As we noted in our Galaxy Watch Active 2 review, Samsung's latest wearable sported a blood pressure monitor but hasn't had the clearance from health officials to activate it until now. The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (the country's equivalent of the FDA) just approved the Samsung Health Monitor app, enabling the monitor on the Watch Active 2 and future Galaxy Watches.
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When paired with the Watch Active 2, the Samsung Health Monitor app can begin testing blood pressure. But according to an informational video about the new feature, users must calibrate their smartwatch first using a standard blood pressure monitor.
A typical blood pressure monitor with an inflatable cuff, like the one you might see at a doctor's office, can be purchased online for about $50. (Here's a 5-star option from Best Buy (opens in new tab)). After you've got one, though, you can use it every month to maintain your Galaxy Watch's accuracy, and just check your wrist's readings in the meantime.
Not everyone needs to keep a close eye on their blood pressure, but for those who do, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 or the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 will be among the best smartwatches you can buy.
South Korea is the only country that has approved the blood pressure monitor feature, but it's likely other regulators where Samsung's wearables are sold will follow suit.
As such, it's reasonable to believe the Galaxy Watch 2 will offer the feature and all its functionality at launch. The new wearable may debut in late summer at the Samsung Galaxy Note 20's Unpacked event.
The Apple Watch has managed to maintain an advantage over the Galaxy Watch because of Apple Health's ever-growing features. When the Apple Watch 6 debuts alongside the iPhone 12 in the fall, we expect it to challenge whatever Samsung offers first.