The blockbuster feature on new smartwatches that are making their way to the market? They feel like a shrunken smartphone but at the same time they capture the essence of the traditional analogue timepiece. These are watches that can do everything, from tracking your heartbeat to getting Uber — if that isn’t smart, we don’t know what is. So what makes the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4G smart? Let’s find out.
Design and feel
It looks unlike most devices in the category out there. The company also provides gazillions of watch faces that are highly tweakable. Adding to the personalisation factor is a sizeable collection of widgets for weather and activities.
As a watch with a round analogue face, it’s easy to read the time and on the 46mm model (also available in 42mm) the numbers are easy to spot. I like the always-on watch face feature. Yes, you can tell the time by tapping the face or doing weird wrist gestures to get the screen to light up, which is a bother when one is jogging or greeting people sporting a black slab of glass on the wrist. Being in the always-on mode, one can read time at a glance and at any angle. What Samsung has done is good battery management, which means the juices don’t drain out even if the feature is on.
In way of design, another brownie point comes in the form of the physically rotating dial, which was missing on the recent Galaxy Active 2. It’s easy to switch between menu options or scrolling through a list simply by rotating the dial. Yes, it gives the watch a chunky feel, which actually looks sporty on the wrist. Also, the watch is light on the wrist. Since most of the day is spent keying in articles and working around gadgets, the wrist tends to rest on the table quite a bit. Even after 12 hours of wearing the Watch 4G a day, one didn’t feel the extra 63g on the wrist. And there are fashionable lightweight silicone straps to choose from, besides the one that comes in the box.
It has taken Samsung a while to present the 4G LTE version to India but no complains. This year the South Korean company has given some top-of-the-line smartphones and the Watch 4G perfectly complements the other devices, be it the Galaxy S10+ or Galaxy Buds. Of course, the big feature on the Watch 4G is the 4G aspect, which allows you to make and receive calls even without a phone (uses e-SIM technology; will work on certain networks). It’s pretty easy to set it up. Just keep your phone handy and select the option on the Watch. Once connected, you are free to roam without your smartphone while still staying connected to most of the apps. Be it taking calls, receiving notifications… it’s all possible. Your number and data plan also stays the same. This, in fact, makes a smartphone out of your smartwatch.
Navigating the Watch 4G is free of hiccups, well almost… a minor one. When a notification arrives, one has to lift the wrist to view it. Say, it’s an email. First the icon appears and then the message pops up after a second.
Other cool features includes listening to music. Out on a jog, let a pair of wireless earbuds keep the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4G company. True, it consumes power but it’s not a big deal. Even after listening to music for an hour or so, the battery doesn’t run out.
Of course, a smartwatch is about fitness. And the Galaxy Watch does a great deal. Besides measuring your heart rate and tracking different activities, there is the option to add from a long list of workouts. But what interested me most is heart rate and stress measurement. The heart rate sensor is spot on as well as the stress-level option. The other exciting option involves the built-in altimeter and barometer. Sadly we couldn’t try it out much as there was little travelling involved during the course of the review.
If it’s about how much you want the device on your wrist to do, Samsung is enjoying a slam-dunk moment with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4G, which is durable and certainly the sexy do-everything smartwatch out there.
At a glance
Main display: 3.29cm, super AMOLED; 360 x 360 resolution