Galaxy Watch Active 2 inches closer to the Apple Watch Series 5 with ECG functionality
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The state of Android wearables is quite grim due to a lot of OEMs ditching that line altogether. Google's step-motherly treatment towards WearOS isn't helping much either. Thankfully, Samsung has stepped up its efforts, as is demonstrated by releases such as the Galaxy Watch Active 2. It was already quite feature-rich upon launch. However, it lacked one key feature, which set it apart from the Apple Watch Series 5- electrocardiogram(ECG) functionality.
Even though Samsung stated that the watch would ship with the feature enabled, the actual rollout took longer due to regulatory setbacks. The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety just approved the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2's ECG function a green light, allowing the company to switch it on eligible devices via a firmware update. The Samsung Health app will also receive an update in Q3 2020 that will help users analyze the data better.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 can already double up as a blood pressure monitor (in South Korea only). That, combined with its ECG function, makes it an attractive purchase for those with heart conditions as it will help detect both arterial fibrillation and abnormal blood pressure values. However, it'll be a while before both features are available internationally, as they have to pass through health regulators on a country-wide basis.
Samsung has also posted step-by-step instructions on how to operate the Galaxy Watch Active 2's ECG sensor. The previously-released blood pressure monitoring feature requires multiple inputs from a sphygmomanometer. That won't be the case with the ECG, thankfully. Lastly, Samsung notes that the values presented by the watch's sensors are not wholly accurate and that one must consult a physician in case of an emergency.