The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 may be a very powerful smartwatch Samsung has launched up to now.
It’s been constructing in direction of a extra full linked watch with each new wearable machine, and people efforts have gotten higher over time. And within the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active 2, it delivered two of its greatest ever smartwatches.
So the change to Wear OS caught lots of people abruptly. But has ditching Tizen OS in favor of Google’s Wear OS 3 paid off?
And is the Samsung Galaxy Watch nonetheless one of the best smartwatch for Android customers? We’ve been placing it to the check to search out out.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Prices
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (40mm, Bluetooth): Â£249
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (40mm, 4G): Â£289
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (44mm, Bluetooth): Â£269
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (44mm, 4G): Â£309
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (42mm, Bluetooth): Â£349
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (42mm, 4G): Â£389
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (46mm, Bluetooth): Â£369
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (46mm, 4G): Â£409
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Key options
- Available in 44mm/40mm (Watch 4) and 42mm/46mm (Watch 4 Classic)
- Biggest Watch 4/Watch 4 Classic fashions embrace 396×396 Super AMOLED shows
- Exynos W920 twin core processor with 1.5GB RAM and 16GB storage
- Up to 40 hours of battery life
- Run on Wear OS with Samsung One UI Watch 3
- Samsung Pay or Google Pay assist
- Download apps from Google Play Store
- ECG, PPG and BIA sensors
- Built-in GPS/Glonass/Beidou
- LTE fashions for all sizes
- 5ATM waterproof score
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Watch 3
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Design and display
- 40mm and 44mm sizes
- Excellent 1.4-inch, 450 x 450 Super AMOLED show
The Galaxy Watch 4 is available in two variations, which primarily takes the Galaxy Watch and Watch Active and places them underneath one identify.
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the normal watch-inspired, and appears just like the older Galaxy Watch 3.
But the usual Galaxy Watch 4 (examined right here) feels the pure successor to the Active 2. It’s lighter and extra comfy for a swim, run or doing burpee after burpee in a HIIT class. There’s a selection of 40mm and 44mm case sizes, matching the case sizes of the Active 2.
The 40mm model is available in black, pink gold and silver aluminium circumstances whereas the 44mm model is available in black, inexperienced and silver case colours.
There are two flat bodily buttons on the correct aspect of the case with the highest one taking you again to the house display and the underside one taking you again a display. These are additionally used to allow ECG-based coronary heart price readings as nicely.
There’s a 20mm silicone watch band with a watch buckle, which is swappable through a pin mechanism that sits on the again of every of the band components.
The solely downside is that the design of the straps, and the way they sit towards the case, makes it tough to easily throw any outdated band on. The customary strap may’ve completed with just a few extra holes in to assist it match extra snugly, and measured up massive for our wrists.
Those buttons apart, it is a very streamlined look that many different smartwatches undertake, however on the Watch 4 very similar to the Active, feels properly executed. The black model is not probably the most thrilling to have a look at, however it does have a glossy really feel, is well-built, and hasn’t picked up any annoying scratches in our testing time with it.
Stand out display
The display is up there with one of the best shows you could find on smartwatches. It’s vibrant, sharp, colours are pretty and correct, the brand new animations launched look nice on it and it is general a really pleasing display to have a look at.
The 44mm model we examined hosts a 1.4-inch, 450 x 450 Super AMOLED show with the 40mm dropping to a smaller 1.2-inch, 396 x 396 display. There an always-on mode, letting you retain that display awake 24/7.
Surrounding that display is a black bezel, which doubles as a digital rotating bezel you’ll be able to swipe your fingers round to navigate by means of Tiles (widgets) and scroll down screens to learn notifications of their entirety.
It lacks that satisfying click on you get from rotating the bodily rotating bezel on the Watch 4 Classic, however it’s a superb compromise to assist keep a a lot cleaner look.
Samsung hasn’t modified issues on the water resistance and sturdiness entrance. It comes with a 5ATM score making it protected for swimming as much as 50 metres depth and carries a MIL-STD-810G navy score by way of ensuring it is received a robust degree of ruggedness. The display has added safety with Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ in place too.
