It looks like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 that we were expecting will actually launch as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, while the Galaxy Watch Active 4 will launch as the Galaxy Watch 4. Confusing possible name changes aside, it’s the Classic that we’re talking about here – Samsung’s next stylish, premium smartwatch.
The latest news suggests Samsung’s two wearable lines, which have previously alternated in release, could launch together in 2021, while still sporting distinct designs and features.
This is just the latest of plentiful leaks and rumors that have emerged about the next top-tier Samsung smartwatch, and you’ll find them all below. Then further down you’ll find our wish list of all the key improvements that we want from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
From features that actually work on day one to a better app situation, there’s a lot that could be improved for Samsung’s next smartwatch, as you’ll see below. There are a host of things that we wished were better on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, and we outline what’s left to improve on the new smartwatch.
We’ve also included an educated guess at when we’re likely to see the Galaxy Watch 4 – and what it might cost.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next top-end smartwatch from Samsung
- When is it out? Perhaps August 11
- How much will it cost? We’re not sure, but probably a lot
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 release date and price
Samsung has confirmed that the next Galaxy Watch will be unveiled “this summer”, which presumably means July, August or September.
Of those, August is perhaps the most likely, as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 was announced on August 21 of 2020. There wasn’t a Galaxy Watch 2, but the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 was announced on August 5 of 2019, and the original Samsung Galaxy Watch was unveiled on August 9 of 2018.
Plus, a recent leak hints that August 3 is going to be the big day – and that the Galaxy Watch 4 will appear alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, among other devices. Another tipster says that August 11 will be the date.
Whenever it’s announced, it will probably be another two weeks or so from then to when it’s actually released, so don’t expect to have the Galaxy Watch 4 on your wrist before late August.
As for what the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 might cost, there’s one leak there, suggesting a price of between 470-500 euros (roughly $575/£416/AU$765) for a 42mm model, and between 500-530 euros (around $610/£440/AU$815) for a 46mm one. That’s for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, but that’s what we’re now expecting the Galaxy Watch 4 to launch as.
There may be a watch that’s actually called the Galaxy Watch 4 too, but that’s now thought to be the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 4 in all but name. In any case, that one could start at around 350-370 euros (roughly $425/£310/AU$570) according to this leak.
For reference, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 starts at $399 / £399 / AU$649 for the smaller 41mm model, and $429 / £419 / AU$699 for the larger 45mm one, with the price rising in both cases if you want LTE connectivity, so a price rise is looking likely for the upcoming model.
News and leaks
Samsung has also detailed some aspects of the software, saying for example that this will include access to the Google Play Store and Google apps, plus faster app load times and more accurate sensor readings.
If you pair the wearable with a Galaxy smartphone then you’ll also benefit from things like apps being automatically put on your wearable when they’re installed on your phone.
Prior to this announcement, the presence of this new operating system had been extensively rumored by numerous leakers, including in the tweet below from February, and there was even evidence of this found in Samsung source code, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
We’ve also heard the Wear OS 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.”
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.
We’ve now seen leaked renders that appear to show the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic – which is what we’re talking about here, though there’s a chance it will still launch as just the Galaxy Watch 4.
You can see these below, and they show a rotating bezel, two large buttons on the right edge, and a choice of white, grey or black colors. Details mentioned alongside the renders include a choice of 42mm, 44mm and 46mm sizes, the use of standard 20mm watch straps, a choice of aluminum or stainless steel cases, and both 5ATM water resistance and MIL-STD-810G certification.
Similar images have now been leaked showing off the watch from all angles.
We’ve also seen leaked renders supposedly showing the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, some of which you can see below. These show a sporty-looking watch that was previously thought to be the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 4, but is now rumored to be dropping the Active from its name.
It’s worth noting that this probably isn’t the ‘Galaxy Watch 4’ that we’re mostly talking about in this article (which is now thought to be launching as the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic instead) but as there’s still some uncertainty we’ve included them.
In other design news, we could see the Galaxy Watch 4 have to change its shape and size to accommodate batteries from a new supplier. It’s yet to be seen if there are any benefits to the battery being changed, though it’s most likely part of an agreement between Samsung and ATL – who partnered up in 2019 again after the companies cut ties in 2017 over Galaxy Note 7 fires.
Speaking of the battery, a certification listing out of Finland mentions a 247mAh battery. That’s the same size the 41mm Galaxy Watch 3’s battery, and suggests that the larger Galaxy Watch 4 will also match its predecessor at 340mAh. The listing also mentions 5W charging.
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.
Another leak explicitly states that the previous one is wrong, though and that the Watch 4 won’t have a glucometer, so maybe it won’t.
Another rumored health feature is a BIA (bioelectrical impedance analysis) sensor, which could allow the wearable to measure your body fat and muscle mass. Only one leaker has talked about this so far, but there aren’t any conflicting reports, so it’s certainly possible.
We’ve also heard that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 may come in 42mm and 46mm sizes, both of which are 1mm bigger than the options on the Galaxy Watch 3.
It might have a major power boost too, as the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 4 is rumored to have a powerful new 5nm chipset, and if the Active 4 has that we’d expect the standard Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 would as well.
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
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
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.