Product: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Price: Rs 26,999
Specs: 1.40-inch Super AMOLED 450x450p resolution, Dual-core 1.18 GHz processor, 16GB storage with 1.5GB RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Android Wear OS, One UI Watch 3, 361mAh battery, 30.3 grams
Colour: Black, Silver, Pink
One company that has managed to create a mark of its own in the smartwatch segment after Apple is Samsung. Even though running on its proprietary Tizen OS, the rotating bezel complimenting the UI had a charm of its own. But with the Galaxy Watch 4, Samsung has joined hands with Google for better - the Wear OS 3. The new watch with Samsung's hardware and Google's software is a compelling bargain.
My review unit in black boasted a sporty look - a circular, sleek dial with two buttons on the right side crafted in an aluminium chassis. This 44mm smartwatch housed a 1.4-inch bright Super AMOLED display with 450 x 450 resolution, making everything appear sharp and crisp. I used the watch on the auto-brightness setting, and the screen was legible even under bright daylight. And while the 'Raise wrist to Wake' was turned on by default, the 'Always On Display' can be switched on from the settings. The latter displayed a digital clock but drained the battery a tad faster.
The touch response was flawless, but Samsung's rotating bezel had its lure, which has been compensated with the virtual rotating bezel to switch between the tiles added on the home screen. Getting around the watch means swiping up for apps, swiping right for notifications, swiping left for tiles and down for quick settings. Overall, the UI made me feel at home.
There are many watch faces as well to compliment your look. Moreover, the silicone strap that tucks inside the watch clasp is comfortable to wear and adds a sporty look to the watch. Galaxy Wear 4 is IP68 certified, capable of withstanding fresh water in up to 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes.
Unlike Apple Watch that is restricted to only iPhones, Samsung's Galaxy Watch 4 isn't. Powered by Wear OS 3, it can work with any Android smartphone when paired with the Galaxy Wearable app but not iPhones. Setting up the watch is a no-brainer - follow instructions and the watch will be ready to use in less than two minutes.
Top Priority: Health
Smartwatches are primarily used for fitness and accessing notifications. The Galaxy Watch 4 handles both beautifully. It comes with ample fitness and health features from workout tracking to BMI calculator, stress measure to sleep tracking, and more. Supporting a wide range of workouts, I used the watch to track my morning walks and jog on my terrace. At the time, when I forgot to start the workout session, the watch prompted me about the workout just after 10 minutes. The step count was accurate - the same as what the Apple Watch recorded. Besides tracking fitness, the watch constantly monitored my heart rate that varied between 65bpm while resting to 124bpm during workouts.
The Galaxy Watch 4 can also measure blood oxygen, a much-needed feature in the current pandemic era, which I had to add from the Wearable app first. And for body composition measurement that analyses my body fat percentage, muscle mass, bone mass, body water percentage and more, I had to place my ring finger and middle finger on the side buttons of the watch. Just like the Apple Watch, even this one supports ECG but is available in the US market.
While good at recording sleep data, wearing the watch to bed was troublesome. Unlike fitness bands that are light, the watch's heft resulted in stiffness in my arm lasting a couple of days.
Best of both worlds
The Galaxy Watch 4 has turned out to be the fastest Android Wear Watch and at the same time brought plenty of apps (Play Store) to the Samsung Watch platform. Play Store has apps categorized into featured, streaming, watch faces, workout, get it done and essentials, that are easy to access. Downloading apps directly from the Play Store to watch wasn't a problem as even after the OS and preinstalled apps, it had enough room to install many more.
While everything was smooth and great about installing apps and using them, mirroring notifications was a bit iffy. I had turned on 'show notifications when phone not in use' but half of the time it didn't work. This is a small bug that can be fixed with a software update.
Lasts a day or two…
All the great features are complimented with an impressive battery backup too. I got a day and a half with heavy usage with an always-on display, max screen brightness, app and fitness features at work. Light usage could make it last for two days. The Galaxy Wear 4 is accompanied by a Qi wireless charging cable and can be juiced using third-party Qi wireless chargers.
Verdict: Starting at Rs 23,999 for 40mm and Rs 26,999 for 44mm, the Galaxy Watch 4 is by far the best Wear OS watch in the market and one of the best smartwatches for Android users.
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