Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional evaluation: A primary-rate smartwatch
MSRP $349.99

“The Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional is a critically succesful smartwatch with complete health-tracking options, slick One Watch UI software program, and a mature, elegant design that feels nice in your wrist.”

  • Cohesive, mature design
  • Rotating bezel is intuitive
  • One Watch UI is neat and logical
  • Complete well being monitoring
  • Alternative of favor and dimension
  • Battery does not final two full days
  • Put on OS 3 software program lacks polish
  • Too giant to put on at night time

Does the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional have what it takes to high our checklist of the greatest Android smartwatches? In any case, its predecessor, the Galaxy Watch 3, has achieved so since its launch, that means we’ve excessive expectations. Making the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional’s already arduous job even harder is that it additionally has to introduce us to a brand new working system similtaneously wowing us with its {hardware}.

Simply by trying on the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional, it’s apparent Samsung has achieved its job on the design, however what in regards to the new Put on OS 3 software program? There’s lots to undergo right here, however don’t fear, it is a feature-packed smartwatch worthy of each your consideration and your cash.


At first look, the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional doesn’t look that totally different from the Galaxy Watch 3, however look at it extra intently and there are refined refinements that give the brand new mannequin a extra cohesive, mature, and watch-like fashion. The stainless-steel case itself is available in both 42mm or 46mm sizes, and I’m sporting the 46mm mannequin on my 6.5-inch wrist. It weighs 52 grams with out the strap.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The ridges on the bezel are smaller and extra tightly packed than on the Galaxy Watch 3, the chronograph markings are extra refined, and the lugs movement extra immediately from the case itself. It’s this, together with the strap and the buttons, that marks the most important design change. The buttons are rectangular, extra flush to the case, and due to this fact are much less noticeable, however nonetheless separated by a button guard for a clear look.

The strap adjustments the watch probably the most, because of the ends matching the curve of the case and flowing traces of the lugs. It really works rather well, making the strap look like an integral a part of the watch case, plus the form stops it from bending too far in both route, serving to it sit higher in your wrist. Technically it’s a small design change, however an impressed one that basically boosts the watch’s consolation and visible attraction. Nonetheless, if you happen to change the strap for a non-Samsung model, you’ll lose this profit.

The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic on the wrist, showing the buttons.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

At 52 grams, the Watch 4 Traditional is kind of heavy, and you might be virtually at all times conscious of it in your wrist. This stopped me sporting it in a single day for sleep monitoring — it was simply too noticeable and I discovered it distracting whereas attempting to go to sleep. The 42mm model isn’t a lot lighter at 47 grams, and each are considerably heavier than the 37-gram, aluminum-bodied 44mm Apple Watch Sequence 6.

Regardless of this, I haven’t discovered the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional fatiguing to put on through the day, and I actually love the balanced, elegant, and distinctive design.

Software program

The {hardware} is great, however the huge change with the Watch 4 is the software program. Gone is Samsung’s Tizen from the Galaxy Watch 3, and in comes the joint Google and Samsung platform referred to as Put on OS 3, or just Put on. Tizen was at all times the higher piece of software program in comparison with previous Put on OS, and it made the Galaxy Watch 3 our high Android smartwatch suggestion as a consequence of its ease of use, design, and reliability. The priority with the brand new software program for me was, how a lot of Tizen stays, or has Put on overtaken it utterly?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic app page.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The excellent news is Tizen’s superior design and value stays via Samsung’s One Watch UI. Put on OS 3 lets corporations use a customized person interface, avoiding all new watches trying mainly the identical as one another. The Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional has a rotating bezel that helps significantly with navigation. You flip it to the left to view notifications and to the fitting to see Tiles. Swipe up on the touchscreen to seek out the app menu, and down for fast settings, then use the bezel to scroll left and proper via all of the choices introduced. It’s fluid, pure, quick, and surprisingly gratifying. The rotating bezel has a really exact motion with beautiful dampening, and a neat “notchy” really feel because it turns.

It is best to spend just a few moments digging via the settings to personalize the best way your watch works, as increase to wake isn’t activated by default, that means it’s a must to faucet the display or flip the bezel to wake the show. That is annoying when an app is working and the display instances out. An always-on display might be switched on, so the watch at all times reveals the time. There are quite a lot of watch faces to select from, starting from the quite simple to the very cute, and all have customized ambient modes.

Galaxy Watch 4 Classic showing a cute watch face.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

All of it feels similar to Tizen on the Galaxy Watch 3 at first, however Put on makes use of a clearer font that, when paired with the pin-sharp display — a 1.4-inch 450 x 450 pixel Tremendous AMOLED on the 46mm, or a 1.2-inch 396 x 396 pixel Tremendous AMOLED on the 42mm — makes all the things simple to learn. I by no means must squint on the display, and the selection of font is extra mature than Tizen’s. The obvious change occurs once you swipe up on the display and discover a checklist of apps that features the Google Play Retailer.

