Samsung Galaxy Watch & Watch Active receiving Watch Active2 features via the latest software update

It is now standard practice for device makers to renew their products after a year on the market. However, buying every other new release of a product isn’t always justifiable, especially when most of the new features eventually end up in older models via software updates.

Once again, it’s standard practice for device makers to port new features that debut on new products to older models that have the required hardware to handle the new features. This is one reason I don’t renew my phone every year because I somehow end up with new features on my old handset.

Apparently, this is the same luxury that owners of Samsung Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active who didn’t see the need to jump to the new Galaxy Watch Active2 are now set to enjoy.


In an official statement, Samsung has confirmed that some of the enhanced Health features, Bixby features, and customization options are now heading to its earlier-generation smartwatches via the latest software update.

Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active users will soon be able to enjoy all the user experience functionality found on the Galaxy Watch Active2 thanks to a new software update. Samsung Electronics is bringing a range of dynamic updates to its earlier-generation watches, including enhanced Samsung Health features, Bixby features, and customization options.

As I write this, the said update is already rolling out to the Galaxy Watch and Watch Active units in various regions across the globe, including the U.S. as an OTA.

We already have a screenshot of the Galaxy Watch update alongside the changelog, confirming that the update is arriving as version R800XXU1DSK2 and weighs in at a sizeable 117.18MB. The update can be grabbed via the wearables app.

Samsung Galaxy Watch update with Watch Active2 features (Source)


  • New Bixby helps you get tasks done more easily. Start an exercise with specific goals or ask time difference between your city and the one you will be traveling.

Watch faces

  • Additional Watch face complications added (Begin workout, Breathing, and others)
  • Added new watch face ‘My Style’ which recommends a variety of watch faces that suit outfit by taking a picture of clothing.
  • Additional indicator feature in watch face to show background running app such as workout tracking time. Tapping on the indicator will take you back to the app.
  • Additional emoticons to provide a variety of skin tones.

Touch bezel added

  • Allow users to mimic the experience of rotary bezel in digital which allows for easier navigation and control of Watch faces. 

Improved User Interaction for the following features

  • Always on Display screen is easier to read while on charging or in battery saving mode.
  • Customizing the order of icons in quick panel is easier.
  • Timer and Stop Watch app is now more convenient.
  • Watch indicates sleep mode more intuitively.

Samsung Health improvement

  • Lap time tracking has been improved for running and cycling activities
  • Daily Activity feature added which shows user’s daily activity (Move, Workout, Hourly Activity)
  • Data sync via NFC with Technogym workout equipments have been added.
  • Added new auto tracking for ‘Swim’.
  • Added additional alert for low heart rate.

Also picking up a new update is the Galaxy Watch Plugin, which has now gained support for One UI 1.5 based on Tizen OS alongside some power consumption enhancements.

Galaxy Watch Plugin update (Source)

If anything, this could only mean one thing – that the One UI 1.5 support is also coming to the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active sooner or later, although at this point is still a hunch.

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Hillary Keverenge

A techy. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.