Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy Watch 3. Time to upgrade?

Samsung has once again absolutely outdone itself with the release of the new GALAXY WATCH 4. Although it may be tempting to assume that the Galaxy watch 4 is merely an updated sequel to the phenomenal GALAXY WATCH 3, in reality, the newly released Galaxy Watch 4 is a whole other beast! 

Not only does it provide extraordinary performance at a staggering price point, but it also revolutionizes the smartwatch game, elevating the industry standard to an entirely new level!

Related reading:

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Specs and Features vs. Galaxy Watch 3

both models of Samsung's Galaxy 4 Watch
Samsung’s Watch 4 series includes two different models: the Watch 4 (similar to Active2) and the Watch 4 Classic (similar to Watch 3)

Wondering what the key differences are between the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 3?

  1. The Galaxy Watch 4 features the new Android Wear OS 3 and Samsung’s One UI, while the Galaxy Watch 3 runs Samsung’s own Tizen OS 5.5.
  2. The Galaxy 4 Watch includes 16GB of RAM vs. 8GB on the Watch 3.
  3. Samsung’s Watch 4 includes the Exynos W920 (5nm) chip vs. The Watch 3’s earlier Exynos 9110 (10nm.)
  4. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 features an all-new Body Composition analysis using its bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) feature. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 BIA tool
  5. Improved battery life on the Galaxy Watch 4 with 40 hours between charging.
  6. When sleeping, the Galaxy Watch 4 measures blood oxygen (SPo2) every minute vs. every 30 minutes on the Galaxy Watch 3.
  7. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 includes two looks–Classic, which resembles the Watch 3, and Galaxy Watch 4, which resembles the Active 2.

Now, let’s have a look at a comparison of tech specifications for the newly released GALAXY WATCH 4 (Classic 46mm) vs. the Galaxy Watch 3 (45mm):

  SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 4

(Classic 46mm)

SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 3 (45mm)
Dimensions 45.5 X 45.5 X 11 mm; 20mm strap width 46.2 X 45 X 11.1 mm; 22mm strap width
Weight with bracelet 52 grams 53.8 grams 
Screen 1.36” Circular AMOLED circular screen; Full color Always On Display with 16 million colors (450 X 450 pixels); 330 PPI 1.40’ Super AMOLED; Full-color AOD with 16 million colors (360 X 360 pixels); 364 PPI
Protection  Corning Gorilla Glass DX (Front panel); IP68 rating for water and dust resistance: 5 ATM and up to 50m water depth; US Military standard certification: MIL-STD 810G Gorilla Glass DX (Front panel); IP68 rating for water and dust resistance: 5 ATM and up to 50m water depth; US Military standard certification: MIL-STD 810G
Battery 361 mAh capacity; Fully charged in 1 hour 38 minutes; Wireless charging enabled 340 mAh capacity; Wireless charging enabled
Memory 1.5 GB RAM with 16 GB of internal storage 1 GB RAM with 8 GB of internal storage
Chipset Exynos W920 Dual-Core 1.18GHz (5nm processor) Exynos 9110 (10nm processor)
Operating System Android Wear 3.0 (Wear OS powered by Samsung); OneUI Watch 3.5 overlay Tizen OS 5.5
Compatibility Galaxy S series (S6 onwards)

Galaxy NOTE (Note 8 onwards)

Galaxy A and J (2016 version onwards)

Galaxy Z series

Galaxy S series (S6 onwards)

Galaxy NOTE (Note 8 onwards)

Galaxy A and J (2016 version onwards)

