Sometimes teaming up with your enemy is the only way to topple a common foe. After years of toiling against Apple’s Watches, Samsung and Google have joined forces to develop a unified software platform. The new Galaxy Watch 4 is the first device to ship with Wear OS 3, albeit topped by Samsung’s One UI – a slick, icon-based interface which harks back to Tizen. That shift means a bigger app catalogue and easier installations, as well as access to Google tools like Maps, alongside Samsung services such as Bixby and SmartThings.
The tickers themselves come in two guises. The Galaxy Watch 4 is a good fit for sporty sorts, aping the Galaxy Watch Active 2 with its flat-front and streamlined stainless shell. It’s available in 40mm (£249) and 44mm (£269) sizes. Prefer a little analogue style? The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic features a bulkier textured bezel, which rotates to help you navigate through screens. It’s a clear successor to the Galaxy Watch 3 and ships in larger 42mm (£349) and 46mm (£369) dimensions. Whichever takes your fancy, you can shell out £40 extra for 4G eSIM connectivity.
While the designs are very much evolution over revolution, what really makes the Galaxy Watch 4 a worthy rival to the Apple Watch is its suite of fitness features. Besides an array of workout modes, the major new arrival comes in the form of Body Composition. By sending tiny electrical signals through your fingertips, it can measure body fat, water weight and bone density – making for much more meaningful lifestyle analysis.
Battery capacity is 247mAh for the 40 and 42mm models, rising to 361mAh for the 44 and 46mm versions – which Samsung reckons can translate into 40 hours of use on a single charge. The reality will depend on the efficiency of the always-on display, which on the 44 and 46mm models now features a sharper 450×450 pixel resolution.
Under the hood of every Watch 4 is a new Exynos W920 processor. Made using Samsung’s 5nm process, it’s pitched to deliver significantly slicker performance: think 10% speedier graphics, plus a 20% faster CPU – with 1.5GB of RAM on hand to help. There’s also 16GB of storage capacity.
All variants are available to pre-order now, ahead of general sale from 27 August. For our full first impressions of the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, be sure to read our hands-on review.