The Apple Watch 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 are probably the two most prominent smartwatches on the market. They could also be the best two.
They are also made by two companies that are both fierce rivals and frequent collaborators. Apple and Samsung have been laughing at each other for years, whether they like to admit it or not.
Basically when it comes to smartwatch showdowns, they aren’t tastier than this one. We’ve even given the two four out of five reviews in 2021, which tells you it’s an uphill battle.
So which smartwatch is better of the two, the Apple Watch 7 or the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4? Let’s take a closer look.
Apple Watch 7 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: price and availability
The Apple Watch 7 arrived in stores on October 15, 2021. Prices start at $ 399 / £ 369 / AU $ 599 for the 41mm non-cellular model, while $ 429 / £ 399 / AU $ 649 will guarantee you. the 45 mm non-cellular model.
For cellular models, the 41mm model will set you back $ 499 / £ 469 / AU $ 749, and the 45mm model costs $ 529 / £ 499 / AU $ 799. On top of that, you’ll need to factor in the price of a data plan.
For the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, it’s now available for purchase in the US and UK, where it goes on sale August 26, 2021 and September 10 in Australia. There is also a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic model that gives you a more premium design with a physical rotating bezel.
The smaller 40mm non-cellular version of the Galaxy Watch 4 single costs $ 250 / £ 249 / AU $ 399, while the cellular version costs $ 300 / £ 289 / AU $ 499. The 44mm non-cellular model costs $ 2,809 / £ 269 (around AU $ 500), while the LTE unit costs $ 330 / £ 309 (around AU $ 580).
Finally, the top-of-the-line Galaxy Watch 4 Classic starts from $ 349 / £ 349 / AU $ 549 for the 42mm Bluetooth model and $ 399 / £ 389 / AU $ 649 for the 42mm LTE model. The upgrade to the 46mm model is available in a Bluetooth version for $ 379 / £ 369 / AU $ 599, or an LTE variant for $ 429 / £ 409 / AU $ 699.
If you can get a distinct taste from this soup model, well done. All you really need to know is that the Apple Watch 7 is the more expensive of the two lines, and the Galaxy Watch 4 gives you more options depending on your budget.
Apple Watch 7 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: design and display
Apple and Samsung have taken fundamentally different approaches to designing smartwatches. Apple’s watch is square, while Samsung’s watches are round.
Yes, Samsung offers two different versions of the Galaxy Watch 4. They are very similar, which is why we will refer to them singular for much of this functionality.
Essentially, the Galaxy Watch 4 is smaller, lighter, and has a capacitive touch-sensing strip, while the larger Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has a physical rotating bezel for navigation. The Apple Watch 7, of course, uses a much more understated crown which is used for a similar effect.
In terms of size, the Apple Watch 7 is available in 41mm and 45mm, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is available in 40mm and 44mm. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is even larger at 42mm and 46mm.
Both Samsung and Apple portable devices are dust and water resistant up to 50 meters.
When it comes to the colors available, the Apple Watch 7 gives you Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Green, and Product Red.
With the Galaxy Watch 4, Samsung has split the color options between the two sizes. The 40mm model is available in black, gold and silver, while the 44mm model is available in black, green and silver. All of them are relatively discreet.
It’s difficult to compare the displays of these two devices given that one is square and the other is circular, but we’ll give it a try. The 1.9-inch screen of the Apple Watch 7 is 20% larger than its predecessor and is also larger than the 1.4-inch equivalent of the Galaxy Watch 4.
However, they’re just as pixel dense, at 326 ppi for the Apple Watch and around 330 ppi for the Galaxy Watch 4. Both are punchy AMOLEDs and are two of the clearest smartwatch displays around.
Another difference is that the Apple Watch 7’s screen curves around the edges, while the Galaxy Watch 4’s is much flatter and more utilitarian.
Apple Watch 7 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: fitness and features
With its stronger body, the Apple Watch 7 is better equipped for sports use than previous models. Despite this, it is still somewhat lacking in a few key areas.
