Samsung’s yearly refresh of the Galaxy smartwatch line will be spearheaded by the Galaxy Watch 4 in 2021. This time around, the big changes are coming in the form of new hardware as well as software: Samsung’s next smartwatches run Google’s Wear OS instead of Tizen, a move that has long been rumored but is finally becoming reality this year.
The Galaxy Watch 4 isn’t meant as a sequel Galaxy Watch 3, which might sound confusing at first given the name. It doesn’t have a physical rotating bezel, and it’s more of a spiritual sequel to the Galaxy Watch Active series than anything else.
The new model is expected to have a flat display and come in 40 mm and 44 mm sizes. IP68 water and dust resistance and military-grade ruggedness are no doubt going to be part of the package as well.
The Galaxy Watch 4 has two physical buttons on the right side. It should be released in at least four colors: black, olive green, rose gold, and silver. The straps are interchangeable, which is a key customization factor for these watches (just like cases for smartphones). They will be available in various colors, including white, olive green, navy blue, red, and yellow.
The Galaxy Watch 4 is expected to be powered by a new 5nm processor called the Exynos W920. It will be paired with 1.5GB of RAM and a whopping 16GB of internal storage. Compared to the Exynos 9110 SoC, the new chipset boasts 1.25x faster CPU performance and an impressive 8.8x increase in graphics performance.
The 40mm and 44mm models should feature 1.2-inch and 1.3-inch Super AMOLED displays, respectively, and display protection is likely to be provided by Gorilla Glass DX.
The two Galaxy Watch 4 variants are expected to feature 247 mAh and 340 mAh batteries, and they will be released in Wi-Fi and LTE flavors, but whether or not 5G support will be incorporated remains to be seen. Given the limited battery capacity and the lack of wide 5G coverage in most markets, a 5G variant probably won’t be made available.
Software and Features
The Galaxy Watch 4 will be one of the first two Samsung smartwatches to run Google’s Wear OS, as the company has already made official. This will open up a lot more possibilities in terms of features and app availability. For example, Google Maps and other Google services (such as an official Play Store client) will finally be usable, and the watch will be able to share data with a lot more third-party health apps than was previously possible.
The user interface is going to be similar to what we find on Samsung’s current smartwatches, as the Galaxy Watch 4 will run One UI on top of Wear OS. However, thanks to the switch to Wear OS, users will get access to a lot more watch faces to customize the on-screen look. In short, the Watch 4 will bring the best of what Wear OS and Samsung’s Tizen OS have to offer for a unique user experience not found on other Android smartwatches.
New health monitoring features are expected, in addition to previous ones like ECG monitoring. Blood glucose monitoring using a non-intrusive method, i.e., you won’t need to **bleep** your fingers and draw blood, was one of the rumored features, but it doesn’t seem to have made the cut.
The Galaxy Watch 4 is said to feature a BIA or Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis sensor. This sensor can measure body fat composition, enabling users to see just how close they are to their fat melting goals.
Price and Availability
The Galaxy Watch 4 launch prices have yet to be officially confirmed, but the 40 and 44mm variants could go on sale for 350 — 370 euro and 380 — 400 euro, respectively.
Rumors claim that the wearable will be unveiled on August 11, 2021, alongside Samsung’s new foldables and the Galaxy S21 Fan Edition. The Galaxy Watch 4 could then go on sale in key markets on August 27.