Galaxy Z series

Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0; WI-FI 2.4 and 5.0 GHz; GSM, HSPA, LTE, and NFC enabled. A-GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo. LTE on cellular models Bluetooth 5.0; WI-FI 2.4 and 5.0 GHz; GSM, HSPA, LTE, and NFC enabled
Ecosystem Google Assistant /Bixby; standard app store features with Gpay, Google assistant and YouTube music; 3rd party app access for fitness, music, and communication; Samsung Health real-time data synchronization Galaxy, Bixby, Samsung Pay, Music, and Fitness 3rd party app access
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Light Sensor, Optical Heart Rate Sensor, Electrical heart sensor, Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Sensor, Hall sensor. Microphone and Speaker GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, Galileo, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope, Heart rate sensor. Microphone and Speaker
Out of the box content Galaxy watch 4 (classic), Ridge sports bracelet, wireless charger, Quick Start guide Galaxy watch 3, bracelet, Charger, Getting started guide
Health, Sport and Wellness features Step counter, Calories counter, Continuous heart rate monitor, Blood pressure, VO2, SPO2, Body composition, Snoring detection, Sleep assistance, Menstruation cycle, hand cleaning detection, 40+ exercise automatic detection counter Step counter, Calories burner, Blood pressure, Heart rate monitor, ECG, etc.
Price and Warranty $349 – $429; Standard Samsung warranty (USA). Galaxy Watch 4 model starts at $249. Standard Samsung warranty (USA) $275; Standard Samsung warranty (USA)

 

Let’s delve deeper into the features of Galaxy watch 4 and Galaxy watch 4 Classic:

Sleek Design, Amazing Fit

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is available in 4 elegant colors: Black, Rose gold, Silver, and Olive green. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Like Galaxy watch 3, it is available with interchangeable straps that provide a similar range of color choices. However, the wristbands are also available in White and yellow. 

Weighing at 50 grams, Galaxy watch 4 classic has a screen size of 1.36′ compared to the slightly larger screen of the Galaxy watch 3 detailing at 1.40′. The base Galaxy watch 4 (42mm) has a screen size of 1.2 inches.

Galaxy watch 3 was also slightly heavier in comparison, weighing at 53 grams. The lighter weight is noticeable when wearing the Galaxy watch 4 and fits perfectly despite its smaller strap width. 

Like the Galaxy watch 3, Galaxy watch 4 Classic has two physical buttons on the watch’s right side and a rotating bezel. However, the rotating bezel is absent on the Galaxy watch 4 base model. 

The new strap on the Galaxy Watch 4 is sweat-resistant and more comfortable. You can easily switch your straps and match them to what you are wearing!

Samsung has also adjusted the space between the sensors on the back of the watch and your skin to provide more accurate health readings.

In fairness, although there are a few similarities between Galaxy watch 3 and Galaxy watch 4 in terms of the design, perhaps Galaxy watch 4 has more in common with the Galaxy watch Active series than Galaxy watch 3.

Sale
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 42mm Smartwatch with ECG Monitor Tracker for Health Fitness Running Sleep Cycles GPS Fall Detection LTE US Version, Silver
  • Stay connected wherever you are with LTE Connectivity (LTE service required).
  • Get ready to crush your wellness goals with body readings right on your wrist.

A Mind-blowing Screen and Top-notch Protection Classic model of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

With its super AMOLED screen and smoother operation, the Galaxy watch 4 wins over the Galaxy watch 3. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Dimensions
Source: Reddit

Despite having a smaller screen size and pixels per inch (PPI), the pixel resolution for Galaxy watch 4 is much greater and sharper in comparison. Although the images on the screen look crisp and smooth, the screen itself does not suffer from any lag or pixelation issues.

Moreover, much like the Galaxy watch 3, Galaxy watch 4 has an impressive IP68 rating. It can be entirely functional for up to 50 meters deep in water and withstand 5 ATM pressure without any hindrances. IP 68 rating also ensures that no dust can enter the device. With its dust and water resistance, it definitely would come in handy to those who love to dive or swim daily. 

In addition, the Gorilla glass DX provides maximum resistance against scratch or breaks. Furthermore, the Galaxy watch 4 has also received the standard US military certification, which is phenomenal. 

This certification means that, combined with the exceptional levels of dust and water resistance, the watch can also survive harsher conditions as necessary. 

However, the base model of Galaxy watch 4 is protected by Gorilla Glass DX+, which is softer but yet equally responsive to rugged environments.

Long-lasting Battery accompanied by Unparalleled Processing Power

Galaxy watch 4 classic and Galaxy watch 3 have almost similar battery capacities. However, Galaxy watch 4 can attain a fully charged status within an hour and 38 minutes, much faster than the predecessor. 

The breakthrough chipset works in absolute coordination with the battery, and the drainage rate is not an issue. The battery-friendly chipset is highly economical when it comes to battery consumption. 

