[Review] Samsung Galaxy Watch4 well being & health monitoring options

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With the simultaneous release of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 in the latest Galaxy Unpacked, it’s safe to say that the Watch4 was far from the star of the show when it was unveiled.

However, it includes more than just incremental upgrades from the Watch3, which is why it’s worth talking about. Unfortunately, I’ve never experienced any previous Samsung smartwatch models, so instead of making hard comparisons, I’ll just share my thoughts on the Watch4’s new features.

Styled for the youth

I got the 40mm Galaxy Watch4 in rose gold, a very pretty color for those who want a more delicate looking accessory.

  • This picture makes me swallow some water and then do a bit of a jog (but I won’t).
  • The carriers are smooth and easy to clean.
  • A sleeker design, which makes it look less bulky than the Watch3.

It comes with silicone bands that seem more suitable for a fitness band, but since the Watch4 offers decent exercise options, it makes sense. Those with a more active lifestyle will find it easier to keep the watch clean.

The silicone bands are pretty stylish too, although they are definitely more geared towards the younger crowd. One of the features that Samsung highlighted was that your Watch4 face can match the cover display of your Z Flip3 and the marketing of the foldable phone is aimed at the younger generation so it is a safe conclusion.

You can choose to be more stylish with your watch face, but to me it’s a cute cat.

Overall, the Watch4 is comfortable to wear, even with my very small wrists. It didn’t feel bulky at all. The only thing that bothered me a bit was that I sometimes felt the watch’s silicone strap pinch my arm hair, but I think that’s a normal affair for my hairy armed comrades who wear wrist accessories.

A better extension of your phone

Setting up the Watch4 to pair with my Samsung Galaxy S20 was a smooth process and should be the same for everyone else with a Samsung or Android device. However, for those using iOS, this watch is not for you as Samsung has discontinued iOS support.

The Watch4 is the first Samsung smartwatch to run the new One UI Watch OS, the result of a collaboration between Samsung and Google.

This means that users no longer have to manually perform multiple downloads on the Watch4 as long as the Play Store app has a Watch app. Likewise, settings that have been optimized in your phone would be seamlessly reflected on your Watch4.

Having access to the Google Play Store on the watch also means you have broader access to various apps outside of the Samsung ecosystem, which older Samsung smartwatches with TizenOS lacked.

I had Spotify and Google Maps installed, and you can download some other apps like Calm for meditation or YouTube Music. I was mostly on Spotify, but the advantage of being able to control it from the Watch4 was lost for me as I was simply stuck at home with my phone by my side.

  • I make my dad call me because no one else will.
  • Top of the line communication means calling someone less than 10 meters away.

When I was out I could see how I use the Watch4 a lot more so that I can tweak my music without having to constantly touch and disinfect my phone. That being said, I have a complaint.

Since I could make and answer calls over the speaker on the Watch4, I found it strange that I couldn’t play my Spotify music out loud. Instead, you’ll need to use a Bluetooth wireless headset or earbuds.

This is a Watch4 review, but let me also only promote my Buds Live review because it was an interesting release.

The truth about my health

Let me begin this part with a confession that I am not a very health conscious person. But color me surprised when the Watch4 actually revealed that I was a decently healthy person. Okay, maybe not for my daily activity stats because I move almost as much as a rock and WFH doesn’t help.

Every day I only measure about 1,500 steps, and Samsung tells me that the goal is actually 6,000. Oh well. I’m also not touching the exercise function at all, but you can find the usual activities in it like hiking, circuit training, and more.

For those who are more active, these, along with heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and body composition characteristics, would give you a more holistic view of your body and health.

Personally, I was most interested in my sleep stats and stress levels. I would say I’m a decent sleeper with a relatively constant sleep schedule. Minus my first night with the Watch4, when I didn’t set it up properly, I slept the recommended 7 hours in 4 nights.

I hit my sleep KPIs, and I don’t want to boast, but my blood oxygen levels have always been over 94%.

Getting a better look at my sleep was interesting, but I can’t say that it made me change the way I was. The Watch4’s sensors seemed reasonably accurate, but they also showed that I woke up quite often at night, although I couldn’t remember. On the other hand, I’m a sleepwalker so maybe that was just me on autopilot.

I also learned that I’m not actually a very stressed person. Sure, my stress levels go up every now and then during the day, but most of the time I seem pretty calm. These were interesting dates to me as I’m generally quite scared, but maybe this has been a better week for me.

I’m not sure why I was stressed out at lunchtime, but the body works in mysterious ways.

However, if you want access to more electrocardiographic (EKG) capabilities and blood pressure monitoring, you will likely have to wait a while for Malaysia to get them. It’s a sought-after feature, but getting it approved often seems to come with a lot of restrictions and regulations.

That being said, the Watch4 is still a smartwatch with a multitude of features that have been enhanced by the new One UI OS.

verdict

I’m not the target market for the Watch4 so I wouldn’t be giving out RM899 or more for the 40mm version. I mostly track my sleep and stress levels, so a much cheaper fitness band would suit my needs better.

I don’t use the many other functions of the Watch4 enough. However, if you are an Android user looking for a new smartwatch that offers fitness and wellness trackers along with other lifestyle-enriching features, then the Watch4 is a strong competitor.

If you are considering it as a Watch3 user, the Watch4 is a definite upgrade, and for half the price of the Watch3 (RM 1,799 at launch) it’s a very attractive offer.

Its 247 mAh battery should last over a day even with sleep tracking and your GPS on. It doesn’t have great battery life, but turning off the always-on display, GPS, and putting it into sleep mode should give you more juice.

Charging is slow so my workaround is to charge it when I want to shower. When I’ve finished my post-shower routine about an hour later, the Watch4 is usually ready to return to my wrist.

advantages disadvantage
Comfortable fit with easy-to-clean straps Cannot play music through speakers
Clear speaker and microphone for calls Short battery life with long charging time
Other watch apps like Spotify and Google Maps
  • Find out more about the Watch4 here.
  • Read more VP judgments here.

VP Verdict is a series in which we personally try and test products, services, fads and apps. Would you like to suggest something else to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.

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