The latest addition to Samsung’s line-up of smartwatches, the new Galaxy Watch4 Classic features a rotating bezel enhanced with a slew of innovative fitness-oriented features. Here’s our Samsung Galaxy Watch4 42mm Classic review where we determine if it’s worth the price of entry.
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 42mm Classic – Build and Design
Launched alongside the Galaxy Watch4, the Galaxy Watch4 Classic comes in both a 42mm and a slightly larger 46mm size and in LTE and WiFi only variants. For Malaysia, we’re getting the WiFi only variant with the option for both 42 and 46mm sizes in your choice of either black or white.
Out of the box, our Galaxy Watch4 Classic review sample came in a clean white cardboard box with a minimum of additional kit. On top of the watch itself, you get a magnetic charging dock that terminates in a USB-A port, a warranty card and a quick start manual. To its credit, the packaging is stackable, flat and is in line with their recent initiatives for more eco-friendly packaging.
Our Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic review sample is the 42mm model, featuring a 1.4-inch Super AMOLED round touchscreen display framed with a clicky rotating bezel made of a matte plastic that acts as a supplementary means to navigate the interface.
Its sibling the Galaxy Watch4 is otherwise identical but lacks the rotating bezel while having a slightly smaller dial size. The round AMOLED display is also protected by Gorilla Glass DX which adds a measure of resistance to nicks.
Placed at the 2 ‘o’clock and 4 ‘o’ clock positions are the power/home key limned in red and a back key with both made of metal. Combined with the rotating bezel and touchscreen, this allows for a variety of ways to navigate the user interface.
The watch case itself is made from aluminium with the underside hosting the heart rate sensor and other fitness tracking minutiae which magnetically latches onto the charging dock for charging the watch. Build quality is exceptional and the watch itself has a very respectable IP68 water and dust resistance rating so it can survive a shower and a dip in the pool without issue.
The lugs for mounting the pre-fitted Ridge-Sport band straps can be easily removed in keeping with its predecessors without the need for any tools via a quick-release pin.
The fluoroelastomer Ridge-Sport band proved to be comfortable for extended wear without any pinching or discomfort though more discerning users can swap it out for third-party straps. You can check out Red Army Watches Malaysia that keep a comprehensive set of third party straps that can match almost any mood or ensemble.
The 42mm model feels ideal on my wrist but those with larger hands and build will appreciate the slightly larger 46mm version which also has the benefit of a slightly larger battery too.
What third party watch straps support the Galaxy Watch4 Classic?
For reference, Samsung officially states that the Galaxy Watch4 Classic 42mm and 46mm support 20mm third party straps.
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic Review – Specifications
As the successors to last year’s Galaxy Watch3, the Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic is a step up from its predecessors with a new 5nm processor intended for wearables, a new ‘Wear OS powered by Samsung’ operating system that supersedes the prior Tizen OS in older examples in the line-up and more storage than ever before at 16GB for images and music.
The Galaxy Watch4 Classic also has several notable enhancements up its sleeve including a built-in speaker for music and calls, offline music playback with a ton of storage to do so and, in a notable first, fall detection which calls an SOS number if you suffer a bad fall. It is also the first time that Samsung has included a body composition monitor in a smartwatch which is quite a feat indeed. Here’s how it stacks up on paper
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic Specifications
Price RM1,299 (42mm) RM1,399 (46mm)
Display 1.4-inch Super AMOLED with Corning Gorilla Glass DX, 450 x 450 pixels, 321 ppi
Processor Exynos W92@1.18GHz
Memory 1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic Review – Setup and Performance
Getting our Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic review sample up and running was a relatively simple task. We paired it with a variety of devices including the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and the new Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. After activating Bluetooth, the watch effortlessly paired up and prompted for updates for both the watch itself and the Galaxy Wearable app.
One particular conundrum here is that the Galaxy Watch4 Classic plays best with Samsung’s own devices and to a certain extent other Android phones. While prior Galaxy Watch versions had a modicum of compatibility with iOS devices from Apple, it isn’t the case this time around and there is no available companion app that supports the Galaxy Watch4 on the Apple app store.
