Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review: Best Smartwatch for Android


Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 is a huge deal, and now not simplest for Samsung. It marks a reinvention of the corporate’s smartwatch line, but additionally the advent of recent instrument co-engineered with Google – making this additionally the debut of the overhauled Wear OS 3.

The excellent information is that Samsung has most commonly nailed the revel in. From a {hardware} viewpoint the Galaxy Watch 4 is difficult to fault, whilst the brand new instrument makes this principally the most efficient smartwatch you’ll be able to purchase that doesn’t have an Apple emblem on it – for now a minimum of.

The simplest actual problem is that Samsung is busy erecting a walled lawn to rival its Californian rival, and because of this the Galaxy Watch 4 is at its absolute best when paired with a Samsung phone. Other Android house owners will a minimum of nonetheless to find lots to love, even supposing a pair options are lacking, however iPhone customers are left within the chilly – this received’t paintings in any respect.

Design and construct

  • Minimalist aesthetic
  • Available in two sizes
  • IP68 & 5ATM water-resistance
  • Compatible with usual watch straps

The Galaxy Watch 4 boasts a slick, sparse design that appears excellent, however obviously isn’t meant to attract an excessive amount of consideration to itself.

Galaxy Watch 4

It’s to be had in two sizes – 40mm and 44mm – and a spread of colors: black and silver are to be had for both dimension, whilst crimson gold is reserved for the smaller fashion and darkish inexperienced for the bigger model.

I’ve been trying out the bigger fashion, and it does really feel slightly chunky. The 40mm fashion would possibly fare higher, however I doubt it – they are the similar thickness at 9.8mm, so if the rest the smaller variant would possibly really feel proportionately heftier.

In any case, the round watch frame itself is encased in what Samsung calls ‘Armor Aluminium’ – the similar steel it makes use of for the frames of the brand new Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 telephones. The default strap is a rubberised quantity, however in fact Samsung sells more than a few choices, and both dimension of Watch 4 may also be fitted with lavatory usual 20mm watch straps – despite the fact that they received’t take a seat slightly as flush in opposition to the frame as Samsung’s authentic curved straps.

Galaxy Watch 4 design

On the watch itself you’ll simplest to find two buttons alongside the right-hand aspect, with all different controls restricted to touch display screen – have a look at the costlier Watch 4 Classic if you need a bodily rotating bezel and extra conventional aesthetic.

Of direction, the Watch 4 could also be water-proof, with an IP68 ranking for mud and water coverage, in conjunction with a 5ATM ranking – that means it’s excellent to resist drive as deep as 50m. Throw in a Gorilla Glass DX+ coating at the show and an MIL-STD-810G toughness ranking and also you will have to be capable to believe this to carry as much as maximum tough remedy.

The lengthy and in need of is that the Galaxy Watch 4 is horny however restrained. If you need an eye that both stands proud or emulates vintage watch designs, this received’t be it, however in the event you desire your smartwatch to get out of the way in which and help you focal point on what it in truth does, this will have to surely attraction.

Display and audio

  • Bright, colourful AMOLED show
  • Always-on show choices
  • Integrated mic and speaker

With this sort of minimalist design in other places, additional prominence is given to the Watch 4’s show.

Samsung has opted to make use of an AMOLED panel right here, and it’s brilliant and colourful even in direct daylight, with truly punchy colors that take advantage of array of watch faces incorporated – with over 20 put in out of the field, maximum relatively customisable, and lots extra to be had to obtain.

Galaxy Watch 4

The smaller 40mm fashion features a 1.2in, 396×396 panel, with the bigger 44mm fashion leaping to at least one.4in, 450×450. These are the very same shows discovered within the two sizes of the Watch 4 Classic, for what it’s value.

There remains to be a relatively thick black bezel across the edges of the show – one benefit of the Classic, the place that is most commonly blocked by means of the bodily bezel – and I’d like to look Samsung shrink this area subsequent time round, despite the fact that it isn’t truly too bothersome.

