As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if a reader clicks on a link or an image of the product, we may receive a commission. There is no additional cost to you — it helps pay for hosting and server costs. And it does not affect the quality of the content, as we always recommend our readers the best sources.

It is not effortless to find a smart timepiece that matches your demands and preferences. Because there are such a lot of fantastic choices in the market these days, for example, the Galaxy Watch 3 vs Active 2

By the way, have you shortlisted your options to those product units? You have got that down pat! The two are first-rate smart wristwear products whose highlights and attributes are wonderful. 

Yet, on the other hand, specifically how different they are? Also, how to determine which to buy? Easy this round! Right here, we have curated all of the key differences and help you select your next wearable device.

Pros and cons

1. Galaxy Watch Active 2

What you may like:

  • Digital rotating bezel
  • More lightweight look
  • Monitors your workouts effectively and has got an update to feature some same things as the more recent Galaxy Watch 3 – say, trip detection
  • Integrated GPS
  • More than two days of battery duration
  • LTE option
  • Cheaper than Galaxy Watch 3

What you may not like:

  • Less storage capacity than Galaxy Watch 3
  • Not quite the type of wrist-worn timepiece you would like to show off at a gathering or dinner party. 

2. Galaxy Watch 3

What you may like:

  • Physical rotating bezel
  • Some more nifty features
  • More storage 
  • Integrated GPS
  • Two-day battery duration
  • LTE option

What you may not like:

  • More expensive

A comparison table: Galaxy Watch 3 vs Active 2

Galaxy Watch 3Galaxy Watch Active 2
Announced2020, August 012019, August
StatusAvailable. Launched 2020, AugustAvailable. Launched 2019, September
OSTizen OS 5.5Tizen OS 4.0
Display360 x 360 Super AMOLED360 x 360 Super AMOLED
Dimensions41 mm x 42.5 mm x 11.3 mm45 mm x 46.2 mm x 11.1 mm40 mm x 40 mm x 10.9 mm44 mm x 44 mm x 10.9 mm
Weight49.2 g – 53.8 g26 g – 30 g
Materials and colorsTitanium: Mystic BlackStainless steel: Mystic Silver, Mystic Black, Mystic BronzeStainless steel: Silver, Gold, BlackAluminum: Gold, Pink Gold, Silver, Black
Bezel featurePhysical rotating bezelDigital rotating bezel
Memory1GB + 8GB768MB + 4GB
ChipsetExynos 9110, 1.15GHz CA53 DualExynos 9110, 1.15GHz CA53 Dual
BatteryMore sizable product unit’s battery: the 340mAh typeThe smaller watch: the 247mAh battery.More sizable product unit’s battery: the 340mAh typeThe smaller watch: the 247mAh battery.
Battery lifeAbout two daysAbout two and a half days
Durability5ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810G5ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810G
SensorsHRM (heart rate monitor)Blood pressure monitorEKGAmbient light sensorAccelerometerGyroscopeBarometerHRM (heart rate monitor)Blood pressure monitorEKGAmbient light sensorAccelerometerGyroscopeBarometer
Integrated GPS
Notifications
Near-field communication (NFC) payments✓Samsung Pay✓Samsung Pay
Optional LTE
Check the latest priceCheck the latest price
Comparison table: Galaxy Watch 3 vs Active 2

Galaxy Watch 3 vs Active 2: A closer look

1. Construction

Their appearance is one of the most fundamental differences. While it may not the mere element to make a particular buying decision, the truth is your smart timepiece will be often on your wrist. That is why selecting the appearance you prefer is significant.

Specifically, compared to the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, the Watch 3 is more sizable and boasts more of a mechanical timepiece design. You may fall for its two aesthetic buttons on the side, aside from the physical rotating bezel over the display.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.

What is more? Multiple tough but pliable bands are available for you to personalize your smartwatch’s appearance. Else, if the sportier feel is what you favor, you may want to pick the silicone band, just like the Active 2’s one.

In comparison, true to its name, the Active 2 is designed for more active use. The construction is sleeker and it boasts more trademark smartwatch build as well.

For instance, you may like the responsive-to-touch bezel on the face. Also, the model is slimmer compared to the Watch 3. Where both product units have two buttons at their side, the Galaxy Watch Active 2’s are less sizable.

And again, Samsung’s Active 2 features silicone bands, making it comfy 24/7 and particularly whilst you are doing exercise. 

2. Core specifications

How do the Galaxy Watch 3 vs Active 2 compare? The two’s specifications are indeed similar, with the key difference being the amount of storage. The Watch 3 smartwatch has an edge in this regard.

To be more specific, four gigabytes (GB) is the Active 2 model’s storage capacity. Meanwhile, the Watch 3 delivers eight gigabytes. The point here is that the doubled amount of storage should allow you to your smart timepiece into your smartphone’s extension. Long story short, just go here and there without your cell phone.

Further, both product units count on Samsung’s signature dual-core processor Exynos 9110. Their operating system is the brand’s Tizen, and they share sensors and GPS inclusion in common as well. Plus, the two’s capability for LTE connectivity is noteworthy, which we are going to dive deeper into two later.

3. Battery

Speaking of the battery-related differences between the Galaxy Watch 3 vs Active 2, there are little-to-no things to compare, indeed. 

On the one hand, both models’ more sizable product unit’s battery is the 340mAh type and the smaller watch comes with the 247mAh battery. 

Samsung Galaxy Active 2.
Samsung Galaxy Active 2.

Still, on the other hand, the differences lie in how you use the device. The Watch 3’s battery might be going to run on empty more quickly compared to the Galaxy Watch Active 2. Understandably, you expectedly do more on it.

