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. 



1. TerryD

Posts: 553; Member since: May 09, 2017

No, Sorry. Apple watch still looks crap.

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31310; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

But sells like gold.

15. JMartin22

Posts: 2372; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

Ehh, what’s wrong with it? I don’t think it looks any better or worse than other top competitors. I never really cared for smartwatches in general, though.

22. ColinW

Posts: 412; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

The main problem with the looks are the shape, round looks better on a watch and the watch faces, which are really poor, with little choice.

24. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

A user interface on a round smartwatch is very poor. All you have to do is looks at Samsung's newest watch to realise that!

27. tedkord

Posts: 17414; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The Gear watches have been better than the competing Apple watches in pretty much every way, especially design (the round face).

23. ColinW

Posts: 412; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

The main problem with the looks are the shape, round looks better on a watch and the watch faces, which are really poor, with little choice.

20. Nabil111

Posts: 105; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

I agree, that awkward hardware button just looks wrong. I have a Xiaomi Amazfit Bip and its got the same general shape as the Apple Watch, but its got a smaller, centered button on one side for functions. I don't find myself hitting it randomly either, which is nice. I can get like 45+ days battery on one charge, if I sporadically use the GPS to track some ~1hr long activities and set the heartrate stuff to only track sleep instead of sampling every 10 min or something. Makes me wonder about these other watches, if the people who buy them /really/ use them for all their worth or not.


Posts: 234; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

Wow without knowing single thing about both products they compared and even priced them as well

19. Nabil111

Posts: 105; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

That's the job as a modern "reporter", you just say "I hear this" or "I think this" and then put a little asterisk and say something about a "pinch of salt" and you can do whatever you want.

29. gigicoaste

Posts: 457; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

how much salt I ate in the past years thanks to PA! They are one of the best "editors" when it comes about inventing articles about nonexistent products, comparing fruits with vegetables and so on.. so sad to see are not that skillful when it comes about tech. But at the end of the day, important are clicks and revenue, who cares about honesty and professionalism.. right PA?

3. path45th

Posts: 406; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

Its very funny but in every category, however hard they try, Samsung is always the second one.

5. iushnt

Posts: 3122; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

But they are number one in Smartphones, TVs, displays, RAM, Harddisk, Chips etc

25. iPhoneFanboy

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 21, 2018

LOL. Samsung can't even be on the latest Android OS on THEIR LATEST FLAGSHIP yet the droid army defends them like they are the holy grail lmfao.

28. tedkord

Posts: 17414; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And yet, even without the latest version of Android, Samsung flagships are treated better than the latest iPhones by the majority of tech reviewers.

32. iPhoneFanboy

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 21, 2018

Anecdotal, your middle name.

33. lyndon420

Posts: 6826; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

#desperate #can'tproperlyjustifymyselformydecisions Samsung still sucks though, and almost as much as what apple offers. Although 80 hours of use is getting closer to something worthwhile, and gotta admit that Samsung's round design rivals the looks of apple's. Samsung still sucks though...

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 31310; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

See post 5.

30. gigicoaste

Posts: 457; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

I personally don't care if are 2nd or 100000.. I like their devices and so far, are useful for me.

7. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

Another guarantee is that both watches will have a water-resistant rating of 5 ATM, just like the Watch 3 and Gear Sport is currently.

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31310; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

These will be the number 1 and 2 smart watches. 1. GS4 2. Series 4. Apple will sell more units though.

11. vasra

Posts: 130; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

For me, it's about sensors and battery life. I don't give a crap about looks, about clock faces and silly design fetishes. If i has proper on the wrist optical ECG (that can do BVP, HR, HRV) then I'm in. Apple Watch can't do that yet. Neither can Samsung Gear S3. And battery life needs to be double of what it is today, using 24/7 sensors, not the faux "I'm going to detect your activity and sample your HR every 2 seconds crap". Let's see how does it first. Even Polar is currently better, and it's not very good currently.

14. Gadgety

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

No Assistant, no Google Keep, no dice for any of the two. I like the turning bezel of the Samsung line up, and their frugal processors, but it's still not enough to make me switch from Google's Wear. Apple's watch line up is nice on feel, fit and finish, but they look like something out of the 1980s, and are tied to the iPhone.

18. madnav

Posts: 9; Member since: Jun 06, 2016

Taking click baiting/wh*ring to a whole new level with comparison of 2 devices which haven't even been announced!! Great stuff PA!! Where would tech journalism be without you guys!?

26. youssef44

Posts: 547; Member since: Apr 29, 2014

Disappointing!! Skip...

31. doublestandardz

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 06, 2018

I think the Samsung watch has always been the better looking of the two. The Apple Watch is butt arse ugly but the Apple Watch is hands down the better in function and quality and usability. Tizen sucks bad. Wish it ran android.

35. babyk

Posts: 379; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

guess what the s9 plus and note 9 is much smoother than the pixel 2 has no lag as well.

36. kindahipdude

Posts: 58; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

What happens when you take these watches in the shower? Or go swimming with it? Does the water make the watch face freak out and start clicking lots of stuff until its dry again? Can you use it underwater at all?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.