CRANKING OUT WRIST WEARABLES seems to be something Samsung is big into, given it's revealed the Galaxy Watch Active 2 merely a few months after the original fitness-focused smartwatch made its debut.
But rather than knock its predecessor out of the market, the second-gen Watch Active 2 is joining its older sibling in the market.
It comes in two sizes - 44mm and 40mm in diameter - and rocks two styles. The first features a "premium" solid stainless steel body with a leather strap, likely for people who want to track their activity with more fitness but don't want to look like a Lycra-wearing fitness nut, and the other comes in a lightweight aluminium body with a *ahem* "casual Fluoroelastomer (FKM) Band"; basically a more colourful rubber strap.
Oh, and the watchfaces come in a trio of typically silly-named colours: Cloud Silver, Aqua Black, Pink Gold.
We haven't managed to get the new smartwatch around our wrists, but apparently it has a more compact form than the Watch Active and a more premium feel.
But the biggest feature is the return of a rotating bezel, which we've seen on previous Galaxy smartwatches. Only this time rather than being a physically rotating bezel, it uses a touch-sensitive strip on the perimeter of the watch's face, which looks pretty cool.
Flip the watch over and there's an upgraded heart rate sensor for people wanting to track the pumping of their ticker, along with an improved accelerometer.
LTE has been added into the mix, but only for the heavier stainless steel watch, and that version will come with double the RAM of the other Watch Active 2 models; 768MB to 1.5GB.
Aside from that, it's pretty much business as usual for the Galaxy Watch Active 2; there isn't exactly a suite of extra features or software additions over the previous model, though Bixby support has been improved allowing for better control of SmartThings gadgets from the watch, as well the ability to activate workouts through the digital helper.
And there's also better integration with Spotify, adding single sign-on through the watch, as well as a custom YouTube app to watch videos on your wrist... because, er... we don't know why you'd do that.
Prices at $279.99 for the 40mm model and $299.99 for the 44mm watch. There's no word on UK pricing yet, though expect the equivalent in Blighty bullion when the watches arrive on 27 September.
Really, what you're looking at here is a premium take on the original Watch Active, which could see the price of the original Watch Active drop a little, though that's a wait-and-see situation.
But it's nice to see Samsung working on its wearables and knocking up a slick smartwatch, as the more effort put into that arena, the more scope there is to knock the Apple Watch off its throne. µ
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