual place 720 708 720 so not super posh now
if you’re finding this video interesting or useful or anything I always want to
thank you for running out in this crunch happened
I passed the conditions here go and hit that light going down the bottom there
really helps in the video and the channel quite a bit now where did I run
through the Rijksmuseum here and the reason we’re doing that is because from
an accuracy standpoint this is no different than running through a tunnel
or under a large highway overpass so I want to see what the GPS does it’s
completely straight shot so there isn’t any lectern here I just lets you connect
the dots between the two sides now most these buildings are only
between four and six storeys tall so not super big or super tough I don’t expect
to have any really tall buildings on today’s run well it’s a good test on the
Left see how they do he supplies the screws the PPF these
days this is a distance one as the watches are all kind of insane ball for
5.07 on the polar Vantage 5.25 on the Apple watch
your armor at five point one six and these Samsung a four point nine seven so
non-ideal and if you were running something like the marathon here in a
couple weeks it’s five miles being almost a third of a mile off at this
point isn’t ideal that means you’re talking C times five again basically
you’re talking a crap-ton that’s definitely a bit of an issue but you can
also be totally wrong on distance and right on track doesn’t it look at
afterwards it’s time of you a few Sprint’s to test at the camera not right
here go down there and they come back and forth my rough pace plan here is
gonna be about five to five twenty a mile we’ll see how things go and I’m
four times down from the other threes down there should be about twenty or
thirty second long intervals we’ll be over cold ice the same face we
won’t be getting in the reasonably short high-intensity Sprint’s is that one of
the common failure points pop at a heart rate is to walk on a cadence so if you
can’t your heart rate the next-biggest thumping thing in actual your feet so
it’s always a great test to see how well handles swift changes a pace like
intervals which most runners do at some point and so that’s kind of why I tend
to do those okay here we are finish things up a little bit total distances
full of answers V 6.8 for miles the Garmin 7.01 the Apple watch seven point
zero eight and ten thumb six point five five miles now a quick note on getting
files off of this stuff I’ve written an entire post on how to do this down the
description they’re super detailed for both iOS as well as Android because
getting files off of these watches is a complete mess and particularly the way
it comes out of samsung health okay when I start off at the heart rate side of
things I’m using the DCR analyzer you can check it out in the description down
below there if you want to create your own sets to compare stuff back and forth
you can see it right away there took about four and a half almost five
minutes for the act of two to actually lock my heart rate even though it had a
heart rate lock before we left the run it just lost it and then how to
reacquire it or whatever the case is that’s pretty bad there’s a ton of
spikes and kind of a ton of wonkiness in general until about 10 minutes in or so
and then things stabilize for a couple minutes never on the 15 minute mark or
so all of them kind of got a bit wonky though there are some trends in there
even if they’re hard to kind of pick out of this I number one the Apple watch
spiked up at the top because that’s what this series 5 does these days and then
below that you see the purple in the green lines of the chest strap and then
of the optical heart rate sensor on my upper arm the pullover h1 this is pretty
dependable so my heart rate was definitely increasing there I was
probably doing a bit of a increase in pace the Samsung watch just completely
bottomed out entirely and it missed that and did some wonky stuff but then it got
back on track and by and large with exception this is one drop right there
albeit a 20 beat per minute drop it pretty good for a fair chunk of this run
like that’s better than the Samsung watches have been in the past and so
that isn’t bad keeping in mind in comparison to the
Apple watch this track is horrendous and high rate of the Apple watch is a pretty
bad track from a heart rate standpoint so yeah it is what it is I will give
credit though for these Sprint’s back here it’s actually pretty darn close all
these watches did a great job by staying very very close together which surprised
me given the intensity these Sprint’s you can see up to 180 beats per minute
and then I kind of cool back down again to 160 so these are some pretty hard
sprints and it nailed this like there is I have no real issues with any of these
particular heartrate plots from a sprint standpoint so let’s talk GPS accuracy in
general you saw the run you saw where I ran
nothing like crazy complex all this was actually pretty easy from a GPS
standpoint so to begin with the things were in the river a little bit there
with that red track in the canal not horrendous still like there are other
cases where it was worse for the unit for example here in the park
the puller was off in the trees and the bushes and the lakes and everything and
the rest of units were pretty darn close but all the other watches were within a
pretty close range though they were perfect like you’ll see I was cutting
through buildings right there that I shouldn’t have been going through this
section here so that the middle of the building itself see if I can zoom in a
bit more right there you’ll see that they got that correct the Pollard end of
course and then the Samsung was plotted its next point off the side over here
which means that it guests for a bit and it guessed wrong that’s not a horrendous
example of that but it’s not ideal the pole was obviously is a worse example
that you can see those Samsung bends struggled going across this section here
didn’t really seem to have good GPS lock and just sort of guesstimated and in
fact all these units actually struggled a little bit in this section right here
the Apple went ahead and over smoothed it so it looks prettier but it’s not
actually any more correct than the others
the Garmin at 9:45 was also having some struggles in her as well going around
the stadium no major issues here though the Sprint’s back and forth this is
where you can see that red track of the Samsung off in the grass where the rest
of the units are actually pretty darn close in that same spot every single
time so from a first workout standpoint I would say it’s kind of like yeah so so
it’s basically the same as the active one and some of my bike commuting
workouts I’ve done the last two days here not workout
by commuting the GPS has been roughly what I’m seeing here as well which is
kind of like yeah it’s not great but it’s not horrible it’s like barely
acceptable so there you go a complete look stuff hopefully you found this
interesting or something or whatever the case is if so go ahead and like that
subscribe button for plenty more sports Technology goodness there’s a lot more
wearable stuff to come up this fall as I kind of clear through some of the
backlog on things that need to be reviewed and other sports technology
stuff that uh should be arriving on your doorstep your digital doorstep soon have
a good one