In addition, once fully charged, the smartwatch can last for up to 40 hrs. You can probably look forward to 4 – 5 days depending on what features you use (thanks to Alan for pointing this out! see comment). In comparison, Galaxy watch 3 lasted for barely 2-3 days at most on a single charge.

We plan on soon testing out a series of scenarios to figure out the actual battery performance. 

This boost in the battery is a significant step up and one of the best features of the latest Galaxy watch 4 that makes life easier for a bumbling and yet fast-paced lifestyle. Galaxy watch 4, Galaxy watch 4 classic, and Galaxy watch 3 all support wireless charging.

In terms of processing power, the Galaxy watch 4 boasts the brand new Exynos W920, and it is simply magnificent! 

The processing power is thanks to the groundbreaking architecture of 5nm processing, which ensures faster operations when compared to the 10nm processor in the Galaxy watch 3. 

Samsung claims 20 percent better CPU performance and ten times better GPU performance with the Exynos 920 than its previous wearable chip. 

The new wearable chip from Samsung also includes a Cortex-M55 processor dedicated to driving an always-on display, which will help reduce power consumption.

In addition, the graphics are even smoother in the Galaxy watch 4 and Galaxy watch 4 Classic compared to Galaxy watch 3. To be precise, the Galaxy watch 4 classic has 9 times smoother rendering rate, which is truly exceptional for a smartwatch!

Sale
Samsung Electronics Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 46mm Smartwatch with ECG Monitor Tracker for Health Fitness Running Sleep Cycles GPS Fall Detection LTE US Version, Black
  • Stay connected wherever you are with LTE Connectivity (LTE service required).
  • Get ready to crush your wellness goals with body readings right on your wrist.

Jacked up Memory and Storage Along with the advent of Fabulous Wear 3 OS

This watch is the first time that a Samsung smartwatch will boast WearOS 3.0 straight from Google. 

The partnership between Samsung and Google has truly brought about a practical and efficient operating system for the smartwatch. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 One UI Wear 3.0

Hence, the opportunities with a Samsung Galaxy watch 4 and Watch 4 classic are truly bountiful! The inclusion of WearOS 3.0 in Galaxy watch 4 broadens the horizon with access to apps like Google Play Store, Google Maps, Google calendar, etc. It provides support for various third-party applications like Spotify, Pandora, etc. Android connectivity Galaxy Watch 4

Sharing the health-based data and biometrics with third-party applications implies that the watches now will have a greater range of access and will prove to be more efficient and accessible. 

This issue has been a prolonged weakness for Tizen as the smartwatches could not access apps from Google or share data on a global scale with other third-party applications. 

Additionally, Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic have OneUI piled on top of the WearOS. This addition further ensures that there are also greater options for the watch face customization in terms of the on-screen look. 

In summary, WearOS 3.0 with the OneUI overlay brings about the best unique user experience that is possible on any smartwatch currently available in the market, including Galaxy watch 3.

A new WearOS is not the only exciting addition to the Galaxy watch 4. 

The Galaxy watch 4 classic version also has a beefed-up 1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage space. Galaxy watch 3 had a much lesser 1 GB ram option with only 8 GB of storage space. 

This storage boost ensures faster and smoother loading operations along with multiple apps running at the same time. More storage space also lays the ground for additional apps, music, videos, and photos readily stored in the Galaxy watch 4 and Galaxy watch 4 classic.

Familiar Ecosystem, Boosted Sensors, and Amazing Connectivity

The new Wear OS 3.0 means that Galaxy watch 4 now also has the Google assistant (this feature is not yet available on the watch but is coming in a future update.) 

Although it may be tempting to assume that having Google assistant would perhaps mean the end of an era for Bixby, that is not the case for Galaxy watch 4 and the classic version. 

The latest smartwatch by Samsung supports both Bixby and Google assistant, while Galaxy watch 3 only supported Bixby. 

The familiar ecosystem for anyone well acquainted with an Android Device is soothing, especially considering the revamped Google maps experience. 

Access to the other Google store apps also feels great on the new Galaxy watch 4 classic. The apps under Wear OS 3.0 now load up to 35% faster than before, and any app that exhibits a One UI counterpart, will by default, be downloaded to the Galaxy watch 4. 