One perk of opting for OLED tech is that it helps an always-on show possibility, which is able to stay the time and a few different data on-screen 24/7 – despite the fact that at a relatively critical hit to battery lifestyles, so I’d simplest counsel it in the event you’re constant about charging day-to-day.

Galaxy Watch 4 watch face

Fortunately, the raise-to-wake and tap-to-wake choices each paintings neatly, so I by no means felt like I used to be lacking an excessive amount of by means of switching off the AOD. Additional display screen settings like enhanced contact sensitivity for gloved use, or a water lock to disable contact enter whilst swimming and showering, display Samsung has idea sparsely concerning the different complications a touch-sensitive smartwatch can introduce.

As for audio, an built-in microphone and speaker imply that you’ll be able to take calls immediately at the watch or use it for digital assistant regulate. Bluetooth audio could also be to be had to patch via immediately to headphones.

Software and lines

  • ‘Wear OS Powered by means of Samsung’
  • Extensive app and watch face ecosystem
  • Bixby integrated – Google Assistant added in a while 24 May 2022

The Galaxy Watch 4 is – kind of – the debut of Google’s 1/3 technology of Wear OS.

Wear OS 3 is a collaboration between Google and Samsung, which had prior to now advanced its personal TizenOS to make use of on its smartwatches. Strictly talking, Wear OS 3 doesn’t debut till 2022, and as a substitute this watch formally runs ‘Wear OS powered by means of Samsung’. Practically talking, that is obviously a primary glimpse at Google’s overhaul, albeit with Samsung’s spin on most sensible.

That signifies that you’ll get Samsung’s personal new One UI Watch interface, because of this that navigating the Galaxy Watch 4 feels nearer to the corporate’s Galaxy telephones than the rest from Google, whilst precedence is given to the likes of Samsung Pay and Bixby over the likes of Google Pay and Google Assistant – Google’s fee device is supported, however now not by way of {hardware} shortcut.

Galaxy Watch 4

Out of the field the Watch 4 features a beautiful usual array of smartwatch options: a number of health and well being monitoring (extra on that later), plus calendar, contacts, alarms, timers, climate, and a voice recorder.

Notifications are absolutely supported too, in conjunction with a welcome array of choices to respond to incoming messages, from a couple of quick automatic responses to a squiggly, gesture-based keyboard to sort out longer replies.

Since release, Samsung has added gesture controls to simply accept/decline calls, cancel alarms, or open a suite app. Google Assistant make stronger has additionally made its method to the Watch 4 line, 9 months after unlock. These don’t seem to be simplest welcome additions however a excellent indicator that Samsung intends to stay the Watch 4 up to date with instrument enhancements.

Galaxy Watch 4 apps

If you need so as to add slightly additional, the most important instrument growth this is the way to set up new watch apps from the Google Play Store. That opens up a number of apps, from watch face collections to YouTube Music and Spotify, utilities like Google Keep or AccuWeather, and third-party health and well being equipment from the likes of Adidas and Calm.

In addition to apps, you’re much more likely to navigate the watch by way of the Tiles, which might be laid out to the correct of the house display screen. These are necessarily quick-access widgets for every app, and are the best way to make use of the phone’s health options and extra. They’re easy to tweak, choose, and re-order, so it’s brief to customize the Watch 4 to absolute best swimsuit how you employ it.

On the Watch 4 Classic, you’d use the rotating bezel to briefly scroll via those Tiles, whilst right here you’ll be able to do the similar factor by means of spinning your fingertip spherical the brink of show. It takes slightly being used to, however haptic comments as you spin makes this an incredibly gratifying method to navigate the OS.

Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic

As discussed above, the Watch 4 will paintings with any Android phone, despite the fact that will fail to see a few particular health options. On iOS it’s a distinct tale despite the fact that, because the Watch 4 received’t paintings in any respect – so iPhone house owners who don’t need an Apple Watch should glance in other places.