Android apps for Put on OS work on the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional, in contrast to on the Tizen-powered Galaxy Watch 3, and that features Google apps lacking from previous Samsung watches like Google Maps, Google Match, and Google Pay. Google Pay works usually and you may choose both it or Samsung Pay because the default contactless cost system beneath the NFC setting. Google Match works alongside Samsung Well being, but it surely’s not instantly apparent how, or if, it may be set because the default.

There are occasions the place Put on OS 3 reveals it’s nonetheless a piece in progress, however a small software program replace arrived throughout my evaluation that additionally confirmed Google and Samsung are working to repair any points. Initially, Google Maps loaded as ordinary, but it surely was hit-or-miss whether or not you would scroll across the map on the display, and routes solely confirmed in textual content type. Each these issues have been fastened after the replace. Nonetheless, some apps are nonetheless shaky, with Spotify typically timing out, leaving me looking at a spinning progress indicator.

Many apps can be found via Google Play, together with widespread examples like Spotify and Outlook, however not YouTube Music or Uber. It doesn’t seem Google Assistant is obtainable both as an app to put in or as an onboard different to Bixby. Notifications are fairly and interactive once they do flip up, however there’s no assure of arrival, an issue from the previous Put on OS that has sadly carried over into new Put on. Nonetheless, notifications are grouped collectively in Tiles, are correctly formatted, simple to learn, and once you dismiss one on the watch, it disappears in your telephone.

On a day-to-day foundation, up to now, the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional with Put on OS 3 has been wonderful, though it’s an uncommon mashup of Put on OS and Tizen. You get the great appears to be like and the smart navigation offered by One Watch UI and the rotating bezel, plus the frustration of unreliable notifications and apps that don’t fairly work correctly on a regular basis from Put on OS, together with loads of duplicate companies. As a result of Put on will look totally different on different smartwatches working the software program (once they arrive), a lot of what makes it work effectively right here might come right down to Samsung’s One Watch UI, however we gained’t know for positive till a challenger arrives sooner or later.

Well being monitoring

The well being and health monitoring on the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional is complete, detailed, simple to make use of, and full of options. The Samsung BioActive sensor is the standout new {hardware} addition to the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional. The three-in-1 sensor incorporates a Bio-Electrical Impedance (BIA) sensor, an Electrocardiogram (ECG), and a PPG coronary heart charge sensor, all powered by new software program algorithms.

Daily activity screen on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The BIA permits a physique composition measurement displaying weight, muscle, fats mass, physique fats, Physique Mass Index (BMI), physique water, and Basal Metabolic Fee (BMR) stats. Information like this has beforehand solely been discovered on some sensible scales, and is useful in understanding weight reduction higher, in addition to seeing the impact continued coaching has in your physique. It takes 15 seconds to carry out and all it wants is your weight and top, however just isn’t appropriate for these with pacemakers as a consequence of it utilizing a small electrical present to take a measurement.

It’s typical of many high-tech well being options on a wearable in that it gives a number of stats, however no actual data on what they imply and what you are able to do to alter them. The info itself has quite a lot of variability and outcomes rely on the time of day, once you final ate, and an entire lot extra. It’s arduous to determine accuracy this fashion. It’s possible solely useful if you happen to can evaluate the outcomes with one other machine with a physique composition measurement, and even then, you’ll need to do your individual analysis in an effort to know what to do with the info.

The body composition mode on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
Taking a Physique Composition studying on the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional. Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

To make use of the ECG, a separate app needs to be put in in your telephone, which takes 30 seconds to finish, and it solely advises on atrial fibrillation. The app reveals an choice to measure blood stress, however this function just isn’t lively on the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional within the U.Okay.. On the watch, you additionally get a stress measurement, SpO2 blood oxygen monitor, coronary heart charge, and a ladies’s well being tracker, plus Tiles to manually enter day by day water and meals consumption.

The Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional is a really sturdy health companion, with all of the sensors you want.

Exercises are began shortly with Samsung Well being via a Tile, plus you possibly can add Google Match Tiles to the watch, together with a helpful overview of your essential stats. I tracked varied exercises together with these with GPS. The measurements have been in step with these I obtained from an Apple Watch Sequence 6 linked to an iPhone 12 Professional. The exercise mode’s autopause function is notable for its zealousness, and at all times paused even once I simply stopped to take a photograph, then resumed once I restarted.

The Samsung Well being app presents its information neatly, and there’s sufficient data for the informal health fan, together with all the info gathered from the physique composition assessments, plus coronary heart charge, stress, sleep monitoring, step depend, and historic train monitoring information. I didn’t really feel the necessity to swap from Samsung Well being to Google Match, indicating it gives an analogous degree of knowledge and usefulness. The Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional is a really sturdy health companion, with all of the sensors you want (plus some you most likely gained’t want fairly often), correct information assortment, and a well-presented app.

