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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Galaxy Watch 3: A new champion?

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Galaxy Watch 3: A new champion?
Samsung has officially unveiled its next flagship wearables - the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic. The Galaxy Watch 4 Series looks stunning and brings many new features to the proverbial smartwatch table. From the refreshed design, the brand new chipset, and premium material, to the most advanced suite of Health and Fitness features, the Watch 4 gears up to be a true flagship smartwatch and a worthy successor of the Galaxy Watch 3.

We're mentioning the Galaxy Watch 3 for a reason - it's interesting to see how the new kid on the block fares against its predecessor - an established resident and Samsung's best offering in the wearable category, at least up to now. Today we're pitting against each other the newly announced Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and the winner in countless "best smartwatch" competitions - the Galaxy Watch 3. 

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Comparing these two will give us answers to many important questions about smartwatch evolution and also whether you need to upgrade if you already own a Galaxy Watch 3 device. Here we go.
 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (40mm)

- Cellular model

$164 99
$299 99
Buy at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (44mm)

- Cellular model

$194 99
$329 99
Buy at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (42mm)

- Cellular model

$264 99
$399 99
Buy at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (44mm)

- Cellular model

$294 99
$429 99
Buy at Samsung

Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy Watch 3: Design and style

  • Aluminum frame + compact body vs Stainless Steel + rotating bezel
  • 40mm (25.9g) vs 41mm (48.2g) 
  • 44mm (30.3g) vs 45mm (53.2g)

The design philosophy behind the new Galaxy Watch 4 takes inspiration from the Galaxy Watch Active 2 rather than the Galaxy Watch 3. The frame is made of aluminum and the four lugs gently embrace the main body of the watch. There's no rotating bezel on the Watch 4 and the aluminum frame is gently chamfered where the display meets the metal.

The Galaxy Watch 3 employs a more traditional design where the stainless steel body is seamlessly fused with the lugs, while the back cover sticks out from the bottom. The two side buttons have also evolved in the Watch 4 - they're now rectangular with nice polished chamfered edges. The Galaxy Watch 3 has a more traditionally shaped buttons and the red accent 
(Home key) has been moved to the top button on the Galaxy Watch 4.

Samsung's decision to use aluminum as a main material in the Galaxy Watch 4 has tipped the scales, both literally and metaphorically, in favor of a more lightweight and compact design. There are two size options again - but they're down a millimeter compared to the Galaxy Watch 3 variants. The new Galaxy Watch 4 is almost two times lighter than its predecessor, courtesy, of course, of the materials used and the smaller size.

The straps situation is also different - the new Galaxy Watch 4 uses 20mm straps on both the 40mm and 44mm variants, while the Galaxy Watch 3 uses a 20mm strap size on the smaller 41mm model, and a 22mm strap size on the larger 45mm one. 

Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy Watch 3: Display & Watch Faces

  • 40mm - 1.2" (396x396) vs 41mm - 1.2" (360x360)
  • 44mm - 1.4" (450x450) vs 46mm - 1.4" (360x360)
  • Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ vs Corning Gorilla Glass DX

Samsung is well known for its gorgeous Super AMOLED panels and the Galaxy Watch series is no exception. There has been a slight upgrade in resolution in the new Galaxy Watch 4, compared to its predecessor. As far as display size is concerned, the Watch 4 more or less mimics the display size of the Watch 3 in both its variants.

Samsung has bumped the resolution on the bigger 1.4-inch display in order to offer a uniform pixel-per-inch number (330 PPI) between both the 40mm and 44mm versions of the Galaxy Watch 4. The Galaxy Watch 3 offers 19 pre-installed watch faces with another 50,000+ waiting in the cloud, and you should expect even better customizability with Wear OS and One UI on the Galaxy Watch 4. The latter comes with 40 pre-installed watch faces to begin with.

Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy Watch 3: Hardware and Software

  • Exynos W920 (5nm) vs Exynos 9110 (10nm)
  • 1.5GB RAM/16GB storage vs 1GB RAM/8GB storage
  • Wear OS 3.0/OneUI Watch vs Tizen OS 5.5

At long last, the dual-core Exynos 9110 silicon powering the Galaxy Watch, Watch Active, Watch Active 2, and Watch 3 from 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively has been replaced with the brand-new Exynos W920 chip inside the Galaxy Watch 4. The new SoC is made using a 5nm manufacturing process and brings 20% faster processing times and smoother graphics performance compared to the Watch 3.

