Sou always wanted to know your body fat percentage? Or the muscle mass? Samsung has something there, in the form of a smartwatch. The two new Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic allow self-measurement down to the last corner.
They should monitor everything from pulse to blood pressure and sleep to body fat – and help their wearers to get or stay fit. But the clocks are picky.
The shape is classic. Both models are round with an easy-to-read OLED display. The Galaxy Watch 4 (40 and 44 millimeters) is designed for pure touch and swipe operation, the 4 Classic (42 and 46 millimeters) also has a rotating bezel for navigating through menus. In addition to the round display, both models have two switches for navigation, voice control and Samsung Pay.
In der Galaxy Watch 4 is Google in it
Samsung worked with Google on the operating system. The basis is Google’s Wear OS, but the look and feel is 100 percent Samsung. You also need Samsung’s wearable app to connect to your smartphone, and the integration of some Google services could be smoother.
But more on that later. There is also internal storage for apps and music: of the 16 gigabytes, minus all preinstalled software, just under 8 are available.
Setup is quick and easy with the Galaxy Watch 4. But the adaptation to your own daily usage scenarios takes some time and can actually only be done well using the smartphone app. Too many tiles can be placed there, you have to choose carefully so that the swipe menu for quick selection does not become too full.
A selection of clock faces is also available ex works via the app. Most of them are nicely animated to funny. Some of the classic clock faces still offer useful complications, i.e. quick access to functions such as weather, pedometer, training programs and more.
Operation of the Galaxy Watch 4
At first it is a little difficult to get used to the operation of the Galaxy Watch 4. Swiping left or right maneuvers through the quick selection tiles, swiping from above opens a settings menu, swiping from below opens the app menu.
Then there is the top button. He always takes a step back; a long press opens the Bixby voice assistant. Pressing the button below switches on Samsung’s payment service, Samsung Pay. It takes a while to discover the grand scheme behind the waitress.
According to Samsung, the watches should help you get to know your own body better. To do this, they can measure a whole range of vital signs. Heart rate, blood pressure, EKG, blood oxygen and body composition.
These include water content, skeletal muscles, body fat value, muscle mass and BMI. You can do all of this by placing one or two fingers on the switch on the watch and holding it still for a long time during the measurement.
The watch uses several sensors for this. One measures the pulse with the help of light, for example, while Samsung’s biosensor is used for other vital signs. Among other things, it works with weak electricity and uses measured resistances to determine body composition.
In order for the blood pressure measurement to work properly, the watch must first be calibrated with a “correct” blood pressure monitor. The watch also monitors sleep if required.
Galaxy Watch 4: Comprehensive health data
All measured data is synchronized with Samsung’s Health app. The measurements are also classified directly on a color scale. So you can quickly see whether there is too much body fat, too little water or too few muscles – and, according to the theory, you could respond with appropriate training.
The measurement data are surprisingly accurate. The Galaxy Watch 4 does not have to shy away from a comparison with a pulse oximeter from a specialist retailer – the pulse and blood oxygen are measured quite precisely.
Blood pressure measurements can also be used once they have been calibrated. Although there are slight deviations from the cuff device in a direct measurement comparison.
A little less accurate: the step count. If your hands are on the handle of the stroller during a jogging tour, the count is no longer correct.
If you like, you can also take the Galaxy Watch 4 with you to the swimming pool. According to Samsung, it is waterproof – but only for fresh water. However, there is one restriction: The small print says that it is better not to jump into the water with it or to carry out activities in the water at high speed. So water skiing might not be a good idea.
Positive: By switching from the in-house Tizen operating system to Google’s Wear OS, there is now no shortage of apps, but a huge range of apps and clock faces.
The Galaxy Watch doesn’t play with everyone
Let’s move on to other restrictions. The Samsung smartwatches do not work at all with iPhones. This is also known the other way around from the Applewatch, but so far Samsung has not been that exclusive. But even with other androids, there are limitations.
Blood pressure measurement and EKG only work a little with Samsung smartphones. For others, the watch only prompts you to install the Samsung Health Monitor app. This is only available in the Galaxy Store – which only Samsung devices can access.
The integration of some Google services could also be better. A bicycle navigation with Google Maps, for example, unfortunately fails due to the screen saver that keeps popping up. If you want to unlock the display again, the navigation disappears – all things that you don’t want to worry about while cycling.
The battery life is another – minor – catch. Samsung states it is almost 40 hours. If you only wear the watch as a watch, it works without any problems. Additional functions such as the always-on display are already eating away at the battery charge.
And if you train a lot, you can follow the battery indicator like a countdown. One day is usually there, more becomes difficult with heavy use.
Conclusion: The Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic are simple and beautiful watches with a lot of practical functions. If you would like to collect and evaluate a lot of data on daily training, you will find a powerful tool in the watches.
Due to the classic watch look, the Galaxy Watches 4 appear pleasantly non-technical and wear discreetly on the wrist. There are tons of apps out there thanks to Google’s Wear OS.
If you don’t own a Samsung smartphone, you should also look at the competition and compare them carefully. Because the Galaxy Watch 4 only reaches its full potential with a Galaxy smartphone.
And if you don’t like the price or size of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (369 to 449 euros), you can also choose the cheaper Galaxy Watch 4 (from 269 to 349 euros and up). It is a bit slimmer on the wrist.