When it comes to smartwatches you can be forgiven for getting a little confused by all the variations of models available.
Even within the same make of smartwatch, there are different models to consider. For the purposes of this article, we will look at the 44mm Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Bluetooth model compared to the LTE edition.
We’ve also included a useful Jargon Buster as aspects of our discussion have technical terms which you might not be familiar with.
Released in September 2019, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is considered to be one of the most popular smartwatches out there, especially amongst Samsung/Andriod users.
The biggest difference between the two models is their connectivity. The Bluetooth model can make calls and receive text messages via your smartphone, whereas the LTE version (which also has Bluetooth) can receive text messages and make calls independently of your smartphone.
In a nutshell, this means that a smartwatch with LTE capabilities is like a small smartphone in that it can make/receive calls and text messages without having to first be connected to your smartphone.
Both versions of the Galaxy Watch Active 2 have the exact same appearance and share nearly all the same features. So if you’re thinking of picking up either one then you won’t be missing out if either of these points is a deal-breaker.
Despite the fact that both versions of the Galaxy Watch Active 2 have the exact same appearance, the Bluetooth-only model is made out of aluminum whereas the Bluetooth +LTE model is made from stainless steel.
If the material of the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is an important point to consider then it is worth noting that the Bluetooth-only version ships with a fluoroelastomer strap. Whereas the Bluetooth + LTE version comes with a leather strap.
Key Features Of The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (44mm)
Whilst the biggest difference between the Galaxy Watch Active 2 Bluetooth and LTE models is their connectivity there are also some minor differences. Some of these differences, like RAM, are directly connected to the connectivity of each model.
LTE capabilities require slightly more RAM to function correctly.
The LTE model ships with an eSim, which, as mentioned earlier, allows you to make/receive calls and texts without needing your smartphone.
The Bluetooth-only version connects to your smartphone either via Bluetooth when you’re out and about, or via your home WiFi network when both devices are at home with you, and in range of WiFi.
In terms of the type of smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 Bluetooth falls into the category of Fitness/Classic smartwatches. Whereas the Galaxy Active 2 LTE version is more of a Standalone/Fitness smartwatch.
This has very little impact on the overall look and feel of both devices, it’s more to do with the functionality.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is considered Unisex and is available in six different colors including black, gold, and pink-gold. Both the Bluetooth and Bluetooth + LTE versions of the Galaxy Watch Active 2 boast a minimal, modern look and feel.
The original Samsung Galaxy Watch came with a rotating bezel whereas the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 features a digital bezel with exceptionally good haptic feedback.
Whilst the Bluetooth + LTE model ships with 1.5GB of RAM, both versions have 4GB of storage. Bearing in mind that with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2’s operating system and pre-installed apps you should expect the actual storage capacity to be around 1.5GB.
As mentioned above, both versions of the Galaxy Watch Active 2 have virtually the same features. The most important things like fitness tracking, music streaming, WiFi connectivity, and NFC are present on both versions.
Side By Side Specs
The key specs of the Galaxy Watch Active Series 2 Bluetooth only and Bluetooth + LTE can be found below.
|Specs||Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (44mm) Bluetooth Only||Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (44mm) Bluetooth + LTE|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth||Bluetooth + LTE|
|Weight||30 grams (without straps)||42 grams (without straps)|
|Screen Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass DX+||Corning Gorilla Glass DX+|
|Cellular Connectivity||None||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|GPS||Yes (GPS/GLONASS/BEIDOU)||Yes (GPS/GLONASS/BEIDOU)|
|Display Size||1.4 inches||1.4 inches|
Pros And Cons
Admittedly, it’s a little difficult to see how either device could have a pros and cons list, seeing as though they are both virtually identical. With this in mind, the following pros and cons are summative, and reflect both devices as a whole:
- Excellent 2-day battery life
- Modern and minimalist design for the discerning smartwatch wearer in all of us
- The digital dial’s haptic control feature is excellent
- Very few third-party apps can be installed on the Galaxy Watch Active 2
- Considering the differences between the original Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 – it might not be worth upgrading.
We’ve included a handy Jargon Buster section because, well, they’re always useful.
LTE: Stands for Long Term Evolution. It’s usually referred to as 4G LTE as LTE is a particular kind of 4G. In terms of speed, LTE sits between 3G and true 4G.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a form of short-range wireless technology. Using high-frequency radio waves for interconnection between smartphones, smartwatches, and many other devices.
RAM: Stands for Random Access Memory. In a nutshell, it’s used to store short-term memory data. This means that a device with a higher RAM capacity can do more tasks with greater ease.
eSim: A small chip inside the smartphone/smartwatch that is just like a regular SIM card. It’s embedded directly into the device so you don’t need to insert a physical SIM card.
In the end, it comes down to what your specific requirements are. Both the Bluetooth and the Bluetooth + LTE versions are solid choices.
If you need a smartwatch that is capable of being used completely independently of your smartphone, then the Bluetooth + LTE model would be your best choice.
Bearing in mind also that, ideally, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 pairs better with Android smartphones than Apple iOS smartphones.