Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 evaluate: Google smartwatch raises bar | Samsung


The Galaxy Watch 4 is Samsung and Google’s try to mix efforts and compete with Apple’s smartwatch – and it will get about 80% of the best way there.

The Android smartwatch is available in two designs and 4 sizes, beginning at £249 ($250) for the Watch 4 and £349 ($350) – as examined – for the Watch 4 Traditional. They succeed the £269 Watch Energetic 2 and £399 Watch 3 respectively.

The 2 designs have the identical chips, options and display sizes, however the chrome steel Traditional has Samsung’s jog-dial-like rotating bezel controller, whereas the usual aluminium Watch 4 has a touch-sensitive ring as an alternative.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review
The rotating bezel controller is the easiest way to scroll and navigate on a smartwatch by far, turning with a satisfying step-by-step click on, however you’ll be able to swipe, faucet and drag on the touchscreen too. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The watches are slimmer and have barely extra flare than their predecessors. The 42mm Traditional is extraordinarily comfy and never sweaty to put on with its conventional silicone strap.

The AMOLED display is great: shiny, pin-sharp and on on a regular basis if you’d like it to be. The show is roofed in scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass DX+ and the watch is water-proof to 50-metre depths so ought to show sturdy.


  • Display: 1.2in or 1.4in AMOLED (~467/455 ppi)

  • Case dimension: 40/44mm or 42/46mm relying on model

  • Case thickness: 9.8 or 11/11.2mm

  • Band dimension: commonplace 20mm

  • Weight: 25.9/30.3 or 46.5/52g

  • Processor: Samsung Exynos W920

  • RAM: 1.5GB

  • Storage: 16GB

  • Working system: One UI 3/Put on OS 3 (Android 11)

  • Water resistance: 50 metres (5ATM)/IP68

  • Sensors: barometer, gyro, HR, ECG, bioelectrical impedance, microphone, speaker, NFC, location, compass

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5, wifi n, NFC

Quicker chip, shorter battery life

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review
Organising the watch with a Samsung cellphone is so simple as tapping on a pop-up and following the directions, however requires some app downloads and handbook start-up on different Android gadgets. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

On paper the brand new Exynos W920 chip within the watches is 20% quicker with 10% improved graphics efficiency than their predecessors.

The Traditional definitely feels quick and far smoother in comparison with most Put on OS watches, on a par with the TicWatch Professional 3, however not fairly as much as the fast expertise of the Apple Watch Collection 6.

The battery of the 42mm Traditional lasts for slightly below 25 hours with the display on all the time and sleep monitoring in a single day. The watch sometimes ends the day with slightly below 40% battery remaining, falling wanting the 36 hours of the Watch 3’s battery. Bigger Watch 4 sizes have larger batteries and should last more.

An influence-saving mode can prolong the battery by a couple of hours, whereas a “watch solely” setting turns every part off besides the watch face to final greater than 9 days. It takes 82 minutes to totally cost utilizing the supplied magnetic puck and a typical 2.4A USB energy adaptor, reaching 70% in 50 minutes. An influence adaptor is just not included.


Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review
Earlier Samsung smartwatches have been sturdy and have had prolonged software program help, permitting them to final a very long time. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Samsung doesn’t give an anticipated lifespan for the battery within the Watch 4 however supplies a one-year guarantee. Batteries in comparable gadgets sometimes preserve not less than 80% of their authentic capability for not less than 500 full cost cycles.

The Watch 4 is usually repairable and the battery may be replaced by authorised service centres. Its predecessor was one of the repairable smartwatches obtainable, scoring seven out of 10 with the repair specialists iFixit. The Watch 4 has but to be rated.

Samsung didn’t touch upon the usage of recycled supplies within the development of the watch, however does provide recycling and trade-in schemes and publishes an annual sustainability report and commitments.

One UI 3 on Put on OS 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review
Swipe up on the watch face to get a customisable record of app icons. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The large change for Samsung is the change from its personal Tizen working system to One UI 3, which is a customized model of Google’s Put on OS 3 that the 2 firms have co-developed to relaunch the Android-maker’s smartwatch efforts.

On the floor the software program seems and behaves nearly precisely the identical as that on Samsung’s earlier watches, which isn’t any dangerous factor offering a easy and refined expertise.