The Galaxy Watch 4 on the entire is a pleasant watch to dwell with. It’s comfy, has an important display that appears like a superb dimension, notably on the 44mm model. The distinctive type of the bands make it a little bit of ache to swap in non-official bands ,and also you do miss out on that bodily rotating bezel.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Wear OS and smartwatch options
- Wear OS brings higher app choice
- Retains traditional Samsung feel and look
- Some options nonetheless not prepared
Tizen isn’t any extra. It’s nonetheless being supported on older Samsung smartwatches, however the Galaxy Watch 4 marks a return to Google’s Wear OS.
The Watch 4 runs on Wear OS 3, which is the model of the working system that Samsung has helped to construct, and is clearly nonetheless impressed by Tizen. Samsung runs its One Watch UI on prime, which makes this really feel each bit such as you’re utilizing a Samsung smartwatch.
Tizen was on no account a nasty smartwatch OS, was extra polished than Google’s Wear OS, however app assist definitely held it again. Wear OS 3 guarantees to convey options like third get together tiles, rebuilt apps for the likes of Strava and Spotify and even health monitoring powered by Fitbit.
But to the untrained eye, the Galaxy Watch 4 would not really feel totally different. We’re certain many customers shall be blissfully unaware that there is a new OS on board â and that is most likely a superb factor.
But there’s one large technical change: the Watch 4 would not work with iPhones. It’s a stunning transfer by Samsung, however that is for Android cellphone homeowners, and Samsung smartphone homeowners will nonetheless get probably the most full expertise too.
You nonetheless want to make use of Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable app to setup, and set up just a few plugins to get the watch paired.
There’s just a few further steps inherited from establishing a Wear OS smartwatch like including your Google account, however that apart, it is a very Samsung-centric course of.
It’s an analogous story once you begin enjoying round with the Watch. We’ve misplaced the rotating bezel-friendly app display for a stream of apps, which is a tad disappointing to see go.
Swiping gestures left and proper from the primary watch display will get you to the Tiles or widgets, which have been in place on Samsung smartwatches already. The look of those Tiles have definitely modified however really feel a bit extra polished and now helps third get together apps as nicely.
Samsung launched animated watch faces on its earlier watches, and so they stay on the Watch 4, together with a pleasant assortment, which you’ll be able to bolster your choices from the Galaxy Wear app.
You can swipe right down to see your fast panel, which might be customised from the companion app too. Ultimately although, that is nonetheless feels simply appears like Tizen.
In the app display one can find a mixture of Samsung’s and Google’s personal apps. So there’s the likes of cellphone, calendar and messages apps. There’s Bixby, Samsung Health, Samsung Pay and the Samsung Health Monitor to allow ECG and blood strain readings.
Google Maps Wear OS 3 app
Google’s presence is represented by the Google Play Store and Google Maps.
The Google Maps app is fairly easy addition. You can use it to view your environment and you’ll see that flashing blue circle to indicate your present location. You can use the digital bezel to zoom out and in of the map, although maps aren’t richly detailed. Though together with the search characteristic gives sufficient that can assist you get round.
Strava Wear OS 3 app
With Google Play, you’ll be able to obtain apps instantly on the watch like you’ll be able to on Wear OS 2 watches. It’s a simplistic affair, however allows you to select apps out of your cellphone which have Wear equivalents or decide from Google’s curated lists. Installing the apps is not a fast course of however apps like Spotify and Strava ran with out problem for us.
Outside of that, options like notification assist, music controls and Samsung’s Bixby good assistant works very similar to they did on the final era Samsung Galaxy Watches.
Samsung will supply the choice to modify Bixby for Google Assistant, however like plenty of issues it appears with this transition to Wear OS, these are belongings you’ll have to attend for.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Fitness monitoring and sports activities monitoring
- Solid sports activities monitoring options
- Generally correct coronary heart price monitoring
- Elevated step readings
The sports activities monitoring and health monitoring options on the Galaxy Watch 4 really feel close to similar to what we received on the Galaxy Watch 3 and Watch Active 2. You get the identical 24/7 health monitoring and computerized sleep monitoring.
