Galaxy Watch4 review: Ideal choice for Android users

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 review: Ideal choice for Android phone users

Along with the new Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3, Samsung released the company's new generation Galaxy Watch4 in India.

Depending on size and connectivity types (Bluetooth only & LTE), Samsung Galaxy Watch4 model's price ranges from Rs 23,999 and Rs 39,999.

The new smart wearable comes with a good upgrade over the predecessor. Significant improvements include the deeper integration with Google WearOS and the advanced Samsung BioActive Sensor that promises to offer better health tracking than most of the competitors in the market.

Does it live up to the hype? let's check it out. 

Design and build quality
Our Galaxy Watch4 review unit is a 44mm model. It sports a beautiful 1.4-inch Super AMOLED classic circular dial screen with 450×450p resolution, brighter than the 2020 series. 

It supports full colour Always On Display and has to say, the screen is really vibrant, bright and colourful than any smartwatch I have reviewed so far. It is just top-class and I never faced any issue to view notifications or the time outdoors.

Also, the watch is well built and the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass with DX+ shield and the case is made of armoured flight-grade aluminium material. 

The company is also offering the Steel case option but costs a bit more.  Ours is the aluminium case variant. It is really sturdy and as I mentioned in my first impression article, Samsung has done a fabulous job with a silver variant. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 with Galaxy A52s. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It comes with a matte finish and the buttons (power and back) are polished to shine, exuding a premium hand-feel and look visually appealing to the eyes. 

The silicone strap, which comes along with the retail package is of top-class quality. It is soft and sturdy too.

The Galaxy Watch4 comes with 5 ATM, IP68, and  MIL-STD-810G military-grade durability standard ratings. It is capable of surviving some of the deepest swimming pools up to six meters and users can go with the Galaxy Watch4 for a swim even in the seas, but it can sustain in the saltwater for only around 30 minutes.

This Watch is tailor-made for outdoor junkies and the design is yet simplistic and can be worn on any formal occasion too. The thousands of watch faces make a huge difference among rival brands.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The display has sensitive sensors around the bezels and responds swiftly to the touch to move from one screen page to another.  

It should be noted that the 40mm size model sports a smaller 1.2-inch Super AMOLED screen with 396×396p resolution, supports full Color Always On Display, and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass with DX+ shield. 

It just takes around 10 minutes to set up the Watch4 and pair with a Samsung phone. I have to note that Samsung's new phones like the one Galaxy A52s review unit I have, can automatically detect  Galaxy-branded smart wearables nearby and the owner just has to follow the on-screen instructions.

The new Galaxy Watch4 gets automatically detected near new Samsung phones (In Picture: Galaxy A52s). Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Others have to install Galaxy Health and Galaxy Wearable apps on their non-Samsung Android phones.

Once the setup is done and ready to operate, we can notice Galaxy Watch4 has a familiar Tizen interface we see in the predecessor. It supports the same swipe gestures that take you to the latest notifications on the left side and the individual apps and widgets to the right. If you swipe the screen down, it brings the options such as settings, display brightness, vibration mode, does not disturb mode, Theater mode, and more. However, if swipe up, you will see all the apps in grid layout placed three a row. And, there you will also find the Play Store app. This offers numerous apps for Galaxy Watch4 owners to try out. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 with Galaxy A52s. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

You have to scroll all the way down to find all the apps installed on the Watch4. The app icons are circular in design and big enough to launch the individual app with a finger touch on such a compact modular screen.

There is also Google Maps, which definitely improves the navigation experience while walking through the exotic locations during a vacation (do get vaccinated as early as possible and maintain social distance).

Also, the touch-sensitive bezel around the dial works like charm just like the predecessor. Thumbs up for keeping it Samsung. It just makes navigating on the Watch4 better.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Under-the-hood, it comes with a 5nm class 1.18GHz Samsung Exynos W920 dual-core chipset, 1.5GB RAM,  and 16GB storage. It also features Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, and Light Sensor. 

The USP of the new Galaxy Watch4 is the advanced Samsung BioActive Sensor module, which houses Optical Heart Rate sensor paired with Electrical Heart sensor and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) sensor. The latter is capable of measuring body skeleton mass, body water, body fat mass, and Body Mass Index (BMI).