100 Replies to “Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 // Sports & Fitness First Run & Tests”

  1. Have you tested out active 1 running accuracy? Do you think a future software update will fix the running issue on Active2? Sucks to find out about this inaccuracy also the HR! Ugh

  2. Please somebody explain. At 09.30 you are running at 02:25 minutes per KM> Shouldn't you be in the Olympics? Or what is this number you are quoting?

  3. Pulled the trigger on this on Pre-order main draw for me is smart watch function (miss my Sony SW3 which I only gave up on as it didn't do HR etc and was only good for Smartwatch function) a Big pull for me is the ability to answer a phone call when stuck up a ladder at work without having to try to get my phone out of my pocket. Used the HR on 'exercise bike' mode when doing an indoor ride and (without using the analyser) found it tracked pretty much beat for beat with my Tickr X after a slow start, don't think they were ever more than 2 beats apart.
    It was a toss up between this and Garmin active 4 but smart won out over fitness for my needs.

  4. thank you for running in the rain for us!!!! do you think the heart rate issue can be fixed in an update or are we pretty much stuck with it?

  5. So I switched from iphone to note 10 plus and had to give up applewatch 4. Bought samsung galaxy watch and was thinking of returning and swapping for active 2. Would you say heart rate and gps are same or better on active 2? I basically picked these watches because better compatability with note 10 and spotify and music download. Thx

  6. Would love to hear a response from Samsung based on these findings. Guess the GWA2 was supposed to close the gap on Apple, but still it seems they can't even be on par with the Apple Watch regarding HR and GPS accuracy. If someone finds out if these issues are fixable through a software update, please comment..

  7. Thank you for making an honest review the run and the view was very nice .
    I mostly look at distance ran and GPS track . And from the looks of the Galaxy active 2 it wasn't accurate for the most part. On one mark it was way off. And this is a big deal for me .

  8. Excellent review and particularly well illustration on user interface, HR and GPS accuracy. Very good reference for anyone interested in the latest wearable from Samsung.

  9. My question is for DC Rainmaker. So I have a Samsung Galaxy Watch 46mm and I’m pretty sure the heart sensor is off. So I been thinking of upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 for the heart rate sensor. So I’m wondering if it will be worth the upgrade in better results. I would like your professional opinion on the matter and if it is possible for you to do a video comparison between the Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 to see what the better results are. If you can’t then that’s fine then I would just get your professional opinion on if it is worth upgrading to the galaxy watch active 2 from galaxy watch. Thanks.

  10. Its a shame that a "fitness smartwatch" like the active 2 cant pair a chest strap natively. When there are 3rd party apps (sportywatch) for samsung watches available who can pair with chest straps.

  11. Hi bro, really good review 👍 i suggest that when recording outdoor you should use a separate mic instead of the phone's mic so the sound quality could be better and the traffic and wind noise cannot go in 👍

  12. Great video as always mate I had a Fenix 5X and a Galaxy gear watch previously but looking for a new alternative now. In your opinion whats the best Smartwatch, Fitness watch, Fitness+smartwatch and fitness band out there that you woul recommended?

  13. Biggiest question.

    Have they fixed the problem with non samsung phones not being able to get the message app like on the first active watch. It was a bit annoying and had to find a work around.

