Samsung Galaxy Watch4 In-Depth Review for Sports and Fitness
But, along with the move to wear os, theyve, also added some new features like the ability to take body composition, measurements on the wrist itself, as well as an updated heart rate sensor, which is supposed to be more accurate than previous generations. So if this is your first time, the channel first of all welcome, but just to give you an idea of the type of reviews that i like to. Do i like to test these sort of devices really thoroughly for lots of different activities like running cycling, as well as weight training to test the heart rate accuracy, as well as gps accuracy? Just to give you a good idea if these devices are going to be right for you and these sort of videos do take quite a bit of time and effort. So if the information, this video does help you out at all dont, be shy about hitting that like button down below, as it definitely helps this video and the channel a lot quite a bit, and i appreciate it so in this video ill be going over. All the new features of the galaxy watch for as well as what you can expect when you pair this to a samsung phone or a standard android phone, because there is a little bit of a difference as well as what you can expect for sports and fitness Performance but first lets go over the hardware, so the watch 4 comes in two different versions, so theres a watch 4 and then the watch for classic with the classic version.
This is made out of stainless steel and has a physical rotating bezel on the outside, which is a pretty neat way of interacting with the device where you can switch between different portions of the interface and then with the non classic version of the watch. For its made out of aluminum and it doesnt have the physical rotating bezel of the classic version, but theres a touch, sensitive bezel that kind of replicates the same sort of functionality. So the standard watch 4 comes in two different size options: a 40 and 44 millimeter version, and this is how the 44 millimeter version looks on my 187 millimeter circumference wrist and the watchwork classic comes in a 42 and 46 millimeter version, and this is how the 42 millimeter version looks on my wrist. One thing to note, with the classic versus the non classic versions, though, is that the classics are a little bit thicker than their non classic counterparts, mostly due to the physical rotating bezel and theyre, also a little bit heavier because of the stainless steel versus the aluminum. They both have two physical buttons on the side, along with a touchscreen to interact with the device and for the actual displays. All of them have really great. Looking super amoled displays and using the touchscreens is generally a very nice experience where theyre, predictable, responsive and surprisingly accurate, even when using the on screen keyboards but using them with wet or sweaty hands can be a bit of a challenge, though, as water on the display Does make them a little bit unpredictable but all specs aside.
Once again, i have to say that samsung pretty much nails it when it comes to the physical design. Both these watches look great and the classic version looks very familiar to previous generation galaxy watches. But i have to say that im a pretty big fan of the non classic design, where the outer portion of the case seamlessly blends into the lugs. And i thought that was pretty slick. The watch bands are interchangeable, but one thing i wanted to note is that the stock bands have this little bridge on the inside, which makes it so it has a nice seamless, look with the case, but it sort of prevents the bands from creating a tighter circle. So if you have a smaller wrist, there could be a gap here, and i was surprised to even see this on the smaller classic version. So now lets talk about one of the newest things about the watch for and thats the fact that its the first samsung wearable to run wear os 3.. The interface is snappy theres, very little to no lag at all when navigating around the device, apps load, nice and quickly and its just a general nice experience and the interface isnt, really that much of a departure from the previous generation tizen operating system. But the big advantage going to wear os is that youll have a huge library of third party apps that you can use with. The watch like the new strava app as well as lots of other fitness apps like google fit commute as well as ride gps.
Oh – and it also has google maps already pre loaded onto the watch, which is kind of cool, and the watch 4 also has a compass that you can leverage within google maps now, along with the move to wear os theres. Another big change of the watch. For so, the watch floors only work with android phones, so with previous generation galaxy watches you could actually pair them to an iphone. Although the smartwatch experience wasnt all that great just because apple tends to lock down a lot of that, smart watch, smartphone integration to their own ecosystem, but with both the classic and non classic watch, fours youll still be able to take calls. You can speak directly on the watch itself, using the built in microphone and listen using the built in speaker and youll also be able to view and respond to text messages with either watch but smartwatch features aside. There will actually be a difference in terms of what kind of health features that you get depending on what kind of android phone that youre using so the ecg and blood pressure monitoring. Those are only going to be available if you have a samsung phone and it wont be available if you have just a standard, android phone. But one more thing to note is that the blood pressure monitoring is only available on non us versions of the watch for and i actually have a european version of the watchful right here.