Efficiency, battery life, and charging

The Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional makes use of the brand new dual-core, 1.18GHz Samsung Exynos W920 processor with 1.5GB RAM. It has not disillusioned, with greater than sufficient power to maintain the working system shifting alongside swiftly. Wi-Fi vary is kind of quick although, and the watch doesn’t at all times preserve the connection or mechanically activate it, corresponding to once you open Google Play. I’ve needed to manually connect with Wi-Fi to kickstart some apps, however this will likely change with one other software program replace. Utilizing Bluetooth headphones is simple and, offered they’re already paired together with your telephone, the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional doesn’t require them to be paired for a second time.

Heart rate sensor on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The 46mm Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional has a 361mAh battery inside and, up to now, after per week of utilizing the watch, it lasts for 2 working days with a single exercise tracked and the always-on display lively, offered you flip it off in a single day. It doesn’t have the center to final two full days when displaying the always-on time, and definitely not if you happen to additionally use sleep monitoring and monitor a exercise.

There’s a power-saving mode that prompts when the watch reaches about 10% battery remaining. It provides one other couple of hours of use by turning off nonessential options just like the always-on display. Charging is carried out utilizing a provided magnetic charging disc, and it takes about 80 minutes to go from 10% to full. The show helpfully reveals an estimation of how lengthy a full cost will take.

Worth and availability

The Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional begins at $349, in black or silver, and will probably be launched on August 27. The 42mm mannequin is the most affordable, whereas the 46mm is $379. Add 4G LTE and the worth climbs to $399 for the 42mm or $429 for the 46mm model. Purchase via Samsung’s on-line retailer and you may customise the watch with totally different straps.

Our take

The Galaxy Watch 3 is a tricky act to comply with, and any new working system is at all times going to be arduous to implement completely the primary time, however Samsung has efficiently navigated round any points and delivered an excellent follow-up to what was the greatest smartwatch for Android telephones from the final 12 months. The Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional expertly mixes a wise design with intensive health-tracking capability, and affords it in not solely two totally different kinds, however varied sizes as effectively. It’s completely price your cash.

Samsung’s use of One Watch UI is vital to the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional’s usability, because the interface is slick, logical, and quick. It’s enjoyable to make use of because of the rotating bezel, and the smartwatch’s consolation and toughness imply you possibly can put on all of it day lengthy with no downside. I did discover it too giant to put on in a single day, and would really like the battery to offer two full days of use, however these are usually not points unique to the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional.

Put on OS 3 reveals loads of promise, but it surely’s disappointing to nonetheless see the previous issues of not all notifications arriving and never all apps being out there or at all times working correctly on the watch. It’s higher than earlier than as a consequence of One Watch UI, however nonetheless not as dependable or as app-packed as Apple’s WatchOS. Nonetheless, as a consequence of its newness, it shouldn’t be judged too harshly simply but. The place does this depart the Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional? Samsung has positively made an excellent successor to the Watch 3.

Is there a greater different?

In case you personal an iPhone, the Apple Watch Sequence 6 or Apple Watch SE are nonetheless the smartwatches to purchase. They combine completely together with your telephone, whereas others miss out on sure options, and WatchOS is quick and logically laid out. Apple Well being is nice, and the battery will final you a few days.

If in case you have an Android telephone, the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional are the one two with the newest Put on OS 3 software program, and which will find yourself being essential for quick updates over the following 12 months. Mobvoi’s TicWatch Professional 3 and TicWatch E3 are scheduled to get Put on OS 3 this time subsequent 12 months, and though each are nonetheless good selections at the moment, Samsung’s watches are a greater guess as you get the brand new software program with out an intensive wait.

It’s Samsung that provides the Watch 4 Traditional’s greatest challenger. The Galaxy Watch 4 has all the identical options and efficiency because the Watch 4 Traditional, with a unique design and a touch-sensitive bezel. It’s cheaper as effectively, and your choice will possible come right down to which design you want higher.

How lengthy will it final?

The Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional’s case is water resistant to 5ATM and has an IP68 ranking, plus it meets the MIL-STD-810G toughness requirements. The strap on my evaluation mannequin is manufactured from thick rubber, and feels very hard-wearing. The Put on OS 3 software program is true updated now, and can possible proceed to be forward of the competitors for a while, as a consequence of no different smartwatches with the software program being out there but. There’s a 4G LTE possibility for anybody wanting so as to add mobile connectivity utilizing an eSIM. The Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional will final for 2 years on the minimal.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. The Galaxy Watch 4 Traditional’s design and on-wrist consolation is top-notch, there are tons of health-tracking options, and efficiency is great. It’s an ideal smartwatch to purchase.

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