  14. Dear God, they've cloned the AW4 sensor and it's still wonky as hell. At random times, when I start a run, my GW gets up to 132bpm and gets stuck there for up to 20 minutes, before it finally starts working right (altho it happened that it didn't work right at all, too). Another annoying phenomenon I've noticed is that wild HR swings mess with it. Walk up a flight of stairs briskly, the HR raise followed by a sudden drop, if you're fit, confuses it completely. On mornings, my HR is like 55bpm-ish, so when that scenario happens and it drops back to 55bpm sharply, the GW suddenly thinks I'm at double or triple the HR, displaying 110bpm or 165bpm respectively, and takes its sweet time to recover, too. I guess no switch to the GWA2, because same old same old.

  15. Hey Ray. Nice review. I imagine I know the answer already, but can you pair this with a BT external HR monitor like the Scosche armband?

  16. I returned the Galaxy watch last year… Because it missed a lot of my steps… I just got this one today the active 2 and I'm noticing it's struggling with capturing all my steps also… Other than that I love the watch!!! You are probably the only review our I've seen on YouTube that has dinged it for the inaccuracy of the step count…

  17. Fantastic review. Really bummed with the Active 2 results. Hopefully, it's a simple software fix and not a hardware issue. With all the smart watches you've reviewed, which one do you recommend the most at this point. Given that they all fail, which one is accurate most of the time? Seems like it may end up being the Apple Watch Series 4, but I could be wrong. Would love to know your opinion.

  18. Amazing review!! I tend to notice with my Samsung watches that their GPS accuracy improves over time running the same area (Polar M430 vs GWA1 for example).

  19. Great review, thank you! I was aiming for an Active 2, but if the heart rate monitor seems inaccurate I´ll have to reconsider.

    Have you done any comparison of heart rate accuracy/GPS accuracy between the Garmin Venue, and the Samsung Active 2? Would be very interesting as these two seems to be the main competitors if you’re after a smart watch/Running watch-combo.

  20. GPS is still as bad as Galaxy Watch Active 1? 🙁 Had to discard that because of poor GPS. And also bad HR data? : What is this crap?! I'm so disappointed with this beautiful watch!

  21. @DC Rainmaker Ive got new Samsung Watch Active 2 on this saturday and already tested it with cycling and running and iam very dissapointed with quality of its HR and calories burned measurements. 
    I have used Wahoo Element Bolt with Wahoo Run strap together against Samsung Watch Active 2.
     So, i have runned 9 kms. And on SWA2 ive got maximum HR of 204 and average HR of 180, but on Wahoo Element Bolt ive got maximum HR of 162 and average HR of 148. 
    In cycling i went for 24 km ride on my road bike. Average speed on SWA2 was 33,8 km/h and on Wahoo 35,8km/h. On SWA2 ive got maximum HR of 188 and average HR of 151, but on Wahoo Element Bolt ive got maximum HR of 191 and average HR of 170. Calories burned on SWA2 was 445 at the end of the ride and on Element Bolt was 685 which is a huge difference. 
    Iam about to send SWA2 back to Samsung.

  22. The real question here is whether it'll be really waterproof, or it'll just claim to be waterproof and when there's a problem Samsung will give their customers the big middle finger. Thanks for the review DC.

  23. It's being reported that Samsung just pushed out an update for the GWA2 this morning which lists improvements of Bug Fix for GPS and Improved GPS Performance. I wonder if that will help with some of the GPS issues you reported? The new build ends in BSI9

  24. Is there fitness tracker you would recommend in terms of monitoring accuracy? GPS not necessary. Could be a smart watch or just a device like Moov Now, which I've heard good things about.

  25. Thanks for a great review. I am new to the smartwatch arena and was very excited about the Active 2 and was looking to purchase the LTE / cellular version since I would like to leave my phone (Samsung Note 8) at home or at the office during short trips and exercises outside…that was until I had learned that there is no Google Map nor Google Assistant integration. I heard that there are workarounds to these 2 issues but seems that you will need to have your phone with you for it to work. I would love you hear your thoughts on this since these are currently deal breakers for me. Thank you.

  26. So if they come out with a new Galaxy Watch with these features I will upgrade But Is still like the physical Bezel and the Heft Of the Galaxy Watch this just looks to dainty to me ..

  27. Hi there! Great video and great channel!
    Could you do a video with ideas about what to do with all that data that we're collecting with our smart watches and how to use the data to improve our health, workouts, food intake, sleep and etc?
    Because we're generating a lot of data everyday, and if we don't take any advantage over them, they are useless.

  28. Would you try to test it again with Samsung own health app? I think there is possibility Endomondo app can't get continuous heart rate data from the watch. That's why it gets stages heart rate on the run.

  29. my gear s3 frontier still failes at wireless pay regualy even though samsung pay on phone nd the even better google pay will always work. My s3 frontier was sent back 5 times in 1 year with insides replaced 4 times and the last time the watch returned by samsung with thewm saying nothing was wrong with watch. This is after i was clearly told by samsung that if the phone works on a terminal then the watch will. this proved to be constantly wrong. Sam,sung representative promised to srt this pout but they have not. i would not buy samsung watch for wireless pay again. actually ill think twice on anything samsung as they still havent sorted out my watch as supposed to under warranty

  30. Hi Dc,
    First of all, thank you so much for your effort and time, your videos are the guides for my purchase decision.
    Allow me to share one disagreed point with you related to the heart rate results.
    I tested the active watch two against the Polar H10 into two different exercises as the following :
    1- Running for 6 KM: the result was very identical between both devices, I didn't notice any drop from the active watch 2.
    2- Football match from 130 minutes: as you know in football match there are a lot of sprints and Physical friction, still the watch performed very well, I witnessed about 5 seconds of inaccurate data, as the watch was showing my heart rate at point of 200 while the polar H10 was giving me 194 , but for the rest of reading it was in the range of 1 – 2 beats up or done.
    I will try to compare it with the new apple watch once I purchase it.
    Again thank you so much for your effort, my intention is only to give my opinion and personal experience.
    Thank & Regards,
    Alaa

  31. Finally, someone reviews the watch properly rather than just saying "notifications, bezels" and all the basic fluff that any smartwatch can do.

    This is such a disappointment. The watch looks so good and yet the data from an "active" watch is so off the pace.

  32. I own a Samsung gear sport and it's terrible for tracking. HR completely off. GPS and battery very bad. I lost trust in Samsung wereables

  33. I am very interested in whether you enabled the "high accuracy" setting on the watch? It's supposedley designed to calculate your location more precisely.

  34. Removing the physical rotating bezel on a fitness watch no less, is utterly stupid.
    This is effectively their third generation of this line and it's still not good.

    And don't pretend we didn't see that Gear Sport sitting completely unmentioned there! Cheeky!

  35. I've had a number of the Samsung watches and my favorite part was the "smartwatch" but I have never been a huge fan of the fitness part. They just don't seem to get it right which is a shame. I've been trying to pick a new watch – tired of my Versa – and I would really like something fairly accurate on the treadmill; weights (or intervals); bootcamp and that I can pair a HR strap with if to choose to do do. That has been another pet peeve with Samsung. I don't know whether I'm better suited for the Suunto Fitness 3 or the Garmin Vivoactive 4? I used to run, am no longer able but I do teach fitness and still do workouts that aren't super high intensity cardio. I had also been interested in the Polar ignite but I haven't had the best luck with their watches. I appreciate your thorough reviews!!!

  36. Your review was great. You gave everyone a actually review of the watch while in motion instead of talking about the specs like everyone else. This is important to me since I am coming from the Fitbit series. Once again, Thank You!

  37. Steps:
    1. Look at competitors/ leaders to see what they execute well.
    2. Find what the competition is missing.
    3. Get feedback from sporty focus groups
    4. Build, test, refine then launch.

    Why do Samsung miss on this? They dont need to reinvent the wheel. Use my 14 year old garmin forerunner 301 as a base – it was great! (Replaced now with a 235)

  38. I am using an Active2 with an iPhone and I can't get Workout to work on the watch. Of course I know Samsung Pay won't work. I'd also like to know how to get my heart rate to show continuously while I'm on a run, for example. I'm finding this watch very difficult and complicated to use when compared to my Apple Watch series 5.

  39. Thank you. I was waiting on your review for the Samsung Active 2.Will I buy it? Right now I have it on pre order.  Will see how I like it.

  40. Hello, I was saying "The Galaxy Watch 2 looks better than 1, I'll take it !". But according to your feedback (btw Thank you), I think looking elsewhere..

    For running, rowing and cycling sometimes & with a reliable GPS & good 🔋 (music can be an option), what do you recommend ?

  41. I do not see that much difference between apple watch series 4 and active 2 …. 95% of the times GPS track and HR are the same between them.
    So can you explain why it is not a good sport watch?*

  42. I'm impressed with the bloke cycling through the park with his umbrella over his head, It could catch on, added resistance when you have no hills locally 🙂

  43. Hi i am indecisive whether to buy samsung active 2 or vivoactive 4 i care about smartwatch issues also consequent fitness health results. garmin vivoactivce 4 has move iq to autodetect the strength fitness (bench press etc) as ı know samsung active 2 has manuel can u please make a video to compare both two watches

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