Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Classic

This article reviews the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 that was released in September 2021 this year, which is available at the Amazon store. Below are the pros and cons that may affect buying decisions or whether to upgrade from another smartwatch model.

The following is noteworthy:

  • The Galaxy Watch 4 is an updated version of the Galaxy Active Watch 2 without the physical rotating bezel.
  • The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is an updated version of the Galaxy Watch 3 with a rotating bezel.
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Very lightweight at just 30gramsMany users report poor battery life, with some less than 12 hours.
Noticeably faster than earlier versionsIt is not using the latest Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA)Storage size of 16GB is low compared to Apple Watch
ECG and Blood Pressure MeasurementSome users dislike using Samsung Health App.
Rugged” 5 ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810G
Some users dislike the need to rely on Samsung phone for ECG.
Google WearOS

Review of Good Points[tie_index]Review of Good Points[/tie_index]

Considering all the advanced electronics, sensors, display and battery packed into the unit, the watch casing for the 44mm Watch 4 weighs only 30 grams. In our review, the size and weight concluded that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is on par with the Galaxy Active 2 watch for sports and running.

Body Composition Measurement[tie_index]Body Composition Measurement[/tie_index]

The bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA) on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is not as accurate for measuring body composition as such as body fat, unlike those 8-electrode advanced body fat scale in another of our reviews. A more accurate way is to capture the tiny current that passes through the whole body between the feet and hands.

However, it does provide a rough estimate and the error is consistent rather than random. Although the absolute value of the measurement is not accurate, it can still be useful by comparing the changes over time by comparing the changes. Let’s say if your fat measurement today is 30%, it may not be accurate but if your measurement is 25% next month, it will mean that your fat level has dropped.

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ECG and Blood Pressure Measurement[tie_index]ECG and Blood Pressure Measurement[/tie_index]

For Galaxy Active Watch 2, the ECG and blood pressure can be measured directly without the phone, however, a Samsung phone is required to calibrate the blood pressure monitor on the watch.

However, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has changed this such that the phone is required for measuring ECG. This is surprising as our previous review on the Galaxy Active Watch 2 shows that the phone is not required for daily ECG measurement, after the initial set up.

In any case, just like the BIA body composition, they are not medical grade devices and hence no clinical action shall be taken based on the information.

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Galaxy Watch Blood Pressure Calibration
Galaxy Watch Blood Pressure Calibration

Read more: Samsung Health Monitor

5 ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810G[tie_index]5 ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810G[/tie_index]

In our review, we are very clear about IP68 and Water Resistance WR50 based on the standards IEC 60529 and ISO 2281:1991 respectively. However, Samsung did not explicitly state the level of certification for MIL-STD-810G as it involves many tests such as:

  • Drop test from a height of 1.5 meters
  • Vibration Test exposure to constant vibration
  • Extreme temperature tests, such as operating at temperatures as high as 160 degrees Fahrenheit,
  • Solar radiation exposure test
  • Rain and salt spray test
  • Dust blasting test
  • Water immersion test
  • Ice test
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Samsung insights only stated  Samsung’s Galaxy XCover Pro is subjected to the above, but we doubt the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is ruggedised to the same level.

In any case, the Water resistance to 50 meters plus IP68 rating means that you can swim with the watch safely. So far we have not had any problems with water going into our Samsung smartwatches.

As the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the first from Samsung to use Google WearOS, there is so much application that is in the works. Many users are looking to use Google map and Google Assistant on the watch. There is also a lack of Watch Face unlike the previous Tizen, however, we are expecting the developers to catch up really soon.

Summary of Bad Points[tie_index]Summary of Bad Points[/tie_index]

Most user reviews will comment on the battery life of the new smartwatches when they are released, regardless of the brand. There has not been much improvement for the Galaxy Watch 4, which is expected. There appears to be very little focus on improving battery life for smartwatches, which is limited by the size of the watch casing.

The only way to improve battery life is to have more energy-efficient electronics which is equally challenging considering newer models will have increasingly powerful (and power-consuming) processors and electronics.

We are lucky to be getting so many features on a small tiny watch that can last 24 hours. The official battery life is 40 hours, but it can go up to a day only depending on how the smartwatch is being used, e.g. with all sensors turned on and continuous heartrate monitoring.

We will defend the battery life but not for the low 16GB storage and the older Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ glass. Even the Apple Watch 7 has 32GB storage, double the storage for Galaxy Watch 4.

The smartwatch attached to the wrist is subjected to more knocks and scratches than the smartphone, so it should have the same Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.

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User Feedback[tie_index]User Feedback[/tie_index]

There are many users who expressed their dissatisfaction with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 battery life in their reviews.

    • Based on one user review, the actual battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is about 24 hours with all sensors turned on and continuous heart rate monitoring. The previously Galaxy Active Watch 2 could last up to two days.
    • However, there are many users who reported in their review that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has a much shorter battery life in the range of 8 to 12 hours.
    • Some users even reported only 2 hours or so.
  • Most users who have used the Samsung Galaxy Active 2 would find the Watch 4 noticeably faster than the earlier models.
  • There are users who commented in their review for the lack of watch face choices and are looking for a new watch face as this is the first time it is using Google WearOS.
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Comparison MatrixSamsung Galaxy Watch 4
Tech Specs40mm44mm42mm Classic46mm Classic
Size (Watch Face)40.4×39.3mm44.4×43.3mm41.5×41.545.5×45.5
Thickness (incl. sensor)13.5mm13.5mm13.5mm13.5mm
Weight (no strap)26g (Alum.)30g (Alum.)47g (Stainless)52g (Stainless)
ChipExynos W920 Dual Core 1.18GHz
Screen Resolution396×396(1.2″)450×450(1.4″)396×396(1.2″)450×450(1.4″)
Gorilla® Glass
Gorilla® Glass DX+
Gorilla® Glass
Corning® Gorilla®
Glass DX
Always On DisplayYes
DurabilityYes, IP68 (MIL-STD-810G), 50m (5ATM, WR50)
Water-Resistant50m, 164ft (5 ATM) for 10 mins
Battery Size247 mAh361 mAh247 mAh361 mAh
Battery LifeUp to 40 hours (actual ~24hrs)
Max Charging Wattage5W
Charging TimeUp to 2 hours
LTEYes, selected models
Wi-Fi802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4 & 5GHz
Bluetooth5.0 BLE
GNSSA-GPS, Glonass and Galileo
Light sensorYes
BIA SensorYes
Blood oxygen sensorVO2Max, SpO2
Electrical heart sensorYes
Optical heart sensorYes
Hall sensorNoYes
PaymentSamsung Pay
Emergency CallYes, need Phone/LTE
Emergency SOSYes, need a Phone/LTE
Fall DetectionYes
Warranty (years)12 months

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