Samsung is bringing a lot to the table today, revealing its next-generation flagship smartphones with improved internals and a slew of additional features along with its next-gen Galaxy Buds 2. Aside from this, Wear OS 3 also made its official debut today with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 series.
The smartwatches come in two versions: Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. While the smartwatches provide significant forward-facing capabilities to the platform, we’re still interested to see what Wear OS 3 has in store for users.
Wear OS is a big part of this story, and we’re seeing it through the lens of Samsung’s “One UI Watch” experience. The custom skin resembles Android on Samsung’s Galaxy devices in appearance, but it includes Google services such as automated app downloads, synchronizing Do Not Disturb and alarms, and more.
Highlights of Samsung’s Wear OS transition include Google apps like Maps and third-party apps like Spotify, Lifesum, and Calm. Bixby, Samsung Pay, SmartThings, and other Samsung applications are still pre-installed on the device. Samsung also includes several watch faces.
Overall, the hardware isn’t that different from previous Samsung smartwatches. The spinning bezel supplemented the touchscreen with tactile navigation, and there are two buttons on the side of the watch for functions including awakening the screen, moving back, and functioning as an app shortcut.
A new health sensor is one of the key hardware improvements Samsung is making. To conserve space, the “BioActive” sensor integrates the Optical Heart Rate, Electrical Heart Rate, and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis sensors into one. Users can monitor their blood pressure, perform an ECG, and measure their heart rate and SpO2 levels using this app. However, that last function remains region-locked and unavailable in the United States.
Samsung has also introduced a new “Body Composition” function for users over the age of 20 that can assess skeletal muscle mass, basal metabolic rate, body water percentage, and body fat percentage. Sleep Scores are also calculated using the sensor.
The Galaxy Watch 4 series is equipped with a brand new 5nm Exynos W920 CPU and 1.5GB of RAM across the board. This should result in far superior performance than any other Wear OS watch, even surpassing the Galaxy Watch 3. The CPU is 20% faster, and the GPU is 10 times more powerful, according to Samsung.
There should be plenty of capacity for applications and offline music with 16GB of storage. Because this is Wear OS, you may use these watches with any Android phone that runs Android 6.0 or above and has at least 1.5GB of RAM. However, connecting to a Galaxy phone and/or earphones enables some unique capabilities.
When it comes to battery life, the news isn’t awful, but it’s not quite game-changing, as some leaks claimed. According to Samsung, a single charge may provide up to 40 hours of general use, and charging can refill up to 10 hours in only 30 minutes. Samsung doesn’t specify if this battery life estimate includes or excludes the always-on display.
Pricing and Availablity
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series will go on sale on August 27, but pre-orders are already open. Pre-ordering any model of the wearable will get you $50 in Samsung credit, with prices starting at $249. The 40mm Galaxy Watch 4, which comes in black, pink, gold, and silver, is yours. The 44mm variant is available in black, silver, and green for an extra fee.
Models with LTE connectivity start at $299.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic costs $349, with the LTE variant costing $399. Only black and silver will be available in the 42mm and 46mm variants. Water resistance of 5ATM/IP68, MIL-STD-810G durability, and “WPC-based wireless charging” are all standard on all models.