samsung galaxy watch active vs galaxy watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Galaxy Watch Active – What’s the Difference?

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Last Updated on August 20, 2020 by Jude Simeone

The new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is not a successor to the popular Samsung Galaxy watch, but they both share a whole lot of similarities in common and spots differences mainly in the design. It comes in smaller moderate case size and just as the name suggests its fitness-focused making it a familiar choice for both fitness enthusiasts and people with smaller wrists. In this comparison between the Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Galaxy Watch Active, we compare the specs and features of these two head-to-head to help you make the best choice.

Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Galaxy Watch Active Specifications Compared

 Samsung Galaxy WatchSamsung Galaxy Watch Active
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 vs Galaxy Watch vs Gear S3samsung galaxy watch active comparison


4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
3.3 out of 5 stars (3.3 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)
4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)


<strong>Check at Amazon</strong>Check at Amazon<strong>Check at Amazon</strong>Check at Amazon


Device nameSamsung Galaxy WatchSamsung Galaxy Watch Active
Device typeClassic/Fitness/Standalone smartwatchClassic/Fitness smartwatch
PredessesorSamsung Gear S3__
Successor--Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Released dateAugust, 2018March, 2018
Ideal forMen (46mm)
Women (42mm)
Women (Also a great choice for men)


Display typeSuper AMOLED
Full color
Full color
Display size1.3 inch (46mm)
1.2 inch (42mm)
1.1 inch
Display resolution360 x 360 pixels360 x 360 pixels
Pixel density278 ppi463 ppi
Input typeTouchscreen,
2 physical buttons
physical rotating bezel
2 physical buttons


Dimension41.9 x 45.7 x 12.7 mm (42mm)
46 x 49 x 13 mm (46mm)
39.5 x 39.5 x 10.5 mm
Weight63 grams (46mm)
49 grams (42mm)
23 grams (without straps)
Casing materialStainless steel/glass reinforced with polycarbonateStainless steel/glass reinforced with polycarbonate
Strap/band materialSilicone
(leather straps also available)
Silicone (leather straps also available)
Bezel MaterialCeramicsCeramics
Strap size22 mm (46mm)
20 mm (42mm)
Screen protectionCorning Gorilla glass DX+Corning Gorilla glass 4
Water resistant/ProtectionYes, IP68, 5ATM
Yes, IP68, 5ATM
Swim-proofYes, recommendedYes, recommended
Color(s)Black, silver, rose-goldBlack, silver, rose-gold and green


0.75GB (non-LTE)
Internal storage4GB4GB
Memory card slotNoNo


BluetoothBluetooth v4.2Bluetooth smart v4.2 LE
Bluetooth callingYesYes


BandGSM 850/900/1800
WCDMA B1/2/5


Email alertYesYes
SMS alertYesYes
Calls alertYesYes
Event reminderYesYes
Third-party appsYesYes


Sleep apneaNoNo
Sleep trackingYesYes
Floors climbedYesYes
Heart rate monitoringYesYes
VO2 Max.YesYes
Blood oxygenNoNo
Blood pressureNoNo
Menstrual cycle trackingNoNo
Swim trackingYesYes
Under-water heart rate trackingNoNo
Preloaded mapsYesNo
On-screen workout modesNoNo
Triathlon modeYesYes
ECG TrackingNoNo
Preloaded sport modesYesYes
Safety trackingNoNo


Music streamingYesYes
Bluetooth musicYesYes


Heart rate monitor (HRM)YesYes
Gyroscope YesYes
Ambient lightYesYes
Pulse OximeterNoNo
Other sensors----


Operating system (OS)Tizen OS 4.0Tizen OS 4.0
ChipsetExynos 9110Exynos 9110
CPUDual core 1.15GHzDual core 1.15GHz


Type of batteryNon-removable Li-ion batteryNon-removable Li-ion battery
Battery capacity 472mAh (46mm)
270mAh (42mm)
Battery lifeStandby :5 days+,
Mixed usage: 3 days+
Standby :5 days+,
Mixed usage: 2 days+
Charging typeCharging dockWPC based wireless charging
Charging timeAbout 1-2 hoursAbout 1-2 hours
Battery saver modeYesYes
Solar powerNoNo
Rapid charging__




Control cameraYesYes
Music controlYesYes
Find phoneYesYes
Text responseYesYes


Payment systemSamsung paySamsung pay
Compatibility Android 5.0+ & RAM 1.5GB+
iPhone 5+ and iOS 9.0+
Android 5.0+ & RAM 1.5GB+
iPhone 5+ and iOS 9.0+
Companion appSamsung Gear appSamsung Gear app
Customizable watch faceYesYes
Interchangeable band Yes, 22mm/20mmYes, 20mm
Voice commandYesYes


Samsung Galaxy WatchSamsung Galaxy Watch Active
StrapsSmall and large straps
ChargerWireless charger
Quick start guideQuick start guide
NOTE: We can't guarantee that all the information on this table are 100% correct. Read full disclaimer. Please, report an error.
Official Site

Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Galaxy Watch Active Features Compared

What is The Difference?