There’s steady coronary heart price, stress and blood oxygen monitoring plus built-in GPS to trace outside actions.
A brand new BioActive sensor combines ECG, PPG and a brand new BIA sensor with the latter introducing physique composition evaluation from the wrist for the primary time. It’s not a brand new characteristic for wearables, however it’s the primary time Samsung has added the kind of evaluation you’d normally flip to your pair of good lavatory scales for.
Body composition evaluation in contrast: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (left and centre) and Garmin Index scales (proper)
Measurements require inserting your ring and center finger on the 2 bodily buttons and after about 20-30 seconds you will see particulars on physique fats, skeletal muscle, fats mass, physique fats, BMI, physique water, and BMR.
We in contrast readings to a Garmin good scale and located that some information matched up and others did not. BMI numbers have been normally the identical, although physique fats % have been considerably larger on the Watch 4 for instance.
For health monitoring, you have received a devoted exercise Tile to indicate your step counts, energetic minutes and calorie burn.
You’ll get inactivity alerts with prompts to easy workouts you’ll be able to carry out to get you of that inactive rut. The computerized train recognition shortly detects actions like strolling which you will be prompted to alter to handbook monitoring in order for you extra information out of your stroll.
Step monitoring in contrast: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (left) and Garmin health monitoring (proper)
We discovered step counts appeared to match up with a Fitbit Sense and Garmin Enduro for many of the day, however by the top of the day tended to report round 2,000 extra steps. The inactivity alerts are extra helpful than most you’d discover on health trackers or smartwatches, and it does a pleasant job of attempting to maintain you energetic in small, however purposeful methods.
For sleep monitoring, it will monitor sleep length, levels, generate sleep scores and measure blood oxygen for those who select to trace that in the course of the night time.
Against the Fitbit Sense (our prime sleep tracker), the Watch 4 posted fairly comparable sleep information, notably for length and measuring sleep levels.
Fitbit’s sleep monitoring accuracy is a few of the greatest within the enterprise and it seems to be like Samsung’s would not truthful too badly both.
Sleep monitoring in contrast: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (left) and Fitbit Sense (proper)
Monitoring blood oxygen ranges might be completed repeatedly with readings recorded within the Samsung Health app.
These aren’t readings designed for medical use and Samsung would not make an enormous effort of placing these readings into any nice context over what it could actually inform you about your common wellness. It’s an analogous story with stress monitoring, which merely collates stress information and integrates its guided respiratory as approach that can assist you chill out.
Switching over to sports activities monitoring and specializing in Samsung’s personal exercise app, you have received a bunch of modes to choose from together with operating, biking, pool swimming and indoor actions like rowing and indoor biking. You’re nonetheless getting a operating coach mode and the flexibility so as to add further exercise modes out of your cellphone.
The sports activities monitoring expertise feels close to similar to what we discovered on the Watch 3 and Watch Active 2.
GPS monitoring in contrast: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (left and centre) and Garmin Enduro (proper)
For runs, the GPS decide up is swift and there is a number of screens to indicate off your stats. During the run and post-run, there’s plenty of information to drill into.
There’s superior operating metrics that have been launched on Samsung’s earlier watches as nicely. It slightly below reported on distance monitoring on all our runs and sometimes had our common tempo clocked a lot faster in comparison with a Garmin watch.
HR monitoring in contrast: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (left) and Garmin HRM-Pro chest strap monitor (proper)
Heart price information reported in runs was typically 1-2bpm off a Garmin HRM-Pro chest strap monitor for common coronary heart price monitor however round 5-6BPM larger on most coronary heart price readings.
It’s a barely higher story on the guts price monitoring efficiency for indoor exercises like indoor bike and rowing periods. Average coronary heart price readings nonetheless felt a bit low however most readings have been 1-2BPM out from a chest strap monitor.
