In Review

Galaxy Watch4: the new Samsung smartwatch that’s challenging Apple

The watch has some ‘new health capabilities’, such as snoring detection, but it’s a bit of a work in progress

With its latest wearable, Samsung is kickstarting a new era of Android tech, said The Independent. Thus far, while iPhone users have been able to invest in the “do-it-all wearable that is the Apple Watch”, owners of Android phones have been “half-served” by a disjointed range of Fitbits, Fossils and Garmins.

Now, though, Samsung has teamed up with Google to make its first Android smartwatch. This is a best of both worlds deal: as the watch runs on Google’s superior Wear OS software (as opposed to Samsung’s Tizen system), you get access to all the Google Play apps and functionality you need, on a “sophisticated-looking device that’s a joy to use and comfortable to wear around the clock”.

Samsung’s previous smartwatches have scored well on compatibility, said Tech Radar. So it’s a shame that the Galaxy Watch4 falls down there. You can’t use it with an iPhone and, though it operates with all modern Android phones, you’ll need to own a Samsung to access some of its features, such as its blood pressure monitor. On the other hand, it has good battery life, and a nice bright screen with good resolution.

Users will appreciate the range of apps it offers access to, said The Wall Street Journal. There is Maps, for instance, which gives turn-by-turn directions for driving, walking and biking (and can be set to buzz when you need to turn), while Citymapper is great for navigating the transport systems of major cities.

The watch also has some “new health capabilities”, such as snoring detection. It’s a bit of a work in progress, though; not all the apps run smoothly. But it’s the best Android watch on offer, and the first with the potential to challenge Apple’s market dominance.

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