Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review: the ultimate Android watch?
It comes in two different flavors, the watch for classic and the watch four im wearing both of them on my wrist ive been trying them out for two weeks. Are these the ultimate android watches? Well, let me talk about it. Music, samsungs, newest watches, are here the samsung galaxy watch 4.. Is this the ultimate android watch? Have we finally gotten to the point where theres one perfect watch to recommend for android phone owners well its a little complicated, but this watch is pretty good. I do have a few thoughts about it, though so samsungs new watches launch before when the apple watch is expected. This fall that doesnt factor in though, because the samsung galaxy watch 4 is for android phone owners, its not for iphone owners, its designed to be the ultimate connected watch and what is new this year, in particular, is a partnership with google. The os on this watch is new. Its google wear os 3.. This is googles, operating system and app store now, but its also collaborating with samsung. What does that mean exactly? I had high hopes for this watch and i still have high hopes for this watch, because samsung has made some great smart watches in the past. Ive covered them for years and years, but theyve had limitations as far as how hooked in they feel to the rest of the android and google ecosystem. Samsung loves to make its own apps and its own platforms well googles.
Partnership with this suggests that theres going to be a solution there, but it might end up being a lot more like the way that samsung phones currently work, which is that they run android, but samsung also has all sorts of specialized software thats designed for samsung phones, Thats good on a phone, but when you get to a watch, then you start having expectations that maybe the phone and the watch will be working best together. Samsung has designed a lot. It turns out. That is really meant to be used with a samsung galaxy phone. Even though these work with android phones, there are some things ill get into that youre, probably better off getting a samsung phone for first of all, the health ecosystem. You dont need a samsung phone for that, but it is samsung health based. So everything that you do on this watch and theres a lot of health and fitness features. These are all funneling into the samsung health. App now samsungs had a really good health fitness ecosystem over the past bunch of years. You may not choose to use it, though. Maybe you want something like fitbit or you want to use google services. Google has not really made it clear how this is all going to shake out, because google has google fit then theres also fitbit, which google acquired samsung, is kind of standing off over here. Saying weve got samsung health, which has everything from calorie tracking to steps to activity goals and puts, in some sensor readings things like blood oxygen, readings ecg, which is electrocardiogram thats available on the samsung galaxy watch 4 and a new sensor thats a bioimpedance sensor.
This body analysis sensor is totally new to samsung watchers, but its been on other things before. If you have a scale that does any sort of water body, fat measurement has like a metal contact, similar type of tech way back. I saw it on the jawbone up. 3, but it didnt do anything. Then here you hold your two fingers to the two buttons on the side of the watch for 15 seconds and you get a spot readout on. Well how your body, fat? Is your body, water percentage, your bmi, your skeletal muscle, mass? Its a lot of data points and how accurate are they well ive, not been comparing it against an actual professional body analysis service, so i dont really know they do seem to be somewhat consistent in that i need to lose weight and none of the numbers look Good and thats pretty stressful, so i get a whole bunch of numbers that go from this green to red end of the spectrum and im in red and the numbers all seem. I guess not good. What do i do with that, though? Thats, where its a little less clear, samsung collects that charts it out and you can see how youre doing hopefully getting better but theres, not a lot of guidance as to what to do next, but all that stuff lives in the samsung health app. So if you want to take that data and lets say pick another ecosystem, you cant really right now, so consider that when youre getting a samsung galaxy watch 4.
you can load google fit and eventually you should be able to load some apps from fitbit whos going To be making a move into wear os, which is on this watch, but right now, while you can put google fit on the galaxy watch 4, its kind of riding alongside its, not the main experience. Okay, another thing you need to know is that ecg and blood pressure are things that you need a samsung phone for, so it turns out that electrocardiogram and blood pressure, where thats approved blood pressure features on this watch, are not approved in the u.s yet not cleared By the fda, those run in a samsung health monitor app that you can only get on samsung galaxy phones. I really hope that changes, because it means that if you have another android phone, you cant use the ecg feature thats a big downer. So lets talk about this watch. The watch design is very familiar and very nice samsung has a bunch of really beautiful watch faces. I love these old, crazy animals that pop up and these interesting animations, a lot of dynamic watch faces things that you see on the apple watch. You dont see a lot on android watch faces and its a great sign of where samsungs, processor and googles new os could maybe take watch faces, but i find that the customization of them goes on a wide spectrum. Some of them have a lot of room for complications.
