Samsung Galaxy Watch Four Assessment: The very best Put on OS smartwatch for smaller wrists

MSRP $249.99

“The Galaxy Watch Four 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

Computerized exercise monitoring might be inconsistent

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Four is the svelte sibling to the chunkier Watch Four Traditional. With its smaller dimension and a number of coloration choices, it largely affords the identical Put on OS expertise because the Traditional, however there are some key variations. It has a digital bezel somewhat than the bodily rotating one the Galaxy Watch sequence is understood for. This shaves off a few of the total 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 three and is loaded with well being and fitness-tracking options like blood oxygen, coronary heart charge, and BMI. You additionally get a whole 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 Four is far much less of a behemoth in your wrist than the Watch Four Traditional, making it appear extra just like the religious (and bodily) successor to the fitness-oriented Lively sequence. It is available in two dimension choices, 40mm and 44mm, and the display screen sizes are just about similar to the Traditional, with the smaller Watch Four having a 1.2-inch display screen and the 44mm having a 1.Four-inch display screen. There are a number of coloration choices, together with black, silver, inexperienced, and pink gold. My assessment unit was black.

I acquired the bigger 44mm Watch Four for assessment, though my wrist is on the narrower facet, to make the most of the marginally bigger display screen dimension – and doubtlessly – battery life. At 30.three grams, it’s a great bit lighter than the 52-gram Watch Four Traditional, and it match comfortably utilizing the included silicone strap. Sporting all of it day, figuring out, and sleep with it on have been all completely comfy. 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 Four has a digital bezel somewhat than a bodily rotating one. The display screen sits flush to the aluminum physique, however there’s a black bezel ringing it together with two lug buttons you should utilize to return to the house display screen or reopen a beforehand opened app.

If you wish to scroll by apps or the assorted Tiles, you possibly can run your finger alongside the bezel, and in idea, 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. Perhaps my fingers are just too inelegant, however attempting to scroll with the digital bezel was awkward and finicky at the perfect of occasions. All this lends extra credence to my private perception that bodily buttons and controls are nearly at all times superior to “pretend” 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 screen is crisp at 450×450, giving it 330 pixels per inch. The AMOLED panel appears nice in all settings, and it’s vivid sufficient for out of doors usability. I additionally wasn’t involved about sturdiness for the reason that display screen 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 three, the Watch Four is among the greatest smartwatches I’ve used when it comes to uniformity and usefulness. In some ways, Samsung’s Tizen dominates the interface with the assorted Tiles you possibly can set as much as view what you care about, tons of watch face choices with as many or as few issues as you need, and strong and enhancing app help 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 telephone routinely.

Upon preliminary setup, nonetheless, getting notifications was finicky. I couldn’t at all times depend on messages coming by 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 recently.

The Watch Four is among the greatest smartwatches I’ve used when it comes to uniformity and usefulness.

Apps like Spotify and YouTube Music help offline listening mode, letting you permit your telephone at residence once you go for a jog. You even have media controls for many apps, together with Audible, Netflix, and Pocket Casts. One app I acquired numerous use of was Google Maps. You may plug in instructions utilizing the keyboard or use voice instructions and let the Watch Four provide the instructions. It’s wonderful for sparing you from having to have a look at your telephone whereas on the go.

Ajay Kumar/Digital Traits

Ajay Kumar/Digital Traits

Ajay Kumar/Digital Traits

The one criticism 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, supplying you with entry to sleep monitoring, stress monitoring, steps, coronary heart charge, and extra. Final, for simply electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements, you’ll must obtain and grant permissions to the Samsung Well being Monitor app, which you’ll obtain from the Galaxy Retailer.

That brings you a grand whole of three apps to get full utilization out of the Watch Four, making me marvel why Samsung doesn’t combine every little thing into Galaxy Wearable or Well being. It’s numerous pointless app litter. There are additionally a couple of particular person permissions that should be granted to make the most of sure options.

Well being and health monitoring

You received’t be disillusioned with the great suite of well being and fitness-tracking options packed into the Watch Four. When it comes to what it may well measure, it’s a better rival to good scales than different smartwatches in the marketplace.

