Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Sports & Fitness Video Review Posted

This is a super quick post for folks waiting on the Samsung Galaxy Watch4 In-Depth review, to note that the video review is now up and available! I’ll have the written review out shortly, but this gets you a head start on things, and is basically a distilled version of what I cover in the written review. In the in-depth written review I’ll also cover non-new things like general activity tracking, sport mode profiles a bit more, and then of course provide all the original/raw data comparison sets to dig into (and a lot more examples of them). This is based on three Watch4 units I have: One Watch4 Classic, and two different Watch4 (base) units.

The results in the video include workouts as recent as yesterday (with firmware as recent as then too). The video is timestamped, so here are the key parts of the video if you want to dive straight in:

0:00 Overview of Models
1:58 WearOS 3.0 and Sports Apps
3:13 Body Composition Measuring
5:35 New Optical HR Sensor
6:23 Sleep & Snoring Tracking
7:19 Nightly Blood Oxygen Tracking
7:51 Compass in Google Maps
8:27 ECG Functionality
9:15 Blood Pressure Measurement
9:52 Running Tests
11:49 Cycling Tests
13:11 Swim Testing
14:40 Wrap-up

Again, hoping to have the written review up shortly – but just wanted to get this in people’s hands until that is finished. Feel free to drop any questions below of course too!

Thanks for watching!


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  1. Bernhard Hartmaier

    Hey Rey, thanks for this video. If You compare the Galaxy Watch with the Apple Watch, which is the better Watch to run and all in all?
    And what’s the rumors about the Garmin Fenix 7, will this watch soon be released?

    • From a pure HR/GPS accuracy standpoint, there’s no comparison – easily Apple Watch (any of the recent generations are better). For the most part, Apple tends to be industry-leading in optical HR accuracy. GPS can be a bit trickier for them depending on smoothing aspects, but in general, they’re in the top-tier too (especially swimming).

      Beyond that, feature-wise it gets messier. And ultimately, for the Watch4, there’s almost nobody that would be choosing between an Apple Watch and this Samsung Watch4, because both require you to be in their respective ecosytsems. Meaning an Apple Watch requires an iPhone, whereas this Samsung Watch4 requires a Samsung phone to get full utilization of it (or at a minimum an Android phone to get partial usage of it – no iOS devices permitted here).

      Not sure about rumors, other than to note most rumors are simply things made up by people that want something to happen (or, want something to happen for click-reasons), rather than people actually knowledgeable about when it’ll happen.

    • Corey

      Interesting choice by Samsung to not have any iPhone integration. I get it with Apple; they like to pretend that non-Apple phones aren’t even a thing. But Samsung seems to be seriously limiting their audience by only integrating with Samsung phones (fully) and other Androids (partially). Seem like their watch is only really meant to boost their phone sales, and not really intended to be a flagship product.

    • Dave Lusty

      With the Fenix line it’s almost impossible to guess as Garmin have not had a consistent schedule or product line, or even numbering. It’s entirely possible there won’t be a Fenix 7 (although I feel like Ray said he was sure there’d be a 9 once…he may have been kidding), there wasn’t a 4. They have had 12, 18 and 24 month refreshes in the past depending on whether you count things such as solar as a new version. They’ve released at CES in January and they’ve released on a random Garmin schedule in July. They seem to be settling on a big.little release of major every 3 years and minor in between. That would put a as coming pretty soon as a major version.

      One thing that’s been consistent is that supply is usually short at the start, and early watches have more issues than later in the production run. This year will be worse for supply so either Garmin are smart and won’t announce until stock has shipped, or there may be big delays after launch. Garmin are usually smart enough to work these things out.

      Traditionally Garmin have sided with selling out older models for the holidays rather than launching in time for them, but again that depends on the range. This is the “outdoor” team rather than fitness and they seem to aim at summer in the north.

      At this point though, the F6 Pro Solar is a great watch and pretty much unrivalled. It’s solid and tested and feature rich. If you needed a watch today then buy one today. If you need a watch for next summer and have something else for right now then wait.

      Nobody actually knows anything, as Ray said it’s mostly clickbait and fun conjecture. Anybody that does know anything for sure is under NDA so probably no point asking them :)

    • mjw149

      This was probably part of their deal with Google, and also because of Apple blocking key functionality for rival smartphones, making it unpopular while also costing support money.

    • Tams

      It’s a bit odd to blame Samsung for that.

      Sure Apple don’t outright block third party devices working with their devices, but they don’t open up their devices for it. Notice how so many that do work have limited functionality? If that’s an issue for you the blame almost wholly lies with Apple.

      I assume that Samsung decided that with the change to Wear OS, that it just wasn’t worth the effort to port over the few features they could for Apple devices. And, yes, they are trumping their own devices, but how is that any different to the fruity company?

  2. Anne Romanowski

    Any idea how to close apps on the classic 4? Battery doesn’t last 16 hours.

  3. Bruno Moraes

    Hi Ray! A small typo on the Running Test time stamp. Maybe 9:52?

  4. Chris Holton

    Very off topic – sorry! – A lot of garmin devices (bike computers/fenix watches etc) are being discounted at the moment, is this in preparation for new ones incoming shortly?

    • Rui Pereira

      It’s a bit of the usual discounting by Garmin since there were some releases from competitors, but it will also surely announce something shortly, it’s time for that. Last week some updates were made available for some Garmin watches and I started to get Power in Strava for the first time (Fenix 6 + Stryd), so something is brewing, maybe some watch with wrist based power.

