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The Galaxy Watch 3 is expensive (Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
News and leaks
So far there aren’t many Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 leaks, but one big one is that it might run Wear OS rather than Tizen. That comes from Ice Universe (a leaker with a decent track record) who claims that Samsung’s «new watch» will switch to Android (presumably meaning Wear OS).
Of course, even if they’re right they don’t mention the Galaxy Watch 4 by name — it’s possible that the new watch in question could be a new Galaxy Watch Active model.
Samsung’s new watch will use Android to replace Tizen.February 19, 2021
However, there’s growing evidence that some Samsung smartwatch will run Wear OS, as mention of a device codenamed ‘Merlot’ has also been spotted alongside the words Wear OS in Samsung source code.
We’ve also heard the same claim from another source, who adds that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 will have a similar design to its predecessor, complete with a rotating bezel, and that it will be available in the same colors as 2021’s «Galaxy Z.»
That last bit is deeply unclear, both because no Galaxy Z models have launched yet this year, and because it’s not clear whether they mean the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 3 or the Galaxy Z Flip 3.
However, rumored colors for those phones include black and green for the Fold 3, and black, beige, green, and light violet for the Flip 3.
One rumor also suggests an upcoming Samsung Galaxy smartwatch will have a glucometer, for measuring the blood sugar of the wearer. It’s not clear if this is for the Galaxy Watch 4 or Galaxy Watch Active 3, or both.
Beyond all that, there are a few things that we can predict. Based on previous models it’s likely that the Galaxy Watch 4 will be available in two different sizes, optionally come with LTE, and in all cases come with a heart rate monitor, an ECG, GPS, and a circular AMOLED screen.
It will also almost certainly come with a variety of exercise and activity tracking features, along with a swim-safe build.
What we want to see
As excellent as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is, there’s always room for improvement, and we think Samsung would do well to start with the following five things.
1. Better battery life
Battery life is a problem with a lot of smart devices, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is no exception. While its life isn’t terrible, it does need charging every two to three days in our tests.
Worse still, the size of the battery and the life it delivers are both actually a step down from the original Samsung Galaxy Watch, so for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 we want to see a return to form, with a battery that can go four to five days between charges.
That might be tricky while keeping the wearable slim, but if any company can do it it’s one with the resources of Samsung.
2. A lower price
With a starting price of $399 / £399 / AU$649 and a price of $479 / £459 / AU$849 for a 45mm model with LTE, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is far from cheap. In fact, its starting price is higher than that of an Apple Watch 6 in many regions, which seems excessive.
So for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 we want a lower starting price, perhaps more in line with the original Galaxy Watch, which started at $329 / £279. At the very least though we really hope Samsung doesn’t further push the price up.
3. ECG and SpO2 out of the box
Not all of the Galaxy Watch 3’s fitness features were active initially (Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is packed full of health features, including an ECG (electrocardiogram), blood pressure monitoring, and an SpO2 monitor for detecting sleep apnea, but none of them were available in all regions at launch.
That’s because these features each need certifying by regulatory bodies in most countries before being activated in them, but it was a shame to have a premium product where many of its advertised features didn’t initially work.
So for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 we want these features to still be included, but we want them all to be active everywhere on day one.
4. More apps
For its Galaxy Watch wearables Samsung has opted to use Tizen, rather than Wear OS. That’s not entirely a bad thing since Tizen has a lot to like about it, but one area where it struggles even more than Google’s smartwatch operating system is apps.
As well as only offering a rather limited number of apps, it also lacks some of the most useful smartwatch ones, such as Google Maps.
We’d love to see this situation somehow improved for the Galaxy Watch 4, whether it’s through Samsung somehow incentivizing developers to bring more apps to its device, or producing more and better apps of its own to make up for the omissions.
5. A new chipset and more RAM
(Image credit: TechRadar)
Smartwatch specs don’t move on as fast as smartphone ones do, which is why the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 uses the same chipset as the original Galaxy Watch. Not only that, but it also has less RAM (at just 1GB) than the LTE version of the first Samsung Galaxy Watch.
While performance is solid, it’s definitely time Samsung improved both the chipset and RAM situation, so we want a new one of the former and at least 1.5GB of the latter in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
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