In the new Galaxy Watch, Samsung abandoned its proprietary Tizen operating system. Now the fourth generation of smartwatches runs Wear OS from Google. We got our hands on the Galaxy Watch4 with a 40 mm screen, the youngest model in the series. What did the transition to the new operating system bring and how long does the device last on one charge? Let’s find out in the review.

What can Wear OS do?

Switching the watch to Wear OS is definitely the right move on Samsung’s part. Thanks to this, the Play Market is already installed on the Watch4, where you can find a huge amount of software like Spotify, Telegram, various services for notes, task schedulers, games and even browsers.

Among the pre-installed programs, we highlight “Google Maps” – through them you can build routes without a smartphone. The Microsoft Outlook email client and phone search functions will be useful. Previously, Tizen watches only supported contactless payment through Samsung Pay, but now you can easily install the Google Pay payment service on Watch4, which functions flawlessly without being tied to a smartphone.

However, if you add a card, you will have to set a password or pattern on your watch. Just like on a smartphone, you must enter it every time you unlock the screen. This is not very convenient to do on a small display.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Review

But taking calls on Watch4 is convenient thanks to the built-in speaker and sensitive microphone. Also, the speaker volume allows you to listen to music. You can listen to tracks directly from the watch – the built-in 16 GB storage holds not only songs, but also 200 photos. By the way, about working with notifications.

The gadget allows you to respond to messages by voice, drawing letters, typing via Gboard or simple emoticons.

Complete diagnostics of your health

On the back of the Watch4 is a set of sensors collectively called Samsung BioActive. With its help, the watch performs an ECG, measures blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen in the blood. By analyzing this data, the gadget assesses the owner’s stress level and sleep quality. Several electrodes, partially hidden in the control buttons, allow you to calculate your body fat percentage.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Review

There are also convenient tools for calculating calories consumed, fluid intake and menstrual cycle analysis. 95 sports modes and support for the most common navigation systems will help you during physical activity. The built-in gyroscope and accelerometer understand that you have started a workout and offer you to choose one of the modes.

What’s more, Watch4 accurately records every step and reports the distance traveled by voice.

Intuitive controls

On top of Wear OS, the Galaxy Watch4 has the proprietary third-generation One UI Watch shell. The interface is controlled via a touch screen and two buttons on the side: “Home” and “Back”. A swipe on the left brings up the notification center, on the top there is a curtain with settings, on the bottom there is a list of all applications, on the right there are program cards from quick access, the list and order of which can be edited.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Review

An additional way to interact with the watch is a touch frame around the perimeter of the screen. Pressing it is accompanied by a pleasant vibration. By the way, all interface animations are rendered smoothly. This is thanks to the Exynos W920 processor, Mali-G68 graphics accelerator and 1.5 GB of RAM.

Synchronization with smartphone

Smartwatches running Tizen only worked fully in combination with Samsung smartphones. The Watch4 can now fully interact with any Android phone, although iPhones are not supported at all.

We paired the new product with the Samsung Galaxy A80. After turning on the watch, a window immediately lit up on the smartphone screen asking me to synchronize and download the Galaxy Wearable application. Using this program, you can download and edit watch faces, change the order of services in the main menu of the wearable gadget, and so on. However, all these actions can be performed directly in Watch4.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Review

To analyze your health and physical activity on your smartphone, you need to use the Samsung Health Monitor and Samsung Health applications. The first displays statistics of blood pressure and ECG measurements. The second is responsible for counting steps, analyzing workouts, monitoring heart rate, blood oxygen and collecting sleep indicators.

Sleek and durable in one package

The base of the Galaxy Watch4 is made of practical brushed aluminum. The touch area and screen are covered with Gorilla Glass DX+. Without the strap, the 40mm version weighs about 26 grams, making it barely noticeable on the wrist.

The included fluoroelastomer strap is pleasant to the touch and can be easily replaced with any analogue. Despite its outward fragility, the watch case meets the military standard MIL-STD-810G, which means that it has passed shock, vibration, sand, salt and temperature tests. In addition, the accessory is protected from water according to IP68 class – the device can be kept for 30 minutes at a depth of up to a meter.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Review

Uncompromising display

Galaxy Watch4 was equipped with a round 1.2-inch Super AMOLED matrix with a resolution of 396×396. The pixel density is good – 330 ppi. The panel pleases with image clarity, excellent color rendition and wide viewing angles.

The brightness range allows you to comfortably use the gadget both in direct sunlight and at night.

But there are questions about the light sensor: the speed and correctness of its operation leave much to be desired. The watch supports Always On Display and high sensitivity mode for working with gloves. The screen is activated by a physical button or raising your wrist. In both cases there are no delays. The attention to detail is also evidenced by the high-quality oleophobic coating, which is pleasant to run your finger over.

Autonomy is the weak link

The 40mm version of the Galaxy Watch4 was equipped with a 247 mAh battery. With all functions activated, such as GPS, Wi-Fi and NFC, with auto brightness and constant synchronization with a smartphone, the watch can withstand exactly a day of use.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Review

If you disable the most energy-consuming services and activate the energy saving mode, the gadget will last a day and a half. I would like, of course, more. On the other hand, there are practically no smartwatches on the market with similar functionality that would work for more than two days.

The device charges wirelessly.

The included charger is not very convenient: due to weak magnets, the watch flies off the stand at the slightest touch. In addition, the dock is a single unit with a cable, at the other end of which there is a USB Type-A plug, and now it is difficult to find a power adapter with this connector. To measure charging speed, we used a 10W unit. With its help, the gadget replenishes 50% of energy in 1 hour 10 minutes, and up to 100% in 2 hours 10 minutes.

Specifications

DIMENSIONS
40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8 mm
WEIGHT
26 grams (without strap)
MATERIALS
body and buttons – aluminum
strap – fluoroelastomer
DISPLAY
1.2 inches Super AMOLED, 396×396, 330 pixels per inch, Corning Glass DX+
CHIPSET
Processor Samsung Exynos W920
Mali-G68 GPU
RAM AND STORAGE
1.5 GB
16 GB
BATTERY
247 mAh
DIFFICULT
Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, Beidou
SENSORS
heart rate monitor, pulse oximeter, gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, geomagnetic sensor and light sensor
PECULIARITIES
touch bezel, 95 workout modes, 5 ATM water resistance, IP68, Samsung BioActive, sleep analysis, ECG, MIL-STD-810G protection
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Review

Results

Perhaps the only drawback of the device is its low autonomy. So be prepared to charge your watch every day. Otherwise, the Galaxy Watch4 combines everything you could want from such a gadget. A productive chip, a high-quality display, many sensors and training modes for leading a healthy lifestyle. And thanks to autonomous navigation systems, Wi-Fi module, NFC and built-in storage, the accessory can be used separately from the smartphone.