July 1, 2022

I’ve never been shy about my love for gadgets and other tech-related things. For better or worse, one of my favorite bits of technology that I like to check out is smartwatches. I keep trying new ones to hopefully find the one that finally gets as much possible right, and it’s why I was so excited about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 — until I wasn’t. But the nerd in me felt like I was missing out, so here I am with the watch again.

A shot at redemption 

Quick backstory: I bought the regular Galaxy Watch 4 when it first became available in 2021. However, it only took two weeks of using it to realize that I had been very let down — so I returned it. Now, if we fast forward until about a month ago, I felt as though perhaps I got so hyped up at what the watch could be that there was no way it could deliver on that excitement. After some deliberation, I decided to purchase a Galaxy Watch 4 Classic to give it another go.

The Galaxy Watch 4 was supposed to be the thing that finally made Wear OS wearable a must-have device — it wasn’t and isn’t.

Part of my disappointment in the Galaxy Watch 4 was in the hardware. Not the overall product, but in the capacitive rotating bezel. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 was the first wearable device from Samsung to use a touch-sensitive bezel as a navigation option instead of the physical variety on previous watches. Unfortunately, I found the implementation on the new smartwatch to be just as useless as it was on the Active 2 — this was one of the factors in buying the Classic model my second time around.

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(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Divinemercy)

Even when Samsung was putting its in-house OS Tizen on its smartwatches, it was making some of the best Android smartwatches on the market. This was one of the primary reasons I wanted to give its Wear OS watch another try. Samsung’s hardware and software chops are too good in its smartphones for the Galaxy Watch 4 to fail so hard — I felt it needed another shot.

Right away, when I held the Watch 4 Classic, its impressive hardware struck me. There’s no rattling or sense of it being hollow; it feels substantial. Oh, and the physical rotating bezel is so damn satisfying to feel the clicking as it spins, much like clicking the S Pen in the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The joy of using the rotating bezel continued in navigating the software.

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Divinemercy)

Unfortunately, as for Wear OS 3, it still feels the same as before. Everything about the UI is complete Tizen, that hasn’t changed, and I didn’t necessarily think it would have. But the watch is still missing out on some key Wear OS features that other watches, like my favorite TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, have. It seems Google still has too many of its wearable eggs in Samsung’s basket.