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Samsung announces new Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic

Gareth Thomas
11 Aug 2021
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The new wearables include a faster processor, longer battery life and extra storage for less

Samsung has announced the arrival of two new flagship smartwatches: the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Watch 4 Classic. Both wearables are not only slimmer than last year’s version – the Galaxy Watch 3 – but are also powered by a new processor, with double the storage and a boosted battery life.

The regular Galaxy Watch 4 (available in 44mm and 40mm sizes) comes with an aluminium case with a low-profile digital bezel. The Watch 4 Classic is slightly larger, coming in 46mm and 42mm sizes and is closer in appearance to the original Galaxy Watch, with a stainless steel case and a physical rotating bezel.

The changes aren’t limited to the outside, though. The Galaxy Watch 4’s big new feature is the introduction of a new 5nm Exynos W920 processor, which replaces the previous 9110 found inside the previous Galaxy Watch 3 and original Galaxy Watch. According to Samsung, this upgrade promises a 20% increase in CPU processing speeds, and graphics rendering is 10 times faster than its predecessor.

As I mentioned earlier, both the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic also come with twice as much internal storage (16GB compared to the Watch 3’s 8GB), and 50% extra RAM (1.5GB compared to 1GB). This combination of upgrades means that not only will the Watch 4 feel more responsive in operation, but you can also store more songs locally for offline music playback, too.

As for the operating system, the Watch 4 will use Watch OS rather than the Tizen of its predecessors. Described as being “powered by Samsung”, this OS has been built jointly with Google, and allows you to use both Samsung and Google services and features, as well as third-party apps.

Beyond physical design, the two watches are mostly alike: both come with 361mAh (44mm/46mm) and 247mAh (40/42mm) batteries that promise up to 40 hours of stamina, with the ability to recharge fully in two hours. Depending on the size you go for, the Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic have either 1.36in (450 x 450) or 1.19in (396 x 396) Super AMOLED displays, with a total pixel density of 350ppi.

New performance features include snoring detection and continuous blood oxygen tracking throughout the night, as well as a body composition tool that offers insights on factors such as skeletal muscle, basal metabolic rate, water retention and body fat percentage for a "holistic health experience". This is done through Samsung’s new compact BioActive Sensor, a three-in-one sensor that measures heart rate through optical and electrical sensors, as well as bioelectrical impedance analysis. The watches will also allow you to smart track more than 100 different fitness activities, as well as being able to extend workouts to a compatible Samsung TV.

Despite these upgrades, the launch prices for the smaller Bluetooth-only models have been brought down to £249 (Watch 4) and £349 (Watch 4 Classic), while the 4G variants in the same size will cost £289 and £389 respectively. This is cheaper than the starting prices of both the Galaxy Watch (£279 for Bluetooth-only) and the Galaxy Watch 3 (£400). Both are also cheaper than Apple’s most recent wearable, the Apple Watch 6, which launched at £379 last year. 

The Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic are available to preorder from 11 August, with both devices going on sale on 27 August. 

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