Review Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 hands-on: The first Wear OS smartwatch truly worth your money

Aug 11, 2021
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I am sure hopeful that the battery life on the smaller 4 will allow for a full day hike with the GPS tracking. I have the Watch 3 and can barely make it through a 15-hour hike, but my wife's Watch 3 (smaller version) can only track with GPS for about 10-12 hours. Other than that specific use-case, I love my Watch 3. I wish there were more apps, so I am very hopeful that the Wear OS will fix that issue. Hopefully the improved processor and Wear OS will fix the battery life issue when tracking with GPS for a long day hike.
 
Aug 11, 2021
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I plan on buying one of these but I do wonder if they're going to have a metal band version like they did of the Galaxy Watch 3 I like? Everything I've seen has only showed rubber/leather bands.
 
Aug 12, 2021
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It was worth upgrading but not if you have a non Samsung Android phone, most reviewers either don't know this or not telling us consumers, but the ECG & Blood pressure will Only work if you have a Samsung phone , I was hopping this would have changed now they run WearOS not tizan want to use with my Pixel 5. Unfortunately a sale lost.
 
Aug 12, 2021
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So currently I'm in the process of returning a galaxy watch 3. Saying I'm disappointed in the performance of the 3 series would be an understatement! I have had constant issues with the heart rate lagging behing my actual heart rate as well as it just freezing for 20+ minutes at a time. With the heart rate off this bad there is no way the estimated calories burned is accurate. It also would lag pretty far behind, meaning when I was working out I would complete a set and sit down and I wound notice my heart rate spike up then return to normal. It's almost like it has a 1-2 minute delay. I returned the watch and they "fixed" this issue. I still had the issue with the heart rate but not as bad as before, however when I got the watch back it was not accurately tracking floors. I thought it was having trouble with this before I sent the watch back for the heart rate issue but when I got it back I had to go to the second floor of 30 different apartment buildings all within an hour or so. By the end the watch was way off it only had 9 floors. I kept looking at it through the hour and it would get one building then maybe the next then not track the following few. I am having a big issue trusting any Samsung watchs again after all the issues with my Galaxy watch 3. I use the Samsung S20 ultra phone and love it, I also had previous Samsung phones and loved them. I'm just not sold on their watch performance yet. I will say that the tech support and customer service on Samsung's part has been very good and as I said earlier they are currently processing a full refund for my "unrepairable* watch.

This is a bummer for me because I really like the new watch features but I am so wary of going back with a Samsung watch. Anyone else have these issues with the galaxy watch 3?
 
Aug 12, 2021
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I am sure hopeful that the battery life on the smaller 4 will allow for a full day hike with the GPS tracking. I have the Watch 3 and can barely make it through a 15-hour hike, but my wife's Watch 3 (smaller version) can only track with GPS for about 10-12 hours. Other than that specific use-case, I love my Watch 3. I wish there were more apps, so I am very hopeful that the Wear OS will fix that issue. Hopefully the improved processor and Wear OS will fix the battery life issue when tracking with GPS for a long day hike.
That is interesting use case I hadn't thought of, what app do you generally use to initiate GPS(GNSS)? My suspicion is it will be very close.
 

wayno-san

Distinguished
Jul 16, 2009
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Watch has been out for a few days, surprised there are no thorough reviews of it yet. I'm REALLY interested in battery life, specifically how long can it track GPS with and without music. If it's close to the Venu2 I just purchased (22/8 hours) I might consider switching. The quoted "up to 40 hours" number tells me nothing useful.

This is a much proper way to specify battery life; https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=A1gzB6SLZF6e9nnyZOfFM6
 
Aug 22, 2021
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So currently I'm in the process of returning a galaxy watch 3. Saying I'm disappointed in the performance of the 3 series would be an understatement! I have had constant issues with the heart rate lagging behing my actual heart rate as well as it just freezing for 20+ minutes at a time. With the heart rate off this bad there is no way the estimated calories burned is accurate. [...]

when I got the watch back it was not accurately tracking floors. [...]

I am having a big issue trusting any Samsung watchs again after all the issues with my Galaxy watch 3. I use the Samsung S20 ultra phone and love it, I also had previous Samsung phones and loved them. I'm just not sold on their watch performance yet. [...]

This is a bummer for me because I really like the new watch features but I am so wary of going back with a Samsung watch. Anyone else have these issues with the galaxy watch 3?
I've just created an account in this forum to be able to reply!

Yes, I'm having pretty much the same issues as you, except that it's on Galaxy Watch Classic Gen 1 (46 mm). Plus, atrocious battery life.

I will give Samsung another chance this Friday with purchasing Classic Gen 4 (46 mm), but I'm extremely disappointed by the nightmare experience Gen 1 has been giving me.

It's not just that it randomly used to stop tracking heart-rate, floors, sleep, etc. etc. at any time of the day. But after 2 years and 5 months after purchase, all bodily sensors stopped working completely, and they've been dead ever since.

I reset to factory settings multiple times – no help. All bodily sensors are simply dead. An awful thing to experience in a $400 watch.