Samsung Galaxy Watch4. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

This is a game-changer in a smart wearable segment. BIA feature was able to calculate that I have 30.7% body fat and 23.1kg skeletal muscle. Before you can start on it, the Watch asks for the height, gender, and weight details. Then, I was asked to place two fingers-- one on the power and another on the side buttons- for 15 seconds to get the reading. I don't know what algorithm or how it comes to that number.  

But, the aforementioned details and BMI does give us some understanding of how good our body health is and whether there is a need to make any changes to the daily routine.

Based on biometric details, the BMI feature of  Galaxy Watch4 showed I had 26.2. But, for my height and weight, I should come under 24-18.5 healthy range. This created some anxiety in me to change my daily routine and incorporate more physical work in terms of walking, exercising and do Yoga, which I used to do regularly until the Covid-19 lockdown-induced Work-From-Home (WFH) routine ruined everything.

Daily Activity Tracker on Galaxy Health app on Samsung Galaxy A52s. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Now, after the two doses of vaccine, I am back in the office and trying to get back to regular routine. So far, I managed to get full workouts on the weekend, but steadily improving my sleep cycle and work balance on weekdays.

The Galaxy Health app also offers a food intake recording feature, which helps us track what we eat all through the day and keep our eating habits in check. And, accordingly, do workouts burn extra calories.

However, I still recommend users to get an appointment with a physician or professional nutritionist before making any decision of drastically reducing food intake or do any excessive exercise just to score points on the Watch. Check with a doctor to help create a diet plan and exercise routine. Once, that is settled, we can make good use of the Galaxy Watch4 to get body health in order.

Glanceable activity features on the Galaxy Health app on Samsung Galaxy A52s. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The Watch4 also supports ECG (Electrocardiogram) app to check irregular heartbeat conditions. It can also monitor stress, sleep pattern, track activities such as walking, running, rowing, treadmill workouts, badminton, and several sports. 

The Watch4 is very sensitive to tracking activity and it was always able to recognise my long walks from the office to the main bus station (more than 1km) and asked to record the outdoor walks and this adds more points for the energy calories burned for the day.

Sleep and Stress tracker on Galaxy Health app. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

As far as the SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) reader is concerned, it was able to get correct most of the time. I compared it with the Apple Watch Series 6 and the difference was negligible. But, still, I don't consider both the smart wearables as standalone medical devices and recommend users to buy a proper Spo2 reader from the nearby medical store.

However, the ECG app is not active for the Indian market, losing some points compared to the Apple Watch.

Battery life
Our 44mm review unit comes with a 361mAh cell and it was able to give one and half days of battery life with activity tracking during workouts and night snoring tracking feature on. 

Compared to standby mode, snoring monitor features consumes a bit more battery energy, as it has to constantly track and record the sound and interact with a companion phone in the nightstand beside the bed.

If I left uncharged the next morning, I risk the Watch4 dying before I could reach home in the evening. So, I used to charge the Watch4 soon after getting up from the bed. It takes around two hours to fully charge from zero to 100 per cent. If you are in a hurry, the Watch4 can draw enough power in 30 minutes to last 10 hours. With low power mode on in late evening, it can manage to stay alive at least till you reach home from the office.

Final thoughts
Samsung has incorporated almost everything in the Galaxy Watch4 we expect in a premium smart watch. The innovative BioActive Sensor looks very promising and makes it stands out among the rival brands.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 series. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

However, the ECG feature on the Galaxy Watch4 is inactive in India, as Samsung is yet to get approval from local health regulatory agencies. I Hope, it gets the nod soon. 

With ECG and BioActive sensors, the Galaxy Watch4 will have an edge over the arch-rival Apple Watch series.

Also, for the first time, the Galaxy Watch series don't support iPhones. This is understandable given the fact that Apple since the launch of the first-generation Watch has not made any efforts to bring companion pairing features for any Android phone. Now, Samsung has just returned the favour.

Considering all aspects, Samsung Galaxy Watch4 sits at the top of my list of recommendations for the smartwatch for Android phone users.

Price details of the Galaxy Watch4 series. Credit: Samsung

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cybersecurity, and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.