In addition, the Galaxy Watch 4 and the classic version also feature an improved Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, WiFi dual-band 2.4 and 5Ghz connectivity, and LTE. 

The ecosystem also boasts real-time Samsung health app data synchronization, a fantastic feature for the maintenance and contextual sharing of individual biometric data without any hassle whatsoever. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 upgraded Sensors

Besides having an efficient ecosystem, the Galaxy watch 4 and the classic version also possess many sensors, many unavailable in Galaxy watch 3.

Galaxy watch 4 is indeed the first-ever smartwatch in the world to measure body composition. This feature means that the watch can read out the percentage of body fat in an individual with a high degree of accuracy. 

The BIA sensor supports this Body Composition Analysis. BIA stands for Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis and how that works is truly fascinating. Samsung has also completed a few clinical studies around this feature before introducing the feature. 

Samsung body composition on Galaxy Watch 4
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 bioimpedance sensor features

Fat and muscle in the human body have different compositions and offer variegated electrical resistance. Hence, on sending out a small electric current through the body, the resistance faced by the electric current can be picked up by the sensor to figure out the makeup of fat and muscle in the body.

That gives a near accurate measurement of fat and muscle makeup for any individual, regardless of associated biotic and abiotic factors. You can adjust your diet and hydration to bring your body to a more healthy state.

The Galaxy watch 4 and the classic version also have a built-in GPS, GLONASS, Galileo for navigational support.

It also has the familiar Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope, and Altimeter readily available in all smartwatches. Besides having the BIA sensor, The Galaxy watch 4 and the Classic version also has other health sensors like ECG and PPG. 

The Electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor monitors abnormal currents in the heart, while the Photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors attribute to the continuous heart rate monitoring. 

Although the smartwatch was initially rumored to contain a non-invasive glucose monitoring sensor powered by Raman spectroscopy, sadly, that is not the case. However, there are rumors from Samsung that future watches will certainly contain the non-invasive glucose detection measure.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Sleep Monitoring

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Sleep monitoring

Your watch and phone can automatically track your snoring patterns, blood oxygen levels (every second), and respiratory rate. The Samsung health app will provide you with detailed sleep metrics.

There is also a SpO2/VO2 sensor that detects the Oxygen Desaturation (OD) rate of the blood, helping to monitor the oxygen levels in the blood and preventing sleep apnea. 

While SPO2 measures the peripheral capillary oxygen saturation levels, VO2 spells out the total volume of oxygen being used up by the body while physically at work. Regardless of the functions, the sensors do an exceptional job at giving out these accurate readings.

Amazing Value for Money with exceptional health and wellness features

When considering a good smartwatch with FDA-cleared ECG functionality and health and wellness features, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 OR even the Active 2 certainly provides excellent bang for the buck. Samsung Galaxy Watch Sports modes

However, the Tizen-based older models are handicapped by the app choices they offer. This is where Samsung Galaxy watch 4 truly makes its mark. 

The Galaxy watch 4 has some remarkable features powered by the new WearOS. It has a remarkable screen, faster processing capabilities, greater image rendering, and superior battery power encased in a genuinely captivating and comfortable design. 

Samsung also introduced new Gesture controls that work flawlessly with the One UI interface. Just shake your wrist to handle a notification!

In addition, the Galaxy Watch 4 provides some of the most significant health and wellness features in a smartwatch. Besides having the traditional step counter, calorie-burning counter, etc., the smartwatch has sleep monitoring features that can detect snoring and sleep apnea with advanced sleep assistance. 

Moreover, the watch can constantly monitor the resting heart rate and the maximum level of oxygen supplied through the lungs. Furthermore, it can readily determine the peripheral oxygen levels emanating from the SpO2/VO2 sensors, which is incredibly accurate even while somebody may be in a deep state of slumber. 

With the world’s first-ever body composition analysis feature readily available, it truly hits all the checkboxes that a health-conscious individual truly needs. 

It can support  40+ different exercise routines and automatically detect rowing, biking, elliptical, etc. It has automatic counters for various dynamic training routines, including the heart rate zone training and more. 

In addition, revamped app experience from google play stores and pre-installed apps make life truly seamless with the new Galaxy watch 4 and the galaxy watch 4 Classic. 

