Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Assessment: The perfect Put on OS smartwatch for smaller wrists

MSRP $249.99

“The Galaxy Watch 4 has nice well being and fitness-tracking options in a snug construct designed for smaller wrists.”

Professionals

  • Snug match and dimension
  • Glorious health and health-tracking options
  • Seamless pairing with Samsung gadgets
  • Two-day battery life

Cons

  • Finicky digital bezel
  • Automated exercise monitoring may be inconsistent

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the svelte sibling to the chunkier Watch 4 Basic. With its smaller dimension and a number of shade choices, it largely presents the identical Put on OS expertise because the Basic, however there are some key variations. It has a digital bezel quite than the bodily rotating one the Galaxy Watch collection is understood for. This shaves off a number of the general footprint at the price of a sure diploma of usability.

With regards to options, although, you’re not lacking out on something. It runs Put on OS 3 and is loaded with well being and fitness-tracking options like blood oxygen, coronary heart price, and BMI. You additionally get an entire set of Google Play retailer apps, together with Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Maps, Samsung Pay, and extra. All this leaves you with among the finest Android smartwatch for smaller wrist sizes, at the price of ease of management.

Ajay Kumar/Digital Traits

Design and luxury

The Galaxy Watch 4 is far much less of a behemoth in your wrist than the Watch 4 Basic, making it appear extra just like the non secular (and bodily) successor to the fitness-oriented Energetic collection. It is available in two dimension choices, 40mm and 44mm, and the display sizes are just about similar to the Basic, with the smaller Watch 4 having a 1.2-inch display and the 44mm having a 1.4-inch display. There are a number of shade choices, together with black, silver, inexperienced, and pink gold. My evaluation unit was black.

I received the bigger 44mm Watch 4 for evaluation, though my wrist is on the narrower facet, to reap the benefits of the marginally bigger display dimension – and probably – battery life. At 30.3 grams, it’s bit lighter than the 52-gram Watch 4 Basic, and it match comfortably utilizing the included silicone strap. Carrying all of it day, figuring out, and sleep with it on had been all completely snug. As a result of it’s IP68, you don’t have to fret about water or mud, so I by no means felt the necessity to take it off and infrequently even forgot it was on my wrist.

Essentially the most notable change is that the Watch 4 has a digital bezel quite than a bodily rotating one. The display sits flush to the aluminum physique, however there’s a black bezel ringing it together with two lug buttons you should use to return to the house display or reopen a beforehand opened app.

If you wish to scroll by way of apps or the varied Tiles, you possibly can run your finger alongside the bezel, and in concept, it ought to replicate the identical impact as rotating the bodily bezel, full with haptics.

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Sadly, in apply, it was by no means very exact. Possibly my fingers are just too inelegant, however attempting to scroll with the digital bezel was awkward and finicky at the very best of occasions. All this lends extra credence to my private perception that bodily buttons and controls are nearly all the time superior to “faux” capacitive ones that attempt to replicate them with haptics. More often than not, I simply resorted to utilizing the touchscreen.

On the plus facet, the display is crisp at 450×450, giving it 330 pixels per inch. The AMOLED panel appears to be like nice in all settings, and it’s shiny sufficient for out of doors usability. I additionally wasn’t involved about sturdiness because the display is protected by Gorilla Glass DX+, and it survived some unintended drops and bangs with out a scratch.

Software program

With the melding of Samsung Tizen and Google’s Put on OS platform into Put on OS 3, the Watch 4 is among the greatest smartwatches I’ve used by way of uniformity and value. In some ways, Samsung’s Tizen dominates the interface with the varied Tiles you possibly can set as much as view what you care about, tons of watch face choices with as many or as few problems as you need, and stable and enhancing app assist on the Google Play Retailer. Bixby is current if you wish to use voice instructions, however I by no means discovered a lot use for it. Preliminary pairing is straightforward, and it imports issues like alarms and Do Not Disturb settings out of your cellphone robotically.

Upon preliminary setup, nonetheless, getting notifications was finicky. I couldn’t all the time rely on messages coming by way of from Groups, Slack, Sign, or Discord. After a software program replace, notifications grew to become far more dependable, and I haven’t seen any lacking notifications these days.

