The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the elder sibling of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. The Classic version is more premium while also being bigger and bulkier than the regular version. The wearable has a more premium design and also comes with a rotating bezel 一 all these upgrades come at a cost.
The primary reason to opt for the Classic variant is its rotating physical bezel, which allows you to scroll smoothly through menus to navigate the watch. While the Watch 4 has a haptic version which doesn’t work nearly as well.
With the Galaxy Watch 4 series, Samsung is re-entering the world of Wear OS, Google’s smartwatch operating system. With this software integration, the availability of the apps on the play store will make sure the availability of the app isn’t an issue anymore. Called the One UI Watch 3, the software brings the best of Samsung as well as Google.
Further, the display is one of the best you can get on a smartwatch, but the design feels a bit bulky for many. There are a bunch of fitness and health-related features and most of them work well as intended. The new body composition features will offer you a lot of new data and insights that might be handy at times to keep a track of the body.
Lastly, the battery life is strictly one day if you are a heavy user and 1.5 days if you are an average user. Charging is also something that Samsung doesn’t ace at as a full charge takes more than two hours.
At the end of the day, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a good watch, but it costs a lot. Unless you want a bigger display and a rotating bezel to navigate, we suggest you stick to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 that offers more value for money than the Classic version.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic price and availability
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic starts at Rs 31,999 for the 40mm Bluetooth variant and the 46mm Bluetooth watch costs Rs 34,999. The 42mm LTE version is priced at Rs 36,999 and lastly, the 46mm LTE version costs Rs 39,999. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is available in Black and Silver colourways.
You can purchase the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic on Amazon, Flipkart, and offline retail stores. While these are the prices announced by Samsung, the smartwatches are available for a lower price on Amazon or on Flipkart.
Buy Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic on Amazon | Flipkart
Design and display
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is bigger and bulkier than the vanilla Galaxy Watch 4. With this, the wearable also gets the rotating bezel around the display – a feature surprisingly no other smartwatch maker hasn’t pulled off yet. The rotating bezel this time is only on the more premium Classic version. The 42mm variant is 11.2mm thick and weighs 47 grams while the 46mm variant is 11mm thick and weighs 52 grams. We are using the 46mm variant for our review.
The watch is chunky and most people can feel the weight as they wear it for the first time. Even for a person who is used to classic watches, the Galaxy Watch 4 feels heavy. Unlike most smartwatches, the straps can only protrude straight out from the sides of the body, which results in a sizable gap between the strap and your wrist on either side of the body.
The straps are replaceable, which means you can swap with other straps of your choice 一 first part or third party. Unlike the Galaxy Watch 3 which has a leather strap, the new watch comes with a silicone strap which is good, but we did miss out on the elite choice here. The watch is made of stainless steel, so it feels pretty hardy, and there are two buttons on the left side – the top one is for returning to the main watch face when you’re in the menus.
The rotating bezel is a treat to use and you will find it useful in more scenarios than you’d expect. It is very intuitive for navigating through the menu and screens. You also get a satisfying click and it can also be quite addictive at times. Most importantly, the rotating bezel gives you more screen visibility.
Further, in the visual department, you get a 1.4-inch 450 x 450 pixels resolution. It is a circular Super AMOLED panel with extremely good brightness and visibility. It is protected by Gorilla Glass DX which offers protection against scratches. The screen’s readability is easy in all types of light – be it indoor or outdoor. You don’t have to use your other hand to read what’s on the screen even with direct sunlight.
You also get an always-on display which is great on the AMOLED screen. And, there’s a bunch of screen customization options that you can do on the watch as well as on the companion app. Lastly, the watch is also IP68 water and dust resistant, which means you can take them into the water up to five meters deep.
Performance and software
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic uses the company’s own Exynos W920 chipset, which is paired with 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage. This combination is enough to keep the watch running without having to face any issues. During our one month testing time, we did not face any lag or stutter while using the wearable even once. This is one of the fastest and responsive smartwatches we’ve come across.
Out of 16GB storage, you get about 7GB of space to store music, apps, and files as the rest are occupied by OS and pre-installed apps. Talking about the OS, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is back to the Wear OS game with a combination of Wear OS and Samsung’s Tizen OS features. The new OS on the watch is called One UI Watch 3. The software isn’t too different from the last-gen Samsung wearables, but it does bring changes.
It brings a bunch of Samsung apps that you’ll be using, but this is primarily Wear OS. The Wear OS presence means you will also be able to access Google Play Services and Play Store to download a bunch of apps and services on your wrist. That said, the pairing and all the fitness and features data can be accessed only via the Samsung Health app and not Google’s Wear OS application. In terms of app collection, you get more than what Samsung offered with Tizen OS.