Fitness and monitoring

  • 80+ health actions
  • Heart fee, SpO2, sleep & tension monitoring
  • New frame composition sensor

The Watch 4 options health and well being monitoring that would simplest be described as ‘complete’.

Thanks to an array of sensors you’ll be able to stay monitor of now not simplest your center fee, but additionally blood oxygen ranges, abnormal heartbeats, sleep high quality, tension, and one main new one: frame composition.

Galaxy Watch 4 body composition

Much like many good scales, the Galaxy Watch 4 makes use of bioelectrical impedance to evaluate the share of fats, muscle, and water that makes up your frame. Testing takes 30 seconds or so, and comes to touching the buttons with two of your arms for the period.

The effects weren’t completely in keeping with my Withings Body Cardio, which I think is the extra correct of the 2. But for a snappy guiding principle that is to hand, and it’s a surely distinctive function evaluate to different smartwatches. It will have to even be welcome to any person who needs to trace their frame composition with out obsessing over their exact weight, which is difficult to keep away from when the use of a scale.

Other monitoring is simple and dependable, with center fee, tension, and sleep all ready to run routinely, and the rest guide. Sleep monitoring is particularly spectacular, with effects intently matching the ones from the under-mattress Withings Sleep Analyzer.

Galaxy Watch 4 sensor

Data is shared with the non-compulsory Samsung Health app in your phone. The simplest exceptions are the ECG and blood drive readings, which for some reason why are as a substitute shared with the distinct Samsung Health Monitor app – which is simplest to be had on Samsung telephones. Without a Samsung phone with the app put in you’ll be able to’t take an ECG or blood drive reading in any respect, so in case you are on some other Android instrument then undergo that during thoughts.

Outside of the ones well being options, there may be in fact step and health monitoring. 13 trackable exercises are put in by means of default, however Samsung Health options greater than 80 for you to make a choice from in case your favorite isn’t incorporated out of the field.

Automatic exercise monitoring is there to lend a hand to, and has inspired me with its reliability, kicking in even on fairly quick walks – and together with within the monitoring the stats from the primary little while or so sooner than it in truth turns on the exercise mode.

Specs and function

  • New Exynos W920 chipset
  • Smooth efficiency
  • 16GB garage

Specs aren’t the very first thing folks consider with a smartwatch, however they’re value taking into account.

Samsung has upgraded the chip throughout the Galaxy Watch 4, and the brand new Exynos W920 is notable as it strikes to a smaller and extra environment friendly 5nm procedure. In principle that implies greater energy, but additionally stepped forward energy potency.

Galaxy Watch 4

Setting battery lifestyles apart for the instant, there’s obviously quite a lot of energy right here. The Galaxy Watch 4 is constantly easy and fluid to make use of, and throughout a couple of weeks with the watch I by no means felt it lag, stutter, or fight with the rest I requested it to do.

The chipset is paired with 1.5GB of RAM and an stepped forward 16GB garage – which doesn’t sound like a lot, however for an eye will have to be lots on the subject of each put in apps and downloaded song for offline playback.

Bluetooth 5.0 is supported, in conjunction with Wi-Fi (despite the fact that now not Wi-Fi 6), in conjunction with NFC for bills. LTE could also be to be had, despite the fact that you could have the selection of paying additional for it, with Bluetooth+Wi-Fi simplest fashions additionally to be had.

Battery and charging

  • Up to two-day battery
  • Wireless charging – however now not Qi

Samsung quotes ‘as much as 40 hours’ of battery for the Watch 4, and that’s about correct – despite the fact that there’s an enormous vary of variability relying on how you employ the watch.

On the default settings, together with sleep monitoring, I discovered the Watch 4 would closing me with regards to two days, so I didn’t want to tension about charging it each day. Of direction, battery will degrade through the years, however it sort of feels most likely that this will likely consistently be capable to safely closing a minimum of the 24 hours for a complete day together with sleep monitoring.

