Today, smartwatches are engines that hold a large number of features. In recent years, many smartwatches have turned to wellness and health, and the Samsung Active2 and the Fitbit Sense are two of the newcomers to this line. Fitbit Sense is one of Fitbit’s expensive and feature-rich smartwatches this year and brings several new sensors. On the flip side, the name says it all for the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2. Released in 2019, this fitness-focused smartwatch delivers a punch when it comes to smart features and tracking your fitness level.
For around $ 329, the Fitbit Sense surely packs a ton of features. For one thing, you can get your ECG readings, or measure blood oxygen levels, or check your body temperature.
Although the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 supported SpO2 and ECG monitoring earlier, these features were made available through OTAs in the second half of 2020. Therefore, it makes sense to compare these two watches smart fitness-focused devices and see which one best fits your list of needs. .
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Design, display and fit
Let’s start with the design of the Fitbit Sense. The Sense resembles the look of last year’s Versa 2. Only this time it is thinner and the edges are rounded to give a new and unique look. It looks like a modern smartwatch. And the thin aluminum ring that surrounds the edge helps its case.
The good thing about the rounded design is that now the edges no longer dig into your wrist which makes it easier to exercise or workout. Most importantly, it’s lightweight and won’t weigh you down even when you sleep with the watch on.
This time, Fitbit has redesigned the way the bracelet connects to the watch. Now all you have to do is remove the quick release buttons to remove the strap and that’s about it. No rocking drama in this one. Although the Sense series bracelet looks stylish, it is impractical to use in real life thanks to its infinite buckle. In addition, the original strap is a bit more rigid. Fortunately, there are plenty of third-party straps that you swap the original with.
Interestingly, the Fitbit Sense packs a bright display, and the best part about it is its sunlight readability. So even if you watch messages or check your step count in broad daylight, you will be able to do so. As for the specs, it packs a 1.58-inch AMOLED display. It’s fast and responds quickly to keys, which was an issue with last year’s Versa 2.
Unlike the square design of the Fitbit Sense, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 has the characteristic round shape. The smartwatch has a digital rotating bezel that allows you to browse all widgets or easily scroll through all menus and settings in the app. The lack of physical bezel makes it look slim and fine, you don’t have to worry about the bezel sticking to your hoodie or sweatshirt.
Unlike the thick design of the Galaxy Watch 3, the Galaxy Watch Active2 is thin and light, making it a snap to wear all day long and even when you sleep.
Samsung has always been big on screens, and this smartwatch is no different. The AMOLED display is large and bright, making it easy to see even in daylight. The best part is, like the Fitbit Sense, this one also comes with brightness controls.
Unlike the Sense’s single button, this one comes with two buttons – Home and Back.
When it comes to comfort, the original silicone strap is not as comfortable as some of the third-party silicone bands, mainly due to the lack of perforations (just like the Sense). Fortunately, they can be easily replaced with a real sports band. It is durable and has a solid construction. I’ve been wearing mine for almost a year now and can say the frame is strong enough to withstand accidental brushes with door frames or seat handles.
Battery life is one of the important characteristics of any rechargeable wireless device. In fact, it is one of the main factors that decide the fate of a device. Compared to traditional fitness trackers, the battery life is less, mainly due to the culmination of all sensors, smart Always On Display (AOD) features and watch faces.
Still, the Fitbit Sense doesn’t disappoint and offers approximately 4.5 days of battery life (with AOD disabled). With AOD enabled, you will get a little over a day. Battery life may increase if you decide to turn off AOD. But, that steals the real intent of smartwatches.
The same goes with the Galaxy Watch Active2. If you turn on all the cool features like Always On Display, Wi-Fi, or have a colorful and fancy watch face, the battery can barely last two days before needing to be recharged.
And as expected, the watch’s battery may take a longer hit if you keep the GPS on for a long time.
With the Fitbit Sense, Fitbit has thankfully eliminated the retro charging style. The odds clips are now replaced by a proprietary magnetic charger, similar to that of the Galaxy Watch Active2. The only problem with proprietary chargers is that you have to carry them around every time you travel. And in case of loss, you will have to buy a new one.
ECG readings, stress monitoring, etc.
So how good is the new Fitbit Sense in its tracking? And more importantly, what can he follow?
As stated earlier, this watch can monitor your blood oxygen level (important in a time like this), measure your stress level and skin temperature, or record your ECG.
One of the main differences between the two watches is the way they measure stress and SpO2. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, you can measure this on demand. All you have to do is go to the specific widget, press the button and the watch will start working.
However, the Fitbit Sense works a little differently. It measures your blood oxygen levels at night and shows you the results after you wake up.
For stress management, the Sense doesn’t just rely on heart rate monitoring like the Galaxy Watch Active2. Instead, the Sense also uses its EDA (Electro-Dermal Activity) sensor to measure your body’s sweat markers. The results are based on these two factors. Additionally, you can also see your stress scores. However, for this you will have to wear the watch everywhere.
The same can be said of temperature monitoring. It should be noted that the Galaxy Watch Active2 does not have temperature tracking.
However, where the Galaxy Watch Active2 excels is when it comes to activity tracking. It offers a multitude of exercise modes and follows them fairly precisely. What’s more, auto-tracking is activated once it detects that you are walking, cycling, swimming for more than 10 minutes. Once done, it records statistics like calories burned and minutes spent in the diary.
Apart from the above, both watches also allow you to track your sleep and check VO2 Max stats after your workouts.
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So how smart are these smartwatches? For starters, Samsung’s smartwatch not only allows you to check incoming texts and Whatsapp messages, but also allows you to reply to them through your phone. Moreover, you can also add your personalized messages or use the voice-to-text feature. This one works consistently on iOS and Android.
For Sense, you can reply to messages on Android. However, this function is missing in iOS. On the other hand, you can take calls directly from your smartwatch (if your phone is nearby), just like the Galaxy Watch Active2.
The integration of Google Assistant makes a lot of things easier in the watch. For example, it can display your scores or start a workout via voice commands. All you have to do is trigger it.
Taming the tracker
So far, the two smartwatches have a lot of common and unusual ground. So which one should you choose?
If you need a watch that is an extension of your phone, the Galaxy Watch Active2 is a good choice. This bundles the essential smart features like notifications, the ability to reply to messages, check your calendars and reminders, stream your favorite Spotify playlists, and more. What’s more, it can also track your activities, stress level, fall detection, which motivates you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Plus, seamless connectivity and syncing is added to the list if you already own a Samsung phone.
Considering today’s time, if you’re looking for more advanced tracking, the Fitbit Sense makes more sense (see what I did there?). Yes, it’s a bit pricey, but you get detailed information about your health and fitness. While most of the data is free, you’ll need a premium account if you want to dig deeper.
The Fitbit Premium account costs around $ 10 per month and gives you more access to stress data, advanced heart rate monitoring, meditation features, and more. However, detailed stats on stress and SpO2 won’t help your case unless you’re a healthcare professional who knows your habits in the data.
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Last updated on Dec 17, 2020
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