Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 vs Apple Watch 7

Apple Watch 7

During the recent Apple Event on 14 Sep, Apple has released the key specifications for the upcoming Apple Watch 7. For those who have bought the Samsung Galaxy Active 2 in 2019, the watch should be about 2 years old. It may be time to start looking at the latest new smartwatch and see if there are good reasons to replace the watch.

Apple Watch 7 is expected to have better features than the two-year-old Samsung Galaxy Active 2. The question is whether the new design features are attractive enough for us to shelf the Galaxy Active 2 and order the Apple Watch 7 when it is released later this year.

Summary of Comparison[tie_index]Summary of Comparison[/tie_index]

In the comparison below, we will focus on the 44mm version to reduce the clutter on the page. Based on the known design specifications, the Apple Watch 7 is better than the Galaxy Active 2 in the following areas:

  • It is thinner by about 20%.
  • It has a bigger display area by about 35%.
  • It has a better crack and scratch-resistant ceramic shield with proof (see below).
  • It has a faster charging time of about 1 hour or less. (extrapolated by us)
  • It has a blood oxygen sensor which is not found on the Galaxy Active 2.
  • It is expected to have 32GB storage or more like the Watch 6, which is way more than the 4GB on Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Apple Watch 7 is missing one feature that the Galaxy Active 2 has:

  • Blood pressure sensor.

Details of the Comparison[tie_index]Details of the Comparison[/tie_index]

Apple Watch
Series 7
Samsung Galaxy
Watch Active 2
Model44mm (height)44mm
Release DateAvailable in 202123-Dec-19
Form Factor
Shape (Watch Face)RectangularCircular
Size (Watch Face)44 x 38mm44 x 44mm
Thickness 10.7mm13.5mm
Weight36.5g  (Watch 6)42g (stainless steel)
30g (aluminum)
Display Size1.9 in (est.)1.4 in (34mm)
GlassCeramic shield
Up to 50% thicker
than Watch 6
Corning® Gorilla®
Glass DX+

Apple Watch 7 is about 20% thinner and has a 35% bigger display area than the Samsung Galaxy Active 2. The bigger display area was achieved by reducing the dark border around the display area to about 1mm, without increasing the overall size. This is a big advantage and one of the biggest reason to upgrade to the Apple Watch 7.

Apple Watch 7 Visible Area Enlarged
Apple Watch 7 Visible Area Enlarged

The weight information for Apple Watch 7 is currently not available, but we do not feel this would be a deciding factor as the Galaxy Active 2 is also fairly lightweight, especially the aluminum version.

2. Another major advantage for Apple Watch 7 is the thicker crack-resistant, and scratch-resistant ceramic shield for the display, which was also used on the Apple Watch 6 and iPhone 12. The Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ is known for its scratch-resistant and low reflectance, however, it is an equal match for the crack-resistant ceramic shield used by the Apple Watch 7.

We compared Apple’s ceramic shield with the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus in an article supported by test results from Corning and Cnet. The glass is definitely not bulletproof but it is certainly much more scratch and cract-resistant as compared to previous model.

Read: Ceramic Shield Vs Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Tests

Based on our 2-years experience with the Samsung Galaxy Active 2’s Gorilla DX+, even the touted “scratch-resistant” was not impressive. However, when our Active 2 malfunctioned just a few weeks before the warranty expiry, Samsung not only changed the battery and casing but also change my scratched Gorilla DX+ glass.

Apple Watch
Series 7
Samsung Galaxy
Watch Active 2
Charging TimeApprox. 1 hours
(33% faster charging)
Up to 2 hours
Blood pressureNoYes
Blood oxygen sensorVO2Max, SpO2No
Fitness AppApple Fitness PlusYes
Taptic Map GuideYesNo

3. Apple Watch Series 7 charges in half the time than Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. Just an 8 mins charge before bedtime, and the Apple Watch 7 can last 8 hours for sleep tracking.

4. We have searched around and double-checked our Samsung Galaxy Active 2, but we could not find any application for VO2max that uses a blood oxygen sensor. The Apple Watch 7 has a clear advantage for having this sensor, which is especially useful for self-monitoring during the current pandemic.

Whether or not any of the new Apple Watch applications is useful will depend on the individual lifestyle. We are going to briefly mention the Fitness Plus and Taptic Map Guide which find interesting, but they are best explained by watching the presentation from the Apple Event.

The new Apple Watch 7 apps also seem to be much more advanced than the older Samsung Galaxy Active 2.

Apple Watch 7 does have one drawback when compared to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2, which is the missing blood pressure measurement function. 

We tested the blood pressure sensor on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 and find that it is close to the results from a standalone, medical-grade Omron blood pressure monitor. Nevertheless, the watch is not a medical device and is not a substitute especially if anyone has a history of high blood pressure. The blood pressure app also requires periodic calibration, which the app will highlight when the time comes.

Our Verdict[tie_index]Our Verdict[/tie_index]

Basing on the available specifications, it is already obvious that the Apple Watch 7 is definitely much more superior to the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.

However, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is still relevant and useful with all the features such as sports HRM, with IP68, ECG, blood pressure sensor capabilities. Since the watch is out of warranty, there is no reason to replace it unless it has malfunctioned or is damaged beyond repair. In such an event then it would be a perfect excuse to buy the Apple Watch 7.

As a user for two years, I have to say that the Samsung Galaxy Active 2 has served me very well for thousands of miles ran. Some other gadgets cost just as much and do not even last more than 6 months.

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