We expected an update to the Samsung Watch series in 2021, but Samsung brought a couple of surprises with its new announcement. It partnered with Google to bring us the first WearOS powered by a Samsung watch that has a Samsung Exynos processor inside.
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Samsung has been in the wearable market for many years, with the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active 2 serving well throughout 2020 and into 2021. One criticism of the Galaxy Watch has always been its limited third-party apps, despite a fantastic base experience. The partnership with Google has the potential to make the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic the best smartwatch available and challenge the Apple Watch for wearable dominance.
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The Watch 4 series has a new BioActive sensor that includes advanced body composition analysis that has been shown to be incredibly accurate when compared to medical devices. Blood pressuring monitoring has been promised for a couple of years, but unfortunately is only available in select countries and is still not yet approved by the FDA for use in the US.
The BioActive sensor provides optical heart rate, ECG measurements, blood oxygen levels, and body composition. In about 15 seconds, the watch sensor will capture 2400 data points. Sleep tracking has been improved with sound detection for snoring, blood oxygen, and advanced sleep scores.
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One UI Watch and Wear OS powered by Samsung are two of the most interesting user interface and application experience features. Still, the press release and Unpacked event didn't reveal many details of what this Google partnership will bring that set it apart from last year's models. We can't wait to get our hands on one and dive further into the available applications and experience. All we know at this time is that Google Maps, Samsung Pay, SmartThings, Adidas Running, Strava, and Spotify will be available, with most of these currently available on the older Galaxy Watch models.
Google provided its own post regarding the new experience with a glimpse of what to expect. This includes Google Pay and Google Messages support, two features that are certain to please Android smartphone users and people looking for a competitive smartwatch that does not want an Apple Watch.
The Galaxy Watch 4 will start at $249, with the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (physical rotating bezel) starting at $349. Pre-orders will begin today, with availability beginning on August 27. LTE variations will also be available for $50 more than the Bluetooth models.