After several weeks of intensive use, we will tell you what we think of Samsung’s new smart sports watch and we will give you our opinion about the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
Along with TWS headphones, the segment of smartwatches and monitoring wristbands is surely one of the markets where the product offering has grown the most and the competition has become fiercer.
Samsung was one of the first brands to bet on smartwatches, making its Galaxy Watch a benchmark for the industry. This time we have in our hands the fourth generation of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic that we are going to show you in detail.
The new Samsung smartwatch comes with interesting proposals such as the merger between Samsung’s Tizen and Google’s Wear OS to create a watch with so many functions, that we would finish before listing what it does not do. Of course
Analysis of Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic by sections:
Design and screen: Design with attention to detail and an AMOLED screen with very good visibility
Hardware: Wear OS 3 returns to Samsung disguised as Tizen.
Software and monitoring: a variety of sensors and an app that makes the most of your training data
Autonomy: Sleeping or training? The battery is the most disappointing thing about this smartwatch
Conclusion: the best smartwatch for Android you can buy today is not going to make it easy for you
Detailed design and an AMOLED screen with very good visibility.
We begin the analysis of this Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic by highlighting some finishes that, unlike the sports Galaxy Watch 4 –which our colleagues have already analyzed-, look much more premium.
As its own surname indicates, the Samsung smartwatch we are reviewing has a more classic cut than the Watch 4, but maintains the same sporty spirit with a very soft white hypoallergenic silicone strap that is set in a sealed stainless steel case and with IP68 resistance .
The dial of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic that Samsung has sent us is 42 mm and has a rotating bezel with which to move around the screen interface with greater agility. Using this bezel is a real pleasure for the sensations it transmits since it accompanies the movement with a haptic response.
The size of this 42 mm unit seems more than adequate for people who, as in my case, do not have a too wide wrist, leaving dimensions of 41.5 x 41.5 and a thickness of 11.2 mm.
The 46.5 grams of weight make the Watch 4 Classic lighter than it seems, making its use more comfortable on a day-to-day basis, something to which its interchangeable 20 mm silicone strap, which adjusts, also contributes. correctly to the wrist thanks to its softness.
The Galaxy Watch 4 has two buttons on the frame. The top button, which is used to return to the main screen or invoke Bixby among other functions, is distinguished by a very discreet red ring. For its part, the bottom button activates Samsung Pay. The feel of both buttons is solid and conveys a high-quality build.
The internal part of the box is framed by a black ring that collects the impedance and sensor sensors that need to be kept in contact with the skin to perform measurements.
If we pay some attention to the left side, we will find some discreet holes under which the speaker is located that, together with the microphone located discreetly in just on the line of the strap anchor, allow making and answering voice calls, as well as executing commands voice with Bixby.
The screen is one of the most prominent elements of this Samsung smartwatch, which is committed to a smartwatch 1.19-inch SuperAMOLED screen with a resolution of 396 x 396 pixels that leaves 330 pp.
It is a very sharp screen and ensures good visibility in any environment, delivering brightness of 900 lux controlled by an ambient light sensor and protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass DX glass.
The experience of using this screen has been at the level of a premium smartwatch such as this Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic and we have not had any problem reading the data even in bright sunlight. In addition, the Active Screen feature allows you to activate the screen by raising your arm to look at the watch.
In addition, it has an Always-on Display mode, so the content can be displayed by adjusting the battery consumption, something that unfortunately will be a constant in this watch.
The watch has a good number of customizable faces from the app or that can be downloaded directly from Google Play, showing different parameters according to the design of each face.
The rotating bezel function is complemented by a touch screen that, as usual in smartwatches, just slide your finger on the screen in a certain direction to access different sections and functions of the system.
For example, if you slide down, the quick settings appear, the installed applications drawer up, the received notifications from left to right and, in the opposite direction, you access the different configured Widgets that show the main data or give access to the main app with a single tap.
Sometimes, this makes it difficult to interact with the screen, especially when sliding the screens, which must be done by marking the gesture decisively from the very edge of the screen.
For this new version, Samsung has teamed up with Google to integrate Wear OS 3 as an operating system, but it does so under the Tizen aesthetic and is called One UI Watch.
The behavior of the watch has been very fluid at all times. Responsible for this good response has been the 5 nm Samsung Exynos W920 processor, accompanied by 1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage in which you can save music by sending it from your mobile to listen to it independently.
This, together with the possibility of synchronizing with a Bluetooth headset and having its own LTE connectivity option through an eS, means that the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic can work autonomously without having to carry the mobile with you during training.
We have already commented that from the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic you can make and receive voice calls without touching the smartphone, but you can also read the notifications in full.
The response to these notifications can also be done from the watch, both with predetermined phrases configured from the app, as well as from the touch keyboard or through voice recognition.
One of the most disconcerting aspects in our experience of using this Samsung smartwatch has been the fact of receiving different sound and vibrations warnings, without knowing what caused them since they did not show any text or indicative that explained or gave clues as to why. the notification.
Variety of sensors and an app that makes the most of your training data
The watch supports more than 90 different sports activities, including individual and team activities, both outdoors and in the gym or pool. On the watch, we find some of these preloaded activities, but from the Samsung Wear app, they can be customized.
