Choosing a smartwatch to fit your needs is no small feat. There are so many great options out there, including the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 from Samsung.
If you’ve narrowed down your options to these two smartwatches, good job! They’re both incredible smartwatches with awesome features. But what exactly is different about the two and how do you decide which one to purchase? We’ll go over all of that in this article and help you pick your next smartwatch.
Galaxy Watch 3 vs. Active 2 Design
One of the biggest differences when looking at the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and the Active 2 is how they look. Although this might not be the only deciding factor, your smartwatch will be on your wrist a lot so it’s important to choose one you like the look of.
The Galaxy Watch 3 is larger than the Active 2 and has more of a traditional watch design. It has a physical rotating bezel on top of the display and two buttons on the side.
You can choose between various leather-like bands to customize the look of your smartwatch. Or, you can also go for a silicone band, similar to the Active 2 band, if you like the sportier, more flexible feel.
As its name suggests, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is intended for more active use, and has a much sleeker, more signature smartwatch design. It has a touch-sensitive bezel around the face and is slimmer than the Galaxy Watch 3. Similar to the Galaxy Watch 3, the Active 2 also has two buttons on the side, but they are smaller.
The Active 2 comes with silicone bands that make this watch comfortable throughout the day and especially while working out.
Galaxy Watch 3 vs. Active 2 Specs
The specs of the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Active 2 are very similar, with the main difference being more storage on the Watch 3.
Both watches run using the Exynos 9110 dual-core processor. They also both come with GPS, the same set of sensors, and use Samsung’s Tizen operating system. Both watches even have the potential for LTE connectivity, which we’ll get into more later.
One of the biggest differences between these two Samsung smartwatches is the amount of storage included. The Active 2 offers only 4GB of storage, whereas the Galaxy Watch 3 offers 8GB. With double the storage, you can really turn your smartwatch into an extension of your phone, and easily go places without your phone.
The Galaxy Watch 3’s larger model has a 340mAh battery and the smaller model has a 247mAh battery. The larger and smaller models of the Active 2 have the same batteries.
So it’s all going to come down to how you use your smartwatch. The battery in the Galaxy Watch 3 is probably going to run down a lot faster than the Active 2 because you’re doing a lot more on your smartwatch.
Galaxy Watch 3 vs. Active 2 Features
With both smartwatches, you’ll get heart rate monitoring, sports and activity tracking, and trip detection. You can get smartphone notifications to both smartwatches too.
Although the Galaxy Watch 3 will be able to give you info about your run or your workout, you’ll get more with the Active 2. The Galaxy Active 2 has advanced running metrics and a built-in running coach to help you get the most out of your workouts.
The Galaxy Watch 3 doesn’t have specific running features, but it comes with 39 different sports modes and has more features overall. It comes with sleep tracking so you can see your sleeping patterns and even tell how much REM sleep you’re getting every night.
The Galaxy Watch 3 can also take an ECG, and measure your blood pressure and blood oxygen level.
Galaxy Watch 3 vs. Active 2 LTE Connectivity
If you’re not sure what LTE is, it stands for Long Term Evolution and it’s a high-speed wireless cellular network that’s the foundation for 4G. If you want your smartwatch to function more effectively away your smartphone so you can leave your phone at home, you’ll want 4G LTE connectivity.
LTE is an optional extra. With both the Active 2 and the Galaxy Watch 3, you can get LTE connectivity through phone providers like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the US, and other major carriers worldwide.
Or, if you don’t think you want to splurge on LTE connectivity, you can choose to get a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi only model of either the Active 2 or the Galaxy Watch 3.
Both watches work with Android (including non-Samsung) phones and iPhones.
Galaxy Watch 3 vs. Active 2 Price
The pricing isn’t super different between the two watches, depending on which features and specs you go for.
For the Galaxy Watch 3:
- Pricing starts at $ 399 for the 41mm model that comes with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
- For the 45mm model with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, pricing starts at $ 429.
- For either size model, it’s a $ 50 increase to add 4G LTE coverage; so the 41mm model pricing starts at $ 399 and the 45mm model pricing starts at $ 429.
- If you want to spring for the Titanium model, there’s only a 45mm size option and pricing starts at $ 599.
For the Active 2:
- Pricing starts at $ 249 for the 40mm model that comes with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
- For the 44mm model with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, pricing starts at $ 269.
- For either size model, it’s a $ 30 increase to add 4G LTE coverage; so the 40mm model pricing starts at $ 279 and the 44mm model pricing starts at $ 299.
- If you want the Golf Edition of the Active 2, it doesn’t offer a 4G LTE option so you’ll only be able to get Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity; the 40mm model starts at $ 299 and the 44mm model starts at $ 319.
Which Samsung Galaxy Watch Should You Buy?
The differences between the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 are minimal, so you’re not going to miss out on major features if you go with either one over the other. The Watch 3 is the flagship, so will be the default choice for many.
So what other factors should you consider before you buy?
If You Want to Save a Little Money
Although the price gap between the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and Watch 3 isn’t super different, it’s still a deciding factor. The cheapest model of the Active 2 is about $ 150 less expensive than the cheapest model of the Galaxy Watch 3. So if you want to spend a little less money on your smartwatch, go for the Active 2.
If You Want the Latest Tech
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is the latest in Samsung’s series of smartwatches, so if you want to be up to date with the newest model, go for that. Although it’s not too different internally from the Active 2, it does have more storage and a few more nifty features.
If You Want a Smartwatch for Working Out
Do you want to use your smartwatch to help push you further on your daily runs? Then get the Galaxy Active 2. It comes with a built-in running coach and advanced running metrics that will help you get the most out of your runs and improve for your next ones.
If You Want a Classic-Looking Watch
Is a physical bezel important to you? Do you want a smartwatch that looks like a more traditional watch? Then go for the Galaxy Watch 3. You can customize the leather-like bands and even get silicone bands if you want, but it looks more like a classic watch than the Active 2 does.
If You Want a Sports Watch
If you want a smartwatch that looks and feels like a comfortable running watch, stick with the Galaxy Active 2.
Enjoy Your New Smartwatch
Although we can’t choose a smartwatch for you, hopefully this list has helped you figure out which one is right for you. Whether you decide to get the Galaxy Watch 3 or the Galaxy Watch Active 2, make sure you enjoy your new piece of tech and learn all of its features.
Once you get your smartwatch, check out which apps are the best to download and have at the ready on your wrist.