Now Samsung and Google have joined forces to rebuild the WearOS from the ground up and the first smartwatch to run the latest version of WearOS 3 is the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. The basic idea is to get Android phone users to opt for a single smartwatch operating system, an approach that could change WearOS’s fortunes if the developers lend their support to the platform.
Samsung is already promoting the Galaxy Watch 4, but is it really a real smartwatch if you have an Android phone? I’ve been using the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic for a few days, and here is my take on the most premium smartwatch for someone in the Android ecosystem.
Price of Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (46mm, Wi-Fi) in India: Rs 34,999
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review: Design and aesthetics
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, the one I tested, has a timeless design. It’s one of those unisex watches that goes with any outfit you wear – formal, casual, or casual.
The watch fits perfectly on the wrist and I can wear it all day. The 46mm version (42mm is also available) looks big on my wrist but it never feels like I’m wearing a smartwatch even though it does. And this look, which resembles a traditional watch, only adds to the appeal of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
The watch is made of stainless steel and has mechanical rotating bezels, so you have to physically move the edge of the screen to go through the interface. This rotating bezel is actually a smart way to interact with the user interface, which for me makes the Watch 4 Classic distinct from the Apple Watch.
You will find two physical buttons on the right side of the screen, the top one is used to take you back to the home screen and the other button takes you back to a screen. These two buttons are the primary means of taking ECG-based heart rate readings (not available in India) as well as calculating body fat percentage and muscle mass (more on that later).
It supports 20mm silicon traps which can be easily swapped out. The watch is IP68 water and dust resistant as well as MIL-STD-810G certified, so if you like extreme sports activities and hiking, this is the watch for you.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review: display and user interface
The circular display of the Watch 4 Classic is remarkable. The 46mm version I tested has a 1.4in Super AMOLED 450 x 450 display. It’s bright, colorful, and I had no problem reading notifications in direct sunlight. There’s an always-on mode, allowing you to keep the screen awake 24/7. I rate the screen of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic to be as good as that of the Apple Watch Series 6.
… But what about the software and the user interface?
This is the main reason why I agreed to review the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic in the first place. Goodbye Tizen and enter WearOS 3.
Yes, Samsung no longer uses its in-house Tizen operating system for the Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic. Instead, the new smartwatch is powered by the redesigned WearOS developed by Samsung and Google. But when I looked at the interface, WearOS 3 is very reminiscent of the TizenOS used in Samsung’s previous generation smartwatches. Of course, there is a level of convenience with the interface and icons, but to be clear, the Watch 4 Classic runs a whole new operating system.
Tizen was never an unfinished smartwatch operating system like Google’s WearOS, but it lacked third-party apps, which Apple has championed from the start and why the Apple Watch is so successful. For me, the new user interface and operating system is a better fit for the Watch 4 Classic and it shows. Samsung has adopted the interface of its smartwatch giving it its own twist, just like OneUI on Galaxy smartphones.
Swiping to the right from the main screen houses the tiles (or widgets) and to the left you access notifications. Swiping up from the Home screen will take you to all of your installed apps, which reminds me a bit of the app clutter on the Apple Watch. You’ll find a healthy mix of apps from Google and Samsung. Swiping down from the main screen takes you to a quick panel.
The big part here is the ability to download apps from the Google Play Store. I can finally download and install apps that I’ve always wanted to run on a Samsung smartwatch. For example, I can finally use Google Maps and find my way without needing to open my phone. YouTube Music is there, as is Google Gboard. Unfortunately Samsung does not allow you to use Google Assistant on Watch 4. So we are stuck with Samsung Bixby which is a fluke to answer most queries.
Another thing I liked about the Galaxy Watch 4 is a nice collection of watch faces, especially the animated ones. But there is the thing that might irritate iOS users: the lack of support for iPhone users. If you have an Apple Watch and want to use the Galaxy Watch 4, the Galaxy Watch 4 would not support iOS. It’s strange, because WearOS has always supported iPhones. I don’t know if this limitation is limited to the Watch 4, but the idea seems to be inspired by Apple. The Apple Watch only works with the iPhone and Samsung also wants to make a statement with the Watch 4 that this watch is designed specifically for Android. Fair enough.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review: health features and performance
Samsung is not far behind Apple in its approach to bringing as many health sensors and features as possible to Watch 4. Although the two have different approaches to health, I let users decide how they want to use the watch. smart watch. Again, there is no right or wrong approach.
Like I said, the Watch 4 boasts of a new number of health features, but not all of them are available in India. For example, the ability of the smart watch to measure EKG (short) and blood pressure is only supported in certain areas. But even if these characteristics arrive in India at a later date, the results will only be indicative and you will still need to see a doctor.
With the exception of ECG, all basic health functions work on the Indian version of Watch 4. Heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring (now with snoring detection), oxygen detection in the body. blood (SpO2) and a new bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) sensor. The BIA sensor measures body fat (think replacing smart scales) and calculates the amount of water in the body. It can be measured by sending a weak electric current through the body. All you have to do is place your ring finger and middle finger on the two physical buttons and within seconds you have details of body fat, skeletal muscle, body fat, body fat, BMI, body water and BMR. Sure, a BIA sensor can give an estimate of body fat, but it’s hard for the average user to figure out what all of this means. Also, I did not have access to a smart scale at the time of the review so I could compare the readings measured by Watch 4.
The Watch 4 is pretty accurate at measuring heart rate and I got roughly similar results compared to the Apple Watch. The results were also similar to SpO2 when measured with a pulse oximeter. Sleep tracking is another feature that might be useful for users, but the cool part is that you can now detect the nocturnal saw and snoring. But for that, you have to keep your phone on a bedside table. The sleep tracking was pretty accurate and the watch knew how many times I woke up during the night. But I’m not so sure about the step count function on watch 4. I feel like the watch is counting higher numbers and have found this on several occasions. All data is visible on the Samsung Health app. My complaint is that there should be a better way to view this data.
The 1.18 GHz Exynos W920 Dual Core 5nm chip is perfect for a smart watch like this. I have never encountered any issues while navigating the UI. The apps opened quickly and there was no stuttering. The 46mm Watch 4 Classic has a 361mAh capacity battery and lasted a full day without activating the always-on display. I used to wear the watch all day even while sleeping. I think you want better battery life, go for the larger size.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review: should you buy it?
It’s a good question to ask. For me, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is closer to the Apple Watch although it’s not there yet. But that’s fine with me because the Watch 4 is not compatible with the iPhone anyway. The real essence of Watch 4 (it applies to any smartwatch) is what it can really do and how you can enjoy it. That being said, I enjoyed the Watch 4 Classic in part because of the rotating bezel and all of the health and fitness features you get with it. Look, if you own Galaxy phones and are looking to buy a premium smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the best option right now.
- How to configure the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
- Apple Watch 7 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: which smartwatch will win?
- Samsung plans Thom Browne Designer Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 gets unusual feature from Apple Watch
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, Apple Watch 6 Get Big Discounts
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Fitbit Sense: which one to buy?
- Best Buy is practically giving away the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review: The Best for Smaller Wrists
- Samsung Becomes India’s # 1 Smartwatch Brand: IDC Report