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Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Apple Watch 4th gen: Preliminary design, features, and pricing comparison

Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Apple Watch 4th gen: Preliminary design, features, and pricing comparison
The wearable market is about to get a tad heated this year as two of the major players on the scene - Apple and Samsung - are slated to release their fresh new top-shelf wearables. Of course, you know we are talking about the freshly-released Galaxy Watch and the upcoming Apple Watch Series 4

Without a doubt, these two will be the hard-hitters on the smartwatch scene which is already mostly dominated by those two's previous product offerings - the various Apple Watch and Samsung Gear watches out there are usually our go-to recommendations to potential buyers, and rightfully so.

With that in mind, it's time to summarize our expectations about the two gadgets and see how these two would likely measure up:

Design & hardware

Samsung Galaxy Watch

In a little surprising move, Samsung announced the Galaxy Watch alongside the Galaxy Note 9. The hot new wearable is available in two sizes a feminine 42mm one that'd be available in black or rose gold, and a larger, more masculine 46mm one that will only be available in silver. Hopefully, we'd score more color options down the road as the current ones are a bit limited, which is a problem for a fashion-oriented wearable like the Galaxy Watch.

However, don't let this bold fashion statement fool you - the Galaxy Watch is as sturdy as they make them, employing Corning's tough Gorilla Glass DX+ glass, which is designed specifically for smartwatches. Aside from that, the Galaxy Watch is waterproof up to 50 meters and has passed various military-grade endurance tests with flying colors.

Similarly to its predecessor, the Galaxy Watch features a very functional rotating bezel that enables the user to interact with the smartwatch in ways that few if any other devices of the type allow. Moving along, the OLED displays are 1.2" and 1.3" in size and boast the acceptable resolution of 360 x 360 pixels. Frankly said, you don't need anymore than that on your wrist.

On the hardware front, the wearable is adorned with an Exynos 9110 chipset, 4GB of internal memory, and a battery unit big enough to keep the wearable going for 80 hours or so. That's a pretty good estimate given how notoriously bad smartwatch battery life used to be - we are intrigued to test the Galaxy Watch and see for ourselves if it could reach the advertised battery life!

Finally, it's worth mentioning that the Galaxy Watch is an LTE-enabled device that doesn't need to be tethered to a smartphone in order to function as intended. Of course, you would be able to use it as an extension to your phone, but probably shouldn't hesitate to leave the bigger device at home when you go out for a jog.

Apple Watch Series 4

Word on the street is Apple is prepping a substantial redesign for its Apple Watch, which has remained vastly unchanged design-wise ever since its arrival in late 2015. The gadget is said to come with a 15% larger display and improved battery life (yes!) thanks to a more dense battery unit. However, its heavily implied that the Apple Watch Series 4 will continue to flaunt the same general squircle shape. Mind you, the general footrpint of the gadget is not expected to be much larger. Apple is also rumored to be working on watch bands with incorporated batteries inside of them which could improve the battery life similarly to what Samsung could be doing. 


There's no word if the watch crown and the hardware button on the side will remain unchanged, but judging from the iPhone X, we'd argue that Apple could potentially switch to a more gesture-based interface which would create a neat coherence between the next wearables and Apple's upcoming bezel-less iPhones. Of course, this is just a speculation on our part driven by Apple's latest UX developments, but don't think the hardware buttons are going the way of the dodo.

Finally, a wild rumor suggests that the Apple Watch Series 4 could feature Face ID, which is a crazy rumor to say the least. The only way we can see Apple pulling a such one off is by greatly minimizing the footprint of the various Face ID hardware components which take a sizeable part of the iPhone X's notch, and while this is probable at some point in the future, we doubt that the Apple Series 4 would be the one to deliver Apple's face-detecting tech to the wearable market. To say the least, the watch doesn't even have a selfie camera present and that's a prerequisite for Face ID to work as intended, so we'd argue that the Apple Watch Series 4 is more likely to arrive with a miniature selfie camera instead of a full-blown Face ID module.

Software and features

Samsung Galaxy Watch

No surprises on the operating system front - the Galaxy Watch is powered by Samsung's Tizen, and this shouldn't make anyone gasp. The South-Korean giant has been very good at rivaling Google's Wear OS, which is finding it hard to establish itself as a viable player on the market as fewer and fewer manufacturers are releasing Wear OS-powered smartwatches these days. We'd love to be proven wrong, but it seems thus far that Google is losing the smartwatch war very badly.

Back on the Galaxy Watch, this one comes with full Spotify compatibility thanks to Samsung's recently-announced collaboration with the music streaming service. Users will be able to stream and download their Spotify playlists on the Galaxy Watch's internal memory.

Bixby, Samsung's misunderstood smart assistant, is also present on the wearable, ready to serve you on demand. The Galaxy Watch will also be much better at keeping tabs on your sleeping habits, but as you might imagine, this would imply you'd want sleep with your smartwatch on.

Finally - and probably most importantly, the smartwatch works with both Android and iOS devices.

Apple Watch Series 4

In Apple's camp, we're hearing the same general theme - Cupertino's next wearable should be a much more potent fitness companion, if rumors are to be believed. The enhanced fitness capabilities will be building upon the rather strong foundation that arrived alongside the Apple Watch Series 3 and introduced automatic activity detection, improved heartrate monitoring, and brought along a more capable Activity app. 

One of the proposed features suggests that the wearable will be able to determine the “axial orientation of the user's wrist by embedding specialty sensors into an all-new watch band”, meaning that it will be detect activities like swinging a bat or a golf stick, further expanding the gadget's activity detection prowess.

Preliminary price comparison

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Falling in line with our preliminary expectations, the Galaxy Watch pricing isn't too far off from its predecessor.

The Galaxy Watch 42mm will start at $329 while the larger 46mm wearable will set you back $349. Both smartwatches will be available August 24, with pre-orders kicking off today, August 10. You should know that the Galaxy Watch will be available on all major US carriers - Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. More than 30 other carriers in 15 other countries are also compatible with the gadgets so far.

Should you purchase one of these until September 8, Samsung will throw in a complimentary gift - a free wristband for you customization aficionados out there.

Apple Watch Series 4

The Wi-Fi-only version of the Series 3 Apple Watch started at $329 whereas the cellular + Wi-Fi version cost $399. While it would seem logical to assume that the Apple Watch Series 4 would be priced similarly, judging from all the rumored novelties we'd say that a slight price increase should be all but a natural undertaking on Apple's part. 

A modest bump to $349 for the Wi-Fi-only version of the Apple Watch Series 4 and possibly $429 for the standalone variation of the device should probably be expected. Of course, there's always the chance that the pricing will remain similar to the Apple Watch Series 3's one, but we wouldn't, err, put our money on that. Just like last last year's Series 3 Edition, the Series 4 will most probably also feature other more premium versions of the smartwatch, like the super-premium $1149-$1399 Hermes variants. 


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