The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 was released last year, yet Samsung’s promised heart-tracking EKG feature is still not available to help it compete with the Apple Watch in the US. Instead, Samsung has just released a new update to the watch that adds features that debuted in the newly released Galaxy Watch 3 to the less expensive Active 2 — including the long-rumored fall detection feature which could help if you trip and get seriously injured.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 is a successor to the original Galaxy Watch, adding a thinner, lighter design from its predecessor, plus an OLED display with a rotating bezel.
The new update will bring popular features in its latest smartwatch to the previous-generation Galaxy Watch Active 2 like Running Analysis, Fall Detection, Smart Reply, a scroll capture feature, and more. The company said the new features would be available soon. These popular features came out with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, which is bigger and more expensive than the prior model, but now you don’t need to upgrade to get them.
The Running Analysis feature provides detailed metrics on stiffness, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time to improve runners’ performance and reduce injury. Fall detection is a major feature that the Apple Watch has had since 2018; it’s a practical feature for users wearing the watch because if you fall and seriously injure yourself, say if you twist your ankle and can’t get up, the watch can detect the fall and ask if you need to reach one of your emergency contacts.
The new Smart Reply feature provides suggested responses for messages to send a quick reply, and you can even access AR Emoji Stickers and Bitmoji Stickers from the watch now. Other newly available features allow users to take a screenshot image of your smartwatch, sending it directly to your phone, and seamless music experience to access your playlist across your devices.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is perhaps the Galaxy Watch 3’s biggest rival since it has effectively the same software now. However, it is much more budget-friendly than the newly released Galaxy Watch 3. It’s simply missing the higher-end hardware and physical rotating bezel of the Watch 3.
Regardless of which wearable you buy, both are still missing EKG. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 technically has this feature available in Korea, but it’s still unclear if US users will ever gain access. Last month, the FDA confirmed that the Galaxy Watch 3 was cleared for EKG, but Samsung has yet to announce when it will be available.