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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4G Review: Best Smartwatch Of The Year 2019?
Samsung has maintained a consistent wearable product line-up in the past few years. Among the company's diverse smart wearable range, the Galaxy Watch is undoubtedly the most popular smartwatch for Android users. It flaunts a vibrant OLED screen and brings a conventional watch design that is loved by most.
- Premium Aesthetics
- Metal Body Scores High On Durability
- Vibrant Circular AMOLED Display
- Supports On-Wrist Call & Messaging Without Phone
- Improved Battery Life
- Supports Variety Of Exercises
- Misses On Some Basic Applications
- Slightly Bulky On Hands
Samsung recently upgraded its wearable product line-up in India by unveiling new iterations of the Galaxy Watch and the Watch Active. We got a chance to test the new Galaxy Watch 4G, which happens to be the company's first smartwatch with e-SIM functionality. With improved connectivity and a claimed battery life of up to 4 days, is the Galaxy Watch 4G the best smartwatch for Android users? Let's find out.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4G- 42mm And 46mm Size Variants
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4G is available in two size variants- 42mm and 46mm. The 46mm variant looks slightly oversized on my wrist and also feels heavier than almost all the smartwatches I have tested in the past. I would recommend you to try both the size variants before making a purchase. Also keep in mind the screen size, weight, price and the battery cell's capacity before picking one.
The 42mm variant offers a 1.2-inch display and is powered by a 270mAh battery cell. It weighs 49 grams and is priced at Rs. 28,490. The 46mm variant is backed by a bigger 472mAh battery cell and weighs 63 grams. It costs Rs. 30,990 and offer slightly bigger 1.3-inch circular screen. The 42mm version is available in Midnight Black and Rose Gold color variants, whereas the 46mm version is only available in the black color variant. Moreover, you can also customize your Galaxy Watch 4G with your choice of straps from Samsung India's official website.
Conventional Circular Dial, Several Smart Features, High Durability
The smartwatch market largely operates under two design ideologies; circular and rectangular. Apple chose to go with the latter while Samsung built the company's flagship smartwatch, and in fact all the smartwatches, on the circular dial platform. Among the various smartwatches available in the market, the Galaxy Watch is one of the best-looking smartwatches around. It offers a conventional watch design with high-end smart features to help you stay connected and follow a healthy lifestyle.
The smartwatch is also very durable. It has a water resistance rating of 50 meters under the ISO standard 22810:2010; however, it is not suitable for diving or high-pressure water activities. The Galaxy Watch 4G is also US Military Standard Compliant (MIL-STD-810G) to ensure high standards of durability.
Samsung’s Rotating Bezel: Best Thing Happened To Smartwatches
The rotating bezel is undoubtedly a unique design element that separates the Galaxy Watch from the lot. Like its predecessor, the new Galaxy Watch 4G also features the same rotating bezel that allows you to navigate throughout the UI without even touching the screen. It is so seamlessly blended with the software UI that you can use it on any screen, be it within individual apps, settings menu, home screens, notifications, etc. The thoughtful feature ensures maximum screen visibility on a smartwatch form factor.
Display- 1.3-inch Super AMOLED Display With Gorilla Glass Protection
The 46mm variant flaunts a 1.3-inch circular Super AMOLED screen, which is very bright and color-rich. As it is an AMOLED display with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels, the text, icons and even images look crisp and vivid. The full-colour display gets Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ protection from unwanted scratches. Moreover, the thick casing and the rotating bezel also works as a safety guard to protect the AMOLED screen from tough surfaces and corners.
The circular dial on the Galaxy Watch 4G supports several watch faces. We simply loved the ones that show real watch hand shadowing with ticking sound for a more traditional watch experience. Like the company's smartphones, the Galaxy Watch 4G also comes with an 'Always-On' mode that allows you to set the sAMOLED display to show exciting watch faces at all times.
e-SIM Connectivity: Setup Process And Use Cases On Samsung Galaxy Watch 4G
Setting up an e-SIM on the Galaxy Watch 4G is a fairly easy process. It supports e-SIM connectivity on Jio and Airtel networks in India. Besides the compatible network, you would need the Galaxy Wearable companion app installed on an Android device. Once you initiate the process, the app activates the wireless service on the smartwatch by selecting the region. It then activates the mobile service on the smartwatch and binds it with the network provider. Once the process is completed, you can start making and receiving calls on the smartwatch.
Make And Receive Calls On Your Wrist
The Galaxy Watch 4G is the company's first e-SIM compatible smartwatch that allows you to make or receive phone calls directly from your wrist. What this means is that you can leave behind your phone and can still stay connected to the world. There were so many instances where the e-SIM compatibility feature came handy in everyday routine.
For instance, I was able to leave my phone at home and go out for a run without worrying about missing out on any important work calls. The Galaxy Watch 4G on my wrist connected to a pair of wireless earphones via Bluetooth and ensured seamless calling functionality.
The smartwatch also has a built-in speaker and a microphone in case you don't have wireless headphones handy; however, you speaking to your wrist would look funny to other people. That said, simply pair any wireless headphones with the Galaxy Watch 4G and leave the phone in the pocket. You won't be disappointed.
Galaxy Watch 4G Software Experience
The Galaxy Watch 4G runs on the Tizen-based Wearable OS 4.0. The company's in-house wearable OS has significantly improved and offers a very seamless software user-experience. Thanks to the rotating bezel, a fairly touch-responsive screen and intuitively coded software, the UI navigation on the Galaxy watch 4G is effortless and fluid. You can access the applications menu with just one click, swipe right to access notifications and can instantly access quick settings panel by just swiping down the tray.
The app-ecosystem has also improved significantly but Samsung still hasn't been able to provide native support for some of the most readily used apps such as Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, etc. However, you will still manage to find an app in the Galaxy app store to execute almost any required task. The apps are primarily categorized in different sections such as music, navigation, productivity, customizations, etc.
The Galaxy Watch 4G can stream music from apps like Spotify. You can set reminders, read documents and stories on Flipboard and can even dial phone numbers and reply to texts on the go but with slight efforts. I couldn't find Bixby routines on the Galaxy Watch 4G which come quite handy on the company's smartphones.
Overall, I would still rank Tizen OS higher than the WearOS because of its ease-of-use and fluid performance. It isn't perfect but is very close to being our favorite wearable OS.
Galaxy Watch 4G Hardware And Connectivity Performance
The software runs smoothly on the new Galaxy Watch 4G as the hardware is quite capable. The smartwatch is powered by Exynos 9110 Dual-core chipset. The Samsung-made SoC running at 1.15GHz is paired with 1.5GB RAM + 4GB internal memory on the LTE variant. The Bluetooth only variant has 768MB RAM + 4GB internal memory.
There were no connectivity issues faced either. I used the watch with multiple Android phones and did not face any connection drops. The Galaxy Watch 4G comes with built-in GPS, an altimeter, accelerometer and even a barometer. The watch has LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi b/g/n, NFC, A-GPS/GLONASS.
As far as the compatibility is concerned, it can be paired with Android devices running Android 5.0 or higher. You can also connect it with iOS devices but the support is very limited for Apple products.
Galaxy Watch 4G Health And Fitness Features
As far as health-tracking features are concerned, the Galaxy Watch 4G supports a total of 39 activities out of which 21 are indoor exercises. The smartwatch can auto-track six exercises which include walking, running, cycling, dynamic workouts, rowing, and elliptical training.
The Galaxy Watch 4G can actively measure your vitals when you do activities like running, walking, cycling, swimming, treadmill, bench press, burpee test, crunches, etc. The smartwatch has a very active idle alert system. It pushes you to perform some form of physical activity in case you are being inactive for a while, typically in one-hour time frame. A quick tip, install Samsung Health on your smartphone to make the most out of the Galaxy Watch 4G's fitness-centric features.
The Galaxy Watch 4G's sensors work fairy well. The step counter and heart rate monitor gives near accurate readings. Besides, the Galaxy Watch 4G has a stress counter that takes into account the heart rate to show stress levels. The smartwatch prompts you to start a breathing exercise to control the stress levels. You also get a sleep tracker that lets you keep a check on your light and deep sleep; however, the smartwatch's bulky size makes it difficult to wear it throughout the night.
Galaxy Watch 4G Battery Life
As I have tested the previous generation Galaxy Watch at length, I can say that the battery life on the new Galaxy Watch 4G has improved to a good extent, especially on the 46mm variant as it gets a bigger 472 mAh battery unit. You get WPC based wireless charging, which takes almost 2 hrs 30 min to fully recharge the smartwatch's battery cell. With one full charge and in the connected state with a smartphone for notifications and e-SIM functionality, the Galaxy Watch 4G can easily last 30 hours.
The battery life varies on your usage pattern which includes the number of notifications and calls you receive, on-screen usage, display brightness, wireless connections, etc. If you use the smartwatch moderately without e-SIM functionality, it can easily last two days and even more in some cases. The power-saving mode on the Galaxy Watch is really helpful. It can extend the battery life to almost double; however, it restricts most of the functions that make the Galaxy Watch 4G a wonderful everyday smartwatch.
The Galaxy Watch 4G is a high-end wearable by all means. It looks and feels premium and is also very durable, exactly how wearables should be. The battery life has been improved to a decent factor and the company's efforts to improve the TizenOS are clearly visible and highly appreciated.
The 4G LTE connectivity is indeed the differentiating factor here. It justifies the whole concept of creating the wearables which were essentially designed to work as an extension to smartphones in our pockets. If you are not an Apple fanboy, the Galaxy Watch 4G is the one you should invest in.