The large distinctive measurement right here is Physique Composition. The Watch Four can measure a powerful set of stats, together with Physique Mass Index (BMI), Basal Metabolic Fee (BMR), weight, muscle, fats mass, and physique fats. You measure by sliding the smartwatch additional up your wrist, inserting the elbow down on the desk, after which urgent your fingers towards the 2 lug buttons with out touching your wrist. It’s a clumsy gesture and never very comfy to carry for the time wanted for the outcomes to course of.

When you get the outcomes, there are lots of numbers, and as you possibly can see within the screenshots under, it doesn’t actually present a lot in the way in which of breakdown or clarification of what all of it truly means. You’ll should do your individual analysis to determine if the stats offered by Physique Composition are good or unhealthy and to get some actionable recommendation. That might have been a pleasant characteristic 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 Four neatly breaks down your sleep cycle within the Samsung Well being app, supplying you with a sleep rating, exhibiting sleep levels like REM sleep, maintaining monitor of blood oxygen, and recording loud night breathing and even energy burned. It was a superb option to consider the standard of my sleep, particularly on these sadly frequent nights after 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 troublesome to inform how correct it’s. It usually advised me I wasn’t very pressured after I was burdened beneath a flood of labor and advised me I used to be very pressured whereas sitting down and watching Castlevania on Netflix. As a lot as I’m keen on Trevor Belmont and Alucard, I don’t suppose both of them was inflicting me a lot stress.

Different monitoring options are pretty commonplace. You get step and exercise monitoring with a wide range of workouts like working, strolling, biking, swimming, circuit coaching, rowing, weight machines, treadmills, and extra. There’s each computerized and guide exercise monitoring, however the Watch Four is fairly first rate at selecting up once you’re strolling and working.

Ajay Kumar/Digital Traits

Ajay Kumar/Digital Traits

It had extra points selecting up on after 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 nasty behavior of ending my session early, although, and I haven’t fairly been ready to determine why.

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

There’s additionally a coronary heart charge monitor and electrocardiogram (ECG) that allow you to monitor 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 Four.

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 inform you if it thinks you’ve gotten atrial fibrillation. In that regard, it’s helpful sufficient, however not likely one thing I might measure every single day for the reason that coronary heart charge monitor retains monitor of issues routinely.

Efficiency and battery

The Watch Four is powered by an Exynos W920 processor and has 1.5GB RAM, and 16GB of inner 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 stagnation within the smartwatch house.

 Battery life is nice, a minimum of relative to the Galaxy Watch Four Traditional. 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%. Relatively than topping up in a single day, I normally simply plugged within the Watch Four after I was showering and by no means ran out of juice.

 Worth and availability

 The Samsung Galaxy Watch Four is available in on the following worth 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 delivery in mid-September.

 Our take

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Four is full of options and offers Android customers a lot to love. With its slimmer design and extra coloration choices, it’s extra fashion-forward than the cumbersome Watch Four Traditional, although that does lead to 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 three is clean and responsive, and the problems that cropped up upon preliminary use appear to be steadily getting resolved. In case you’re out there for a snug, feature-packed smartwatch, you received’t go mistaken with the Galaxy Watch Four.

 Is there a greater various?

 In case you’re an iPhone person, the apparent decisions are the Apple Watch Sequence 6 and Apple Watch SE. They combine the perfect within the iOS ecosystem, they’re high-quality and full of most or all the identical options because the Watch Four. 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 Four Traditional is our prime choose, with the Watch Four proper subsequent to it for individuals with smaller wrists who’re keen to sacrifice the comfort of the bodily bezel. Nevertheless, there are different Android smartwatch choices just like the Mobvoi TicWatch Professional three and TicWatch E3, which can each get Put on OS three sooner or later subsequent 12 months. However the Watch Four and Watch Four Traditional are each newer, so if you’d like the most recent and best, you’d be higher off with them.

 How lengthy will it final?

 The Galaxy Watch Four has a typical one-year guarantee. It’s IP68 mud and water resistant and rated to 5ATM, which means it may well survive at a depth of 50 meters for 10 minutes. It’s additionally licensed to MIL-STD-810G, which implies it’s survived a set of lab exams 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 three is the newest software program out for smartwatches, and also you’re positive to get extra updates, so I anticipate it to final for a minimum of two years, if not longer.

 Do you have to purchase it?

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

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