Things like interval sessions and heart rate alerts are still missing, for example. It provides blood oxygen sensor, electrical heart sensor, third generation optical heart sensor, GPS and barometric altimeter. Its GPS and heart rate monitoring accuracy is on par with some decent dedicated trackers.
However, the Apple Watch 7’s Electrocardiogram (ECG) and Blood Oxygen (SPO2) monitoring facility is not medical grade and therefore of no particular value.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has a new three-in-one bioactive sensor that allows the watch to monitor heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and body composition. The latter is done using a unique bioelectrical impedance (BIA) sensor and allows you to monitor things like skeletal muscle mass and body fat percentage.
It’s this body composition tracking feature that sets the Galaxy Watch 4 apart from the Apple Watch 4 when it comes to health tracking.
Meanwhile, the Apple Watch 7 ace card here is Apple Fitness +. Apple’s trainer-based workouts have been put together at great expense and give it a distinct edge over its rival if you need a little extra motivation to stick with a fitness routine.
We found the Galaxy Watch 4’s GPS tracking capabilities to be similar to that of the Apple Watch 7.
It’s worth pointing out that the fitness facilities of these two smartwatches only really work to their full potential when you also own a smartphone from the same manufacturer. We’re used to Apple’s walled garden approach, but the Galaxy Watch 4 similarly loops its ECG and blood pressure monitoring facilities for Samsung smartphones.
Apple Watch 7 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: OS, power and battery
Apple equipped the Apple Watch 7 with an S7 chip, which is apparently a new custom processor. However, this is actually the S6 chip of the Apple Watch 6 with a slightly different design.
We’d like to complain more about this somewhat misleading move, but the truth is, the Apple Watch 7 is smooth enough. You don’t get any of the unwanted effects that you frequently get in lesser smartwatches.
Of course, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 isn’t one of those lesser smartwatches. It also uses custom silicon in the form of the Samsung Exynos W920, and we’ve found it to be one of the smoothest and most responsive wearable devices we’ve ever used.
One of the ways the Apple Watch is clearly winning is built-in storage. At 32GB, it has double the capacity of the Galaxy Watch 4, giving you a lot more headroom for offline apps and music.
Both of these watches have very powerful software, at least compared to other smartwatches. Apple’s WatchOS 8 is arguably the best operating system for smartwatches, but Samsung has provided a strong rival. It ditched its own Tizen operating system and returned to Google’s WearOS, albeit with its own Tizen-like user interface.
Both are a pleasure to use, with finely refined interfaces and richly populated app stores. If you’re a fan of entering full messages from your watch, both watches will provide full keyboard functions in the meantime.
When it comes to endurance, the Apple Watch 7 has consistently given us a full 24 hours on a single charge. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 got even better, with two to three full days between charges depending on the frequency and intensity of your fitness program.
It should be noted that this is for the 44mm model of the Watch 4, with its larger 361mAh battery. We haven’t tested the endurance of the 40mm model yet, so it may not fare as well. The Apple Watch 7 has a 309mAh cell, but direct capacity comparisons don’t mean much given that they use completely different operating systems.
To take with
Apple Watch 7 packs a wide variety of awesome features and offers a stunning second screen for iPhone users. It’s not much of an upgrade from the Apple Watch 6, but it’s the best smartwatch for iOS users nonetheless.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is a more impressive upgrade than its own predecessor, with a superior Wear OS-based operating system and excellent battery life.
Both watches offer solid fitness features and silky-smooth performance, along with comfortable adjustments. The Apple Watch 4 has the most premium design, but you’ll have to pay a little extra for this privilege. Really, they’re very close when you stack the pros and cons.
It sounds obvious, but it really comes down to this: If you have an iPhone, the Apple Watch 7 is the best smartwatch. If you have a Samsung phone, the Galaxy Watch 4 is better.
Both have compatibility issues with unbranded phones, although the Galaxy Watch 4 performs better in terms of Android smartphone operability. For this reason, it’s safe to call the Galaxy Watch 4 the best choice for most people, even though the Apple Watch 7 is arguably the best smartwatch, all other things being equal.