The Watch 4 is among the greatest smartwatches I’ve used by way of uniformity and value.

Apps like Spotify and YouTube Music assist offline listening mode, letting you allow your cellphone at dwelling while you go for a jog. You even have media controls for many apps, together with Audible, Netflix, and Pocket Casts. One app I received a variety of use of was Google Maps. You possibly can plug in instructions utilizing the keyboard or use voice instructions and let the Watch 4 provide the instructions. It’s glorious for sparing you from having to have a look at your cellphone whereas on the go.

Ajay Kumar/Digital Traits

Ajay Kumar/Digital Traits

Ajay Kumar/Digital Traits

The one grievance I’ve is that every little thing isn’t discovered within the Galaxy Wearable App. You’ll want to make use of the app for preliminary watch setup, selecting watch faces, controlling watch settings and the Fast panel, and discovering the watch. However to get all the main points of your health and health-tracking information requires the Samsung Well being app, providing you with entry to sleep monitoring, stress monitoring, steps, coronary heart price, and extra. Final, for simply electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements, you’ll have to obtain and grant permissions to the Samsung Well being Monitor app, which you’ll obtain from the Galaxy Retailer.

That brings you a grand complete of three apps to get full utilization out of the Watch 4, making me surprise why Samsung doesn’t combine every little thing into Galaxy Wearable or Well being. It’s a variety of pointless app muddle. There are additionally a couple of particular person permissions that should be granted to reap the benefits of sure options.

Well being and health monitoring

You received’t be disenchanted with the great suite of well being and fitness-tracking options packed into the Watch 4. When it comes to what it may possibly measure, it’s a better rival to good scales than different smartwatches available on the market.

The massive distinctive measurement right here is Physique Composition. The Watch 4 can measure a formidable set of stats, together with Physique Mass Index (BMI), Basal Metabolic Charge (BMR), weight, muscle, fats mass, and physique fats. You measure by sliding the smartwatch additional up your wrist, putting the elbow down on the desk, after which urgent your fingers in opposition to the 2 lug buttons with out touching your wrist. It’s an ungainly gesture and never very snug to carry for the time wanted for the outcomes to course of.

When you get the outcomes, there are numerous numbers, and as you possibly can see within the screenshots under, it doesn’t actually present a lot in the best way of breakdown or clarification of what all of it really means. You’ll must do your individual analysis to determine if the stats supplied by Physique Composition are good or unhealthy and to get some actionable recommendation. That might have been a pleasant function to have within the Samsung Well being app, and I’m stunned on the missed alternative since different measurements like sleep and stress monitoring do provide recommendation for enchancment.

With sleep monitoring, the Watch 4 neatly breaks down your sleep cycle within the Samsung Well being app, providing you with a sleep rating, exhibiting sleep phases like REM sleep, maintaining observe of blood oxygen, and recording loud night breathing and even energy burned. It was a wonderful option to consider the standard of my sleep, particularly on these sadly frequent nights once I had insomnia.

Stress monitoring doesn’t throw fairly so many numbers at you, however merely plots your stress degree on a chart and a color-coded bar. It’s tough to inform how correct it’s. It usually instructed me I wasn’t very confused once I was burdened beneath a flood of labor and instructed me I used to be very confused whereas sitting down and watching Castlevania on Netflix. As a lot as I’m keen on Trevor Belmont and Alucard, I don’t assume both of them was inflicting me a lot stress.

Different monitoring options are pretty commonplace. You get step and exercise monitoring with quite a lot of workout routines like operating, strolling, biking, swimming, circuit coaching, rowing, weight machines, treadmills, and extra. There’s each computerized and guide exercise monitoring, however the Watch 4 is fairly first rate at selecting up while you’re strolling and operating.

Ajay Kumar/Digital Traits

Ajay Kumar/Digital Traits

It had extra points selecting up on once I was utilizing my rowing machine, with me usually being 10 minutes into my exercise earlier than selecting up on the very fact. The primary a number of occasions, I needed to begin it manually earlier than it will definitely began to get what I used to be doing. It does have a foul behavior of ending my session early, although, and I haven’t fairly been in a position to determine why.

