Samsung’s Wear OS line started strong in the mid-2010s as a potential Apple Watch competitor. However, the Korean smartphone maker backed off Wear OS through the late 2010s, eventually leaving the standard behind altogether.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 brings the Wear OS user interface roaring back to life, though, and that’s excellent news. Fans of high-end smartwatches who want something distinct from Apple’s offerings are in luck. Samsung’s latest wearable tech is their best watch yet.
Unlike its predecessor, the Galaxy Watch 4 doesn’t sport a physical rotating bezel. Instead, Samsung replaced the rotating dial-like functionality of the bezel with a haptic-powered virtual bezel. When you exert pressure on the outer ring of the watch, it buzzes to simulate the feeling of being turned. Devices with fewer moving parts on their exteriors tend to be more durable in the long run, so this change is understandable.
The new watch has a sleek design that looks right at home alongside Samsung’s flagship smartphones. The bezel is slim, and the entire gadget feels modern and understated. There are two face sizes available, 40mm and 44mm. In either case, the watch’s low profile makes it light and comfortable on your wrist.
The watch’s display is bright and clear. Images look crisp thanks to the 450 x 450 resolution on the 44mm screen. The smaller 40mm screen boasts a slightly smaller 396 x 396 display, but both come out to 330 pixels per inch. On a screen that small, 330 PPI is a stellar resolution.
The watch looks great, too. It comes in a variety of colors, including a sleek black and an eye-catching gold. Notably, the base colors are muted, which makes them visual cousins to Samsung’s smartphones. Users who want something brighter might want to invest in third-party wrist straps.
The most impressive thing about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4’s design is how rugged it is. The watch boasts IP68 water and dust resistance. That allows it to withstand water as deep as five meters, making it an excellent gadget for athletes.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is a welcome return to form for Wear OS. It sports a stylish design and excellent performance. Galaxy phone users will love the watch’s superb integration with Samsung’s existing ecosystem. The Galaxy Watch 4 is available now and starts at $250 for the 40mm face. The 44mm sells for $300, but deals for both sizes are available at some retailers.