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Galaxy Watch 4 and Classic: Is being Samsung’s best watch enough to live up to expectations?


(CNN Spanish) – Samsung introduced the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic as the first watches that want to offer the best of Tizen and Wear OS in a single operating system (called Wear OS Powered by Samsung and known as Wear OS 3), but in a way not they achieve despite being the best smartwatches the company has released so far.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 watches, presented together with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 were for many the most interesting products that the company revealed at its Galaxy Unpacked 2021 event, mainly because they are the ones that are launching a unified operating system that combines the system that Samsung has used in its watches in recent years (Tizen) and Google’s system specialized in this class of devices (Wear OS, formerly known as Android Wear).

However, for the moment the clocks make it clear that they are simply a first generation of this event because although some basic things like Google Maps and Google Pay are present, but others like Google Assistant and Google Home (or Nest) are not. Also, the new features or integration with Fitbit that Google hinted at in the Wear OS 3 presentation are not present either.

Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review

(Credit: Juan Garzon / CNN)

Despite this, the Galaxy Watch 4 are watches with a very good construction, attractive designs, a lot of functions (now integrating body composition measurement) and competitive prices.

In addition, these Samsung watches are the company’s first with a 5nm processor (which promises 20 percent more power than before) and doubles the internal storage to 16GB (up from 8GB).

It is worth making clear that the so-called Galaxy Watch 4 version looks like a new generation of the Galaxy Watch Active 2, while the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic with its physical rotating bezel looks like the successor to the Galaxy Watch 3.

Wear OS 3 or Wear OS Power by Samsung: Tizen and Wear OS in one

Google and Samsung join forces to take their operating systems for smart watches with Wear OS 3, or Wear OS Powered by Samsung, to another level.

This is the first watch with this operating system, but it has Samsung’s custom interface (One UI) that would make the experience a little different than what we would see in watches from other manufacturers and possibly even from Google.

However, this new operating system allows the app ecosystem to be unified to carry more apps than the two platforms had and thus seek to offer a more consistent experience that allows it to better establish itself in front of the Apple Watch.

In addition, Wear OS 3 allows cell phone settings (such as a Galaxy S21 Ultra and possibly as the Pixel 6 Pro will offer) to be automatically transmitted to the watch to offer consistency in user preferences. Even apps installed on the cell phone are automatically installed on the watch when it is available.

These are good news for smart watches, but although there are more apps available (including Google Pay and Google Fit), your Google accounts can be copied to the watch with ease and the interface brings Wear OS components, the interface and experience In general, it looks much more like Tizen than Wear OS and basic apps like Google Assistant, Google Home and Gmail are not present.

Instead, you are forced to use Bixby as your virtual assistant or voice recognition and SmartThings as your home automation or smart home center.

Also, watches have to be configured through the Samsung wearable app instead of the Wear OS app. This even means that it is necessary to download the Watch 4 plugin from the Google Play Store and if you do not use a Samsung cell phone you will also need to install the Samsung Accessory Service.

Wear OS gesture features come to Tizen too, but not in the same way. In previous versions of Wear OS it has been possible to control the interface with gestures, but in the Galaxy Watch 4 you can only use gestures to answer calls or reject alerts and calls.

Additionally, while the previous Wear OS and Tizen watches were compatible with the iPhone, the Galaxy Watch 4 are not compatible with Apple cell phones.

In conclusion, the Galaxy Watch 4 is a step forward in terms of its operating system, but it feels like just a step towards offering the best of Tizen and Wear OS, but not yet the experience that Google had initially raised.

Galaxy Watch 4 battery

(Credit: Juan Garzon / CNN)

BioActive sensor for better monitoring of your health

The Galaxy Watch 4 and the Watch 4 Classic are the first watches to integrate the BioActive sensor that combines three powerful sensors in one without sacrificing detection and precision, at least according to Samsung.

This BioActive sensor combines an optical heart rate sensor, bioelectrical impedance analysis, and a sensor to perform electrocardiograms (ECG).

