Samsung Galaxy Watch Lively 2 evaluation: A chew out of Apple
“With LTE, ECG, and extra apps and sensors, the Galaxy Watch Lively 2 is among the many finest smartwatches you should purchase.”
- Complete and expansive train monitoring
- Stainless-steel model appears to be like watch-like
- Simple-to-read show in all lighting
- Two-day battery with gentle utilization
- You may scroll Twitter on a watch
- Nonetheless restricted third-party app help
- ECG monitoring nonetheless not stay
- Incremental efficiency over outdated mannequin
The wearable house is a troublesome place to make a reputation with heavyweights like Fitbit and Apple crowding the realm, however Samsung’s managed to take action with its ever-improving and oft-expanding Galaxy Watch lineup. The unique Galaxy Watch Lively rounded out the roster as a smooth wearable that was trendy, fitness-focused, and cheap. Barely six months later, now we have the Galaxy Watch Lively 2.
Samsung’s newest wearable hits all of those self same notes, besides it now prices $280, as a result of it provides options comparable to LTE and a digital rotating bezel for simpler navigation.
However the highlight is the ECG monitor. Sadly, it’s nonetheless in scientific trials, and there’s no timeline for when this function will change into accessible. However, the Lively 2 firmly stays one of the best smartwatch for these utilizing Android telephones, and it narrows the hole between the stellar Apple Watch Collection 5.
The Galaxy Watch Lively 2 is a health wearable, but it doesn’t look sporty. It’s minimalist, but it surely’s straightforward to inform it is a smartwatch. In contrast to the flagship Galaxy Watch or some Put on OS by Google units, the Lively 2 received’t be mistaken for a standard watch, even from afar. This isn’t a knock towards it, although. The Apple Watch doesn’t seem like a watch in any universe.
Joel Chokkattu / Digital Developments
The black aluminum physique of the Watch Lively 2 offers an understated look, whereas the stainless steel variations class issues up a bit with their shiny metallic and leather-based straps.
I’m testing the 44mm mannequin, which has a 1.4-inch display with a 360 x 360 decision. When you have a smaller wrist, then you might wish to go for the 40mm mannequin, which has a 1.2-inch display. The display appears to be like nice in virtually any lighting scenario. The blacks are deep, colours pop, and textual content is lots sharp. In actual fact, I set the brightness to 3 (on scale of 1 to 10) and left it there, by no means having to consider it once more. Even the marginally dimmed always-on show was fairly straightforward to learn in direct daylight.
The Galaxy Watch Lively 2 is slim, comfy on the wrist, and enticing.
There are two buttons on the precise fringe of the watch, they usually don’t stick out an excessive amount of however are nonetheless straightforward to press. The default 20mm silicone strap is good, however they’re interchangeable too so you’ll be able to simply swap it out for one thing else. The Lively 2 additionally has the requisite water and mud resistance scores for any correct health wearable, assembly IP68 and 5-ATM requirements, which allows options like swim monitoring.
The Galaxy Watch Lively 2 is slim, comfy on the wrist, and enticing — what extra might you need?
Tizen OS is slick
The introduction of the digital rotating bezel is likely one of the hottest options added to the Lively 2, and it’s a welcome one, but it surely additionally makes me lengthy for the mechanical rotating bezel discovered on the extra strong Galaxy Watch. It basically permits you to scroll by means of lists and navigate screens on the working system as a substitute of swiping round on the display and leaving fingerprint marks. It doesn’t really feel as satisfying because the mechanical bezel on the Galaxy Watch.
The very first thing you’ll probably do for those who’ve used Tizen-powered watches earlier than is scrolling the rotating bezel to get up the gadget, which now does nothing if the display’s not already awake. You’ll additionally need to dial within the sensitivity with which you progress your finger across the bezel to make it scroll. A slower, extra creeping scroll is important to not unintentionally skip by means of a bunch of screens when navigating. It is useful when scrolling by means of lists, however I sometimes discovered myself simply swiping on the display to navigate the OS, because it felt extra intuitive and simpler to manage.
Corey Gaskin / Digital Developments
The Lively 2 handles notifications effectively, as they’re grouped by the app into screens so that you can swipe or scroll by means of; faucet into them for extra notifications from a selected app. I want Put on OS’s single-file checklist of notifications, which has a chronological order, significantly on Fossil watches that function a rotating crown for scrolling, however Samsung’s strategy will get the job achieved.
