Samsung Galaxy Watch (Gear S4): Samsung has dropped the suffix ‘Gear’ from its smartwatch branding. It is now just the ‘Samsung Galaxy Watch’. Maybe this has to do with the basic design of the smartwatch itself being positioned as a routine analog watch with all the inbuilt features of the smartwatch intact. While Samsung has not gone for too much of a makeover from the predecessor Gear S3, the Galaxy Watch does come with certain features to make it attractive to the customers. In some areas, the Korean giant has tried to take on Apple as well; here are some notable features of the new Samsung Galaxy Watch or the Gear S4.
One of the features of the new Samsung Galaxy Watch is that you can pick and choose a few things to be included in your watch. The watch face can be altered to suit your taste and obviously, the strap can be chosen from a variety of colors. The main dial which, as mentioned, has gone analog can be selected and you can even opt to have a Bluetooth enabled Galaxy Watch or just a standalone LTE version. There are two sizes on offer; 42 mm and 46 mm and the strap widths are 20 mm and 22 mm. Silver, Midnight Gold and Black are the different colors as far as the overall build and dial go.
Becomes Your Personal Assistant
The new Samsung Galaxy Watch can be made to be your personal secretary or assistant by bringing up a host of information and reminders throughout the day. As you wake up the 360 x 360 AMOLED display, it can let you know what’s in store for the next ten hours and keeps pace with you literally as you go for your morning walk or a jog. Not only would it show you the different health parameters the fitness trackers are expected to do but will add a word of appreciation for your efforts and encourage you to plough ahead. And then by bedtime, it gives you a summary of how the day went and what got achieved. You can really get a great deal out of the Samsung Galaxy Watch if you set it up to your personal needs.
The rotating bezel, a la Apple Watch’s Digital Crown, is good from the design aspect and offers you the convenience of navigating through the display.
Smart Under the Hood and Fine Performance
The Samsung Galaxy Watch is run by a dual-core Exynos 9110 processor and the RAM support is 768 MB. The processor clocks a speed of 1.15 GHz. 4 GB onboard storage is provided. On the operating system, Samsung has moved beyond Google’s Wear OS and has loaded its in-house Tizen OS. The OS is seen to be quite efficient and fast at letting you switch the display or bringing in the app you desire to open and so on. The operation of the rotating bezel has been nicely integrated with the OS as well. The battery power is either 472 mAh or 270 mAh depending on the model you have chosen. The wireless charging dock is part of the supply and is convenient to charge the device. A fully charged watch may last anywhere between 120 hours and 160 hours depending on various factors.
You can leave the Samsung Galaxy Watch in the Always On position or if you are keen on conserving the battery you can switch it off. Samsung claims the new watch is US Military Standard Compliant (MIL-STD-810G).
Samsung Could Have Done Better in Some Areas
As the title suggests, those already using the previous version, the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch may not find any dramatic change in the Samsung Galaxy Watch released in August. On the other hand, most reviews across the board have come up with many shortcomings in the new device and feel Samsung could have taken a little more care. Some of these are, as below:
- Could have stuck to Wear OS? Samsung might have been keen to promote its own Wearable OS Tizen. But the downside in this is that there are not many apps developed to run on this OS. As a result, you don’t get the same experience in using the apps and always leaves you with the feeling that you are missing something
- The Bixby woes continue: Samsung is still to come to terms with its voice assistant Bixby being able to understand the American way of English pronunciation and often gets them wrong. Some feel it is slow to respond to other easy commands or questions even. The Samsung Galaxy Watch does not have any feature to connect through home-automation apps, a growing use for the smartwatches of other brands
- Samsung Pay not fully functional: There have been reports of the Samsung Pay feature not really working at all outlets or with banks. The integration work is not complete, possibly!
You can buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch for $279.99 with the 42 mm dial or for $299.99 with a 46 mm dial. The watch was launched along with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 smartphone and might have escaped attention due to the hype around the smartphone.
But, in the overall analysis, you won’t be much disappointed at having invested your dollars. The point being made here is that for a new and updated model of a smartwatch from a leader like Samsung, you would have expected a lot more changes from the previous versions of the Samsung Gear S3 or the Gear Sport edition from the same manufacturer. On that count, it appeared to disappoint. Plus, the fact that you miss out on using many useful apps due to the compatibility issue with the Tizen OS.