Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic, now using Wear OS

Kishore Bhargava | Updated on September 29, 2021

Does everything from health tracking to handling calls

At Google I/O 2021, one of the announcements was of WearOS coming to Samsung watches. Ever since it has been a much-anticipated watch and it does not disappoint. While much of the watch is the similar to the previous generation, the single biggest difference is the change from Tizen (Samsung’s own operating system) to WearOS (Google’s operating system) powered by Samsung.

Samsung launched two watches, the Galaxy Watch4 and the Galaxy Watch4 Classic. New names for new devices and the direction they want to take is clear. The Galaxy Watch4 replaces the Active series and is the slightly cheaper and lighter watch which does everything from health tracking to handling calls. The Watch4 Classic is just a better looking watch, made of superior material and has the all famous rotating bezel.

Two variants

The Watch4 now comes in two size variants, the 40mm in Black, Pink Gold and Silver and the 44mm in Black, Green and Silver. The Watch4 Classic is also available in two sizes, 42mm and 46mm and and in only two colours, Black and Silver.

The Watch4 is made of Armour Aluminium and is considerably light: the smaller one only 26 grams and the larger one 30 grams. In contrast, the Watch4 Classic is made of Stainless Steel and weighs in at 47 grams for the smaller one and 52 grams for the larger one.

The screens of both watches are circular super AMOLED made of Gorilla Glass DX and resolution varies according to the size. They do support full colour and “always-on-display” as well.

Watch faces are a now aplenty, since all the ones on the Google Play store work. Going forward, it will only get better with time (pun intended) as developers will now be able to concentrate their efforts on making apps and watch faces for the WearOS platform rather than separately for Tizen and WearOS as was happening in the past.

An eye on health: Samsung has taken the health features on this watch quite seriously. They have added several new sensors and features though not all are available at this time, Blood Pressure and ECG was not available in India at the time of testing. All the earlier features of multiple health workout types, blood oxygen, stress all continue to be there. Sleep and snoring are new to the Watch4 as is Body Composition. As always, use these measurements only as a baseline guide and not as a medical report. For that do consult your doctor or laboratory as needed. The usual features of the watch have not changed in any way. Stopwatch, Timer, Alarms all available and work as expected. Phone calls over Wi-Fi also work quite well. We did not get the cellular version so were not able to test it without a phone.

However, with WearOS being in the picture, we finally get offline mode for Spotify and YouTube music. You can now easily select from the watch app the playlists, podcasts or other items in your library to be downloaded and playback with or without the phone.

Phone notifications have also not changed much, but you can now use voice or typing to respond to many of the messaging apps including the ever so popular WhatsApp. Google Assistant is still awaited, Bixby is still the choice for the voice assistant but hopefully as part of a software upgrade one will be able to replace it with Google Assistant.

Battery-life was supposed to have improved with WearOS, but it is still around the just under two days mark.

Overall, the Watch4 is probably the best smartwatch for Android users. While it is rumoured to work on iOS as well, it really works best with a Samsung device.

Overall the Watch4 has smart features and looks good, has nice options for health tracking and now comes with lots of apps because of WearOS But it is a big heavy watch. It doesn’t use Google Assistant and is best with Samsung phones. It costs between ₹23,999 and ₹39,999.

Published on September 29, 2021

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