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Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 Combines the Best of Wear OS, Fitbit, and Tizen

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 in black, white, green, and champagne.

Samsung’s newly-announced Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic mark a new era for Android wearables. Not only are they the first smartwatches with a 5nm chipset, but they’re the first devices to run the new Wear OS jointly developed by Google, Samsung, and Fitbit. As such, the Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic boast a ton of cool features, including lightning-fast health readings and advanced sleep-tracking technology.

Note: Samsung announced several new products at its Unpacked event, including the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the Galaxy Z Flip 3, and the Galaxy Buds 2. Check out our buying guide to save hundreds on your pre-order.

The Galaxy Watch 4 uses a redesigned One UI for what Samsung calls a “seamless” experience. Compatible apps automatically download to your Watch 4 when they’re download to your phone, and now that Samsung has switched to Wear OS, Galaxy Watch users can tap into Google’s expansive app ecosystem (and finally use Spotify with offline support).

Despite the new Wear OS, the Galaxy Watch 4’s One UI software looks very familiar. It seems that we won’t know a ton about the updated Wear OS until we finally get the chance to use the Galaxy Watch 4 and future devices from other brands. There’s just one software oddity on the Galaxy Watch 4 that’s worth thinking about—it only supports the Bixby voice assistant.

Under the hood, a new BioActive Sensor uses a single chip to monitor blood pressure, detect irregular heartbeats, measure blood oxygen, and for the first time, calculate body composition. The Galaxy Watch 4 is the first smartwatch to offer readings on skeletal muscle mass, basal metabolic rate, and body fat percentage. You usually need to visit a gym or doctor to measure your body composition, so it’s interesting to see the tech in a smartwatch, even if it doesn’t turn out to be super accurate (for what it’s worth, Samsung claims 98% accuracy).

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 with a red wriststrap.

And to our surprise, the Galaxy Watch 4 can accurately measure the quality of your sleep, detect snoring, and give you “Sleep Scores.” The smartwatch’s new sleep tracking tools seem to be lifted straight from Fitbit, indicating that they may be a standard feature in the new Wear OS (and a major improvement from the sleep tracking software typically found in Wear OS or Tizen).

Galaxy Watch 4 health readings arrive at lightning speed thanks to the Exynos W920 Dual Core 1.18GHz processor, the first 5nm processor in a wearable. Samsung says that this processor is 20% faster than the chipset used in its Galaxy Watch 3—and on top of that, the Watch 4 packs a cool 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.

But what about battery life? Well, between the new processor and flashy Super AMOLED Always-On display, the Watch 4 has a battery life of just 40 hours. That’s short of the Galaxy Watch3’s two-day battery life, but it’s still better than the Apple Watch.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic in white on a blue background.
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Check out that control dial! Samsung

As always, the Galaxy Watch 4 features interchangeable wrist straps and a set of fancy new watch faces (which you can sync with the new Galaxy Z Flip 3). A new IP68 water-resistance rating and Gorilla Glass DX+ protection ensure that the smartwatch can survive your athletic escapades, while optional LTE support allows you to take calls or stream music without carrying your smartphone.

Samsung will sell the Galaxy Watch 4 in 40mm (1.2-inch display) and 44mm (1.4-inch display) sizes, with options for GPS or LTE connectivity. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic comes in larger 42mm and 46mm sizes to accommodate its control dial (which is the only thing that sets these watches apart), though its screen sizes match the standard Watch 4.

The standard Galaxy Watch 4 starts at $250, while the Watch 4 Classic starts at $350. Pre-orders open today, and Samsung is offering a $50 credit for all customers who pre-order their smartwatch before the August 27th launch date.

SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 42mm Smartwatch with ECG Monitor Tracker for Health, Fitness, Running, Sleep Cycles, GPS Fall Detection, LTE, US Version, Black

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Samsung's new Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic pack a powerful new processor, plus an upgraded UI, improved Android app support, and new body composition sensor. Grab one now starting at $250.

Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic

Pre-order the Galaxy Watch 4 or Watch 4 Classic on Samsung’s website for a free $50 credit.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »