Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Test: Good choice or to avoid?, Test of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic: the first of a promising line – Cnet France

Test of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic: the first of a promising line

Look how the screen behaves in direct sunlight. Scott Stein/Cnet

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Test: an almost perfect connected watch ?

It was after Apple, one of the biggest sellers of connected market watches on the market. Samsung was one of the first to embark on the adventure of the smartwatch and I present here the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, which is a somewhat improving version of the Watch 4, with in particular the addition of a rotating telescope. It must be more classy and more practical, it is the promise made by the Korean giant. Is it really a good choice for a connected watch ? I tell you everything you need to know in this detailed opinion of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, which I find more interesting than the basic versions with touchscreen telescope. In any case, she receives very positive opinions from users (Read here), It’s pretty good sign.

Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Reviews and Notes !

Summary

This is a very good connected watch. I really like its screen, its interface, its very practical rotary bezel and the many native features or in the play store. I like its design a little less and especially its fairly limited autonomy. It’s still one of the market smartwatches.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic 4G 46 mm, Black - Intelligent connected watch, rotating bezel

  • Challenge your friends or family via.
  • Sports follow -up – Follow your activities and.
  • Blood pressure and ECG – The sensor.
  • Sleep monitoring – Detects and analyzes your.
  • Authentic and refined design

Technical characteristics

  • Dimensions: 46 mm or 42 mm
  • Weight: 33 g
  • Screen size: 1.4 inches or 1.2 inches
  • Screen technology: OLED
  • Definition: 450 x 450 pixels
  • Storage capacity: 1.5 GB
  • GPS: Yes
  • Heart rhythm sensor: Yes
  • 4G: Yes
  • Autonomy: 36 hours

Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: Design and manufacturing quality

Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 2 Test Avis

Samsung keeps a very classic look for this connected watch. She gains a little elegance thanks to her notched telescope, but personal, I do not find it more beautiful than an Amazfit Gtr 3 Pro. Its design is very sporty and has not evolved or very little since the first version.

So we have a round housing, with horns basic enough to attach the bracelet and two large darker chronometer type pusons. The design is however very serious, with a steel housing and a Corning Gorilla Glass Dx glass screen protection, very robust and very difficult to scratch.

The bracelet is in fluorelastomer, very comfortable. It does not sweat, does not stick to the skin and it should not cause the slightest irritation. We regret not finding a leather bracelet in the box, as was previous years. We can however very simply replace the original bracelet to offer a more elegant look to our watch.

Even if I am not really a fan of design, I must admit that the finishes are very neat and the matt covering on the case is rather nice, especially on the steel version. On the black model, it’s a little less visible. You will have the choice between a 46 mm case, generally for men and a 42 mm case, rather for ladies. That said, the 42 mm version will often be much more comfortable to wear for fine wrists gentlemen.

A superb screen

Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 2 Ecran

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic 4G 46 mm, Black - Intelligent connected watch, rotating bezel

  • Challenge your friends or family via.
  • Sports follow -up – Follow your activities and.
  • Blood pressure and ECG – The sensor.
  • Sleep monitoring – Detects and analyzes your.
  • Authentic and refined design

The 46 mm watch screen is 1.4 inches, this is the version I tested. It will obviously be a little smaller on the 42 mm case. Anyway, it is a magnificent OLED screen, with a very fine definition and a perfect contrast. The blacks are very black, the whites are very white and all the colors are well respected.

On the brightness side, there are 10 levels, which allow a fairly fine adjustment. We can of course let the brightness sensor work, which automatically manages the screen and which does it very well. Everything is perfect on this side, in full sun the screen remains very readable and at night you will not be dazzled if you consult your watch.

The screen turns on automatically when we make a wrist movement to read the time. We can deactivate this function if desired and awaken the screen by pressing a button or tapping the glass. An Always-On mode is also part for those who want the screen to always be turned on.

Finally, the tactile responds to perfection. This was already the case on previous Samsung watches, it’s still as responsive with the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Each tapping or scroll on the screen is taken into account, there is not the slightest latency. It’s perfect !

An effective interface

Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 2 Reviews

Samsung said Aurevoir at its Tizen OS house interface and adopts Wear OS 3.0, with a Samsung Oneui overlay which allows you to find an aesthetic more or less similar to that of Tizen. Basically, we find the ergonomics of Tizen OS, but with the Google application store in addition. We will thus be able to add many applications which were not accessible on the previous Samsung watches.

Regarding use, everything is well managed. The rotating telescope allows you to walk and navigate the watch easily, without having to put your fingers on the screen. It is precise and the mechanical feeling of the notched telescope brings a very nice side to the manipulation. I also find the gesture more natural than finger shifts from right to left.

So from the main screen, we will easily access all our widgets, with the number of steps, the programmed physical activities, the heart rate and all the other features that we will have confined. Because the force of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is that it is fully configurable. So you can select the applications you want and place them in the order you want.

When you slide from top to bottom, you get shortened, a bit like an Android mobile. We can then put ourselves in silent mode, adjust the brightness, activate the plane mode, or access the settings. These are quite numerous and allow a wide personalization of our watch.

By sliding from bottom to top, we find the cloud with all the cards for our applications. There are in priority all apps that we most often use. It is generally the same system as on the Apple Watch.

The same features as on a smartphone

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is one of the most complete connected watches on the market, especially thanks to Google Wear Os. Natively, we find of course all the functions of a smartwatch, with the notifications of your mobile (which is displayed very well), the account of the steps, the distance traveled, the heart rate, the control of the stress and sleep, etc. There is also a user’s BMI, or the fat and muscle mass, which are rather precise.

There is of course the weather, a voice recorder, the music player, and a whole bunch of functionalities now quite classic on this type of watch. Thanks to Wear OS, you will be able to add Google Map, Spotify, Strava, Google Pay, mini-games, a calculator, a translator, etc. The application store is ultra complete.

A microphone is present to make a call directly from the watch or for the voice dictation in order to respond to messages. It is effective and will also be used for the use of the Samsung Bixby assistant or for the Google assistant.

An equally complete application

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic 4G 46 mm, Black - Intelligent connected watch, rotating bezel

  • Challenge your friends or family via.
  • Sports follow -up – Follow your activities and.
  • Blood pressure and ECG – The sensor.
  • Sleep monitoring – Detects and analyzes your.
  • Authentic and refined design

Test of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic: the first of a promising line

Test of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic: the first of a promising line

We would like to be able to say that the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 offers the ultimate experience of an Android watch. We cannot quite say that, but we approach it. After wearing the latest Samsung watch for two weeks, we appreciated it more over time. This is the first to execute a whole new Google Wear OS (co-designed by Samsung and Google). We would say that the future is promising, but that the present is a bit uncertain.

Samsung makes excellent watches. There Galaxy Watch 3 was a successful mixture of fitness/health and connectivity functions. However, the Tizen operating system and the Samsung application shop have always remained away from Google’s Android ecosystem. The Galaxy Watch 4 has largely the same design and the same characteristics as last year’s watch, but with more health -related technologies. Its operating system remains the great novelty.

The passage to Wear OS of Google, a smartwatch platform that has existed for years, means that the Watch 4 works with Google Play applications and can theoretically be much more connected to Android phones. We say “theoretically” because, for the moment, most of the key elements of the Galaxy Watch 4 work with Samsung applications, which require a Samsung account. It is part of the Google ecosystem, but also distinguishes itself.

The Galaxy Watch 4 can execute Google Fit and other fitness applications, but Samsung Health is the only place where health functions, such as ECG (electrocardiogram) and the new bioelectric impedance sensor for analysis measures body, can be synchronized. Certain health functions, including ECG (and blood pressure in some countries), also require a Samsung phone to operate.

Google Assistant, probably the most important Google function you want to have on a smartwatch, is also absent for the moment. Bixby de Samsung is offered by default.

All this is added to a Samsung watch which looks more like a step aside after the Watch 3 of last year than a real leap forward. While the transition to Wear Os is a great novelty, and could mean that this watch finally feels as integrated into Android phones as Apple Watch are at iPhone, One has the impression that the dressing of the Samsung ecosystem was not completely torn off. If we trust the way Samsung Galaxy smartphones are running Samsung applications right next to Google applications, it is unlikely that it will change one day. And this makes this first collaboration between Samsung and Google a little difficult to recommend, because we do not know what could future Wear Os. The version of Samsung is the best ? For the moment, yes, because we do not see an Android watch as well done and as complete as the Watch 4. But don’t forget, once again, that it is really better to use it with a Samsung smartphone.

Google and Samsung: again together (sometimes)

The Galaxy Watch is exclusively under Android, a change compared to the previous Galaxy Watches which could also connect in a limited manner to iPhone. The Wear OS experience is very much like that of other Android watches : sliding down for quick access to parameters, up to find all the applications, to the right for notifications and to the left for “tiles”, which are application widgets.

The experience of widgets is identical to that of previous Samsung watches : It is possible to browse the fitness dashboards, consult the weather and browse text messages. For us, it is above all a way to quickly access fitness functions. We can rotate the telescope or slide the shutters a few times to start a training session, or get a body analysis, check oxygen in the blood, make an ECG.

Google Play is the only application shop From the Galaxy Watch 4, which allows access to existing Google applications such as Fit, YouTube and Maps. But the rest of the configuration process is very Samsung. You use a Samsung Wear application to couple the watch, and Samsung Health as a Fitness/Reference Health Application.

Samsung-Galaxy-Watch-4-And-Watch-4-Classic-21

The Galaxy Watch 4 (left) next to the Watch 4 Classic (right). Note the glasses around. Drew Evans/Cnet

Design: superb finishes

Samsung has always made watches pleasant to wear on the wrist, and The lighter Galaxy Watch 4 is very comfortable. We tried the Galaxy Watch 44 44 mm (aluminum case) and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 46 mm (stainless steel). The Classic adds the physical rotary telescope, as on the Watch 3 and the previous Samsung watches, while the Watch 4 is based on a touch crown like the Active and Active 2 Galaxy Watch (with a haptic return for the “click”).

The Gorilla Glassic screen of Classic protects it from shocks, but it is a little more difficult to carry out some of the interactions based on shift due to the framework. In addition, it is thicker and more expensive. We are torn between the Normal Classic and Watch 4. We lean for the basic Watch 4 because it does the same things at a more affordable price and it is always elegant, But the more exposed glass could end up becoming more transfers over time. And the touch telescope is more difficult to use than a physical telescope, even if it is a largely useless action (you can make all the gestures you need with shifts and tapping on the screen, or by clicking on side buttons). In addition, if you are a swimmer, this physical telescope makes the watch easier to use when it is wet.

We did not watch the smaller Watch 4, but the two largest sizes were perfect on our wrists.

Galaxy-Watch-4-Outdoors

Look how the screen behaves in direct sunlight. Scott Stein/Cnet

The Super Amoled screen is superb, clean and colorful. Wallpapers preloaded by Samsung are also very beautiful. The set of sensors redesigned at the back of the Watch 4 is also very elegant. The watch also seems less bulky than the previous ones.

Two lateral buttons show Samsung Pay (or Google Pay) when you press on a long time, and Samsung Bixby for the voice assistant. The buttons can be in a hurry or twice for other navigation functions (Home/Back), and some other limited actions can be assigned to them in the Samsung Wear application, necessary to couple watches on your phone.

Galaxy-Watch-4-Body-Analysis

Body analysis: a lot of data but not much after

The brand new Samsung health sensor on the Watch 4 is that of Electric Impedance, a technology found on some people and which even appeared on the first Wearables like the Jawbone Up 3. The impedance sensor uses the electric current to estimate the body’s water content, which is used in particular to calculate the percentage of body fat and skeletal muscle mass. The application asks you for your daily weight, then after a 15 -second scan (which is carried out by maintaining your two fingers in the middle against the buttons of the watch while remaining motionless), displays the BMI, muscle mass, the body fat and water mass.

These results are very difficult to interpret. Ours were all bad (in the red part of a scale ranging from green to red), with figures (like kilos of body fat, body water or skeletal muscles). How bad these figures were they ? Should we panic ? Samsung takes the data and imports it into the Samsung Health application, then establishes a graphic of the results over time. We can see our progress (or our immobility), and … and then ? Samsung does not really help us to interpret what it means, or how worried we should be. What training should we do next ?

The new sensors always represent a challenge of this type. After all, oxygen measures in the blood (which are not medically exact) were all the rage at Apple, Samsung and Fitbit last year, and we found that we started to ignore these data. Last year, the EDA of Fitbit sensor on its Sense watch showed possible signs of stress during punctual verification scans, but we have never used it much and we never knew what to do with these results no more.

Galaxy-Watch-4-Sleep-Spo2

The oxygen measurements in the blood are done during the night … We do not know what to think about it (continuous readings are not necessarily precise either). Scott Stein/Cnet

Health: a Samsung world for a Samsung phone

Most of the people we know and who wear connected watches use them for fitness, at least to some extent. Samsung knows it and its watches are focused on fitness and health. But all of this is based on Samsung applications.

Samsung Health is not bad at all. In fact, it offers tons of features: sleep monitoring and sleep score (which is not medically precise, like all sleep monitoring on connected watches, but which can do a decent work overnight by detecting If you slept well). Running, and race analysis. Oxygen in the blood. Food and water followed. Not, activity objectives. Team activity sharing challenges. These new body analysis data.

We really appreciated the monitoring of the sleep of the watch (as Fitbit, The sleep score allowed us to become aware of my bad sleep habits and encouraged us to bed earlier). Automatic monitoring of activity, which results in a direct heart rate display on the watch dial, is ideal for fast steps and spontaneous training sessions. It’s a really solid set.

Samsung-Galaxy-Watch-4-And-Watch-4-Classic-19

But Google has its own physical condition monitoring applications: Google Fit and the Recently acquired Fitbit. Google Fit applications can be loaded on the Watch 4 for parallel follow -up with Samsung Health, but Samsung always expects your data to also pass through Samsung Health. Fitbit does not yet have Wear OS applications, but should have them at the course of the year … Even in this case, there is no chance that the complete Fitbit monitoring capacities work on this watch immediately.

And there is another problem: You must couple this watch with a Samsung phone to use health functions that have real medical authorization. For what ? We have no idea. The separate Samsung Health Monitor application which collects data from ECG and blood pressure is only available on the Samsung Galaxy App Store at the moment, which means that other Android phones cannot access it. It’s weird, because ECG’s measurement devices like Fitbit Sense simply coupled with the normal applications of Google Play.

The ECG is a test for detecting cardiac arrhythmias, similar to what is found on Apple Watch Series 4 and subsequent, or on the Fitbit Sense. It does not make it possible to detect heart attacks or other heart diseases, and does not replace a consultation with a cardiologist. In the meantime, Samsung offers a blood pressure measurement function that uses the cardiac frequency optical monitor to obtain statements, once the watch has been calibrated using a physical blood pressure armband.

Hi bixby

As we have already said: the excellent Google vocal assistant is not present on the Galaxy Watch 4. Instead, you are stuck with Bixby. Google Assistant should certainly arrive one day.

Galaxy-Watch-4-Bixby

Bixby works well for vocal responses. Scott Stein/Cnet

Bixby does useful things : He can manage the voice dictation good enough to answer notifications on Slack when we receive a message at mid-day. It can set timer and manage basic functions. But it does not connect to the rest of Google. Without assistant, this watch does not look like Google at all.

Galaxy-Watch-4-Charger

The magnetic charger of the Galaxy Watch 4. You will need it every two days. Scott Stein/Cnet

Fluid interface and two -day autonomy (or less)

The Galaxy Watch 4 is very fluid And load the applications faster than any other Android watch in our memories. It’s not always as fast as the last Apple Watch, but it’s always so pleasant. The new smartwatch processor seems to be a very good sign of what other Google watches could become in terms of reactivity.

Battery life ? Not as good, alas. We exchanged the Watch 4 and the Watch 4 Classic on our wrist, putting one when the other was short of battery, and sleeping with the watch during the night. Autonomy has never been more than two days. And this, with the Always-on deactivated watch dial. When it is on, we could only use it about a day before you need a load. And the smaller watch can have even shorter autonomy. In addition, if you buy a model equipped with LTE technology, battery life will be even lower. The same goes if you use the watch for training sessions with GPS.

The load is quite fast, however: a half hour approximately allowed us to reload the battery enough to wear the rest of the day if necessary.

Our impressions at the moment: promising but incomplete

Here is the real question that arises about the Watch 4: this is the first of a new range of watches compatible with the Google Wear operating system to come. Others may not have the new operating system before 2022: the next fossil watches, the new Ticwatch models of Mobvoi and a Wear OS Fitbit watch promised.

Samsung is at the top of the peloton, and the Galaxy Watch 4 has many advantages. But it is still not a unified bone that gives us the impression of being solidly anchored in a single ecosystem. This is because this is not the case: this is always the world of the Samsung watch, with a layer of google over.

Maybe it was the idea from the start. Maybe the watch will improve over time. But the next Wear OS watches be similar, or even better ? We cannot say it. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 may be the best option at the moment, and it does not seem as perfected as we were waiting for it.

It may not be the ultimate Android watch, but it is the best Android watch on the market right now.

CNET article.Com adapted by CNET France

Read the full test

  • Writing note