So after this happened, I purchased the dirt-cheap Xiaomi MiBand 6 to be able to track my "bodily functions" again, and the band is superb! There are no outages – 24 hours of heart-rate tracking truly is 24 hours of uninterrupted heart-rate tracking, etc. The band even offers some innovative metrics not dreamed of by Samsung.

It's embarrassing for Samsung when a Chinese product 10 times less expensive than Samsung's flagship watch offers a better and more reliable user experience...

I will say that the tech support and customer service on Samsung's part has been very good and as I said earlier they are currently processing a full refund for my "unrepairable* watch.
No such luck for me. Here in the EU, the mandatory warranty is 2 years, but because my watch broke down after 2 years and 5 months from purchase, nothing could be done about it. They told me, at Samsung's authorized repair shop, that I might as well purchase a new watch, because repairing the old one might cost nearly as much.

I, too, have been using Samsung's flagship phones for years (currently on Note 10+), I own three flagship Samsung tablets, etc., so you can imagine how shocked I was by how bad and unreliable the watch turned out to be, although initially, it was great. But then those intermittent outages of bodily sensors began throughout the day... (Not even "raise wrist to wake the screen" used to work reliably – it does on the Xiaomi band.)

I'll make sure to prolong my warranty to 5 (!) years when I purchase Gen 4 this Friday. It's going to cost me €80 more, but I need that security after what I went through.

After the nightmare experienced with Gen 1, I swore I'd never buy another Samsung watch in my life, but the switch to Wear OS – the availability of Google Pay (Samsung Pay not available where I live), Google Keep, Google Maps, Easy Voice Recorder and other Android apps – made me reconsider, so I'm gonna give Samsung another chance this upcoming Friday.
 
Reactions: FFRob
Aug 28, 2021
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Underwhelmed. Just received the 4 Classic, after waiting years...literally. Upgraded from the Gear S3 Classic. It didn't start well. When I opened up the box they sent me the wrong color, black instead of silver.

What I like about my gear S3 is there are tons of classy watch faces. With the Watch 4 the Wear OS faces are not compatible yet. All the faces available are cartoonish, I had some very classy faces that looked like top end watches...nuttin now. Not compatible.

Then the calendar app. On the Gear S3, it is my second used app. I swipe over one to see the month at a glance. Now only 5 days are showing. I have to make 3 swipes to get to the whole calendar.

EKG. You have to clear the disclaimer every time before using. When you're dealing with arrhythmias, timing is everything. If you need to swipe the disclaimer, do it at the end to get you back to the watch.

It doesn't look like many compatible apps either. I found American Airlines, but Delta or others are absent... and I travel a lot. Disappointing. After waiting all this time, I'd expect some major upgrades. Still waiting.


UPDATE: At the end of the first day wearing. Battery low warning. The use of this watch this day is no different than my Gear S3 Classic. So, if they have 'improved the battery', my guess is that the OS is more demanding. The Body Composition monitor doesn't appear to be reading correctly. Its very flattering. I'm by no means Adonis, but quite fit for 51. It says my body fat is 8.1%. I wish. The EKG monitor is also missing some PVCs that I have. Might wind up sending this back as its not much of an improvement from the Gear S3
 
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Aug 22, 2021
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Well, at least I paid via Google Pay on my watch for the first time today, launched Google Maps for the first time, etc. And Easy Voice Recorder is a life-saver for me!

That said, you're correct that finding the right watchfaces is the biggest hurdle when transferring from Tizen. I had my favorite watchfaces on Tizen, and they're all gone now. I installed Facer and tried to find something, wasted hours on it, and came up empty-handed. Most of the watchfaces offered there struck me as cartoonish, or they looked good on the phone, but not good on the watch when previewing them. Perhaps it takes time to find quality watchfaces for Wear OS.

Battery life is awful, as could be feared and expected.

Overall, I'm happy with the purchase so far. (Unless bodily sensors start acting up the way they did on Gen 1 for me. And, I'm so happy with the Xiaomi band I continue wearing both devices. Samsung's watch on my left hand, the Xiaomi band on the right.)
 
Sep 5, 2021
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Stick with the active 2. Very few play apps work. Samsung not interested. Not even an Internet radio app that works. My e-sim is going back into my active 2 and there will be a 4 on ebay soon.
 
Sep 11, 2021
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I just got this watch and all I can say is that it's great overall, previously owed different ones in the past cheap and expensive but this watch takes the cake. For the peeps who have issues with the EKG and blood pressure there is a very very easy work around, i have a non Samsung device and have those features turn on. the blood pressure measures are very accurate after calibration been testing it out against a manual blood pressure cuff since I'm hypertensive I keep one at home and know very well how to use it, been testing that feature and it is very on point with my manual readings. Overall the watch is great, but the battery on the 40 mm I have is average but not great ,that would be the only down fall.
 
Sep 20, 2021
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Well the watch looked and felt great and worked pretty well. But severe screen burn after 3 weeks with a dark watchface isn't acceptable in my book and I see others have similar issues with the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
 
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