The biometric data management and accessibility have been upgraded in the latest Galaxy watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. It is readily sharable not only with Samsung health platforms but also with additional third-party apps. 

Pricing and Availability

Although Galaxy watch 3 may be less expensive now, at a price point of 480 USD, Galaxy watch 4 Classic is undoubtedly the ultimate VALUE FOR MONEY smartwatch that anybody can purchase at the market right now.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Details Pricing and availability

Pricing:

Here are some of the models and their respective pricing:

Sale
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 44mm Smartwatch with ECG Monitor Tracker for Health Fitness Running Sleep Cycles GPS Fall Detection LTE US Version, Black
  • LTE Connectivity: Call, text and stream without your phone. (LTE service required).
  • Get ready to crush your wellness goals with body readings right on your wrist.
  1. Galaxy Watch4
    1. 40mm Bluetooth/WiFi – $249.99 & 44mm Bluetooth/WiFi – $279.99
    2. 44mm LTE – $329.99 & 40mm LTE – $299.99
  2. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
    1. 42mm Bluetooth/WiFi – $349.99 & 46mm Bluetooth/WiFi – $379.99
    2. 42mm LTE – $399.99 & 46mm LTE – $429.99

You can pre-order yours today with an expected release in late August.

Two variants of Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 classic is available in two variants: 46mm and 42mm. Although Galaxy watch 4 Classic and galaxy watch 3 differ by a negligible millimeter, the latest release looks and feels roughly the same size as the previous galaxy watch 3 (45mm).

The smartwatch has a fantastic fit, and the difference between the two watches becomes more prominent when considering the screen size. 

What are the key differences between Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic? Galaxy Watch 4 Classic model vs Watch 4 by Samsung

Surprisingly, there is a hundred-dollar price tag difference between the Classic and the Watch 4 models. And interestingly, the hardware inside is all the same–no upgrades on the more expensive model.

The differences are all in the look and exterior including screen sizes, weight, colors, and bezel.

  1. The Bezel. The Classic Watch 4 model includes a rotating bezel, while the Watch 4 includes a digital bezel.
  2. The Look. Samsung’s Classic Watch 4 looks and feels like a traditional watch, much like the Watch 3. The Watch 4 looks like your standard smartwatch–similar to the earlier Active2.
  3. Available Colors. The Watch 4 includes black, silver, green (on the larger 44mm) and pink gold (on the smaller 40mm) models. The Classic Watch 4 includes black and silver models only.
  4. Screen Size. The Classic offers 46mm and 42mm models. The Watch 4 offers 44mm and 40mm.
  5. Weight. The Classic weighs a bit more, at 1.83 ounces for the 46mm and 1.64 oz for the 42mm. The Watch 4 weighs in at 1.06 oz for the 44mm and .91 oz for the 40mm.
  6. Price. You pay for the Classic’s traditional look. It starts at $349.99, while the Watch for Starts at $249.99. So there’s a $100 difference for that “classic” look.

Summary

The major concerns regarding an upgrade pertain to the new software from Google. In terms of hardware, Samsung has hit it out of the park! ( Wear OS 3). It remains to be seen what the two companies have done beyond the unified UI. This will also be a challenge for Google to see if they have actually taken advantage of the new Samsung processor.

This watch from Samsung also becomes the first watch to feature the new Google Wear OS 3. As of right now, the only Wear OS 3 watches we know for sure are these two from Samsung. Fossil will be making watches for this holiday season, but they will not launch with this new Wear OS 3 platform. 

Last update on 2021-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products and have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In my day job, I advise fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health&fitness-tech evolution and keep a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch or Fossil Gen 5 LTE and keep a close eye on my HRV and other recovery metrics.

4 COMMENTS

    • Alan, you are right. The 46mm can stretch out to 4 – 5 days according to tests and not 7 days./. For consistency and accuracy purposes, we are going to change it to the 40 hrs as mentioned in the specs and will revise it when we test it ourselves along with checking out the low power mode.

      • 4-5 days I would be delighted with as I’ve got this watch on pre-order. My OG Galaxy Watch is more like a 3 day watch with light usage and was a big battery downgrade from the Frontier. Thanks very much and it’s a well researched article.

  1. Right here is the right blog for everyone who would like to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject which has been discussed for many years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent.

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