What’s New On Samsung Galaxy Watch4, Apple Watch 6 Comparison
Samsung today started a concerted industry effort to knock the Apple Watch from its dominant market position for wrist wearables. That is a huge task but working with Google/Fitbit might pay dividends. Let’s see…
Buy Now: Samsung Galaxy Watch4 on Amazon
What is announced today?
Must Read: Detailed Samsung Galaxy Watch Review
The Galaxy Watch Series 4 has sports watch options starting at £/$249 and a ‘Classic’ looking watch starting at £/$349, both are available in two screen sizes, with an LTE option and with a choice from several new strap designs.
Despite the familiar looks, the Series 4 is an entirely new product comprising superior hardware that performs significantly better and new software based on Google’s Wear OS3 which the Galaxy Watch Series 4 will be the first to use.
Interactions with the Galaxy Watch4 range from gesture control to scrolling with a screen bezel on the Classic model. There is a touchscreen augmented by 2 buttons but these double up to give one of the headline new features…Bio-Impedance Sensing that tracks body composition at a claimed level of accuracy of 98% of a DEXA scan.
The Galaxy Watch Series 4 can now benefit from access to apps on the Google Play Store and it looks like there are revamped sporty apps from Strava, Swim.com and adidas-Runtastic – interestingly neither adidas nor Strava are responding to requests for more info, which always precedes something exciting happening later!
Sports data performances might be improved with by the new optical HR sensor and we will also have to see what accuracy is brought from the Galileo-based GNSS/GPS chip. Accuracy hasn’t been the Galaxy Watch’s strong point, so let’s hope something has changed here.
Samsung is claiming a headline battery life of up to 40 hours. That’s fairly good for a high-resolution smartwatch.
LTE gives you limited cellular and internet access tied to your mobile phone contract but without the need to have your phone with you. For example, you will be able to download new tracks from Spotify as you run and map routes during your adventures. Some degree of messaging support is also included as is the ability to make and receive voice calls…however your carrier might limit this.
This LTE option is comparable to that offered by Apple but superior to Garmin’s LTE options which are unlikely to offer call support any time soon.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Specifications
The specs are in line with what you would expect from a wannabee market leader.
All the GNSS constellations are there as is support for high-speed WiFi and Bluetooth 5.
The sensor package is second-to-none and adds in support for ECG/EKG, oHR, resting HRV, SpO2, body fat percentage analysis, atrial fibrillation, altimetry, air pressure, directional sensing, plus estimates for blood pressure. And this is all within the context of a MIL standard, waterproof package. #Impressive.
Contrast the Galaxy’s spec to the Apple Watch 6 which has a screen resolution of 368 x 448px; you can see that the 450 x 450px display on offer here from Samsung appears superior (although pixel density is a truer measure and the screen shapes are different).
Note also that the cheapest Galaxy Watch Series 4 comes by default with superior Gorilla Glass…if you get the cheaper (aluminium cased) Apple Watch models then you do NOT get the equivalent hard glass from Apple and the cheaper Apple Watches DO scratch as I have found TWICE to my cost. To make matters worse for Apple, its watch’s design has no protective bezel for the glass again increasing the likelihood of damage when compared to Samsung.
The Apple Watch 6 44mm has a battery capacity of 303.8 mAh. So the 361mAh on offer from the 44mm Samsung is better than that from Apple. However, the true battery life you experience in any like-for-like comparison between the Galaxy Watch4 and Apple Watch 6 will be heavily influenced by the efficiency of individual hardware components. That said, it seems likely that Samsung will have a longer battery life than Apple Watch 6 and the AW6 typically has a battery life over a day despite its official life of 18 hours.
Perhaps the most important battery feature from Samsung is the fast recharge time; its 30 minutes of charging will give you 10 hours of watch time. So the reality is that a mere 10-15 minute fast recharge might be enough to get your Galaxy Series4 ready for a one hour GPS workout.
In contrast, the official recharge time of the Apple Watch 6 is that it takes 60 minutes to get an 80% charge, doing a bit of maths on that number gives a similar recharge performance to that offered by Samsung, again perhaps Samsung will turn out slightly better on this particular measure.
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Features
The high-level feature set that Samsung wants you to think about is mostly that of modern hardware with full health and fitness monitoring capabilities
Samsung Health already covered most of the bases when it came to health tracking and included blood oxygen monitoring. Now breathing patterns and snoring monitoring on your bedside smartphone are all combined to give a comprehensive sleep tracking ‘solution’ that I can’t wait to test out.
There are some nice body metrics display screens on offer too.
Sports features seemed to have edged forwards and now most of the basics are well covered. More recently, Samsung added team-based challenges in June this year.
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Pricing
Buy Now: Samsung Galaxy Watch4 on Amazon
Galaxy Watch4 – a modern, minimalist option designed for versatile all-day use, available in Black, Silver and Pink Gold (40mm) and Black, Silver and Green (44mm).
- 40mm (Bluetooth): £249
- 40mm (4G): £289
- 44mm (Bluetooth): £269
- 44mm (4G): £309
Galaxy Watch4 Classic
A premium, smartwatch with a rotating bezel, available in Black and Silver.
- 42mm (Bluetooth): £349
- 42mm (4G): £389
- 46mm (Bluetooth): £369
- 46mm (4G): £406
There is nothing too surprising here as much of the key techy info had already been leaked. However, the Galaxy Watch Series4 IS a big step forwards for the company and the fortunes of Wear OS as a rival to Apple.
This looks to be a superior hardware package to that offered in the Apple Watch 6. Whether or not the watchOS experience is trumped by a One UI/Wear OS 3 experience is another matter entirely. Much of what appears to be on offer on the screen seems to be only a slight evolution from what came before. Thus perhaps the KEY success factor will be just how well Samsung can leverage the full goodness of Google’s apps in their Play Store and just how much you like the look and feel of the Wear OS 3 experience meshed with leftover Tizen relics.