Samsung Will Steal the Apple Watch's Best Feature Next Year (Report)

Samsung's next smartwatch looks like it's going to take a page out of Apple's playbook and add heart-monitoring capabilities. But while the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is expected to debut in a month, its ECG heart-tracking features may not arrive until much later.

The sequel to the Galaxy Watch Active (pictured here) could mirror a big Apple Watch feature.

The sequel to the Galaxy Watch Active (pictured here) could mirror a big Apple Watch feature.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That comes from Wareable, which cites anonymous sources claiming that the upcoming Galaxy Watch Active 2 will include an electrocardiogram monitor. However, that feature requires approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it sounds like that won't be forthcoming by the time the smartwatch is ready to be released.

Based on the Wareable report, it sounds like Samsung executives will take to the stage at the August 7 Unpacked event to reveal the Galaxy Watch Active 2 alongside the new Galaxy Note 10 smartphone. And while the watch's heart-monitoring features will be touted, we'll have to wait until a software update activates that capability. Samsung is reportedly anticipating the FDA's OK by the first half of 2020.

If this sounds familiar, it's because the Apple Watch faced a similar scenario last year. When Apple unveiled the new Series 4 model of its smartwatch, it also talked about the device's new ECG features. However, those didn't go live until watchOS 5.1.2 arrived in December, roughly three months after the Apple Watch Series 4 was released. It sounds like Galaxy Watch Active 2 owners could be in for a similar — if not longer — wait.

Wareable's report contains other details about the upcoming smartwatch from Samsung. Apparently, there will be three models — a Bluetooth-enabled version that can connect to both iPhones and Android devices, a second Bluetooth watch that will feature UnderArmour branding, and a Galaxy Watch with LTE connectivity. That version will only work with Android phones, initially, and Wareable says it's u unclear when the iPhone will be able to work with the LTE-ready Galaxy Watch.

All the watches will come in 40mm and 44mm sizes, according to the report. Again, that matches what Apple offers with the Series 4 version of the Apple Watch.

When we reviewed the original Galaxy Watch Active, we thought that it was the best Android smartwatch available, providing the Apple Watch with a worthy rival. It's clear Samsung wants to close that gap even further with some of the rumored features — at least once they're finally ready.