Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Active 2: Which Should You Buy in 2023?

I‘ve owned Samsung smartwatches for years and even I was blown away when I first strapped on the new Galaxy Watch 4 released in 2021. The buttery smooth performance, vibrant display and advanced health tracking represent a huge leap over my aging Galaxy Watch Active 2.

But with both watches still sold today at different prices, you might be wondering just where those key differences lie across these two popular models. Read on as I break down how they stack up based on first-hand experience across core metrics like design, software, sensors and battery benchmarks.

At a Glance: Watch 4 Delivers Major Upgrades

Let‘s kick things off by seeing where both these watches sit regarding pricing and capabilities:

Galaxy Watch Active 2 – Sporty smartwatch that starts at $230. Runs on Samsung‘s own Tizen OS.

Galaxy Watch 4 – Flagship model powered by Google‘s Wear OS. Starts at $250.

So right off the bat, we‘re looking at a small $20 premium for the newer Galaxy Watch 4. Now let‘s analyze whether those extra dollars also deliver meaningful upgrades across the board over the aging Active 2.

case#riseSleekCurved vs. Sharp Sporty Design

![Galaxy Watch 4]( =250x) ![Galaxy Watch Active 2]( =250x)

Galaxy Watch 4 (left) sports more rugged look vs sleeker Active 2 (right). Image Credit: Samsung

Visually, both smartwatches carry forward Samsung‘s signature circular dial flanked by rotating bezels to navigate menus on their round AMOLED touchscreens. You can buy them in 40mm or larger 44mm case sizes to fit both petite and bigger wrists.

Where they differ lies in build construction and flair.

  • The Galaxy Watch Active 2 features sleek curved glass face that seamlessly blends with its round aluminum or stainless steel body. The two side buttons also adopt a more traditional circular shape language.

  • The rugged Galaxy Watch 4 sports a larger flat glass display within angular sides on its exclusive aluminum housing. And it consolidates the physical controls into one bigger oblong plus a smaller circular button.

So while the Active 2 oozes athletic elegance, the Watch 4 projects a more machined, techy character. Those wanting a more premium stainless steel design should consider splurging for the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic instead.

Both exude bold personality though and easily pass for regular timepiece watches with their classy circular form. So which look you prefer depends on your personal style.

case#ProcessorSharp Boosts In Performance#

Now let‘s examine what really counts under the hood – the all important hardware and internals.

SpecsGalaxy Watch Active 2Galaxy Watch 4
ChipsetSamsung Exynos 9110Exynos W920
ProcessorDual core 1.15GHz ARMDual Core 1.18GHz ARM (5nm)
RAM768MB / 1.5GB1.5GB

Yes, you read those numbers right – the Galaxy Watch 4 doubles the RAM while quadrupling the internal storage of Active 2! And that‘s paired with an all-new Exynos W920 chip tailored specifically for wearables with upto 2x better CPU and GPU performance based on benchmarks.

Trust me, these hardware upgrades add up to buttery smooth and fluid operation whether you‘re just navigating menus or running graphics-intensive apps. Everything happens faster with apps opening instantly rather than brief loading screens on my Galaxy Watch Active 2.

The extra onboard storage also means you can sync a lot more music tracks for phone-free runs. And download additional apps like Google Maps for offline turn-by-turn directions on LTE models.

So if you want a highly responsive smartwatch that keeps up with your active lifestyle, the Galaxy Watch 4 delivers a vastly improved experience over the adequate but aging Active 2 internals.

case#diveEase of Use#

Historically Samsung smartwatches ran on their own Tizen operating system. But in a surprise move, the tech giant decided to switch to adopt Google‘s Wear OS platform for the Galaxy Watch 4 lineup.

This forward-thinking change brings some tangible benefits:

Far bigger app and watch face selection – Get added customization ability with 1000s more options on Google Play

![Wear OS Apps]( =300x)

Now enjoy many more watch apps and faces on Wear OS. Credit: Wear OS

Tighter integration with Android – Quickly install apps from phone to watch and enjoy added conveniences

More seamless iPhone connectivity – Wear OS enables better cross-platform support even for iOS users

And Samsung has still customized aspects with their One UI skin so navigation remains intuitive coming from older Galaxy watches. Menus, notifications, messages and prompts are tuned for quick interactions on the go.

