Samsung's Galaxy Active 2 is one of the popular smartwatches out there, and it's easy to see why. It is slim, sleek, and comes packed with a cool digital rotating bezel. But what makes this smartwatch special is that it combines smart features with precise tracking. Plus, the slim look makes it easy to wear with both casual and formal clothing. Another fitness tracker that has been receiving rave reviews is the Fitbit Versa 2.
It bundles a bunch of features, and FitBit is considered one of the pioneers in the field of sleep and fitness tracking. And the Versa 2 is capable of much more. It has a slim and sleek profile while packing a bunch of smart features.
Though they appear similar in many respects, both smartwatches have a massive difference in the price. The Versa 2 is priced at around $150, while the Active 2 has a price tag of around $300 (at the time of writing).
Hence, it makes sense to compare these two smartwatches and see which one is best suited for your needs.
Well, that's what we are going to answer in this post. Since it's going to be a long post, let's get started straight away, shall we?
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Design, Display, and Fit
Let's start with the design of the Samsung Galaxy Active 2. The Galaxy Active 2 is the first Samsung smartphone to sport a digital rotating bezel. Yep, you just need to swipe over the edge to cycle through the menus and screens. And boy, is it brilliant!
The absence of the physical bezel gives it a slim look, one of the best parts of this smartwatch. And to add to it, you have a rich AMOLED display.
There are two buttons — Home and Back. The feedback is great, and they feel nice and solid in hand.
Moreover, the silicon band on the Galaxy Active 2 is comfortable to wear even for a long duration of time. I wear it regularly to my workout sessions, and till now, I have had no issues with sweat or itchiness. Plus, there's always the option of switching to more stylish and trendy bands.
More importantly, the build quality of the Galaxy Active 2 is solid. The display is tough enough to withstand accidental brushes with door frames or seat handles. I have been using it for over four months now, and so far I haven't seen any scratches on it.
Much like the Apple Watch, the Fitbit Versa 2 adopts a square-design approach. Although it doesn't have the crown on the right side, you can't unsee the visual similarity.
The absence of the crown is filled with a button on the left edge that doubles up as the back button. I feel it's a tad bit flat, which robs the tactile feedback. Though the watch can withstand daily wear and tear, I feel the band is a little stiff. Hence it may be uncomfortable to wear it for longer durations.
Thankfully, you can swap the band easily for a more flexible and slightly shorter third-party band.
Apart from that, the AMOLED display is bright and nice. It has a new Always-on Display feature that comes into the picture when the watch is inactive. While this makes it easy for you to check your stats when the watch's display is off, you'll need to make sure that the watch-face you picked has an AOD-compatible watch face.
If not, the Versa 2 will simply display a default face. That is unlike the Galaxy Active 2, which has an AOD mode for almost every watch face.
Again, you can adjust the brightness in both the watches. In the case of the Galaxy Active 2, you can switch between eight brightness levels while the Versa 2 has only three - Dim, Medium, and Max.
But what you'll like in both the watches is the navigation — it's a breeze in both the Galaxy Active 2 and the Versa 2.
The only advantage that the former has is the rotating bezel. But in the end, it turns out to be a gimmick since you tend to forget about it after a few days. But needless to say, it's fun navigating with it.
Let's start with some disappointments first. The battery of the Samsung Galaxy Active 2 is terrible. If you have all the cool features enabled such as Always On Display, Wi-Fi, or if you have a fancy colorful watch face, the battery can barely make it two days before needing a recharge.
While shutting down a few of the services does help, but that's just limiting the ability of the smartwatch.
And the thing with most Samsung smartwatches is that initially, the battery life appears to be quite good. However, after a few weeks of regular usage, it shows a significant drop. And the use of a proprietary charging base and a charging time of 2.5 hours doesn't help the case.
What I generally do is prop it to the charging base before I go to sleep every third day. That way, I can wake up to a fully charged smartwatch in the morning.
As opposed to it, the Fitbit Versa 2 has excellent battery life. The company claims a battery life five days, and it lives up to this claim. Well, most of the time.
If you switch on the Always-on Display, the battery life plummets terribly. Without the AOD, you can expect 4+ days of usage, but with it, you'll be getting only around 2-3 days.
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Exercise and Sleep Tracking
If you look around, even fitness trackers come with a pedometer, heart rate sensor, alarm clock, and notification support. The important thing is to determine if the gadget you are wearing is estimating your these stats correctly.
Whether it's the Fitbit Versa 2 or the Galaxy Active 2, the fitness tracking features are one of the most accurate and comprehensive out there. Both come with intelligent workout detection, heart rate monitoring, and sleep-tracking features, with the latter being excellent in the Versa 2.
While the Galaxy Active 2 shows you the gist of your sleeping habits on the connected Samsung Health app, the Versa 2 goes a step ahead and even gives a score of your sleeping habits. If you recollect, Fitbit trackers can monitor sleep for quite some time now.
On the Fitbit app, you can see the different stages like REM, Light, and Deep sleep. However, to see your resting heartbeat or the restfulness factor, you'd have to upgrade to the Pro features.
As opposed to it, the Active 2 lets you view all these stats on the smartwatch (minus the sleep chart). So yeah, you do not have to open an app for that.
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So far, both the smartwatches had a lot of common ground, whether it's the exercise tracking or heartbeat monitoring. However, when it comes to the smart features, there's an ocean of difference between the two.
The Versa 2 lets you listen to offline music while you are out on your run or check and reply to your messages when you are away from your phone, but sadly the smart features are a tad limited. You can record your fitness stats, monitor your heartbeat, stream songs on Deezer, and connect the watch to your wireless Bluetooth earphones. Yeah, there are a couple of extra apps, but that's about it.
You can't stream your favorite songs on Spotify, neither will you be able to take a call on your phone since there's no speaker.
As opposed to the that the Samsung Galaxy Active 2 has all those features and much more. First and foremost, there are several third-party apps that this watch supports. From taking notes to making your watch double as a camera remote, it can do a lot.
Secondly, there's the case of widgets. Being a fitness-oriented watch, the Galaxy Active 2 comes packed with a horde of widgets. Whether it's the nifty step tracker or the cool apps screen, you simply need to swipe your finger on the digital bezel and get going.
Though the Versa 2 lets you upload offline tracks to it, the method can be a bit cumbersome. You will need the desktop version of the Fitbit app to do so.
In a nutshell, when it comes to the smarts, the Galaxy Active 2 is the clear winner.
Verdict: Galaxy Active 2
The Fitbit Versa 2 is a great device in itself. It balances the fitness features greatly with the smartness of a smartwatch. The AMOLED display is great, and on top of it, you can always switch between different watch faces.
However, it does lack a few things like an onboard GPS, ability to takes call on the watch, and third-party app support. Yeah, there is the Alexa integration.
However, considering its price, the Fitbit Versa 2 a pretty much great option.
As opposed to it, the Samsung Galaxy Active 2 manages to grab all the smarts as well as the fitness features. The tracking is almost accurate, the built-in GPS lets you track your runs, and well, it has the smarts.
So, which one should you buy? Well, if you have the money to spend on the Galaxy Active 2, then go for it. But if you do not wish to spend so much on a watch, Versa 2 is a good option. After all, your smartphone shouldn't feel neglected, right?
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