The difference between the Samsung Galaxy watch and the new Galaxy Watch Active comes mainly in the design – The new Galaxy watch active has a smaller case, smaller display size, but lacks the physical rotating bezel and cellular connectivity support and loudspeaker present on the Galaxy Watch. The Galaxy Watch Active now has a digital rotating bezel just like it’s successor, Active 2.

  • Design and Display
  • The design of the Galaxy watch Active is very stylish and elegant, the same goes for the Galaxy Watch, only that the Galaxy watch Active has a smaller 40mm case size compared to 42mm and 46mm.

    It looks more like Samsung did take into consideration complaints from customers who felt the 46mm case size was quite two bulky for some wrists. With the Galaxy Watch Active, a whole lot more consumers will find it a familiar choice as it’s nowhere near anything bulky neither is it too small. Although, I personally like the Galaxy Watch.

    Super AMOLED powers the display on both smartwatches with the Galaxy Watch Active having a smaller 1.1 inches interface compared to the Galaxy Watch with 1.2 inches (42mm) and 1.3 inches (46mm) respectively. Although, I find the 1.1 inches display too small and might be a bit difficult to read for some people.

    The Galaxy Watch Active is very slim too, it’s slimmer than the Galaxy watch. It measures just 10.5mm (one of the slimmest smartwatches) compared to 12.7mm of the Galaxy Watch which is quite thick. This makes the Galaxy Watch Active a sleeker and more comfortable choice.

    While the Galaxy Watch has a physical rotating bezel I love so much, the Galaxy Active has a digital rotating bezel.

    The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is also lighter in weight compared to the Galaxy Watch. It weighs just 23 grams without the straps compared to the Galaxy watch 63 grams (46mm). This further makes the Galaxy Watch Active a better choice to wear for sporting activities and a more comfortable wear all day long. You’d probably forget you wearing it.

  • Battery Life
  • The Galaxy Watch Active comes with smaller battery capacity, but that doesn’t translate to a significant difference in battery life when compared to the Galaxy watch which has 472mAh for the 46mm model and 270mAh for the 42mm. In fact, Samsung stated that on regular usage, the Galaxy Watch Active would last up to 2 days or more.

    That’s almost the same battery life with the Galaxy watch which has 2- 4 days of battery life on regular usage. Besides, these two still got an impressive battery life that allows you to go a full day from a single charge. You still will have to charge any of these at least once every day to stay connected.

  • Cellular Connectivity
  • The new Galaxy Watch Active doesn’t support cellular connectivity like the Galaxy watch which means it’s not a standalone smartwatch. And you can’t make or receive calls from the Galaxy Active because it lacks loudspeaker.

  • Fitness Tracking
  • The Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy watch have same sensors onboard, both support 39 sport modes and can track your activities which includes; steps, sleep, heart rate, food intake, sedentary reminder, calories and more. However, the Galaxy Watch Active will be the first Samsung smartwatch that’s able to monitor blood pressure (not approved yet).

    The Galaxy Watch Active is able to detect blood pressure via the My BP Lab App developed in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco, and will be available for download from the 15th of March.

Which is Better?

There is a clear demarcation between these two, both are classic smartwatches and are fitness-focused, but one has the aesthetics that better fulfills the criteria of a fitness smartwatch. One of those criteria is the lightweight design of the Galaxy Active.

Apart from the lack of support for cellular connectivity, the Galaxy Watch Active is cheaper, has a more compact design that is more stylish and sleeker making it a better choice for women and those with a smaller wrist. It is lightweight, a fair battery life plus the ability to detect blood pressure. It’s a great bargain.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Watch is a more comprehensive smartwatch with support for cellular connections. If you really need the standalone capabilities, then, of course, it’s a fantastic choice as it’s been tested and confirmed by thousands of customers, but it will cost you an additional $100 to acquire. Moreover, the Galaxy Watch has a loudspeaker that enables you to make and receive calls on the Bluetooth model via Bluetooth connectivity to your phone and it also has a longer battery life than Galaxy Active.

Here is a summary;

SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH A more comprehensive choice, a great deal for men. It gives the best value for money.
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH ACTIVE The best choice for women, stylish design with moderate sized case and is cheaper.
Our Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active has a very stylish design, its sleek and lightweight, has a fair battery life plus enormous fitness tracking features all for a moderate price. However, I go with the Galaxy Watch, it’s design intrigues me.

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