The monitoring options go far beyond the typical heart rate recording, sleep monitoring, or blood oxygen saturation automatically and in real-time.
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic goes a little further and offers the option of recording blood pressure, taking an electrocardiogram (ECG), measuring stress levels, and even do an on-demand bioelectrical impedance analysis.
With this analysis, the proportion of fat mass, muscle mass, water present in the body is determined, to be averaged in the Body Mass Index (BMI). Best of all, this analysis is performed by simply holding down the two buttons simultaneously with the ring and heart fingers.
The process only lasts a few seconds in which you have to follow the indications of the clock and maintain a certain static posture.
After the analysis, the percentages are shown and, definitely, one becomes aware of the need to lead an active and healthy life when seeing the results.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is not a medical or diagnostic device, so the results obtained will be taken as a guide only. An alteration of the values in the registry of these analyzes does not imply a pathology and they should always be consulted with the doctor.
The South Korean brand has reserved access to some of these star functions only for Samsung devices that run the latest version of One UI so that when using one of the brand’s latest smartphones, integration with the watch is complete and seamless. native.
To take advantage of the full potential of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, other Android mobile users will need to install the Samsung Wear apps to configure the watch’s operating settings.
On the other hand, it will be necessary to use the Samsung Health app to synchronize and represent the data collected during training, activities, and analysis.
Bad news for Huawei, iPhone or iPad’s mobile users since the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is not compatible with these systems and the Samsung apps present in the Apple Store do not recognize this device. We have been using it together with the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 –which we analyze here-.
We liked that it has an automatic activity detection system that identifies when you move and offers to activate some of the sport profiles to more precisely monitor the specific variables of each sport. If no profile is activated, it records the basic data (steps, heart rate, distances, etc …).
When you activate the profile of outdoor activity, such as running or cycling, the watch activates the GPS to position you and combine the recorded data in the context of the location.
This is a point where the majority of smartwatches click, and that provides added value by providing very useful information to improve workouts.
Rest is a very important part of maintaining good health, which is why the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic takes recording this data very seriously. So much so that during the night he intensifies his work to dissect each rest session in detail.
The system is not limited to monitoring the heart rate or oxygen saturation to determine the sleep phase in which we are but uses the microphone to detect and record snoring and send it to Samsung Health and leave an irrefutable proof in the form recording with date and time stamp.
Regarding sports activity, the user experience has been expected in a smartwatch of this category, with precise measurements and reliable operation.
I liked that, for example, I was making periodic reports by voice on the pace, distance, and times during my outings with the bicycle.
The watch captures all this data and displays it in the app so that the results can be better-analyzed thanks to the support of the GPS, revealing how you react to the additional effort of a climb or the speeds that are reached in the descents sections.
We liked that it allows you to have full control over the functions of music playback and interaction with other functions while you are recording sports activity, something that says a lot about the power that your hardware provides.
Samsung Health is a very useful tool in a device with so many monitoring options such as this Galaxy Watch 4 Classic that we are analyzing, and it does a fantastic job showing the recorded data in a clear, orderly, and understandable way, allowing the user to customize the data they want. watch.
Sleep or workout? The battery is the most disappointing thing about this smartwatch
We reached one of the sections that generated me the most curiosity when we covered the presentation live from our YouTube channel.
The clocks Samsung Tizen usually amounted to two days of use without major problems, but devices with OS Wear had more trouble reaching the end of the first day.
My worst fears were confirmed the day after receiving this unit that we are analyzing: One UI Watch had inherited the bad autonomy of the Wear OS.
By configuring the watch with the essential notifications (calls, emails, and Slack), with the automatic screen settings to save battery, and without doing any training sessions, the watch has reached the end of the day with 10% battery, but it needs to be charged overnight to face the next day.
That makes it impossible for me to wear it overnight, forcing me to choose between monitoring sleep (without completing the night with the remaining battery) or facing the new day with 100% battery.
The problem is aggravated if that day is a training session since this reduces the autonomy to 15 hours of use. If the GPS is also used during training, the usage time drops even more.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic uses the same magnetic base charger that the Watch 3 used, and it takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete 100% of its charge, and about 56 minutes to reach 50%.
It also has support for wireless charging with the Qi standard, which can save the ballot if your smartphone allows reverse wireless charging like the Galaxy Fold 3 does, being able to regain some autonomy without having to tie yourself to a power outlet.
The best smartwatch for Android that you can buy today is not going to make it easy for you
We face the final stretch of this analysis with two clear conclusions: the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is one of the most complete smartwatches that can be bought in 2021, but its little autonomy does not make things easy for users.
The fact of merging the functions of Wear OS with the aesthetics of Tizen has opened a whole world of features and utilities for this device. Literally, it does everything and, best of all, it does it very well by integrating a wide range of sensors.
Samsung Health clearly represents all data and brings added value to it when combined. In this sense, little can be reproached for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
On the negative side, all these benefits and good user experience are limited by a completely insufficient autonomy that, with a little intensive use, barely lasts for a day.
On the other hand, we have a clear intention from Samsung to sweep the house by offering full integration with exclusive functions when the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is synchronized with one of the latest Samsung phones.
If you use an Android mobile from other brands, the experience is also very good and, although some functions are lost along the way.