I can also’t assist however really feel like I’d take pleasure in interacting with notifications on the Lively 2 extra with a bodily rotating bezel, as I’ve with different Galaxy Watches, and need that Samsung would add a listing view choice for notifications, because it does with the watch’s apps. This could assist make the absence of a correct rotating bezel much less apparent in an OS that also very a lot begs for it.
I’d additionally admire a final app shortcut on the highest bodily button, which has no different operate in addition to going residence. This fashion wouldn’t have to decide on between an app shortcut, Samsung Pay, or a final app operate (amongst many different selections) all for simply the underside button.
Utilizing the Watch Lively 2 all through the day, you’ll discover nothing however easy and fluid efficiency.
It’d be good to have a method to join the watch to a pc as effectively, particularly to switch music onto the gadget. Proper now, that you must do that over Wi-FI by way of an internet app interface, which may take a while relying in your web connection speeds and the scale of your music library. It’s good to have the ability to retailer your individual music on the gadget’s Four GB inner storage although, so it is a comparatively small annoyance.
Utilizing the Watch Lively 2 all through the day, you’ll discover nothing however easy and fluid efficiency. It additionally presents extra third-party app help than Google’s Put on OS, but it surely nonetheless can’t maintain a candle to the Apple Watch’s huge, rising, and now stand-alone app ecosystem.
You’ll nonetheless discover widespread staples like Spotify Premium, which lets you play music instantly out of your wrist or to earphones (an particularly good perk on the LTE model) and health apps like MyFitness Pal and Strava, however even health app choice is somewhat restricted, and also you received’t discover any navigation apps.
Able to scroll by means of Twitter in your wrist?
Samsung does have a couple of new app integrations on the Watch Lively 2, although. On the first-party apps entrance, the Lively 2 continues to supply a wide range of handsome watch faces with completely different features and kinds, but in addition provides a function known as My Type. It’s a enjoyable and distinctive method to match your watch face to your outfit. Simply take a photograph of your outfit within the Galaxy Watch app and some patterned backgrounds can be generated so that you can select from.
With regard to third-party apps, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Translate are on-board. You may scroll by means of your Twitter feed, liking and retweeting Tweets (however not replying or commenting), watch trending YouTube movies, and translate languages shortly by way of voice enter.
Corey Gaskin / Digital Developments
Scrolling by means of Twitter is predictably a bit cramped, because it cuts off the sides of Tweets requiring you to open it to view the Tweet correctly. It’s nonetheless a neat mini time-waster, although. I wasn’t capable of finding the YouTube participant Samsung confirmed us on my Lively 2, although different third-party choices exist for this within the Galaxy Watch App Retailer. I additionally didn’t miss it, as I’ve no want to observe a video on my watch.
The Google Translate integration is definitely my favourite of the bunch, because it interprets shortly and (hopefully) precisely. The interpretation is offered by way of textual content on-screen and an audible readout. You too can flip the translated textual content on-screen so you’ll be able to present it simply to a different particular person with out having to show your wrist. Intuitive.
Understanding with the Lively 2
Though it’s straightforward to get caught up within the smartwatch performance of the Galaxy Watch Lively 2, it’s, above all, a health wearable, and that is an space the place the Lively 2 reveals some distinct benefits.
Wellness begins with mindfulness, and the Lively 2 all the time retains you conscious of your well being with a wide range of reminders and notifications. You may measure your stress ranges with coronary heart charge information and select to obtain reminders to face, stretch, or go for a fast stroll; it’ll even information you thru a stretching session for those who so select. You may mute these alerts on a day-to-day foundation or set them to all the time be on or off. Samsung Well being, the secondary companion app to the watch (second to the Galaxy Watch app used for settings and setup), may ship weekly summaries of your wellness developments. These embrace your sleep patterns, exercise ranges, and coronary heart charge info.
Corey Gaskin / Digital Developments
Other than missing integration with third-party health packages, the Watch Lively 2 has a strong basis of built-in train monitoring. This consists of seven routinely tracked workouts (strolling, operating, swimming, biking, rowing, elliptical coaching, and dynamic exercises) and dozens extra which will be tracked manually.
I significantly admire the granular monitoring you are able to do for the a number of phases in a typical fitness center routine. That is because of the watch having the ability to observe units and reps of specific workouts. It’s tremendous easy and correct. I had the watch depend every burpee I did, giving a sound and vibration for each one accomplished, guiding me at midway factors, and telling me when my set was full.