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 runs smoothly on Tizen OS and offers the core smartwatch functionality. But switching to Wear OS simply unlocks way more potential in apps while futureproofing with longer guaranteed software support direct from Google.

Health Tracking That Goes the Extra Mile

As flagship smartwatches, both Galaxy devices already record daily step counts, sleep patterns, heart rate variability and blood oxygen levels reliably. There‘s also advanced running analysis plus ECG readings – pretty much the full suite of standard health metrics covered.

But leave it to Samsung to push the innovation envelope further with the new BioActive sensor exclusively on the Galaxy Watch 4 series. This integrated health chip provides detailed body composition scans with just two fingers:

![Galaxy Watch 4 Health Sensors]( =300x)

All new body composition analysis sensor on Galaxy Watch 4. Image Credit: Samsung

Within seconds, you get a super insightful breakdown of skeletal muscle mass, basal metabolic rate, body fat percentage, body water levels and more.

Previously this level of detail was only possible on dedicated body analysis machines found in gyms and clinics. Now having this powerful insight literally on your wrist makes tracking weight loss and athletic goals infinitely easier.

You can see your progress rendering visually after each workout rather than just relying on the number on your weighing scale once a week. This bioelectrical sensor combined with blood oxygen and heart rate data provides unparalleled holistic tracking of your health vitals.

And that‘s not even considering how both watches already monitor sleep patterns and cycle tracking for women. Samsung seems determined to eliminate any weak spot in its health tracking credentials.

So if you take your personal analytics seriously, the Galaxy Watch 4 gives you unbeatable insight.

case#runMatchUpto 2 Days Battery + Quick Charging

Now for the battery duration – always an important consideration for any mobile gadget. Let‘s examine tested runtimes across both Galaxy watch models:

Galaxy Watch Active 2 – around 36 hours / 1.5 days

  • 340mAh battery
  • Includes always-on display enabled

Galaxy Watch 4 – 24 to 40 hours battery

  • 361mAh capacity
  • 1.5 days battery with typical usage per Samsung testing
  • 19 hours battery with always-on display

So despite having a slightly larger battery, real-world performance is ultimately quite similar with both watches needing overnight recharges with all features enabled.

You‘ll still comfortably get 1 to 1.5 days usage before needing to pop them on their wireless chargers. But disabling the always-on display can stretch this towards 2 days when needed.

Charging itself takes just over 1.5 hours for a full refill so pretty quick. And both devices charge from flat to 45% in under 30 minutes – perfect for a quick boost before heading to the gym.

For most users, the nearly identical battery runtimes should safely deliver all-day performance between top ups. High intensity athletes can consider the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro with its much chunkier battery instead.

Verdict – Well Worth Upgrading From the Active 2

So circling back to that initial question – is the newer Galaxy Watch 4 worth its $20 premium over the now dated Active 2?

My verdict after comparing both smartwatches extensively comes down to a resounding YES!

You can instantly notice and appreciate the upgrades:

  • Zippy performance thanks to vastly improved internals
  • Next level health tracking with unique body composition scans
  • Far bigger app selection from Google Play store access
  • Guaranteed longer software support period with Wear OS

The benefits easily justify that minor bump in retail pricing for a markedly better overall experience – especially if you workout frequently.

Don‘t get me wrong, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 still gets the essential fitness watch basics done with style. If budget is critical, $230 is a decent value for smooth 60Hz display, reliable fitness tracking and adequate responsiveness wrapped in a slim profile.

But among the current generation, the Galaxy Watch 4 simply offers Samsung‘s most compelling wearable package highlighting their hardware and software advances through a fitness lens.

Unless you specifically need that sleeker stainless steel design or iPhone connectivity of the Active 2, I wholeheartedly recommend upgrading to the Galaxy Watch 4 for the best Samsung smartwatch experience that grows with you via future software updates. You won‘t regret enjoying these upgrades daily on your wrist!

Hope this detailed face-off helped weigh the real-world pros and cons. Got any other questions about either device? Let me know in comments!

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled