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.
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.
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.
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.