    • Dave Lusty

      Got to be a new Edge coming soon, I can’t remember the last time they updated an Edge computer not counting the minor refresh plus models! The smart question there is what are Ray’s travel plans in early October…

  5. Steven from Germany

    Great to see the review!
    A heads up: The folks on XDA seem to have been able to mod the Samsung App to remove the restriction on having to use a Galaxy device for the advanced features.
    They already did that for the last version, and if history is anything to go by, then one could expect them to be able to remove this limitation in future App updates also.
    Sadly no garantuee it will keep working, but at least a good chance.

  6. Oliver

    Personally I would have much preferred that they kept with Tizen rather than WatchOS. It was so much more smooth, streamlined and battery life was off the charts, in comparison. All I wanted was better HR / GPS accuracy and workout tracking … all of which could have been done on Tizen.

    • Justin

      Tizen was cartoonishly unsecured. The code was laughably bad, so much so it made its way to tech media on how easy it was to hack. This isn’t some minor product; it’s a significant company with a massive install base. Having that many hackable issues there was the biggest reason I never even considered picking up any Samsung watch.

    • Tams

      I generally keep abreast of tech news and never heard anything about any of that. Nothing. So have you got any sources for that?

      Tizen is a branch of Meego, which ultimately is Red Hat Linux mixed with a bit of Debian. I don’t see why it would be insecure.

  7. Mr. T

    I wonder at some point if will you stop doing write ups. I mean I love them, I can’t watch videos at work and I like to go through at my own pace. But I realize they can be a lot of effort to put them (and any video work) together seems like a lot.

    I know many people are visual and videos are a great way of communicating so I’m probably the odd ball here.

    Cant’ wait to read the review.

    • The Real Bob

      You are not alone, I prefer reading. It allows you time to ponder the written word. I almost never watch the videos.

    • “I wonder at some point if will you stop doing write ups.”

      I wouldn’t anticipate that happening. In most cases, I can pull off both at once. This and next week is super busy with things tied to specific embargo/release timeframes, so trying to be semi-proactive and cut my loses on some things to save other things hitting their dates later over the next week or two. Ideally I would have had both done in time, but alas, it’s just me and there are only so many hours in the day. In the case of the Watch4, I’ve got all the data done, and most of the photos done. So it’s just writing text around it all, which for me, is pretty easy.

      In the case of the Samsung products in general, they tend to pop more on YouTube, and YouTube tends to reward the early bird far more heavily than Google Search does. Whereas on the site, I can basically throw down enough words/details to win on SEO eventually.

      Some products I do indeed only review on YouTube – mainly more general drones (such as a DJI Mavic series usually), though every once in a while if things are quiet I’ll do it in both places.

      Inversely, there’s lots of stuff I don’t bother to review on YouTube as it just doesn’t do as well there for me (some wearables, and some power meter stuff, and other more deep technical things).

    • Kiara

      I deeply prefer write ups, so thank you. I am just so not a video person and I’ve followed you for years because of your write ups.

    • dan

      YES!!! Quite honestly I can read way faster than watching a video. I cannot stand how the world has switched to video instead of writing. I don’t want to watch videos, just give me words so I can read.

    • Christian Köhler

      I also prefer reading the reviews.

      English is not my native language. I have no problems reading the written reviews. But watching your videos is
      challanging for me because you talk very rapidly.

      Anyway, your reviews are very valuable and helpfull.

  8. Super Sierra

    Great review as always. It sucks that it (still) so inacurate in open water. I wonder if that’s fixable.
    My Galaxy Watch Active 2 died this summer after swimming in the sea, but I was willing to give it another shot since I could still trade it in for 60 euros witch made the upgrade affordable.
    I just need a basic watch for running, cycling as a backup of my bike computer, plus indoor and open water swimming. I don’t really care about the advanced functions, all I care is activity logging into Strava where I can track my progress.
    A Coros Pace 2 would do the job for cheap, but I’d miss the basic smartwatch features I got used to with the GWA2, and I would like to have access to YT music.
    Hopefully there are new Wear OS watches around the corner. I would love a G-Shock with the new Wear OS !

  9. Rui Pereira

    @Ray just noticed I’m getting Samsung banners on your website (specifically for Galaxy 4 watch), I think that’s not supposed to happen (horizontal at the bottom of the screen and also vertical banner in down right corner).

  10. Jan

    Hi, thanks for the review.

    I would only consider this with LTE for leaving the phone at home when biking, running.

    Is there any chance you would review the LTE model just for the standalone “phone” capability?

  11. Heikki Jaakkola

    Probably will be in full review, but I’m especially interested how can I use chest strap with Watch 4?

  12. Roy

    Hi DC
    Is it possible to receive calls during swimming in pool with the LTE version of the galaxy watch 4 ?

  13. Reposted:

    Hoo boy where do I begin

    I REALLY wanted to like this watch. It allowed me to continue to use Samsung Health after they took all the sensors off phones. I like the recently added Google Voice integration. I liked the look and feel of the watch and the available apps. Since 99% of my fitness data is cycling or walking I didn’t thing any of the other sports watches were a good fit.

    Battery life: Abysmal. Some days I can get about 18 hours, but other days the watch will drain in 4-5 hours. No rhyme or reason for this — I wore the watch for the entire Triple Bypass Cycling event and was still at 50%, but another time I went to sleep at 85% only to have the watch shut down at 1% sometime in the night.

    Notification anomalies: Phantom Voice message notifications appear (LTE version) and cannot be dismissed on watch. Notifications from applications incomplete….some show full message, others just a “you have X new messages.”

    Support: Maddening. Sent the watch in for repair the first time and the unit was not checked for the issue stated in the repair order. At Samsung’s direction, I sent the watch in a SECOND time….I just received an E-mail for their repair center saying the watch is being returned unrepaired. No reason given and no one at Samsung seems to know what will happen next.

    Ray, if you’re reading this, I am now in the market for a sports watch. Is there an annual review of what’s out there?