4. Highlights and attributes

Now on to the awaited section: Features. The two product units have brought many likable things to the table (i.e., trip detection, activity & sports monitoring, and heart rate tracking. You will receive cell phone notifications via them as well. 

At this point, the question is, feature-wise, how different are the Galaxy Watch 3 vs Active 2? The Watch 3 is capable of informing you about your exercise or run. Meanwhile, you will appreciate even more with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. 

Specifically, the Active 2 model boasts an integrated running coach as well as cutting-edge running metrics. They should help you achieve the greatest output of your exercise. 

What is more to note? While the brand’s Watch 3 fails to offer particular running attributes, it has tons of different sports modes and generally comes with more attributes. 

For example, sleep monitoring should enable you to check your sleeping patterns. With it, you will also even be in the know about the amount of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep you are getting nightly. 

But that is not all. The Watch 3 boasts an electrocardiogram (EKG) & oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring aside from stress monitoring for you to recognize when you are quite tense, nervous, and cannot relax. In that case, it will even recommend breathing exercises. 

Meanwhile, the Active 2 will comparably keep tabs on all your exercises, aside from having EKG & stress monitoring. However, no SpO2 monitoring is on offer. Where it is not going to be a deciding factor, you are better off keeping that missing attribute in mind if you wish to know whether every feature possible is at your fingertips. 

5. LTE Connectivity

For those who do not know, LTE is short of Long Term Evolution. This fast wireless cellular network is well-loved as 4G’s foundation. Above all, 4G LTE connectivity will allow your smart timepiece to work all the more fantastically away from your cell phone.

Also, please note that in terms of the Galaxy Watch 3 vs Active 2, both of them offer optional LTE. Specifically, you have the choice to access LTE via Verizon, T-Mobile, and other phone providers in America and around the world. 

Else, in case you prefer not to invest in LET connectivity, a Wifi & Bluetooth-only product unit of either of these two should be your safe bet. The good news is, both models are compatible with iPhones & Android (counting non-Samsung) phones. 

6. Price

Last but not least, let’s find out the price-associated differences between the Galaxy Watch 3 vs Active 2. Indeed, on the one hand, this factor does not make the two watches radically different. But on the other hand, there is still something to tell you about them, which slightly varies based on which specifications & attributes you opt for. 

As for the Galaxy Watch 3:

  • Pricing is lowest for the 41mm product unit that features Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity.
  • When it comes to the 45mm product unit with Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity, the cost gets higher. 
  • For either size Galaxy Watch 3, it is a price raise if 4G LTE coverage is inclusive. 
  • For those having an eye for the Titanium unit, the 45mm size one is the only choice and its cost is higher than the rest. 

As for the Galaxy Watch Active 2:

  • Pricing is lowest for the 40mm product unit that features Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity, which is slightly lower than the 41mm size Watch 3 with the same connectivity options.
  • When it comes to the 44mm product unit with Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity, the cost gets higher, which is still slightly lower than the 45mm size Watch 3 with the same connectivity options.
  • For either size Active 2, it is a price raise if 4G LTE coverage is inclusive. Please note that the amount of cost increase is slightly less than the Galaxy Watch 3’s.
  • For those who wish to go for the Golf style of the Galaxy Watch Active 2, please bear in mind that it does not bring a 4G LTE option to the table. Hence, you will have the sole option to get Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity. 

Which one between Galaxy Watch 3 vs Active 2 should you purchase?

As you may figure out, there are only small dissimilarities between the two watches. That is why you are not going to pass up significant highlights and attributes if you pick either of them. 

Yet, on the other hand, for your information, being the flagship, the Watch 3 is the default selection for a lot of shoppers.

That is about other customers. How about you? What other elements would it be a good idea for you to think about before you purchase? 

1. If saving some money is what you wish

Again, the Watch 3 and Active 2 are not so different in pricing. But considering it will not waste your time, either. 

For example, compared to the least expensive of the Watch 3, the Active 2’s least expensive product unit is around 150 dollars more affordable. Thus, the Active 2 should be your better bet if you desire to spend somewhat less cash on your watch buy,

2. If the most state-of-the-art tech is what you want

The Watch 3 is the most recent in the brand’s smartwatch line. That is why in case you desire to become updated about the newest product unit, you cannot go wrong with it. For instance. Watch 3’s internal difference with Active 2 is not dramatic. But its storage is larger and the model boasts a couple of more nitty attributes. 

3. If you get a smartwatch for doing exercise

Would you like to count on your smartwatch to help improve your everyday runs? If so, the Active 2 should be your best bet. 

It has an integrated running coach. There are cutting-edge running metrics as well. Altogether, they will assist you with taking advantage of your runs. And after all, you will become better for your next ones.

4. If you prefer a watch with the classic look

Do you think highly of a physical bezel? Do you wish your next smartwatch to resemble a mechanical timepiece? If yessir, the Watch 3 should be your final choice. 

If you want, you can tweak the leathery bands – for example. Yet, after all, the Galaxy Watch 3 will get you more of the classic timepiece’s vibes than the Active 2.

5. If you prefer a sports watch

Like smartwatches with appearance and feel resembling a comfy running watch? Then, you will not go wrong with the Active 2.

In a nutshell

Finally, we are not you. So we cannot pick a smartwatch for you. Still, we have tried to put ourselves in your shoes. Our effort results are this rundown of differences between the Galaxy Watch 3 vs Active 2. curated. It should assist you with sorting out which one is your best fit. 

At the end of the day, whatever one between the two you go for, ensure you make the most of your new piece of tech. And get familiar with the entirety of its attributes.