The Galaxy Watch 4 is Samsung and Google’s attempt to combine efforts and compete with Apple’s smartwatch – and it gets about 80% of the way there.
The Android smartwatch comes in two designs and four sizes, starting at £249 ($250) for the Watch 4 and £349 ($350) – as tested – for the Watch 4 Classic. They succeed the £269 Watch Active 2 and £399 Watch 3 respectively.
The two designs have the same chips, features and screen sizes, but the stainless steel Classic has Samsung’s jog-dial-like rotating bezel controller, while the standard aluminium Watch 4 has a touch-sensitive ring instead.
The rotating bezel controller is the best way to scroll and navigate on a smartwatch by far, turning with a satisfying step-by-step click, but you can swipe, tap and drag on the touchscreen too. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The watches are slimmer and have slightly more flare than their predecessors. The 42mm Classic is extremely comfortable and not sweaty to wear with its traditional silicone strap.
The AMOLED screen is excellent: bright, pin-sharp and on all the time if you want it to be. The display is covered in scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass DX+ and the watch is water resistant to 50-metre depths so should prove durable.
Screen: 1.2in or 1.4in AMOLED (~467/455 ppi)
Case size: 40/44mm or 42/46mm depending on version
Case thickness: 9.8 or 11/11.2mm
Band size: standard 20mm
Weight: 25.9/30.3 or 46.5/52g
Processor: Samsung Exynos W920