Navigating or scrolling through the UI was a joy to use. Although swipes and taps are good, we found ourselves using the rotating bezel instead. The wearable works with both Android and iOS devices. Some features are optimized for Samsung handsets, and similarly, some work better on Android devices than on iPhones.
On the left of your home screen, you can access all your notifications. You get a small orange dot on the side if you have any unread notifications. You can respond to notifications via smart suggestions or you get the option to draw or type on the keypad. The top bar will have quick settings and swiping left will bring you to the second pane. The watch also comes with a built-in speaker and microphone 一 when connected to your phone, you will be able to pick and respond to calls via your watch itself. The LTE-ready version comes in handy if you want to leave your phone behind. The smartwatch comes with e-SIM support.
The overall look and feel of the UI are still Samsung. But, it works smoothly and without any glitches. With Samsung Tizen OS features and Wear OS apps and services, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic brings the best of both worlds.
Fitness and battery life
You get a bunch of fitness and health-related features on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. You get an in-built GPS, an optical heart rate sensor, and ECG support. The major addition comes in the form of a 3-in-1 BioActive sensor that enables the watch to monitor heart rate, blood oxygen levels and body composition.
The body composition tools give you metrics like skeletal muscle mass, body fat percentage, BMI, and body water. These scans are easy to run, although you’ll need to stay still in order for them to work and hold the two buttons on the side. All the data can be seen on the companion Samsung Health app in a neat graph. It is hard for us to tell how accurate these metrics are, but we found it useful to have at least a rough idea of them, and you’ll be able to track these over a period of time to see if you can improve the results.
The heart rate monitor proved accurate, which isn’t a surprising fact as most wearables get this right. The SpO2 monitor also works well this time around compared to the last-gen Watch 3. The major limitation comes in the form of ECG sensor. The ECG tools are only available when you connect to a Samsung smartphone.
As for fitness and step tracking, you get over 90 sports modes for tracking. We found the step count to be accurate while walking or running. The GPS tracking is also accurate here. The watch notifies when you hit a milestone while walking/running with distance, steps taken, and more. There’s also automatic end detection for workouts 一 it promptly asks if you’ve finished a workout when it thinks you’re done.
Further, you also get stress tracking, sleep tracking, SpO2 monitor – all of which works well. The Samsung Health app is feature-packed and offers all the details of your health and fitness. You get your steps, exercise history, sleep, body composition, stress, activity, and more. The also comes with fitness exercise videos which you can follow along. The last tab on the app gives you curated data of total steps taken with the watch, longest duration, calories burnt, best distance travelled, and more.
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 42mm comes with a 247mAh battery while the 46mm version comes with a 361mAh battery unit. Despite the different screen sizes we’d expect them to last roughly the same amount of time. The battery and charging are some of the most disappointing features of the watch.
With a full charge, the wearable couldn’t last more than one and a half days of usage. In most cases, we could go to bed at 11 am with about 30% battery left, but with heavy usage, the watch ran out of juice around 9 pm. We had turned on AoD, brightness set at 70%, used GPS for 30 minutes, and notification from most communication apps turned on – during our usage.
In terms of charging, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic comes with a charging pad that’s included in the box. A full charge takes 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes with a first-hour charge taking the tally to 45 to 50% only. Wearables like the OnePlus Watch, Oppo Watch which cost around Rs 15,000 offer fast charging which can completely charge the watch in under 60 minutes while Samsung is still sticking to slow charging which can get annoying if you are charging during the day. This is one area where we’d like Samsung to take a step ahead with the next-gen smartwatches.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic?
Buy it if…
You want great software experience
Samsung is back to the Wear OS game with the Watch 4 series, Samsung OneUI software is now based on Google’s Wear OS 一 this gives you access to Google Play Store’s full range of wearable apps.
You want a unique design and display
The rotating bezel is still a feature that’s limited to Samsung wearables. It feels intuitive to navigate with and comes in handy more than you’d expect. The 1.4-inch 450 x 450 AMOLED display is a treat for the eyes as well.
You want a good fitness companion
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic brings a lot of handy fitness and health related features – if you can about these features, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a great companion. You get a built-in GPS, heart rate monitor, SpO2 sensor, and other tools 一 although you’ll need a Samsung phone in order to use some features.
Don’t buy it if…
You want good battery life
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic can last only one full day with medium to heavy usage while it can last a day and a half with light usage.
You want fast charging
Smartwatches that cost half or less than half the cost of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic offer fast charging while Samsung is still sticking to its traditional charging which takes two hours to fully charge.
You don’t want to spend a lot on a smartwatch
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is definitely on the pricier side, but if you still want the same experience without having to spend wholesome money, the Galaxy Watch 4 can be a great choice that comes with a smaller display and no rotating bezel.
First reviewed: October 2021
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