Activating the always-on show will drain that battery considerably, and necessarily turns it right into a single-day instrument. Factors like how widespread you put the guts fee tracking, how a lot you employ the Watch 4 for workout tracking, and what kind of you employ it for song playback or replying to messages, will in fact have an effect on battery lifestyles too.

I’ve been trying out the bigger 44mm fashion, which unsurprisingly comes with a bigger battery too. The 40mm model would possibly not closing slightly as lengthy – however then it does have a smaller show to compensate for the smaller battery, so if truth be told I’d be expecting all of it to stability out.

It takes more or less an hour and a part to succeed in a complete price on Samsung’s equipped puck charger, despite the fact that you’ll get sufficient juice to closing the day from simply part an hour or so. That’s now not unhealthy, however I’d nonetheless like to look quicker speeds – on a hectic day it’s possible you’ll fight to seek out the time to depart your watch charging while you don’t want it, except you’re keen to forgo sleep monitoring.

It additionally helps wi-fi charging, and can also be crowned up during the opposite wi-fi charging on sure Samsung Galaxy telephones – despite the fact that that is achingly gradual. It technically doesn’t use the Qi usual, so received’t paintings with usual wi-fi chargers. Some folks file higher success with this, however I attempted on two charging pads without a good fortune.

Price and availability

The Galaxy Watch 4 is to be had international now, and between the 2 sizes and LTE choices is basically to be had in 4 variations:

  • 40mm Bluetooth: £249/€269/$249
  • 40mm 4G: £289/€319/$299
  • 44mm Bluetooth: £269/€299/$279
  • 44mm 4G: £309/€349/$329

It’s to be had in a couple of set color/strap combos from outlets like Amazon, however in the event you buy directly from Samsung you’ll be able to use the Bespoke Studio to select the precise aggregate that you need.

If you favor the glance of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, that is also available, however will price £100/€100/$100 extra regardless of packing necessarily the similar capability – so that you’re paying much more for the vintage aesthetic and rotating bezel.

Check out our information to the most efficient smartwatches in the marketplace at this time to learn how the Watch 4 compares to the contest, or our select of the most efficient Watch 4 offers if you realize that’s what you need.

Verdict

The Galaxy Watch 4 continues Samsung’s spectacular smartwatch monitor report, however the partnership with Google turns out to have increased each events.

At least till Wear OS 3 launches in complete in 2022, this iteration is almost certainly the most efficient smartwatch instrument outdoor of an Apple Watch, and the chipset enhancements and frame composition monitoring make certain that the {hardware} is specced to check.

It’s a disgrace that a few the monitoring metrics are restricted to Samsung phone house owners, which could be sufficient to make different Android customers hesitant – and iPhone house owners can’t use this in any respect. But in the event you’re already throughout the Samsung ecosystem there’s merely no higher smartwatch for you at this time.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Specs

  • 1.2in 396×396 (40mm) or 1.4in 450×450 (44mm) round AMOLED always-on show
  • Gorilla Glass DX+
  • 1.18GHz dual-core Exynos W920 5nm processor
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 16GB ROM
  • Wear OS Powered by means of Samsung
  • One UI Watch
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi
  • 4G LTE (non-compulsory)
  • Microphone
  • Speaker
  • Knox safety
  • Optical center fee sensor (PPG)
  • Electrical center sensor (ECG)
  • Bioelectrical impedance research sensor (BIA)
  • Blood oxygen monitoring
  • AFib abnormal heartbeat detection
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Snore detection
  • Body composition research
  • Guided exercises
  • Bixby Voice
  • Gesture controls
  • Stainless metal casing
  • 5ATM swim-proof
  • IP68-certified mud/water resistance
  • MIL-STD-810G examined
  • Wireless charging
  • 247mAh (40mm) or 361mAh battery (44mm)
  • 40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8mm (40mm) or 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8mm (44mm)
  • 26g (40mm) or 30g (44mm)
  • Colours: Black, silver, crimson gold, inexperienced
  • Compatible with Android 6.0 or upper (units require greater than 1.5GB RAM)



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