Little bits of data that pop up from other apps like the weather or fitness, others dont have any at all id love them all to have complications because im complicated, i like to check all that data. The other thing about this watch is that the interface is pretty cool. Samsung always had this rotating bezel thats back on both models. One is an actual physical bezel thats super clicky, pretty addictive to use kind of like a fidget toy, the other one. You have to touch the edge of the bezel and you get this buzzing haptic response it works, but its not good when wet and its not quite as easy to activate those. You dont even need that because move around the interface really youre swiping, which is a google wear os thing, googles, operating system factors in and feel when you look at how you swipe down, swipe up, left and right for notifications and get your apps tiles come up As these little quick view, kind of mini apps that pop up, when you swipe over to the left and theyre, really useful for quickly accessing a lot of health things, checking maybe your ecg or blood oxygen or checking that body analysis thing again. Id love to see more mini tiles like that pop up thats, how i tended to use them, so the watch feels great, but the things i was looking forward to were really all the googly things and google play is the app store that runs on this watch.
Not samsungs own app store, which means you can access all the wear os apps for the most part that you would be able to get on googles, wear os watches, but it kind of stops short in one area. Google assistant, bixby, wheres, google assistant. I didnt understand that google assistant is not here on this watch right now. I dont know why its a little baffling, hopefully that will change so the default voice assistant on this watch is samsung. Bixby launch google assistant that app couldnt be found. That could be your deal. Breaker now look im not trying to attack bixby too much becks bixby is actually kind of functional when it comes to voice dictation. Things like responding to a message. I actually found that that worked pretty well, but bixby is now hooked into the rest of the google ecosystem. So if i want to be able to use like something i would want to check on google assistant or hook into an app or find out certain information, i feel like its just not aware of that stuff and thats where bixbys biggest failing is. I would have expected that you would have had google assistant on this its just not there yet and thats kind of where i get to do. You want to jump on board this right now, because this is the first google wear os 3 watch and its a samsung partnership. There are going to be more google wear os watches, including a fitbit one that could be coming next year.
Samsungs looks pretty great, but it has some strange omissions and i dont know if those are going to be addressed on other watches or not, which leaves samsung writing in the front, as probably the best watch right now. I think its the best android watch. I cant think of a better one, because the performance feels great. The animations look really cool. The fitness features are pretty deep. Its got. Google wear os support its a pretty good set of features battery life. I would have liked to have been better so far. Ive worn these back and forth, alternating and ive gotten about two days of battery life: ive, never gotten better and thats, with the display off when im not looking at it. If i do always on display its really a day and then if you get into some features like running with gps or you get an lte equipped phone model which i dont have, that turns it basically into a phone on your wrist battery life is going to Dip even further and keep in mind ive been wearing the larger size. These are the 44 and 46 millimeter. If you get the smaller ones, battery life may be even worse. Do i like the design yeah, i like it, but i kind of feel like ive seen it before. I dont feel like its wowing me with the look of the round watch, i kind of prefer the one without the bezel, because i think its a cleaner look and you save a hundred dollars, its 250 versus the classic, which is 350, so youre kind of paying Extra 100 for that rotating bezel and not much else, i like to save money, and i would go with the original galaxy watch for the non classic one.
Then again, if you really like the rotating bezel and the thing about the bezel, is it recesses the display? A bit so it could protect the gorilla glass amoled screen, which could be good for durability, but i dont really know i havent worn this more than two weeks the display looks fantastic. All the hardware looks really sharp. The watch feels good. I just dont know how much more hooked in its going to feel with the rest of google and we dont know yet so right now, i think its the best android watch, but i have a lot of questions about where samsung and google are going to take. This, how much of this is samsungs? How much of this watch is googles were only going to find that out over the next year or so, but the samsung galaxy watch 4 does feel like an overdue step for finally knitting together.