After the requisite updates of both the Galaxy Wearable app and the Watch4 Classic’s firmware, you can further customise the watch face you’d like to use from a plethora of free and paid for options as well as install a variety of additional third-party apps that are accessible off the Google Play store for wearables like the Adidas running tracker, Spotify, YouTube Music and the like though they’re all primarily fitness or music based with a smattering of weather apps.
The user interface still looks and feel familiar to longtime veterans as it still has the same menu design that they’ve dubbed as ‘One UI Watch’ while running Wear OS under the hood.
The prior Galaxy store on older Galaxy Watch smartwatches which ran on Tizen OS had a slew of quirky, if somewhat haphazardly curated games and even an in-watch browser – all will be missed.
Navigating the watch proved to be an intuitively smooth process and prior users of Samsung’s Galaxy Watch smartwatches and by extension Tizen OS will find the leap over to the Galaxy Watch4 Classic’s user interface an effortless affair.
The luscious Super AMOLED panel used in our Galaxy Watch4 Classic review sample was vibrant and luscious while delivering crisp detail even under direct sunlight. While it drains battery life at a faster clip, you can set the watch display to Always On so that it will constantly tell the time.
The watch also adds several gesture based controls. Shaking your arm up and down twice lets you answer incoming calls straight off the watch, which has a built-in mic and speaker. You can also rotate your wrist twice to cancel notifications or calls.
In terms of features, the Galaxy Watch4 Classic is able to monitor the usual activity tracking parameters including heart rate, sleep quality, step count, blood pressure, menstrual cycle, blood oxygen, stress levels as well as nine plus workouts (Walking, running, cycling, hiking, swimming, treadmill, exercise bike, circuit training, weight machine and more).
What’s new here is the addition of fall detection which needs to be manually enabled in the settings, ECG tracking though this isn’t enabled in Malaysia yet and an innovative Body Composition feature.
By holding your index and third finger on both buttons with your watch hand raised, the Galaxy Watch4 Classic’s Body Composition mode is then able to track your skeletal muscle mass, body fat, body water in kilos and your general BMR.
Most of the features on offer are useful indeed and are quite accurate with the body composition showing numbers close to what an official medical test indicated while step count and workout tracking were on the ball barring a miscounted step or two. The provided blood pressure test was also on the ball and were close to what a sphygmomanometer we had on hand showed.
There’s no comprehensive means to tie this wealth of fitness analytics together into a unified picture of your general health though so you’ll still need a fitness consultant or a doctor to make sense of all these analytics.
Of more practical use is the fact that you can load your own music tracks onto the watch or optionally play tracks via Spotify which makes it handy especially for outdoors runners.
The built-in mono speaker was pleasantly loud and while it’s not the most detailed, it has the ability to play tracks at maximum volume without distortion though a more socially prudent option would be listening via a pair of wireless earbuds using direct Bluetooth audio pairing like the Galaxy Buds2.
Battery life is fairly decent seeing the size of its display and the sophistication of its features. With a full charge in the morning, the watch is able to easily make it through a day with heavy usage with the Always On display activated and it even managed to eke out a day and a half plus with light usage though for added for peace of mind, it’s still best to charge it daily at the end of the day.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic?
The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic is a significant improvement over its predecessor the Galaxy Watch3 with more useful features while retaining the same classic good looks and a rotating dial.
It’s an easy recommendation for existing owners of a Samsung phone who have yet to own one and its array of new features, especially body mass composition analysis and fall detection make it a viable upgrade from those owning prior models.
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic review sample courtesy of Samsung Malaysia. Available online at https://www.samsung.com/my/watches/galaxy-watch/galaxy-watch4-classic-black-bluetooth-sm-r880nzkaxme/
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic
The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic is a beautifully designed smartwatch with a slick design, a useful rotating bezel to navigate the interface and a brilliant looking display. While it works best with Samsung devices, the Galaxy Watch4 Classic still has plenty to offer for other Android smartphone users.
Slick and beautiful design
Useful rotating bezel
IP68 water and dust resistance
Innovative body composition feature
Gorgeous AMOLED display,
Fall detection support
ECG feature still not available in Malaysia
Works best with Samsung phones