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Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 vs Galaxy Watch 1 (2021): What’s the Difference?

Many expected the release of the Galaxy Watch 2 in Samsung’s February 2020 Unpacked event and were disappointed when there was none. However, rumors sparked after the release of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 when certification documents were recently leaked. We collate what we know so far on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 to see its upgrades from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 1, its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 vs Galaxy Watch 1 Comparison Chart

ModelGalaxy Watch 2Galaxy Watch 1
Samsung Galaxy Watch2Samsung Galaxy Watch (42mm, GPS, Bluetooth) – Midnight Black (US Version) 
PriceComing SoonCheck Price 
Sizes40mm, 44mm42mm, 46mm
DisplaySuper AMOLED*Super AMOLED
Screen Sizen/a1.2″ / 1.3″
Touch Bezeln/aYes
Weightn/a63 g
OSn/aTizen 4.0
Storage Size8GB*4GB
Call & Text AlertsYesYes
Water ResistanceUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
5ATM
ECG MonitorYesNo
PedometerYesYes
AltimeterYesYes
Calorie Burn TrackerYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Swim TrackingYesYes
Female Health TrackingYesYes
GPSBuilt-inBuilt-in
Wi-FiYesYes
Bluetoothv5.0v4.2
LTEAvailableAvailable
NFCYesYes
CompatibilityiOS, AndroidiOS, Android
Battery Lifen/a472mAh
Up to 4 days
Colorsn/aSilver
Rose Gold
Midnight Black

Major Differences

The new Galaxy Watch 2 is speculated to have a slimmer design, new ECG and SpO2 sensors, and larger storage capacity

It is uncertain whether the Galaxy Watch 2 will keep the physical round dial of the Galaxy Watch 1

So far, here are the major upgrades on the upcoming Galaxy Watch 2 from its predecessor, the Galaxy Watch 1:

  • Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch 2 will come in 40mm and 44mm variants
  • Unlike the Galaxy Watch 1, the Galaxy Watch 2 will have ECG and SpO2 sensors
  • The Galaxy Watch 2’s storage capacity will be 8GB, double the 4GB storage of the Galaxy Watch 1

Design

The new Galaxy Watch 2 is expected to have smaller frame options and a slimmer profile than the Galaxy Watch 1

Just like the Galaxy Watch Active2 (left), the rumored Galaxy Watch 2 will be slimmer than the Galaxy Watch 1 (right)

It is still uncertain whether the new Samsung smartwatch will be called the Galaxy Watch 2 or the Galaxy Watch Active3. The release of the successor to the Galaxy Watch 1 has long been overdue, so it is more likely that the Samsung smartwatch on the horizon is the Galaxy Watch 2. However, what we glean from the leaked certification is that the new Galaxy Watch will come in 40mm and 44mm. These are smaller variants compared to the 42mm and 46mm Galaxy Watch 1.

Just like the Galaxy Watch 1, the Galaxy Watch 2 will be available in Bluetooth and LTE models. Speculations lean towards the Galaxy Watch 2 losing the heft of the Galaxy Watch 1. Whether the Galaxy Watch 2 will keep the physical rotating bezel of the Galaxy Watch 2 is something to be confirmed once Samsung’s official announcement is out.

Activity Tracking

The new Galaxy Watch 2 will have an ECG monitor in addition to other activity-tracking features in the Galaxy Watch 1

Steps, calorie-burn, and heart rate are among the activities the Galaxy Watch 1 can track

Among the major upgrades to be expected in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 is the addition of the ECG and SpO2 sensors. These sensors can allow the Galaxy Watch to alert you if there’s atrial fibrillation or irregularity in your blood oxygen levels. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 1 offers basic tracking capabilities such as steps, calorie-burn, sleep, and female health tracking.

In addition, the Galaxy Watch 2 and 1 can automatically detect common fitness activities such as running, rowing, cycling, swimming, elliptical training, walking, and dynamic workouts. They also come with a built-in GPS so they don’t rely on your phone’s GPS, unlike other fitness watches.

Smart Features

Both the Galaxy Watch 2 and 1 offer an array of smart features and support contactless payment

Answer calls, play music, or pay directly from your wrist with the Galaxy Watch smartwatches

Users who like running or working out sans their smartphones will benefit from the LTE models of the Galaxy Watch 2 and the Galaxy Watch 1. Their smart features let you read SMS, answer or decline calls, check the weather, or control your Spotify directly from your Galaxy Watch. Just a caveat for iPhone users that while these watches are compatible with iOS, answering calls directly through either Galaxy Watch is not yet supported.

In addition, the Galaxy Watch 2 and 1 can be connected to the SmartThings app if you have a smart connected home. Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 and the Galaxy Watch 1 are equipped with NFC connectivity. This allows you to use Samsung Pay using the smartwatch. You can take advantage of this payment feature in establishments that accept contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay or Fitbit Pay.

Battery Life and Additional Features

The Galaxy Watch 2 will have bigger storage capacity than the Galaxy Watch 1; both are waterproof for up to 50 meters

Wear the Fitbit Charge 4 for almost an entire week without taking it off for a recharge.

Tracking sleep quality requires a long-lasting battery life so you can wear the Galaxy Watch while sleeping. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 1 boasts a battery life of up to 4 days through its 472mAh battery. We have yet to confirm the runtime of the Galaxy Watch 2, but it will more likely last longer than the Galaxy Watch 1’s. Samsung Galaxy smartphone users can use Wireless Powershare to extend the Galaxy Watch’s battery life by sharing the smartphone’s battery with the Samsung smartwatch.

The new Galaxy Watch 2 will find its storage capacity doubled from the Galaxy Watch 1’s 4GB internal storage to 8GB so it can accommodate more apps. Moreover, the 5 ATM-rated Galaxy Watch 2 and the Galaxy Watch 1 can be submerged for up to 50 meters. You can use them while swimming, rowing, surfing, and similar activities. However, they are not recommended for use for high-pressure water activities.

Verdict

Unless you need the ECG and SpO2 sensors on the Galaxy Watch 2, don’t hesitate to get the Galaxy Watch 1

Samsung Galaxy Watch 2

Samsung Galaxy Watch2

Samsung Galaxy Watch 1

Samsung Galaxy Watch (46mm, GPS, Bluetooth) – Silver/Black (US Version) 

Check Price 

The official price of the Galaxy Watch 2 is not yet known, but gleaning from the cost of the Galaxy Watch 1‘s first release, we can expect the Galaxy Watch 2 to set you back around 329USD. If you don’t mind missing out on the ECG and SpO2 sensors expected in the upcoming Galaxy Watch, the Galaxy Watch 1 remains a worthy purchase. On the other hand, if you want a more cost-effective alternative smartwatch equipped with the ECG sensor, you might want to take a look at the Galaxy Watch Active2.

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.