Before I begin, I would like to put together my forts & barracks while bracing myself from virtual assaults as I dive deep into this controversial, highly debatable, riveting, “unsolved” topic. However you name it, this will just be a detailed comparison between the two smartwatches, with a twist.
I frankly believe both watches are outstanding in their own right. However, I’ll be using a few categories to group the watches to define their suitability after my comparison. These categories are; “The Sports Junkie”, “The Workaholic”, “The Tech-Geek” and “The Minimalist”.
This article will also be comparing the latest Apple Watch Series 5 with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.
Girding my loins, here goes nothing.
Apple Watch Series 5
Ah.. here’s our first contender. One of the most highly anticipated gadgets of 2019 is without a doubt, The Series 5. After months of release, however, there have been many reviews regarding the worthiness of upgrading from the Series 4. The majority does so anyway due to Apple’s ceaseless reliability thus far.
The difference? The Series 5 features 3 notable differences compared to Series 4 and they are;
This is probably the biggest feature you can ask for when you are considering to upgrade your Apple Watch. No more waiting for that split second for the display to flicker on when you raise your wrist because in this day and age, who’s got the time, right?
If you worry about the battery, Apple has taken that into consideration and only switch the display to full brightness when you raise your wrist or tap the screen, the legibility of the former is still good though. The battery life is still debatable which we will talk more about it later on.
Adventurers rejoice! as now you can leave your 206 BC compass back at home. This will be the first Apple Watch to have the compass feature. It may be a minor upgrade but it serves a huge purpose. The compass will show your incline, elevation, latitude and longitude.
Most Apple users would’ve thought that the new Series 5 would come with an improved battery life just like how every new model of iPhone would have. Apple claimed that the Series 5 would achieve a minimum of 18 hours of usage per charge, however, some users were faced with power longevity issues.
There were some debates over whether this issue was caused by the always-on display and many users have been troubleshooting it by disabling this feature. The results were minimal but Apple responded by releasing the new WatchOS 6.1 and it has greatly improved the battery life of the watch since then.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Unquestionably, the everlasting rival of Apple has released its latest smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch Active 2. Right off the bat, the biggest difference compared to the Series 5 would be the rounded shape, this can actually make one’s decision on which watch he’ll go for as I personally know people who only prefer rounded watches.
Leaving predilection aside, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is classified as a “fitness wearable” and as its name suggests it provides comprehensive exercise tracking features which we will discuss in minutes to come.
The watch comes with many of Samsung’s dedicated watch faces just like Apple and if you find the list of selection too little, you are able to download a wider selection of faces from third-party applications. As good as it sounds, this is actually the downside of the Active 2 with limited applications available.
Looking at some of the things that matters most, let’s talk battery.
The Active 2 has an astonishing battery life of up to 60 hours depending on your usage and whether the always-on display is enabled. Even when it is enabled, it boasts a 24 hours of capacity as compared to Series 5’s 18 hours.
This watch also offers a touch bezel which helps you to circulate between apps in the watch in the fastest time which contributes to the ease of usage.
Workouts & Sleep Tracking
An interesting feature the Active 2 provides is a built-in running coach where it prompts you visually or through your ear if you are going faster or slower based on the type of workout you choose. This helps to give you a benchmark on the suitable pace you should be running in order to meet your training requirements. Other types of exercise tracking include walking, swimming, cycling, dynamic workouts to even rowing!
The ability to track the quality and duration of your sleep is also a compelling feature as this is not found in the Series 5.
Tracking of your workouts and sleep aside, Samsung is also currently working on the development of the Electrocardiogram (ECG) feature of the watch which news has just been released that they will be delaying the launch while it was initially promised to be available in the first quarter of 2020.
Specifications & Price
Taking things down to the nitty-gritty we will now look at both of the watches’ specifications and pricing after discussing what unique ostentatious features they offer.
Apple Watch Series 5
Size: 44mm / 40mm
Resolution: 977 sq mm / 759 sq mm
Processor: 64-bit dual-core S5 processor
Display: LTPO OLED Always-On Retina display with Force Touch, 1000 nits brightness
WiFi: 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz
Samsung Galaxy Active 2
Size: 44mm / 40mm
Resolution: 360 x 360
Processor: Exynos 9110 processor
Capacity: 1.5GB Memory, 4GB Internal Storage
Display: 1.2 Inch AMOLED Display
With both watches offering a striking degree of quality and features, it can be a great deal of effort to pick between the 2, therefore, I will be categorising the watches into the 4 categories mentioned at the beginning of the article and they are done in the most unbiased manner, entirely based on the features of the watches.
The Sports Junkie
With the number of exercises you can track with the Samsung Galaxy Active 2, built-in running coach and the additional feature of a sleep tracker, I reckon we can all agree that the Active 2 belongs to this category. (Or is it just me)
The design of the watch matters in this category as you would need a convenient layout to review your emails and notifications. Taking that into consideration, I will be giving this spot to the Apple Watch Series 5 due to its slightly elongated squarish design which can actually display more notifications compared to the Active 2.
When you see the word “tech” you would expect the latest technology available with the most accessible features. Due to the limited third-party applications Active 2 is entitled to, it would have to give the position to the Series 5 as the applications available are endless compared to the former.
With a hassle-free design approach, the touch bezel on the Active 2 provides a quick, foolproof way for you to flow through your desired applications. This notable feature screams convenience and simplicity which crowns the Active 2 into this final category.
It is heavily dependent on the purpose you are using the watches for and this could provide a clear contrast on which is suitable for you. Nevertheless, both Apple and Samsung have done a great job to cater the watches for its specific purpose which is to reduce friction in everyday life and with that, I take my hat off to them.
Check out our articles here!