An official render of Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 has leaked. This gives us the best glimpse so far on what the new device will look like.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The original watch was announced in February. The successor to the Gear Sport is a sportier take on the Galaxy Watch. The stylish device is smaller than its predecessor, lighter and comes without the trademark bezel. It monitors the standard gamut of metrics thanks to a built-in heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope. Around the clock stress tracking is on this list and, and so is blood pressure monitoring via an experimental app.
To remind, we’ve already had a few images of the new watch. They came courtesy of some investigative work from the folks over at SamMobile. Now they’ve supplied us with what they say is the first official render.
Samsung is not straying from the tried and tested design formula of the current version. The trademark bezel will not make a return and instead you’ll need to navigate the device via the touchscreen and physical buttons. The company is choosing the go down this route in order to retain the comfort and small form-factor of the watch.
There are some design tweaks in store but nothing majorly different. The home/power button is round instead of rectangular and there’s a red circle around it. The back of the watch has also received a revamp, and will have a circular rim around the heart rate sensor.
If you take a closer look at the image, there is a tiny hole between the two physical buttons. This is most likely a microphone hole that comes in addition to what appear to be speaker grills on the other side.
More interestingly, it looks like Samsung will add size choices this time around. The current Galaxy Watch Active only comes in a 40mm variant, whereas Galaxy Watch comes in a choice between 42mm and 46mm variants. When it launches Galaxy Watch Active 2 will also come in two sizes – 40mm and 44mm.
Some color options for the watch are already known. You’ll be able to choose between black, silver, and gold at minimum.
Unfortunately there’s little info yet on what’s under the hood. What is known, is that there will be an LTE variant in addition to the standard Wi-Fi version. The first will come packing a 340 mAh battery, the second a 237 mAh one. The current iteration comes with a 230mAh battery that keeps the thing going for around 45 hours (90 hours low usage). This would indicate we can expect similar battery life of the second generation watch.
The watch is expected to run on version 1.5 of One UI. Samsung’s existing watches come with version 1.0. Other info that is currently known is that the watches will carry 4GB of internal storage, the same as the current edition.
This year seems to be the year that ECG is becoming mainstream. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 will reportedly be able to measure the electrical activity of your heart, in addition to knowing if you’ve taken a bit of a tumble.
It all started with the Apple Watch Series 4 in September last year. The device came with a number of novel health features including an ECG sensor, high and low heart rate alerts, fall detection, the ability to spot atrial fibrillation and more.
The headline grabbing feature, of course, was the ECG sensor. To take a measurement users simply need to rest a finger against the digital crown while wearing the watch. This creates a closed circuit between the digital crown and the sensor on the back.
At the start of this year, Withings announced that it is bringing this type of functionality to Move ECG. This will make it the world’s first analog watch capable of recording an electrocardiogram. At the time Withings said the hybrid would be available in Q2. However, the French outfit is still working on securing approval from the FDA, so the launch will be slightly delayed.
We then learned that Amazfit Verge 2 will come with the sensor, in addition to full network eSim support. The watch has been released in China but is yet to make it across the border.
Finally, a couple of weeks ago Xiaomi announced it is crowdfunding an ECG equipped fitness tracking shirt, that will cost just $28 when it launches. The garment also monitors your activity, heart rate, breathing rate and more.
According to SamMobile, the next in line to inherit the ECG sensor is the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. The ECG sensors will work in conjunction with a smartphone app, which will display their heart rhythm as well as any abnormalities. This includes irregular, rapid or skipped heartbeat. Users will then have the option to share the data with their doctor for a second opinion.
But that’s not all. The watch will also borrow Apple’s fall detection feature. If the device determines the wearer has taken a tumble, it will vibrate and display an alert on the screen. You will then have the option to contact emergency services or dismiss the alert. If there is no response from the user, the watch will automatically dial emergency services for you and notify your emergency contacts.
To remind, Galaxy Watch Active only launched four months ago. With Samsung’s Unpacked 2019 event just around the corner, it would be too much of a stretch to expect to see its successor on August 7th. While 2019 remains a distinct possibility, our guess is that a post-spring 2020 unveiling is probably more likely.
The link to Unpacked invite says that the launch will “take the Galaxy’s connected ecosystem to the next level”. So we could see a smartwatch reveal. But a successor to Galaxy Watch seems much more likely. Particularly as the first generation device launched at last year’s event.
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