Indoor in contrast: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (left) and Garmin Enduro (proper)
If you are all for repeatedly monitoring coronary heart price, we in comparison with the continual information from a Fitbit Sense and located it supplied comparable resting coronary heart price readings, however recorded larger coronary heart price ranges and common resting coronary heart price.
That information is not introduced in probably the most user-friendly approach within the Samsung Health app, neither is there any try to supply any kind of actionable insights.
Heart price monitoring in contrast: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (left) and Fitbit Sense (proper)
It does nonetheless really feel prefer it’s a greater health tracker than it’s doing an impression of a superb sports activities watch in our eyes.
It may also be attention-grabbing over time if it would begin to really feel extra Fitbit-like as was promised with Wear OS 3 or Samsung will proceed to carry onto its personal exercise and train options.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Health monitoring options
- Blood strain but to land on the Watch (UK)
- ECG and physique composition
If you wish to monitor coronary heart price and blood strain, the Watch 4 will try this through its new BioActive sensor, which is made up of an ECG sensor, PPG sensor and the BIA sensor talked about earlier.
The ECG sensor delivers extra correct coronary heart price measurements than PPG based mostly readings, making them extra helpful for detecting indicators of great coronary heart well being points like atrial fibrillation.
Samsung says you get the identical blood strain monitoring assist included on the Watch 3 and Active 2, which makes use of the PPG sensor to ship measurements â as soon as you have calibrated it with a cuff-style blood strain monitor. The blood strain assist did not appear to be enabled throughout our testing nevertheless â and there is not any phrase on when this may land.
These options are tied to the Samsung Health Monitor app, which is simply obtainable on Samsung smartphones. So that provides in one other Samsung app you will must get issues arrange. That preliminary calibration and arrange is identical as it’s on Samsung’s earlier watches and you’ll head to the Health Monitor app on the watch to begin taking measurements.
For ECG readings, you’ll be able to see a classification and share outcomes as PDF from the Health Monitor cellphone app.
When blood strain is switched on, you will must be sure you calibrate the Watch each 4 weeks to ensure it is meting out probably the most dependable information.
While we did not get the rumoured non-invasive glucose monitoring some speculated would possibly get added to the Galaxy Watch 4, what’s right here does imply that together with the Apple Watch, that is nonetheless probably the greatest well being monitoring smartwatches on the market for those who’re in a rustic that helps these large well being options.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Battery life
- Two day battery life in actual world testing
- Single day with always-on show
With the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Watch Active 2 managed to ship a few days of battery life with a mixture of smartwatch and sports activities and health monitoring options in use in our testing.
With the Watch 4, it is disappointing to find Samsung hasn’t actually budged from that form of battery efficiency.
The 44mm Watch 4 incorporates a 361mAh capability battery and that drops to a smaller 247mAh battery on the 40mm Watch 4.
Samsung would not connect a quantity to how lengthy these watches will final, however we discovered with options like notifications, sports activities monitoring and the display not set to always-on, it manages to to make it by means of 2 days.
Using GPS monitoring for a 30 minute run noticed the battery drop by over 10%, which is an analogous drop-off to what we skilled on the Watch 3 and Watch Active 2.
However, for those who activate the always-on show mode, and also you’re getting extra like a day’s play.
There is an influence saving mode, which turns of the always-on show, Wi-Fi, turns off get up gestures and reduce brightness amongst different issues. It nonetheless makes all the things else obtainable, so it is not a massively restrictive energy saving mode, however it does nonetheless imply you are going to max out at a few days. When you are actually operating low you will be prompted to a fundamental watch mode to maintain you away from the charger for a bit of longer.
When it does come to charging, Samsung sticks to the identical disc-style cradle that magnetically clips to the again of the case. It’s nonetheless not probably the most safe charging resolution you will discover on a smartwatch and it would not assist any type of quick charging, so does take a few hours to get again from 0-100%.