Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Review: Samsung Takes Wear OS For A Spin
The galaxy watch 4 is the most significant change to samsung smartwatches since 2016., its built on new silicon running a new os with a new user interface to boot. But samsung has done a lot of work to make. This galaxy watch feel like the three that came before it and its mostly worked for better or worse. The good news. Samsung hasnt changed much that was working im reviewing the 46 millimeter edition of the watch for classic the larger of this years. Two models: its weighty and high quality and all the things you expect and the principal specs that play in its favor from the gorilla glass dx crystal to the five atmosphere. Water resistance are carved into its stainless steel case surrounding the new bioactive sensor at the center. That sensor is part of a new health tracking suite that blends electrical and optical heart rate with bioelectrical impedance analysis, and what that means is that you put your fingers on the watch buttons and it passes an electrical current through your body. That, after 15 seconds tells you your metabolic rate, muscle mass percentage of water and fat in your body and other data points im not interested in making public. Now my healthier friend michael josh, over at gadget, match though he says the fitness data is fairly reliable and thats, backed up by tashaka armstrong, who calls the bioactive sensor a very solid performer in his deep dive for android central ill link to both reviews.
In the description i did use this watch for one fitness purpose to track a seven mile, brooklyn bike ride the same one i featured in my galaxy flip 3 review. The watch gave me lap updates and my earbuds every mile telling me distance, traveled heart rate and so on, and the workout summary i got. Afterward has much more information than ill ever need thats, because i dont buy smart watches for fitness tracking and if i did id have asked to review the smaller more sports oriented galaxy watch 4.. So when the watch 4 classic arrived with the same sporty band as that smaller watch, i was let down got ta, be straight with you. This is one of the worst bands ive used recently a frumpy rubber affair, with not an ounce of character too much play in the loosey goosey keepers and a weird design that makes it stand out too far from the wrist like the watch is called classic. Give me a nice band, i can wear with a suit, you know and to make matters worse. It uses 20 millimeter lugs, far less common in smart watches, so none of the better looking 22 millimeter bands i have lying around will fit. Oh and the release switches for the spring bars are buried so deeply beneath the rubber that even getting the band off in the first place is a real nuisance for the price of this watch. You really shouldnt need to put up with any of this.
It just reeks of corner cutting. Okay lets talk about the other reason beyond fitness to wear a smartwatch, to bring your phones, notifications and smaller versions of its apps to your wrist. For years now, samsungs wearables have run on a platform called tizen that brought strong notification. Support and a consistent user experience, but very few apps, while googles, wear os watches, have brought a solid app ecosystem and similarly strong notifications, but an inconsistent and overall poor user experience. So this watch unifies the two using a platform. Co developed by google and samsung called wear os 3. but, as i said in the intro, you wouldnt necessarily know it see. One of the big changes to wear os 3 is that manufacturers can now apply their own interface, so samsung decided that its skin should look exactly like the interface on its earlier galaxy watches from the watch face. You swipe left to see notifications. You swipe right to see tiles aka widgets, you swipe down from the top to get to quick settings and you swipe up from the bottom to bring up your app list. The pushers on the sides offer tactile shortcuts to back and home, as well as multitasking and samsung pay, which works well beyond the interface most of the things that drove the success of earlier galaxy watches are also here. Lets you make and take calls either speaker recreated over bluetooth or a cellular connection depending on which model you opt for.
The watch face is bright and saturated, with an always on display, option and im happy to say: samsung has brought back its unique smart bezel for the watch 4 classic, so you can physically scroll through lists and messages each tick, accompanied by a satisfying physical click. To that interface, wear oss, deeper bench of titles offers choice that samsung historically hasnt. If you prefer, google fit over samsung health, for example. Now you can use that, although some of the watchs more advanced health tracking features will only work with samsungs suite ditto for google pay over samsung pay its there. If you want it, if youve got a favorite watch face on wear os now you can download it to the galaxy watch as well. Apps that you install on your phone will automatically send their wear os equivalent to the watch if they have one and when its time to go to bed, the watch will not only track your sleep. Itll ease you into it with a bedtime mode that syncs with your phone to lull, you gently into dreamville with a monochrome fade but tracking that sleep and your fitness, for that matter has an important caveat that i bet you could guess well see if youre right After a quick word from my sponsor cheap, simple, reliable, usually you have to pick two, but my sponsor. Serp shark has consistently been ranked all three by sites like toms guide. Surfshark is a virtual private network or vpn that gives you private access to the open internet.
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But i just like a watch i can take on a weekend trip and forget the charger at home without disabling all the little conveniences that i enjoy about it in the first place, this just aint that and its charging speed isnt that great either. I also have to say before we go that wear os 3, even after a mid review, update, is still very young, even a little raw in places. Some apps, like google, pay and google fit still dont, listen for the bezel in places, so you have to use the touch screen. A classic wear os problem that i really hoped had been solved by now. Samsung has said: google assistant is coming in the future, but as of the date of this video, its still not available, which is a shame because that means you have to use samsung bixby, which is markedly inferior, walkie talkie Music, my colleague ara wagoner, over at android Central called out some issues affecting complications on non samsung watch faces, and, finally, why am i still getting text on my watch telling me someone sent me a photo instead of just showing me the photo its 20 21. This is a color screen and this watch costs 350 dollars now to be fair to samsung. Some of that falls at the feet of app developers and thats how we can wrap up. On a hopeful note, because i havent seen new apps and new updates announced at the pace.
They seem to be happening in years. In fact, right as this video went into production, samsung released a walkie talkie app, which im eager to try ultimately thats the significance of the watch 4 series, not the watches themselves, but their potential impact on android watches as a whole. After years of shipping barely acceptable software, google now has the highest profile, android manufacturer, as a co developer, whose very popular smartwatch line is dependent on the platform you know being good. The result is that ive never been more hopeful for my preferred wearable platform, but given the state of the galaxy watch 4 classic right now and the forthcoming releases from competitors like fossil, even though those have their own complications id hold off on picking up. One of these for a couple months, just until we know a little bit more about what exactly this new chapter in where os history actually looks like this review was produced following over two weeks with a galaxy watch, 4 classic review sample provided by samsung. But as always, i dont make paid reviews samsung had no editorial input into this video. It was given no early preview of it and it provided no compensation in exchange for its production. Please subscribe to the mr mobile on youtube.