Samsung Unpacked: New Galaxy Watch4 Series packs sensors and thoughtful UI features

The onboard BioActive Sensor is three sensors in one, but what are the standout features and how does the hardware stack up to previous generations?

unpacked.jpg

Image: Samsung

On Wednesday, Samsung kicked off its August Unpacked event. The annual affair routinely features a wide range of consumer electronics product unveilings from foldable phones to tablets and this year was no different. One of the standout product reveals includes the Galaxy Watch4 and Galaxy Watch4 Classic smartwatches. So, what are the standout features and how does the hardware stack up to previous generations?

"We have seen an incredible amount of growth for the Galaxy Watch series as consumers have  discovered the health benefits and convenience of wearables," said TM Roh, president and head of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics, in a press release. "We understand the path to wellness is  different for everyone, so we built a robust suite of health and wellness features to give people a  deeper and more helpful understanding of their overall fitness."

SEE: Mobile device security policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Samsung Unpacked: Galaxy Watch4 and Galaxy Watch4 Classic

The Galaxy Watch4 boasts the single-chip BioActive Sensor that features three sensors overall to measure optical heart rate, electrical heart and bioelectrical impedance analysis, according to Samsung. These monitors enable wearers to assess blood pressure, identify irregular cardiac rhythms and even gauge blood oxygen levels; the latter being a timely addition amid a global contagion known to impact blood oxygenation in some people.

Additionally, a new tool to measure body composition will capture thousands of data points in approximately 15 seconds to provide wearers with "a deeper understanding of their general health and fitness" using measurements such as skeletal muscle mass, body water and fat percentages and basal metabolic rate, per Samsung.

Fitness and sleep tracking

The watches also include interactive offerings and capabilities to track health metrics and keep people on top of their fitness goals. For example, when the Galaxy Watch4 is connected to a compatible Samsung Smart TV, people can peruse guided workouts and participate in group challenges with peers, according to Samsung, and some of these captured health metrics will be displayed on the screen for data-rich exercise regimens.

When paired with a compatible smartphone, the watch and phone pairing add a multilayered view of a person's sleeping habits. For example, the watch will gauge blood oxygen levels while the smartphone "detects the sounds of your snores," according to the release.

User experience and gesture controls

The watches also include new UI and OS features to note. For example, the One UI Watch will automatically install compatible apps downloaded on a person's phone, and sync other "important" settings such as blocked callers lists and do not disturb preferences, according to Samsung. 

The system also includes features to help earbuds switch audio between compatible phones and smartwatches and gesture controls let people accept or dismiss phone calls by simply lifting a forearm twice or doubly rotating a wrist.

The Wear OS platform provides access to the app ecosystem including third-party offerings.

Tech specs and pricing

On the inside, Galaxy Watch4 Series includes 16 GB of memory, a 5nm processor and offers "20% faster CPU and 50% more RAM, and a GPU 10 times faster" compared with the previous generation smartwatch, per Samsung. Display resolution up to 450 by 450 pixels and 40 hours of usage per charge round out the standout specs.

SEE: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2021: A first look at all the new devices (TechRepublic)

Today, the Galaxy Watch4 and Galaxy Watch4 Classic are available for pre-order and retail availability is set for Aug. 27. The company said people who preorder the Galaxy Watch4 or Galaxy Watch4 Classic from Aug. 11 through Aug.26 "can get a $50 Samsung credit."

Galaxy Watch4 pricing starts at $249.99. The 40mm watch will be available in black, silver and pink gold, and the 44 mm options include black, silver and a "sophisticated green." Galaxy Watch4 Classic pricing starts at $349.99 and the available 42 mm and 46 mm models come in either black or silver.

Also see