A lot of buzzes were generated last year when the Galaxy Watch 4 series were released. This is because Samsung marked a return back to the Wear OS platform after a long spell with their Tizen OS. As a result, you get access to many of your favorite apps which you will not get with older Galaxy watches that are powered by the Tizen operating system. The Galaxy Watch 4 series also comes with a higher storage capacity, a more advanced chipset that ensures flawless performance and a new body composition measurement. I have been using the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic for the past 6 months, and during this time I compared it to other smartwatches like the Apple Watch Series 7, Versa 3 and even its predecessor, Galaxy Watch 3 to determine its consistency and accuracy in tracking my daily activities. This is a very detailed review in which I tell my experience with the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Is it worth buying? Let’s find out.
Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Needs These Apps
To get full access to all the features of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, you will need three apps;
- Galaxy Wearable app – The Galaxy Wearable app is the companion app of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic and all other Samsung wearables. You need this app to setup the watch, and from the app, you’ll be able to manage how the watch functions. This app is available on both Google Playstore and the Apple app store. Note that the Galaxy Watch 4 isn’t compatible with iOS devices.
- Samsung Health app – To see the full detail of all tracked activity, you will need the Samsung Health app. For instance, when you wear the watch to sleep, you can view only your duration of sleep. But to see time spent in each stage of your sleep, you will need the Samsung Health app. The app is also available on both Google Playstore and the Apple app store.
- Samsung Health Monitor – This is a relatively new app from Samsung that allows you to access the ECG and blood pressure measurement features of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. This app is only available on the Galaxy store. Note that ECG and Blood pressure measurement features might not be available in your country. If that is the case, you can learn how to get ECG and BP on your Galaxy Watch 4
Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Review
Design – Stylish, Durable and Compact
I’m really impressed by the design of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. It has an outstanding design, yet is not bulky. It comes in 42mm and 46mm, and each of these sizes is available in Bluetooth and LTE models. I own the 46mm Bluetooth model. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 4 comes in 40mm and 44mm.
Unlike the Galaxy Watch 4 which has a sporty/geeky appearance, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic going by its name has a classic appearance that resembles a traditional watch.
It’s a very durable smartwatch, the case is made of stainless steel, and so also is the physical rotating bezel. The straps are made of silicone. Both the 42mm and 46mm come with a 20mm strap. And you can always change the straps if you want.
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is rated 5ATM, and this means it’s waterproof up to 50 meters. You can confidently wear it to the swimming pool without fearing any damage.
You will get the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 46mm in mystic silver and black colors, while the 42mm comes in mystic bronze and silver colors. Obviously, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a very durable smartwatch. The perfect round design is also worthy of note.
Display – Bright and very colorful display that’s easy to read
Just like other Galaxy watches, super AMOLED still powers the Galaxy Watch 4 series. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has a very colorful display that is easy to read in any light condition. I never had any problem reading complications on the display even under direct sunlight. It also has an always-on mode that keeps the display awake. Although this will greatly impact the battery life of the device.
The 46mm size has a 1.4 inches display size while the 42mm model has a 1.2 inches display size.
Watch Faces – There are lots of options to choose from
There are ten preloaded watch faces on the Galaxy Watch 4 including the funny animated watch faces that debuted with the watch. You can get more watch faces from the Google Playstore app on the watch where you will find loads of options. Alternatively, you can also download more watch faces from the Galaxy Wearable app.
To change a watch face on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is very simple. You can do that by pressing and holding on to the homescreen. This will highlight the current watch face, then use the physical rotating bezel or swipe to scroll through the list.
User Interface – Easy to navigate
Just like older Galaxy watches, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has a very simple and easy-to-use interface despite running on the Wear OS platform. This is because the Galaxy Watch 4 series have the One UI 4.0 software which is very similar to what you get on older Galaxy Watches but slightly different.
In addition to the physical rotating bezel and touchscreen support, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has two physical buttons. This gives you enough options to access the device and makes it very easy to navigate. The upper one is the home key while the lower one is the back key. This is different from older Galaxy watches where the lower button is the home key and the other is the back key.
Both the home and back keys are customizable. You can do this by going to the settings app>>advanced features>>customize keys.
You have double-press and long-press options for the home key. You can customize the home key to go to recent apps or any other app when you double press it. You can also customize the home key to open Bixby or show the power off menu when you long-press it.
Meanwhile, you can customize the back key to show recent apps or go back to a previous menu.
The Galaxy Watch 4 series come with a more advanced 5nm Exynos W920 chip which in addition to the 1.5GB RAM ensures a smooth running of the device. So, unlike other Wear OS smartwatches, excluding those powered by the Snapdragon 4100 chip, you get a very awesome performance with the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
Fitness Tracker – A comprehensive fitness tracker
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a very fitness-oriented smartwatch. It comes with a heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, electrical heart sensor and the new Bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor. All these enable a long list of activity tracking features that make it one of the best fitness trackers perhaps even ahead of the Apple Watch Series 7. It’s also consistent and accurate too as you will find out below from my many tests.
Steps and Calories Counting
Basically, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will count your steps and calories as long as you are wearing it. I compared the accuracy of these features to other fitness trackers, and it was very consistent overtime. There is no doubt, that the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a consistent steps counter.
Heart Rate Tracking
With its heart rate sensor, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic can monitor your heart rate intermittently, continuously or manually. It will show your resting heart rate as well as your heart rate range. And you will be able to see a history of your heart rate overtime in the Samsung Health app.
I compared the heart rate tracking accuracy of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic to a manual heart rate monitor and the Versa 3. The results were almost the same except for slight differences. This shows that the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a consistent heart rate tracker.
You will also get a stress monitoring app on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic that allows you to measure your stress level continuously or manually. And when you’re stressed, there is a breathing app that will guide you through a breathing session. This can help you reduce stress.
Just like other Galaxy watches, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will track your sleep in four stages. It tracks sleep in REM, deep, light and awake stages. You will also get a snoring pattern and blood oxygen level during sleep.
Again, I compared this feature to Apple Watch Series 7, Versa 3 and Band 4 Pro. The results were pretty much the same which brought me to the conclusion that the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a consistent sleep tracker.
Blood Oxygen Measurement
The Blood oxygen measurement feature introduced to Galaxy Watch 3 is also available on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. It allows you to measure how your blood absorbs oxygen. It will measure your blood oxygen levels continuously and during your sleep.
Outdoor Activity Tracking
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic comes with an inbuilt GPS, plus support for GLONASS and Beidou. This allows the watch to track your outdoor activities like routes, pace and locations. I have worn the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic a couple of times for my running activities and it did track my routes and locations accurately.
After an outdoor workout, you will be able to view basic detail of tracked data such as total distance, pace, heart rate range, VO2 Max. and even route on the watch. However, you will need to go to the Samsung Health app to see the complete detail of your activity.
I compared the Galaxy Watch 4 to the Apple Watch Series 7, Versa 3 and the Band 4 Pro. The results are very close except for slight discrepancies. In other words, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a consistent outdoor activity tracker.
Furthermore, as a result of the electrical heart sensor, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic features ECG measurement. You can measure your ECG at anytime simply by placing your index finger on the home key.
You will need the Samsung Health Monitor app to get access to this feature. And note that this feature isn’t available in every country. Nevertheless, with a modified version of the Samsung Health Monitor app, you can get ECG and blood pressure measurements on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
Blood Pressure Measurement
In addition to ECG measurement, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic also features blood pressure measurement. This also requires the Samsung Health Monitor app to setup. You will need to calibrate the Galaxy Watch 4 using an upper arm blood pressure monitor.
After calibrating the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic blood pressure feature, I compared it to a manual blood pressure monitor. The result was pretty close.
Body Composition Measurement
The new bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor is responsible for the body composition measurement feature of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. This sensor allows the watch to measure your body fat, body water, fat mass, skeletal muscle, BMR and BMI.
You simply need to enter your weight, then place your two middle fingers on the homekey and back key to get these readings.
SOS and Incidental Fall Detection
Just like older Galaxy watches, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic features SOS and incidental fall detection. These features will allow the watch to automatically start a call on your phone as well as send a message with a link to your location to a preset emergency contact. You can also activate this manually by pressing the home key three times.
You will need to enable these features from the Galaxy Wearable app where you have the option to choose an emergency contact.
While the Bluetooth model needs your phone nearby to start a call, the LTE model doesn’t need a phone to start a call when it detects a hard fall. This is one of the advantages of the LTE model. You don’t need to carry your phone along which is why we highly recommend it for older individuals and fitness enthusiasts who do a lot of outdoor workouts.
Preloaded Sport Modes
There are 41 preset sport modes on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. This includes running, walking, running coach, hiking, lunges, and many more. So, you’re most likely to find your preferred workout mode.
To start a workout is very easy, you simply go to the Samsung Health app on the watch, scroll to record a workout, then choose the workout you wish to start. The watch also automatically detects and starts recording select activities like walking, running, and 3 others.
Finally, there is also menstrual cycle tracking for women as well as hydration and food tracking that lets you log your water and food intake respectively.
Overall, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is one of the most equipped fitness smartwatches and it’s also a consistent fitness tracker.
Media Storage and Voice Assistant
Higher storage is one area where the Galaxy Watch 4 is better than the Galaxy Watch 3. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic comes with a 16GB storage out of which about 9GB is available for use.
You can add your personal music to the watch from the Galaxy Wearable app. You simply go to the app, find Watch settings, then locate manage contents. You can then select tracks you wish to add to the watch.
As a result of running on the Wear OS platform, you also get access to music services such as YouTube Music and Spotify. I tried both and Spotify gave me a better experience.
With YouTube Music, you can’t stream music, you can only download music. This means you must upgrade to YouTube Music premium to be able to download music to the watch which you can listen to offline.
As for Spotify, you can stream music for free. But if you wish to listen to music offline, then you must upgrade to Spotify premium which will allow you to download tracks to the watch that you can listen to offline.
Both Spotify and YouTube Music will play music via Bluetooth by default, this gives the best experience. So you have to connect a Bluetooth headphone, and this can be done from the Settings app, find connections, and tap on Bluetooth to add a Bluetooth headphone.
Meanwhile, Bixby is the base voice assistant on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. I haven’t had the best experience with Bixby, perhaps Samsung has a lot of improvement to do to bring it to per with Google Assistant. Talking about Google Assistant, the Galaxy Watch 4 also features Google Assistant. This gives you two voice assistants to choose from.
Making and Receiving Calls
Because the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has a microphone and loudspeaker, it can make and receive calls when the connected phone is nearby. The LTE model being a standalone smartwatch doesn’t need a phone to make and receive calls.
I tested the call quality, it was great as I could clearly hear the person on the other end. Moreover, there is a contact app that syncs your phone contacts to the watch as well as a phone app that lets you easily dial any number you wish to call.
Managing Notification and Making Payments
Another interesting feature of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is that it’s well equipped to keep you connected to all that matters to you so that you never get to miss any important update.
When notification is enabled, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will alert you when you receive a call, SMS as well as messages from your favorite apps like Facebook, Gmail, WhatsApp, Instagram and more.
When you receive a notification, you can reply with your voice, emojis, preset replies or type your reply directly using the built-in keyboard. So you have a lot of options to reply to messages. However, you will not be able to reply to every message from every app. From the apps I tested, you can reply to WhatsApp and Gmail messages. Although, you can’t record nor listen to a voice note from WhatsApp on the watch.
One good thing though is that you will see images in chats as well as your chat history which I find very useful.
Battery Life and Charging – Battery life isn’t impressive
The only reason why I won’t give the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic a 5/5 rating is because of its somewhat poor battery life. Well, I’m not so surprised considering it has a slim design, unlike the Galaxy Watch which is thicker, resulting in a bigger battery capacity and a longer battery life by extension.
With always-on turnoff, notifications enabled for 20 apps, 2hrs of music play, and worn to sleep daily, I get just over a day of battery life. Note that I own the 46mm model. You can expect the 42mm model to last just about a day. What this means is that if you intend to use the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic every day, bear in mind that you’ll need to charge it at least once daily.
Fortunately, there are battery saver modes that can help you get a little longer battery life. Some tips to get a little longer battery life include turning off always-on, reducing brightness, closing all background apps, turning off location tracking while indoors, and also turning off WiFi when not in use.The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic comes with a magnetic charger that’s similar to that of the Galaxy Watch 3, and it’s very easy to charge. You simply plug the USB end of the charger into a power source then place the watch on the charger, and it will start charging. It also has fast charging that results in just 1hr charging duration.
Bluetooth vs LTE – Which Model is Right For You?
Both the Bluetooth and LTE models have almost similar features except that the LTE model which is priced higher is a standalone smartwatch.
While the Bluetooth model can make and receive calls only when your phone is nearby, the LTE model comes with an eSIM that enables cellular connectivity on the watch. Thus, it can make and receive calls, send and receive messages, start a call during incidental fall detection and will allow you to access Google Map when your phone isn’t nearby.
It’s the best choice if you do a lot of outdoor workouts and don’t want to carry your phone all the time. It’s also highly recommended for the elderly ones, and of course, a better choice if want more freedom from your phone.
42mm vs 46mm – Which Size is Right For You?
|Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (46mm) (LTE)||Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (42mm) (LTE)|
|Device name||Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (46mm) (LTE)||Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (42mm) (LTE)|
|Device type||Classic/Fitness/Standalone smartwatch||Classic/Fitness/Standalone smartwatch|
|Predessesor||Samsung Galaxy Watch 3||Samsung Galaxy Watch 3|
|Successor||Galaxy Watch 5 Pro||Galaxy Watch 5 Pro|
|Released date||August, 2021||August, 2021|
|Display type||Super AMOLED|
|Display size||1.4 inches||1.2 inches|
|Display resolution||450 x 450 pixels||396 x 396 pixels|
|Pixel density||454 ppi||466 ppi|
2 physical buttons
physical rotating bezel
2 physical buttons
physical rotating bezel
|Customizable watch face||Yes||Yes|
|Dimension||45.5 x 45.5 x 11 mm||41.5 x 41.5 x 11.2 mm|
|Casing material||Stainless steel||Stainless steel|
|Bezel Material||Stainless steel||Stainless steel|
|Interchangeable band||Yes, 20mm||Yes, 18mm|
|Screen protection||Corning Gorilla glass DX||Corning Gorilla glass DX|
|Water resistant/Protection||Yes, IP68, 5ATM|
|Yes, IP68, 5ATM|
|Swim-proof||Yes, recommended||Yes, recommended|
|Memory card slot||No||No|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth v5.0||Bluetooth v5.0|
|Payment system||Samsung Pay|
|SIM||Yes, e-SIM||Yes, e-SIM|
|Heart rate monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Menstrual cycle tracking||Yes||Yes|
|Under-water heart rate tracking||Yes||Yes|
|On-screen workout modes||__||__|
|Preloaded sport modes||Yes, 90||Yes, 90|
|Operating system (OS)||Wear OS 3.5||Wear OS 3.5|
|Chipset||Exynos W920||Exynos W920|
|CPU||Dual core 1.18GHz||Dual core 1.18GHz|
|GPU||Mali -G68 MP2||Mali -G68 MP2|
|Type of battery||Non-removable Li-ion battery||Non-removable Li-ion battery|
|Battery life||Mixed Usage:up to 2 days||Mixed Usage: 1 day+|
|Charging type||Charging dock|
|Charging time||About 1-2 hours||About 1-2 hours|
|Battery saver mode||Yes||Yes|
|Compatibility||Android 6.0+, RAM 1.5GB+||Android 6.0+, RAM 1.5GB+|
|Companion app||Samsung Wearable app||Samsung Wearable app|
|Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (46mm) (LTE)||Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (42mm) (LTE)|
|Quick start guide||Quick start guide|
|NOTE: We can't guarantee that all the information on this table are 100% correct. Read full disclaimer. Please, report an error.|
|Official Site||Official Site|
Recall that the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic comes in two sizes, and each of these sizes is available in Bluetooth and LTE models. These two sizes have the same design and features except that the 46mm unit has a bigger case size that results in a bigger display. It also has a longer battery life and as well priced higher.
Meanwhile, the 42mm model is a more compact smartwatch that would suit individuals with slim wrists. Clearly, the reason for the size options is to make it easy for customers to choose the right size that best suits them.
To choose the right size for you, you can compare the sizes of both units to the size of your older watches. Alternatively, you can measure your wrist size using a meter rule, then compare it with the sizes of both units. Generally, the 46mm is a suitable choice for individuals who have a moderate to fat wrist, while the 42mm will suit individuals with slim to moderate wrist sizes.
In all, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is no doubt an outstanding smartwatch. It has a great design and is equally loaded with lots of features. It’s the perfect example of a modern smartwatch. Although, with less than 2 days of battery life, it suffers a major drawback. Otherwise, I’ll choose the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic over and over as one of the very best smartwatches for its classy design, awesome performance, consistent activity tracking, and abundance of features.
Hi! I’m Jude, the chief editor at Smartwatchseries.com
I’m a graduate of biochemistry, a 3D artist and a passionate fitness enthusiast. On here, I and other smartwatch fans work hard to help you find the right smartwatch for you with our guides, reviews, and comparisons.
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