When can I buy the Galaxy Watch 4?
In terms of the watch's unveiling, the arrival of the Galaxy Watch 4 line is set to be 11 August - as originally confirmed by an official Samsung spokesperson, when speaking to Korean news publication Digital Daily and since cemented by the release of press invitations (see below) to the next Samsung Unpacked event.
In relation to this Summer's Samsung Unpacked, the representative stated, "the broadcast time is the same as before." This would suggest an 11pm KST (Korean Standard Time)/3pm BST/10am ET start time.
Prior to this Android Police's Max Weinbach had cryptically tweeted about both the 4 and 4 Active's arrival, alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 foldables, back during the first half of June, suggesting a 3 August launch.
On 8/3 2 3s will be released with 2 4s as well— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) June 11, 2021
Jon Prosser – the established tipster known for his reliable Apple predictions – also suggested that while the timepieces might be revealed on 3 August, they won't hit the market until 11 August, which now looks to be the reveal date, rather than the market release date.
Leaked renders of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic display a date of 28 August – a date that has since been revised to 27 August, by the watch line's brief appearance on Amazon Canada (as spotted by MySmartPrice), which also confirmed other variants, pricing and specs (more on those later).
For context, the original Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch 3 both arrived in the August of their respective launch years, with the Galaxy Watch Active and Active 2 changing tact, making their debuts in April and September of the same year (2019).
Q2— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) March 6, 2021
Prior to Weinbach's and Prosser's launch predictions, established tipster Ice Universe had cited a Q2 launch window (between Apr and June) for both the Galaxy Watch 4 and the (then unheard of) Galaxy Watch Active 4 (skipping 'Active 3' entirely).
This, however, was subsequently refuted by SamMobile, who claimed that the Galaxy Watch 4 would land alongside the Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3, at some point in Q3 2021 – between July and September – aligning with what have quickly become the most viable predictions.
To confuse things further, leaker Evan Blass did at one point claim that the Galaxy Watch Active 4 wouldn't be launching at all – or at least not any time soon – despite the fact that numerous other tipsters have reported on it and even shared renders.
It's possible that other leakers have gotten confused about the shape of Samsung's product line, or which leaks refer to which devices, or maybe in this instance it's just Blass that's got it wrong.
The fact that – as spotted by Android Authority – a number of Galaxy Watch 4 variants have passed through the FCC regulatory authority's system (as of 15 June) also points to an imminent release.
How much does the Galaxy Watch 4 cost?
Sources have apparently informed MySmartPrice, that the base Galaxy Watch 4 is slated to arrive in two sizes; with pricing between €350 and €370 (around £310/US$430) for the smaller 40mm model and €380 to €400 (around £335/$460) for the larger 44mm build.
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, meanwhile, is also set to manifest in two sizes; with the smaller 42mm variant priced between €470 and €500 (around £420/US$580), while the 46mm model will land somewhere in the region of between €500 and €530 (around £445/US$620).
Pricing from the briefly visible Amazon Canada product pages price the 40mm Watch 4 from CAD$310, the 44mm model from CAD$347, the 42mm Watch 4 Classic from CAD$428 and the largest 46mm build of Classic from CAD$464; equivalent to £180/€210/US$250, £200/€235/US$275, £245/€290/US$340 and £270/€310/US$370, respectively. All markedly lower than the pricing served up by previous leaks.
For reference, the current Galaxy Watch 3 also comes in two sizes - 41mm and 45mm - and costs £399/$399 or £419/$429, respectively. There's also a cellular version of Watch 3 which costs a little more at £429/$449 and £459/$479, depending on the size you swing for.
The Galaxy Watch Active and Active 2 started at £199/$199.99 and £249/$249.99, respectively.
What features does the Galaxy Watch 4 offer?
Based on a combination of every leak we've encountered so far, alongside Samsung's previous Galaxy Watch entries, here's everything we're expecting the next entries are bringing to the table.
Jumping forward to Google I/O 2021, in mid-May, and Google officially revealed that it was teaming up with Samsung to fuse Wear OS and Tizen OS into a single platform, which Samsung then confirmed would be powering the next Galaxy Watch, pulling in additional wellness and fitness features supplied by the now Google-owned Fitbit.
The new OS after Wear OS integrates Tizen OS— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) May 19, 2021
Neither company gave this OS fusion a proper name, referring to it as "Wear" at the time but Ice Universe once again stepped in shortly afterwards to reveal more specs - specifically about the Galaxy Watch 4 Active but including traits that will undoubtedly grace the standard Watch 4 too.
Wear OS watches have typically been criticised for their performance and talk of a new 5nm chipset would serve as a huge leap forward, based on the best Qualcomm has to offer – the Snapdragon Wear 4100+, with its 12nm design – or even the 10nm chip currently at play inside the Galaxy Watch 3.
Thanks to the Amazon Canada leak, it looks like new silicon will manifest as the Exynos W920; a fresh-faced wearable chip that Samsung promises delivers “1.25x faster processing times compared to the Exynos 9110” and “8.8x smoother graphics performance.” 1.5GB of RAM and double the storage – 16GB up from 8GB – of their predecessor (according to a report by SamMobile) is said to be in the mix too.
Samsung's MWC 2021 showcase made many of the same points as the company had during the original unveiling of this newly-struck Google partnership, however, additional details did emerge.