But i actually couldnt get the blood pressure monitoring to work at all. On the device, i even tried to insert a european sim card into my samsung phone, but no dice but hey. I tried folks. I really tried. However, one new feature to come with the watch for which i was able to test is the ability to measure your body composition, like your body, fat, skeletal muscle, fat, mass and body water percentage, and this uses a new bioelectric impedance sensor, built in the watch itself, Which are similar to what youd find in scales that can measure those same metrics like the garmin index 2.. So to use these features theres a body, composition, widget, where it first asks you for your weight. Then it guides you, through this process of holding your fingers on each of the buttons, while making sure not to touch your other hand, as well as holding your arms away from your body, its actually a rather quick process, and it produces a result within about 20 Seconds or so so initially, i was getting some extremely wild results where, on the first night that i tested it, it started out at 9.4 percent. Then the next measurement that i took just two minutes later was 7.3 percent, and then the next measurement, just one minute later, was four point three percent and id love to think that i was torching that much fat just by sitting there, but unfortunately no ones metabolism Is that fast and just to let you know, i usually hover around the eight to ten percent body fat range based on some past texas scans? However, i do have to say that these measurements did improve over time after some firmware updates, so heres a test that i did just yesterday and was producing numbers that were very similar to a garmin index 2 scale, which uses the same sort of technology to measure Body, composition and im not saying that the index 2 is perfectly accurate by any means where it usually does have me a few percentage points higher than my actual body fat percentage.
But what i can say is that both watches now are at least producing similar as well as consistent results. And then the watch 4 also comes with an spo2 sensor for measuring blood oxygen saturation levels, and i found its censored to be in the same ballpark. But it was always a few points lower than a medical grade. Fingertip spo2 sensor, so id just say, take this figure with a grain of salt. The watchport also comes with sleep tracking and it does a pretty decent job. In tracking the times i went to sleep as well as woke up, and it also gives a breakdown of your sleep stages. But one big new feature to come with the watch for is snore detection, which requires you to have your phone next to your bed. But i could not get this to work on both the watch floors. I had even making sure that the setting is enabled in the samsung health app and based on a forum post that i saw on samsungs website im, not the only one having this issue, and one last thing before we get into the sports and fitness performance is Going to be battery life so with the watch for classic. So this is the smaller version right here. I was getting barely a day out of it and that was using it to track about an hour long gps activity during that time period and then, with the larger regular watch, for i was getting over a day out of it, probably like 28 to 30 hours Out of it and again using its track about an hour, long gps activity and then in terms of actual gps battery life.
In terms of how long of an outdoor activity you could track with gps. With these smaller versions, you could probably get about six hours and then with the larger versions, you could probably get like seven to eight so now onto the sports and fitness performance and in regards to what sport profiles it has, it has all the standard stuff that You can expect like walking and running outdoors cycling, spinning profiles for weight, training and circuit training, pool swimming as well as open water swimming running indoors on the treadmill and then theres a lot more profiles. You can add, and most of these are going to be gym. Based profiles for one particular type of movement like arm curls bench, presses, crunches and quite a bit more, and most of these are actually designed to count your reps automatically and for how this works within the settings for lets say arm curls. You want to make sure that you choose the appropriate wrist that youre wearing the watch on, as that does make a difference in terms of how it detects the movement. And then you can also customize the number of sets, as well as the number of reps per set. And then, when you start the exercise, itll prompt you to get into a certain position based on the type of exercise that youre doing and once its detected youre. In the correct position it vibrates, which lets you know, you can start with your reps and then you just go ahead and do your reps as you normally would, and then, when youre done with all your reps, it vibrates again letting you know that youve completed that Set and also has a rest timer in between sets and the rep counting does work pretty well, but just note that these are going to be individual movements that are part of a bigger exercise routine.