This works effectively throughout all the workouts I examined, be it tricep extensions, bicep curls, bench presses, or different arm-related workouts – simply don’t increase your wrist to examine the depend (keep targeted!) or it’ll get the counter off rhythm. Sadly, rep counting received’t work for leg workouts.
Listening to that “ding” each time I accomplished a rep was fairly satisfying.
Listening to that “ding” each time I accomplished a rep was fairly satisfying, although; it helped to maintain me targeted on the duty at hand. It’s built-in features like these that set the Galaxy Watch Lively 2 aside from the Apple Watch, Put on OS units, and even Fitbits with regards to health monitoring. My solely qualm right here is that the always-on show doesn’t present exercise info whereas monitoring workouts, a type of no-brainer function that’s one way or the other lacking. I actually hope to see this in a future software program replace.
The most important obtrusive omission holding it again from Apple Watch (because it pertains to wellness options, at the least) is a practical electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor. It’s on there, which is a tantalizing step in the precise route, but it surely’s not but cleared to be used by the FDA and is subsequently non-functional. There’s no set date for this function’s launch both however having a operate ECG sensor will surely assist to make the Watch Lively 2 a compelling gadget.
Battery king with decrease utilization
The Watch Lively 2 can simply final two days with gentle utilization, that means no exercises and simply taking notifications. Throw in 30 to 60 minutes of train and also you’ll probably be charging earlier than mattress or early the subsequent morning. In comparison with the Apple Watch Collection 5 and Fossil Gen 5, it lasted about three hours longer than the Apple Watch and about six hours greater than the Fossil going into day two.
The Lively 2 is battery king amongst smartwatches when paired with decrease utilization, however you’ll get about the identical one-day battery with constant exercise monitoring.
Value, availability, and guarantee
The Galaxy Watch Lively 2 is available in a couple of configurations, together with pink, black, and silver aluminum colorways. Costs begin at $280 for the 40mm and $300 for the 44mm aluminum variations. LTE-capable Lively 2’s are available three stainless-steel colours (gold, silver, and black) and it begins at $430 for the 40mm and $450 for the 44mm. Bear in mind, for the LTE fashions you’ll have to pay a month-to-month payment to your provider for a knowledge plan.
Samsung features a one-year guarantee towards defects however doesn’t provide any prolonged plan for extended protection or unintended harm.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Lively 2 is one of the best smartwatch you should purchase for Android telephones. Health monitoring is extra intensive, granular, and insightful than Fitbits, and Tizen is one of the best you are able to do for third-party app help within the Android ecosystem.
Are there any alternate options?
The Galaxy Watch Lively 2 is suitable with each iPhones and Android units, although options like replying to textual content messages, scrolling by means of Twitter, and watching YouTube, received’t work with iPhones. In the event you’re an iPhone person, and also you want a tool that you would be able to run out of the home listening to music on while not having mobile connection (although an LTE model is an choice), then the Lively Watch 2 can nonetheless be a worthwhile choice for you.
However iPhone homeowners ought to initially all the time contemplate the Apple Watch (Collection 3, Collection 4, and Collection 5), as they surpass the Lively Watch 2 in nearly each means, because of unparalleled third-party help and you may even purchase the Collection Three for $200 — $80 lower than the least-expensive Watch Lively 2.
As for Android customers, Samsung’s largely competing with itself right here. Android Put on watches just like the Fossil Gen 5 have extra strong, conventional watch styling however lag behind in third-party app help – although not by a lot – and battery life. Moreover, they’re poor in first-party health options, missing sleep monitoring, in addition to the broader and extra particular train monitoring and coaching the Lively 2 presents.
It even presents greater than the most recent Fitbit Versa 2 on this regard. The one different gadget that it is best to contemplate is the earlier Galaxy Watch Lively, which is just seven months outdated, $80 much less, and presents most every thing the Lively 2 does, minus the digital rotating bezel and potential to provide ECG readings.
Need much more choices? Examine our favourite smartwatches of 2019.
How lengthy will it final?
Two to 3 years is an inexpensive life expectancy. You could possibly cling onto it for even longer because of its strong building and IP68water resistance. Samsung’s three-year-old Gear S3 watch continues to be receiving main updates in 2019, so updates shouldn’t be a priority.
Do you have to purchase one?
Sure. The Galaxy Watch Lively 2 offers you every thing you would need in a health wearable and smartwatch.