I mean, wow. Samsung had a lot of expectations prior to releasing the Galaxy Watch4 series of smartwatches as they’ve announced the merger between Samsung’s and Google’s smartwatch operating system.
This watch is pretty much similar to the Galaxy Watch4 Classic (46mm) that we reviewed earlier in terms of the software and functionalities that they have to offer. But, there are a few things that need to reiterate.
The Galaxy Watch4 is pretty much the successor to the Galaxy Watch Active series of smartwatches. If you remember, back in the year of 2019, Samsung released both the Galaxy Watch Active (first generation) and the Galaxy Watch Active2 in that same year. Then in the year 2020, Samsung decided to not have the third watch but instead released the Galaxy Watch3 instead (review here).
In the year 2021, Samsung decided to release the Galaxy Watch4 and also the Galaxy Watch4 Classic, streamlining the entire Samsung smartwatch catalog.
In a way, I’ll say that the new Galaxy Watch4 is pretty much the successor of the Galaxy Watch Active series. The design language is similar as it is still round and thin, and without the rotating bezel.
I think many of you already know that I’m not particularly a big fan of the rotating bezel because of its added thickness and we can also simulate the rotating bezel by swiping around the circumference of the screen.
That bigger display
One thing is for sure – the Galaxy Watch4 (44mm) does come with a larger screen with relatively thinner bezels, while equipped with a brighter and higher resolution screen. I’ll say that this is an upgrade through and through.
The screen is now also flat so you can use a screen protector with the Galaxy Watch 4 if you want to. It’ll sit nicely on the watch, which is a lot better compared to its predecessor – just like what I did here.
Of course, having a beautiful screen means that it’ll need some beautiful, smooth animations too. That’s why Samsung equipped the new Galaxy Watch4 series of smartwatches with a spanking new Exynos W920 chipset that promises great performance and providing silky animations.
Did they deliver? Definitely. Samsung always packs in some animated watch faces that you can use right after you unbox the watch and turn it on. The Galaxy Watch4 series is the same too – with this new bear and the dude. The animation is fluid and has a little bounce to the movement. It’s definitely smoother than the previous animated watch face I’ve used.
What about custom watch faces then? That’s where things get a little interesting.
That new Wear OS
Previously, when we talked about the Galaxy Watch4 series of smartwatches, we were always talking about Wear OS and what is different (and similar) to Tizen OS – because Google allowed Samsung to customize Wear OS to look exactly like how Tizen looks.
We also mentioned that the apps available for the Galaxy Watch4 series is totally different since it’s tied to the Google Play Store instead. But, being tied to the Google Play Store opens up a whole new slew of apps. Yeah, we’ll have to buy re-buy the watch faces since watch faces from the Galaxy Store aren’t usable.
But, apps like Facer, Mr Time, and WatchMaker will work across two different operating systems. For me, I’m sticking with Facer as it has the best compatibility and the best variety. I even imported an old watch face from the Galaxy Watch Active to the new Galaxy Watch4 (44mm) and it worked perfectly fine across a differently-sized screen and a completely different operating system.
We have plenty on Wear OS, honestly. All of the existing features from Tizen OS has been ported over, and a few new features were added too – like the sleep tracking feature. Many of these health-related features are tied with the Samsung Health app and only works with Samsung devices.
Since I am using a Samsung device, I can use all of these features and I have been using all of the features since the day I got it.
Ranging from 24/7 heart rate monitoring to SpO2 monitoring and even sleep tracking – I just turned on everything. Thanks to Samsung’s new BioActive Sensor, we can now also have an analysis of our body composition. According to other reviews, this tracker is very accurate.
However, the blood pressure measurement is still not available here in Malaysia. From the last time I’ve asked about the availability of this feature, the answer I got is “still pending for regulatory approval” and there are no estimated arrival dates provided.
One thing I realized though, I had to set the Samsung Health app to “sleep” or else it’ll drain my phone’s battery quite significantly. It didn’t affect the health-tracking capabilities of the Galaxy Watch4, so setting it to “sleep” is definitely advised.
Speaking of that, we also need to highlight the next point.
To ensure the Galaxy Watch4 gets a good reading to track my health accurately, I have to wear the watch with decent tightness. It should make good contact with me hand but it shouldn’t be too tight to the point that blood can’t reach my fingers.
The included strap is a silicone strap does a good job on that. It is closer to the sports-oriented bands instead of the classier leather straps. The design concept of this included strap is also the same as the Watch4 Classic, whereby the strap tugs along the watch’s body and pushes the entire watch down towards the wearer’s wrist – like a spring.
The default strap works well though I don’t prefer having a thick lump of stuff at the back of my wrist – particularly when I am typing.
What if I want to change the strap? Yeah, it’s simple. All of the Galaxy Watch4 series of smartwatches use the standard 20mm strap. So I just changed to the Milanese loop that I’ve been using for years and slapped it on the Galaxy Watch4 (44mm)
And the Milanese loop is essentially a chainmail – and that means it’s breathable.
The Galaxy Watch4 (44mm)’s battery life is pretty much about the same as the Galaxy Watch4 Classic (46mm) that we reviewed earlier. With all of the tracking features turned on, I got just barely 2 days of usage in one single charge. That’s not really an issue since my daily routine will be to charge the watch whenever I go take a shower at night.
The charger also remains the same as any other Samsung Galaxy Watch in the past – it’s a small tiny puck with wireless charging and magnets to help you align the charger to the watch itself. The charger’s output rating is still the same as before – 5V 1A.
I’m also not too concerned about the charging time as I just usually leave it on the charger for about 4 hours before I wear the watch again and head to bed.
Do I recommend the Galaxy Watch4?
Absolutely. If you’re already using a Samsung device and want to get into an even smarter lifestyle, or maybe just upgrading your current smartwatch – then yes. The Galaxy Watch4 is excellent.
Like what we mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Watch4 is essentially a successor to the Galaxy Watch Active series in terms of design language. If you want the more classical design with a rotating bezel like the Galaxy Watch3 (review here), then you can also opt for the Galaxy Watch4 Classic.
Here are all the available sizes and prices of the Galaxy Watch4 series that you can choose from:
- Galaxy Watch4
- 40mm @ RM899
- 44mm @ RM999
- Galaxy Watch4 Classic
- 42mm @ RM1,299
- 46mm @ RM1,399
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