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The Galaxy Watch 4 is coming soon — here's everything you need to know

Samsung's Galaxy-brain play: leaving Tizen behind for Wear OS.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, one of the best Android smartwatches, may have only just launched in November 2020, but the latest rumors out of South Korea suggest the company may already be developing its replacement — with some big changes and upgrades in the works meant to topple Apple from its smartwatch throne.

There's no confirmation yet if Samsung's 2021 smartwatch will be the Galaxy Watch 4, Galaxy Watch Active 3, or a new name entirely. What we do know is that this new watch will reportedly abandon Tizen for Wear OS, which would have a big impact on app support and Android phone connectivity. And like the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7, this new Samsung watch could sport a blood glucose monitor.

Details are scarce so far, but we've scrounged up every known leak about specs, design leaks, and pricing, along with everything else we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

Samsung's best — so far

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

The Galaxy Watch 3 offers stunning hardware and a variety of health-focused features, including an ECG and blood pressure sensor. It doesn't have the widest third-party app support, but you'll get good battery life, a bright display, and Samsung's zippy Tizen OS software.

$250 at Amazon $391 at Walmart $250 at Samsung $250 at Best Buy

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Availability

Before we can accurately predict the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 release date, we'll have to determine if that's what Samsung is currently developing. The Galaxy Watch 3 is only about half a year old at this point, while the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is about 18 months old. It's more probable that Samsung is working on its new Active Watch than putting out a new lifestyle watch so quickly.

Two recent leaks gave similar accounts to Samsung's plans: the company will unveil its new watch at Unpacked 2021, sometime in the late summer, alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3. In the past, the Galaxy Watch 3 shipped just one day after its announcement, while the Galaxy Watch Active 2 took a little over a month. So an August or September 2021 release date seems like a fair guess.

The original Galaxy Watch arrived in August 2018, followed by the Watch 3 in August 2020; so, if patterns hold, we may not see the 4th-edition watch until August 2022 at the earliest. The publication GalaxyClub claimed that Samsung does plan to release two smartwatches in 2021, codenamed SM-R86x and SM-R87x. Yet this could just refer to two different size variants of the same watch.

If Samsung releases the Galaxy Active Watch 3 this year, a summer 2022 release for the Galaxy Watch 4 seems likely. We'll have to wait for more leaks to know more.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Price

The Galaxy Watch 3 had a sky-high price for a smartwatch at launch, even for the smallest, non-LTE variant. While you'll regularly find it on sale nowadays, Samsung clearly expected shoppers to pay a premium in exchange for its steel or titanium casing, leather band, rotating bezel, and heap of health-tracking sensors.

Launching in two sizes, the Galaxy Watch 3 41mm retailed for $400 MSRP, or $450 with LTE Cellular included. At 45mm, it sold for $429, plus $50 more for LTE functionality.

If the Galaxy Watch 4 retains the same features as its predecessor while adding in blood glucose monitoring and other upgrades, it could become even more of a high-priced luxury item. But in order to stay competitive with Apple — whose last three Series watches have sold at $399 at launch — we strongly suspect Samsung's newest watch will retail for $399, with higher prices for cellular data or a larger display.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Design

We're fairly certain that specs and software differences aside, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 design won't see a major change from past years. It should retain its circular AMOLED display and (hopefully) its physically rotating bezel.

The last two Samsung Galaxy Watches had two different millimeter variants each. You can safely expect to see the same with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, though we'd love to see Samsung offer three sizes with a "mini" version. Even the smaller Galaxy Watch 3 can be a bit chonky on smaller wrists.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 New Features and Specs

Details are still scarce on Samsung's newest watch, but we've heard three key rumors about it: Samsung plans to add a blood glucose monitor to the Galaxy Watch 4, this watch may abandon Tizen OS for Wear OS, and its internal codename could be "Merlot".

Non-invasive, reliable blood glucose monitoring has been a pipe dream of wearable designers for years, but it may actually come true this year. CNET reports that Samsung's Advanced Institute of Technology came up with a technique called "Raman spectroscopy" that uses lasers to track glucose levels, with enough (supposed) accuracy that you shouldn't need to prick your finger anymore. However, we'll need to test this in practice to see if people should actually trust their health to it.

As for the new operating system, we noted in our review of the Galaxy Watch 3 that the Tizen OS is very intuitive, even "zippy", but has terrible third-party app support. With a new operating system, your Galaxy Watch 4 could get access to the best Wear OS apps, Google Pay support, and better integration with non-Samsung smartphones.

While we don't have any other details yet, we're fairly certain the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 will bring back some key features from the Galaxy Watch 3, as listed in the table below:

Category Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Operating System Wear OS
Display AMOLED
Sensors HRM, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, ambient light sensor, electrocardiogram
Rotating bezel ✔️
Onboard GPS ✔️
Connectivity Bluetooth 5, cellular (optional)
Blood pressure monitor ✔️ (in most countries)
Electrocardiogram ✔️
Water Resistance 5ATM

As for what we hope to see in the Galaxy Watch 4, we would love to see slightly better battery life: the Galaxy Watch 3 barely lasts a day with always-on display. The 3 also had just 8GB of storage versus 32GB on the Apple Watch Series 6, so hopefully Samsung will make more room on its new watch.

Finally, we'd love to see blood pressure monitoring enabled in the US. While the Galaxy Watch app is supported in 32 different countries, Samsung has yet to get FDA approval here in the states.

Samsung's best — so far

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

The Galaxy Watch 3 offers stunning hardware and a variety of health-focused features, including an ECG and blood pressure sensor. It doesn't have the widest third-party app support, but you'll get good battery life, a bright display, and Samsung's zippy Tizen OS software.

$250 at Amazon $391 at Walmart $250 at Samsung $250 at Best Buy

Source: androidcentral

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