From the watch face, notifications are proven in panes to the left and customisable “tiles” with at-a-glance data for varied apps and capabilities are to the precise. You possibly can swipe between them or flip the bezel. Tapping a tile or notification expands it to entry the app or learn textual content, together with fast replies to messages through canned responses, voice dictation, keyboard, drawing letters or emojis along with your fingers.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review
Swipe down from the highest of the display for a customisable panel of fast toggles for setting equivalent to quantity, brightness or don’t disturb. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Press the highest button as soon as to return to the watch face, twice to change to your last-used app or press and maintain it to talk to Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby, which is faster than earlier than however nonetheless not as slick or succesful as rivals. Press the underside button as soon as to return one step in an app or press and maintain to deliver up Samsung Pay.

Samsung plus a bit Google

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review
A lot of the built-in watch faces may be customised with completely different colors, arms, marks and data widgets. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Regardless of being a Google Put on OS watch, many of the apps and providers are from Samsung. Google Maps and Google Pay are important additions, however Google Assistant is just not but obtainable.

Entry to the Google Play Retailer provides a bigger library of third-party apps, together with Spotify and YouTube Music, each with offline playback help and well being and health apps, together with Strava, Citymapper, Accuweather and plenty of third-party watch faces. The 40-strong collection of customisable built-in watch faces is great too.

Not like different Put on OS watches, the Watch 4 can’t be used with an iPhone and most of the extra superior options, such because the ECG operate, require it to be linked to a Samsung cellphone. It additionally makes use of the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app to pair, join and handle settings, not the Put on OS app different smartwatches from Fossil et al use.

Samsung Well being

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review
To measure your physique composition you need to maintain your fingers on the buttons with out touching the remainder of your physique and have your arms held out in entrance of you. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Well being and health monitoring is dealt with by the great Samsung Health. It could mechanically monitor walks, runs, swims and some others, with comparable accuracy as high-end operating watches. The watch will monitor 95 completely different actions overlaying all of the fundamentals and extra unique actions equivalent to snowboarding, hang-gliding and kitesurfing.

The watch data your coronary heart charge and rhythm (ECG), blood oxygen ranges, stress, steps and calorie burn, whereas prompting you to do some guided stretches should you’ve been sedentary for too lengthy. New for the Watch 4 is superior sleep monitoring, together with snore detection that hyperlinks as much as a close-by cellphone on a bedside desk, and physique composition evaluation. It makes use of bioelectrical impedance, just like some sensible scales, to estimate the proportion of fats, muscle and water in your physique as a greater technique to monitor well being than BMI.

The information it produced matched that from a set of sensible scales. Much like weight measurements, each can range wildly influenced by how a lot water I had drunk or how lengthy since my final exercise, that means consistency was the important thing to helpful outcomes.


Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review
The usual 20mm watch band has quick-release pins, however the lugs taper barely so third-party replacements may have a small quantity of modification to get them to suit simply. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • You possibly can reply or dismiss calls and notifications with shakes of the wrist, which have been a bit hit or miss.

  • The watch has a small affect on the battery lifetime of the cellphone it’s linked to, consuming roughly 5% battery throughout a day.


The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 begins at £249 ($249.99) for the 40mm model and £269 ($279.99) for the 44mm model. The Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional prices £349 ($349.99) for the 42mm model and £369 ($379.99) for the 46mm model.

Fashions with 4G value a further £40 ($50) plus a knowledge contract.


The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the perfect smartwatch you should buy for Android, however it’s not a large leap forward of its predecessors nor an amazing relaunch of Google’s Put on OS efforts.

The change to Put on OS 3 hasn’t harm performance and can in all probability pay dividends in a while, opening up larger third-party app help. However for now you’ve got the perfect of Samsung’s providers and expertise with the addition of Google Maps, Pay and the Play Retailer plus barely higher integration with Android smartphones.

It’s quicker and smoother than different Android-compatible smartwatches, has complete well being monitoring, seems good and the bezel controller on the Watch 4 Traditional is nice. However whereas the battery life is not less than a full 24 hours, it’s a little wanting finest at school, Bixby, remains to be slower and fewer succesful, you’ll be able to’t use the Watch 4 with an iPhone and a few options don’t work should you use it with an Android machine not made by Samsung.

Professionals: the perfect of Samsung plus a bit of Google, quick and easy, wonderful show, engaging conventional watch design, bezel management, 50-metre water resistance, complete well being and health monitoring, physique composition measurement, Play Retailer, Google Maps and Pay.

Cons: no Google Assistant but, leaving the much less succesful Bixby the one choice for voice, some prime capabilities restricted to Samsung telephones, not appropriate with the iPhone, solely 25-hours battery with display on throughout day.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review
Slightly animated icon seems on the backside of the display when enjoying music, setting a timer or comparable, which you faucet to go straight to the related app or exercise. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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