Galaxy Watch4.
Galaxy Watch4.

Galaxy Watch4

Cool factor 5/5
Usability 3½/5
Value for money 4/5

The Galaxy Watch4 is the first Samsung smartwatch to run on Google’s Wear OS, instead of the company’s Tizen OS like its predecessors.

The FM was provided with the 44mm version that has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS, in a dark green shade to match its new Z foldable range.

The watch face is the same height as my wrist but combined with its large strap, it added unnecessary bulk. If you have small or medium-sized wrists, rather go for the 40mm.

The Wear OS interface on the Galaxy Watch4 is similar to Tizen, with the same gestures to navigate: swipe right for notifications, left for tiles, down for settings and up for apps.

I found the touch interface a bit buggy as it took a few tries for my taps to register. However, the Watch4 Classic has Samsung’s signature rotating bezel for precise navigation.

Wear OS gives you access to more apps, like Google Maps, Spotify, Calm, Adidas Running, and so on, but still uses Samsung apps for fitness tracking, payments, and voice commands.

I loved having Google Maps on my wrist, but for voice input, which makes sense with the tiny screen, it uses Bixby — there is no Google Assistant. Bixby thought I was asking for directions to Phantom City, Pantheon City or Sanchez City, instead of Sandton City.

It may not seem like a big deal, but there are more customisable analogue and digital watch face options now. There’s something for everyone, with categories such as informative, health, basic, simple, classic, and even Samsung’s AR Emojis, like Apple Watch Memojis.

Samsung’s new BioActive sensor measures body composition — skeletal muscle, body fat percentage, water weight, and so on. Based on a previous X-Ray for my body fat, it was 6% off. However, these readings should be used as a guideline, as with any health tracker.

It tracks more than 90 workouts, blood oxygen, sleep (including snoring with a compatible smartphone) and stress.

Battery life is great; you can get over a day from a single charge.

The Watch4 is a worthy smartwatch. Thanks to the Wear OS you have a wider range of apps, though you’re still tied to Samsung apps for core features, and Bixby is disappointing. The 44mm Bluetooth version costs R5,500.

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