The memory configuration has also been upgraded significantly. The new Galaxy Watch 4 doubles the internal memory of the Watch 3. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic are coming with the insane for that type of wearable 16GB of storage memory. The onboard RAM has also been increased by 50% and now the Watch 4 Series has 1.5GB of random access memory. The new Exynos W920 chipset also features an integrated LTE modem, so the Galaxy Watch 4 matches its predecessor on connectivity options. 

All these hardware upgrades are not just Samsung showing muscles, they serve a purpose. And it's called Wear OS! The operating system requires lots of power and this is the main reason we won't see the Watch 3 upgrade to Wear OS 3.0 happening... at all. Samsung has put a lot of effort in jointly developing the One UI Watch interface with Google and the Wear OS platform underneath.

The Tizen OS found in the Galaxy Watch 3 is pretty powerful but it's nowhere near the potential that Wear OS has. The Galaxy Watch 4 is a clear winner in this department - you can use native Google apps like Google Maps autonomously on the watch, enjoy an ever-growing number of third-party apps, use gesture controls, seamlessly sync all your settings. Compatible apps are automatically installed on the Watch 4 when it detects them on your phone. 

It's the future of wearable user experience and probably the only way Samsung can catch up with what Apple is doing with the Apple Watch.

Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy Watch 3: Health and Fitness features

The Galaxy Watch 3 has a pretty solid pack of Health and Fitness features but the Watch 4 takes this a step further. Samsung boasts the most advanced suite of
Health and Wellness Features in its new wearable, and this claim is backed up by a myriad of sensors and algorithms.

Samsung's brand new Body composition measurement tool takes advantage of the built-in Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Sensor to provide you with useful metrics such as skeletal muscle, fat mass, body water, body fat, and basal metabolic rate. It takes wearable fitness tech to another level.

All the sensors that are present on the Galaxy Watch 3 can be found on the Watch 4 as well, with the addition of the aforementioned bioelectrical impedance sensor. It's another clear win for the Galaxy Watch 4, it offers 95 supported workouts, 13 of which are on the watch by default, and you can also connect the Watch 4 to a Samsung TV to see all your metrics on a big screen during your daily yoga session or weight training routine.

Sleep tracking has also been improved on the Galaxy Watch 4 with continuous blood oxygen saturation monitoring, and snoring detection. And while some these features can also be found on the Galaxy Watch 3, if you want the deepest dive into your body machinery and inner processes, the Watch 4 is the way to go.

Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy Watch 3: Battery life

40mm - 247mAh vs 41mm - 247mAh
44mm - 361mAh vs 45mm - 340mAh

The battery capacity is pretty much identical on the smaller variants - 247mAh. It's really hard to judge the battery life at this point and we'll need more tests to see how the Galaxy Watch 4 performs with the new chipset and software. The Galaxy Watch 3 can last a whole day of heavy usage, and probably two to three days if you don't push it as much. Given the higher display resolution of the Watch 4, coupled with the aforementioned powerful chipset and new features, you shouldn't expect miracles from its battery life. 

The bigger, 44mm variant of the Galaxy Watch 4 bumps up the battery capacity compared to its 45mm predecessor by 20mAh. It's not much but if you want the best battery life, you should get the 44mm version. Both the Galaxy Watch 3 and Watch 4 support wireless charging, and also reverse charging. Samsung says you can get up to 40 hours on a single charge with the Galaxy Watch 4, and we need to test this claim but all in all, the battery life should be pretty similar between the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 3.

Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy Watch 3: Price

  • 40mm - $249.99 vs 41mm - $399.99
  • 44mm - $299.99 vs 45mm - $429.99

Comparing the prices of both models may be a bit unfair, given that the real competitor of the Galaxy Watch 3 is the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Nevertheless, Samsung has managed to slap on a competitive price on the Galaxy Watch 4 and it sure is the better option here. At launch, the 40mm variant will be available in Black, Silver and Pink Gold, while the 44mm variant will be offered in Black, Silver and a sophisticated Green.

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