Has Samsung Finally Provided the Ultimate Android Smartwatch?

When it comes to lifestyle tech products, Apple is the undisputable leader in this category. However, because we cannot all like Apple or be members -whether voluntary or not – of its community, the news that Samsung and Google have finally joined forces together in the newly-released Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is welcome and worthy of a celebration.

The Samsung galaxy Watch 4 series.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series. Image courtesy of Cnet

For years, Android users have struggled to find an appropriate smartwatch that would match their phones. Different brands, from Fossil to Fitbit have equally struggled to fill this void during this period, and except for Samsung – which was good when used with a matching Samsung device and manageable with other brands – all of them have failed.

Until now.

Galaxy Unpacked

Much like Apple, Samsung has different events in the year where it unveils new products, redesigns and upgrades, amongst other things. This year, after a series of leaks, the brand has now officially announced its latest products: The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3; the Galaxy Buds 2, and, the Galaxy Watch 4.

Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
The Galaxy Watch 4 comes in aluminum while the Classic is stainless steel
The Watch 4 has an aluminium finish, while the Watch 4 Classic comes in stainless steel. Image courtesy of Forbes

Samsung’s latest smartwatch comes in two models: the sleeker, cheaper Watch 4 and the more traditional-looking Watch 4 Classic. The latter re-introduces Samsung’s physically rotating outer bezel and can either be a 42mm or 46mm stainless steel device. The Watch 4, on the other hand, comes in aluminium and can either be 40mm or 42mm.

Prices start at $250 for a 40mm Watch 4 and go up to $380 for the 46mm Classic. Including LTE data compatibility adds an extra $50 to the watches.

Old users looking to make a switch can expect to see a device they are already familiar with, with both models packing 1.5GB RAM, an Exynos W920 Dual-Core processor and boasting of over 40hours of battery life.

However, the Galaxy Watch 4 series is different, thanks to the collaboration with Google.

Wear OS 3
The watch uses Google's wear OS 3
The Galaxy Watch 4 incorporates Google’s Wear OS 3. Image courtesy of 9 to 5 Google

One year after Samsung launched its wearables in 2013, Google announced that it had created its own Android Wear platform for smartwatches. The expectation was that since the Apple watch ran on an OS that made it basically mirror the iPhone, other smartwatch brands would jump on the Android Wear platform and offer their users an experience similar to what Apple users were enjoying.

Google could not have been more wrong. Samsung stuck with its Tizen OS, and other brands, taking the same path, created their own platforms while completely ignoring what Google offered. This left Android users with a smartwatch they could use, but also one whose benefits they could never truly enjoy simply because it was not fully compatible with their phones.

However, with the integration of a co-created OS 3 in the Galaxy Watch 4 series, Android users have one more reason to stay faithful to their decision: you can now wear your phone on your wrist if you belong in this category.

Even better is the fact that, by next year, other smartwatches like Fossil and Fitbit will get on the Wear OS 3 platform. So, if you think that Samsung is not good enough, you would have the option of trying out other brands that will sync just as well with your phone and probably give you all of the features you desire.

Unlike the crowd on the Apple side who will be stuck with the brand’s watch whether or not they like what they have. Hopefully, Wear OS 3 will accommodate iPhones so that they can at least have options.

Health features
The back of the Galaxy watch 4 with the electrical bioimpedance sensor
The Galaxy Watch 4 has an electrical bioimpedance sensor for full-body analysis. Image courtesy of Cnet

The Galaxy Watch 4 series is more than just your Android phone on your wrist – it comes with several new health features in addition to all the ones introduced in the Galaxy Watch 3. You’ve got an ECG app, blood pressure measurement, sleep tracker, that, amongst other things, detects your snores using your phone’s microphone.

Now, you can determine if all you’ve heard about your snores is pure hyperbole.

Samsung also said it has added an electrical bioimpedance sensor for full-body analysis using a weak electrical current to measure how conductive you are. There will be readouts on your BMI, muscle mass and body water along with body fat percentages. It remains to be seen how well this would work, but it is definitely a feature to look out for.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series will not start shipping until August 27, but you can pre-order now on Samsung’s website or other approved retailers, including Amazon.

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