Samsung referred to the jointly-created platform as running underneath 'One UI Watch', which is the most direct reference to any sort of name for this experience we've received so far.
The mention of One UI – the brand name for the user experience already found of Samsung Galaxy phones – also translates to how the experience will supposedly look, with UI elements and app menus slated to more closely mirror that of One UI as it appears on the company's phones.
Settings and customisation options, like international clocks, notifications and alarms will supposedly sync across phone and watch, while the platform will also support Google Play Store compatibility and allow developers to leverage Google APIs for Samsung's wearable platform.
At the same time, Samsung confirmed during its MWC presentation that it would be releasing an improved watch face creator tool and apps will auto-install on-watch if an app with a compatible experience were downloaded onto your phone.
Slimmer design - Samsung already made the Galaxy Watch 3 a slimmer and less cluttered watch than its 2018 predecessor, but we'd like to see the 2021 rendition go on an even more extreme diet - in terms of both weight and thickness - provided such a move doesn't impact performance or battery life.
One leak initially suggested this could be the case, with 3C (China's certification board) certifying a 240mAh battery for a yet-unnamed Samsung wearable with codename SM-R880. It's widely believed that it's in fact the smaller 41mm version of the Galaxy Watch 4, which if true, shows a reduction of 7mAh compared to the Galaxy Watch 3.
Later, as spotted by 91mobiles, the Finnish certification authority - SGS Fimko - had Samsung smartwatches with Galaxy Watch 4-associated model numbers (SM-R865F and SM-R860) pass through, citing a capacity of 247mAh; the same as the 41mm Galaxy Watch 3.
If this turns out to be true (and in contradiction to the 3C certification from months prior), it stands to reason that the larger Galaxy Watch 4 will also sport the same-sized battery as its direct predecessor, clocking in at 340mAh.
A subsequent FCC entry unearthed model numbers SM-R890, SM-R885, SM-R875, and SM-R870; thought to be the various WiFi and cellular variants of both casing sizes and builds (i.e. standard and Active) of this year's Galaxy Watch line.
The above Ice Universe tweet also makes mention of narrower bezels, even if that may only be in relation to the Galaxy Watch Active 4.
OnLeaks and GizNext produced renders of what they claim to be the Galaxy Watch 4 Active; depicted in the four colours the watch is expected to launch in (although, GizNext does specifically that the shades of each colour may not be accurate).
The renders show a new design featuring straighter sides and sharper edges, compared to the Watch Active 2, as well as a wide silicone strap that hugs the watch's casing, extending past the lugs. Two longer, flatter buttons also protrude from the watch casing's right side.
The legitimacy of these renders has since been compounded by leaker Evan Blass' bumper publication of GIFs on his Twitter on 10 July; which serve up animated revolutions around every major product (in every expected colourway) thought to be making their debut at Unpacked on 11 August.
The renders include both the Watch 4 Active and Watch 4 Classic (which we'll embed below), alongside the Galaxy S21 FE, the Galaxy Buds 2, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3.
We can now add a dedicated section on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic as it's been leaked with plenty of images and details. These official-looking renders come from Android Headlines, with the site pointing out it's the first time Samsung has used the 'Classic' branding since the Gear S3 Classic.
Importantly, Samsung appears to be keeping the rotating bezel and the watch has two large buttons on the right side. It will allegedly come in at least two sizes: 42mm and 46mm casings, with choice of black, white and grey colours.
The screen (1.19in on the 42mm model and 1.36in on the 46mm variant) will be covered in Gorilla Glass DX for the stainless steel model and DX+ (softer but with better scratch resistance) for the aluminium. It will come with two 20mm watch straps in the box - S/M and M/L.
The Watch 4 Classic is 5ATM rated (for 50m depth of water) and MIL-STD-810G certified.
Evan Blass also followed up the above-leaked renders with 360-degree animated rotations of the Classic in three finishes on his Twitter.
More premium materials - Steel and aluminium have been go-to material choices for Samsung's top smartwatches for a few years now but with Apple's Watch Edition series and entries like the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro weaving titanium and the like into their designs, it'd be nice to see a wider choice of materials and finishes on the Galaxy Watch 4.
The Ice Universe post that revealed the (now-defunct) "TizenWear OS" name specifically mentioned "excellent frame texture, suspected to be titanium alloy." Fellow established tipster Roland Quandt did, however, chime in, in response to Ice Universe's tweet on the matter with the following:
1 model Aluminum, 1 model stainless steel.— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) May 19, 2021
Wider feature support - The Galaxy Watch 3 boasts Apple Watch-rivalling heart-rate, ECG, blood pressure and blood oxygen tracking, but not all of these premium health-tracking features are available in all markets, stuck behind certification from various countries' health boards.
If Samsung can work on getting approval for the technology inside the Galaxy Watch 4 ahead of its launch, more users worldwide will be able to enjoy functionality that some Galaxy Watch 3 owners already make use of.
A rugged version - Samsung has made hardy smartwatches in the past but despite their intended use as fitness trackers, even the Watch Active line sported designs that looked great but weren't particularly hard-wearing.
Taking queues from wearables like the Amazfit T-Rex Pro and its own Galaxy Tab Active tablets, an alternative rugged version of the Galaxy Watch 4 would likely appeal to a wider array of potential users.
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