So if you have a big day plan at the gym, you could be stopping and starting your watch quite a bit and then youll end up with a really big list of activities in your activity, feed so now on to the gps and hardware accuracy. So for the data that these watches collected for the activities i tested on this road ride, the total distance was pretty close to the other test devices and then calories were also pretty close too, but maybe just a smidge high. But really not that big a deal though, and then on this mountain bike ride the distance was close, but just a smidge shorter compared to the other test devices, but well circle. Back to this, when we go over the actual gps tracks, which tells us a bit more and then for the elevation gain this number that you see right here in the left, screenshot, where it says total ascent, isnt, the typical total ascent or elevation gain thats displayed In other devices, so that number that youre seeing is the horizontal distance i was covering while i was climbing, not the actual vertical elevation gain and since they actually dont display the actual elevation gain. What i did was i loaded the raw data into another program, just to see how the barometric altimeters would perform, and i was happy to see it was quite close to the other test devices, even for an activity with a lot of elevation gain and then for Running on this run here, the total distance was pretty close to the other test devices i was using.
I also want to point out that watch 4 does collect cadence information along with the normal stuff like speed, distance and heart rate, but not only that it also does collect some advanced running dynamics, data points like asymmetry or your left and right balance, ground contact time. Flight time, regularity in terms of body movements, vertical oscillation as well as stiffness, and they do a good job of having explainer text about what each of these metrics mean, which i thought was kind of nice to see, and it also cant estimate youre, running vo2 max And this is pretty close to what some other devices i use estimate my vo2 max to be oh and then related to running. I also wanted to see how well the watchfors would be able to estimate distances while running indoors on a treadmill, and the good news is that both watches were very similar with the distance estimated with one watch on one wrist and the other watch on the other. The bad news, unfortunately, is that both watches were over a mile off on a four mile run. So before we take a look at the actual gps tracks. One thing i did want to bring up in terms of gps is going to be gps acquisition in terms of how quickly the watches can get a gps signal when you want to start an outdoor activity and they can be a bit slow so most times it Was taking like a minute or two to get a gps signal, but on a few occasions i was waiting like five to ten minutes before i could actually get a signal anyhow in terms of the actual gps tracks on this run here from a high level.
Things look pretty good, but it was a little bit shaky as i first started out so on the straight section on the street. It was pretty solid and holding a line, but it wandered just slightly here on these two curved sections of road right here it did wander a bit more than what id like to see, but the rest of the run was okay for the most part and then Heres that road ride that we saw earlier along some rivers and canals – and it was okay. But you can sort of notice the same sort of inaccuracies with the curved corners, so nothing drastic but definitely noticeable. And it was somewhat consistent and then in the city areas where i was around some taller buildings and definitely had a more challenging time producing an accurate gps track. So if you do live in an urban environment, you could potentially have issues here and then for mountain biking. You may notice more issues, especially around switchbacks, which is probably why we saw the total distance come up a little short on this particular mountain bike ride. Now there is one setting that galaxy watches have in the location settings which in theory should increase accuracy. So i went ahead and switched that on and went out for another test, but unfortunately i didnt necessarily see any drastic improvements there, where the gps tracks did still tend to wander a bit. Once i got a gps lock. Gps performance was okay, not spectacular by any means, but it never lost a gps signal or anything like that and the total distances for all the activities i did.
They were relatively close to the other test devices, but if you are doing longer activities or activities with a lot of turns and switchbacks, the distance may come up a little bit short for you. So now on, to heart rate accuracy, and with both the new galaxy watch force, theyve redesigned the heart rate sensor, so it sits closer to your skin, which in theory, should produce more accurate results. So heres. The first run that i did with it and for the first five minutes it decided it just wasnt going to collect any heart rate data and, if youre curious, yep, i always make sure the watch has both gps and heart rate lock before i get started. But for the remainder of the run, not bad as you can see, but you can see that the heart rate data isnt going to be quite as detailed as the other devices and then on this run after a few firmware updates. I have to say that thats some pretty good stuff right here, where it was very much in line with some other test devices and, to be perfectly honest with you, this is one of the best hr tests ive ever seen on the samsung watch, while running okay. So now onto some road biking and again ill kind of go on chronological order of my test just so, you can see the progression over time over some firmware updates. So this first ride was in amsterdam and had some issues for the first third of the ride.