With sleep monitoring, the Watch 4 neatly breaks down your sleep cycle within the Samsung Well being app.

There’s additionally a coronary heart price monitor and electrocardiogram (ECG) that allow you to observe your very important indicators. The ECG requires the separate obtain of the Samsung Well being Monitor, bringing you as much as three apps to get full utilization out of the Watch 4.

The ECG measurement takes about 30 seconds to finish and requires you to relaxation your finger on one of many button lugs. The measurement isn’t meant for diagnosing coronary heart assaults, however it can let you know if it thinks you could have atrial fibrillation. In that regard, it’s helpful sufficient, however probably not one thing I’d measure daily because the coronary heart price monitor retains observe of issues robotically.

Efficiency and battery

The Watch 4 is powered by an Exynos W920 processor and has 1.5GB RAM, and 16GB of inside storage. This interprets to quick and responsive apps and measurements. I by no means seen any lagging or hanging, such as you may on sure older-generation smartwatches. It’s additionally good to see the 5nm processor lastly hit wearables after years of {hardware} stagnation within the smartwatch house.

 Battery life is nice, at the very least relative to the Galaxy Watch 4 Basic. I reliably squeezed out two days from the battery beneath common utilization, which included figuring out on the rowing machine for 40 minutes, a stroll within the park, sleep monitoring, utilizing Spotify, and basic day-to-day monitoring. It took just below two hours to cost to full from 1%. Slightly than topping up in a single day, I often simply plugged within the Watch 4 once I was showering and by no means ran out of juice.

 Value and availability

 The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is available in on the following value factors relying on the dimensions and mannequin:

  • 40mm Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: $250
  • 44mm Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: $280
  • 40mm 4G LTE: $300
  • 44mm 4G LTE: $330

Most fashions will begin transport in mid-September.

 Our take

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is filled with options and offers Android customers a lot to love. With its slimmer design and extra shade choices, it’s extra fashion-forward than the cumbersome Watch 4 Basic, although that does end in some usability trade-offs. The well being and fitness-tracking options are spectacular, particularly Physique Composition, though there’s room for enhancements. Put on OS 3 is clean and responsive, and the problems that cropped up upon preliminary use appear to be steadily getting resolved. In the event you’re out there for a snug, feature-packed smartwatch, you received’t go flawed with the Galaxy Watch 4.

 Is there a greater various?

 In the event you’re an iPhone consumer, the apparent decisions are the Apple Watch Sequence 6 and Apple Watch SE. They combine the very best within the iOS ecosystem, they’re high-quality and filled with most or the entire similar options because the Watch 4. Whereas it’s attainable to make use of Android smartwatches on iOS, the setup and integration aren’t good, and also you’ll miss out on many options.

For Android customers, the Galaxy Watch 4 Basic is our high choose, with the Watch 4 proper subsequent to it for individuals with smaller wrists who’re prepared to sacrifice the comfort of the bodily bezel. Nonetheless, there are different Android smartwatch choices just like the Mobvoi TicWatch Professional 3 and TicWatch E3, which can each get Put on OS 3 in some unspecified time in the future subsequent 12 months. However the Watch 4 and Watch 4 Basic are each newer, so if you would like the newest and best, you’d be higher off with them.

 How lengthy will it final?

 The Galaxy Watch 4 has a normal one-year guarantee. It’s IP68 mud and waterproof and rated to 5ATM, which means it may possibly survive at a depth of fifty meters for 10 minutes. It’s additionally licensed to MIL-STD-810G, which suggests it’s survived a set of lab assessments for resistance to shock and vibration. The included Sport strap additionally appears to be made of fine, high-quality silicone that didn’t get grungy after exercises.  Lastly, Put on OS 3 is the newest software program out for smartwatches, and also you’re certain to get extra updates, so I anticipate it to final for at the very least two years, if not longer.

 Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. The Galaxy Watch 4 is the very best Put on OS smartwatch for individuals with narrower wrists. It has the identical nice well being and fitness-tracking options because the Watch 4 Basic, however has a decrease beginning value and two-day battery life. Whereas the digital bezel isn’t practically as exact a management because the bodily dial, the slimmer and extra snug design makes it a worthwhile trade-off.

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