With this, users can detect blood pressure, arrhythmias, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure and, for the first time, body composition. With this, users can get more detail on health and fitness through key measures such as bone mass, basal metabolic rate, water and fat percentage. All of this can be done in just 15 seconds by placing two fingers on the watch – the watch will measure over 2,400 data points.

However, at its launch, blood pressure is not available in, for example, the United States, a market that has been able to enjoy this function in the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Other exercise functions such as the trainer that encourages you to continue working, the possibility of exercising and showing your status on a Samsung television or measuring the Vo2 are present.

In terms of performance, it seems to me that in general the Galax Watch 4 did a good job, except counting steps which was generally very high (thousands of steps difference) compared to what I obtained with the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

(Credit: Juan Garzon / CNN)

Sleep and snoring monitoring

Samsung still offers a feature that allows you to monitor sleep, but promises some improvements to get more detailed details of the quality of sleep.

Even when you sleep, the watch monitors the oxygenation of your blood, detects snoring to combine it with other data to provide you with a sleep marker.

However, it is necessary to have the cell phone at a short distance from you so that it can detect snoring and also differentiate them in such a case that your partner also snores.

Also, while I found the sleep detection time to be correct, I found it very odd that most of the time ticked from zero to just a few minutes of deep sleep.

Battery life of the Galaxy Watch 4

The Galaxy Watch 4 have a battery that allows them to last a whole day of use in most cases, especially the large models that have a larger battery (as well as larger screens).

However, in my tests the watches fell short of what the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active 2 offered. For example, using the 44mm Galaxy Watch 4 and the 46mm Galaxy Watch 4 Classic they lasted from morning to morning. with normal use, having the screen always on, doing a little exercise and sleeping with them.

Generally, when I ran out of battery in the Galaxy Watch 4, the Galaxy Active 2 had 10 or 20 percent battery. This without a doubt that can disappoint more than one, especially that other watches of previous generations offered even better duration than those watches. I imagine that Samsung has given more priority to the design, since these are a bit thinner than previous generations.

On the other hand, Samsung promises a faster battery charge, but in my tests it still seems slow to me, especially compared to the Oppo Watch that charges in just a few minutes.

Galaxy Watch 4

(Credit: Juan Garzon / CNN)

Price of Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

The pre-sale of the Galaxy Watch 4 began on August 11 and will be available on the 27 of the same month. Those who buy these watches in presale will get $ 50 at Samsung.

The price of the Galaxy Watch 4 is US $ 249, while the price of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is US $ 349 for the 40 (regular) and 42mm (Classic) models in the version without cellular connectivity. Versions with connectivity can be purchased from $ 299 to $ 399 depending on the size.

Galaxy Watch 4: Features and Specifications

  • Sizes: 40mm and 44mm / 42mm and 46mm (Classic)
  • Screen and resolution: 1.2 inches, 396×396 pixels and 1.4 inches, 450×450 pixels
  • Processor: Exynos W920 dual-core 5nm (1.18Ghz)
  • RAM: 1.5 GB
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Battery: 361mAh (44 and 46mm), 247mAh (40 and 42mm)
  • NFC: Yes
  • Operating system: Wear OS Powered by Samsung (One UI Watch 3)
  • Durability: 5AMT + IP68 / MIL-STD-810G
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi + Bluetooth and Wi-Fi + Bluetooth + LTE

Analysis conclusion

The Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic are Samsung’s best smartwatches, but they didn’t fully meet my expectations.

Overall, the watches perform well and the integration of Wear OS with Tizen is certainly a step forward for the company’s watches, but it is not yet an integration with the best of both worlds and only a few parts that leave clearly this is only the first generation.

It is not clear if this means that these clocks will improve significantly over time or that the next generations will show a more complete integration with the best of the two operating systems.

Despite this, I think these watches are worth considering unless you have a Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active 2. Those watches have US blood pressure, better battery life, and many of the same features except of body composition measurement.

Choosing between a Galaxy Watch 4 and a Galaxy Watch 3 will depend on the difference in price, but at this time there is no clear or very big difference that would suggest that a Watch 3 is more worthwhile unless you need detection of the blood pressure in America today.


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