It was pretty shaky at the beginning, then it completely lost heart rate for about 10 minutes. It proceeded to have a few spikes, but it did get back in line pretty well for the middle portion of the ride, but then had a pretty serious issues. At the end, but then a couple weeks later, heres a ride where things look pretty good for the most part, cycling can pose some issues with heart rate, sensors due to vibrations and bumps in the road, but overall this wasnt bad and then heres another ride where I was pretty impressed not much to complain about here, so i thought my testing was kind of over, but then theres this right here that i did just yesterday, where it wasnt, quite as pretty where we see that thing that seems to happen sometimes where it loses Heart rate and has a hard time reacquiring it, and this was for about 12 minutes or so now. I do want to point out that the red line that you see is actually the other watch for that. I was wearing on my other wrist and i actually used the strava wear os app to record this ride rather than native workout app. And what youll notice is that the data from the strap app collects much more detailed information than what the native app records and then for indoor cycling. Both the watch floors i tested did okay, but it was a little bit shaky indoor cycling for me is kind of a baseline test to see how accurate advice may be just because its one of the easiest activities to get right, but i saw a few more Wobbles than what i typically like to see, not terrible by any means, but just not super precise, but now lets move on to some mountain biking where, with this activity, along with weight, training, are easily the hardest activities for a wrist space.
Heart rate sensor, to track accurately and for mountain biking, its due to all the rough terrain and the constant gripping on the handlebars, but folks this is a darn good result for mountain biking. So, to be perfectly honest with you, probably one of the better results, ive seen from a risk based heart rate sensor and this wasnt a mellow ride, either where went up and down a lot over some pretty rough terrain. But now lets move on to some weight. Training, which is the other super challenging activity for a wrist based heart rate sensor due to the constant arm movement and lots of wrist flexion, so heres, the first workout that i did and well not so great. So for the first third of the session. It was way off, but i do have to say that it wasnt bad for the remainder, including the high intensity intervals. At the end, however, what you probably already noticed is that infrequent recording of the heart rate data – and this was using the weight machine workout profile. So what i thought id do is give it another go using the circuit training workout profile, just to see if this profile takes more frequent heart rate samples but same deal here where it was infrequent. But i do have to say that, for what heart rate data did collect for this workout, it actually was pretty decent and of course i didnt stop there, and on this session i used the strava app on one of the watchfors, and then i thought i tried The exercise bike profile again to see if theres any difference in terms of the data that was collected, and it looks to be about the same for the native app where it was infrequent.
But the strava app. That does seem to collect more detailed information where it takes more samples, even though that particular watch 4 red did have some issues, but the other watch 4 in orange did okay. Overall, i have to say that i do see improvements with the new heart rate sensor. In the watch for – and i also have seen improvements over the last couple weeks with some firmer updates, but it was kind of disappointing to see the drop in heart rate from that road ride. That was a couple days ago and basically, what seems to happen is that once it does lose heart rate has a hard time reacquiring it. So is it better? Yes, is there room for improvement? Absolutely oh – and i also wanted to mention that there is also automatic exercise, recognition for walking and running the elliptical rowing machine swimming, as well as a catch all workout profile, which they call a dynamic workout, which i found to detect. Something like circuit training. But just know that if you do want to record your location for walking and running so you can get disinformation for outdoors youll want to enable this title which wasnt enabled for me by default. So what are my thoughts on the galaxy watch? 4. Well, im! So happy to see some improvements with heart rate accuracy, which we definitely did not see with previous generations. But gps performance is probably about the same where its acceptable, but not spectacular, and then i think its a great move to go to wear os 3 because it just allows you to use a ton of apps and id highly encourage you to use the strap app Which does collect more detailed workout data anyhow, that was a really long video and if you did make it this far, i really appreciate you hanging around getting all the info, but do me one more favor just hit that like button down below if the information in This video did help you at all and also make sure to subscribe for plenty more super in depth.