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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung announced the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic during its Unpacked event in August 2021.

The Galaxy Watch 4 succeeds the Galaxy Watch Active 2, dropping the Active name and skipping over the 3 moniker, while the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the successor to the Galaxy Watch 3, adding the Classic name to distinguish it from the sportier sibling. 

We've compared the specifications for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic to help you work out what the differences are and which could be the right Samsung smartwatch for you.

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Design

  • Galaxy Watch 4: 40mm and 44mm, four colours
  • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: 42mm and 46mm, two colours

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic look similar when it comes to design. The two devices have circular faces with flat edges and a casing that seamlessly transitions into the lugs. 

Both devices also have two function buttons on the right edge and sensors on the underside of the casing. The Watch 4 Classic is a little bulkier and it has a rotating bezel on the top of its face. It is also made from stainless steel. The Watch 4 meanwhile, has a tapered black bezel on the top and it is made from aluminium.

The Galaxy Watch 4 comes in two case sizes of 40mm and 44mm, like the Apple Watch, and four colour options in total, with black and silver available in both case sizes, green exclusive to the 44mm size and pink gold exclusive to the 40mm size.

The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic meanwhile, also comes in two case sizes but slightly larger than the Watch 4 at 42mm and 46mm. There are just two colour options of just black and silver available across both models.

Both have MIL-STD 810G durability and are 5ATM water resistant. There are a range of straps available to customise each smartwatch to your style, with all straps secured with a buckle fastening.

Display 

  • Galaxy Watch 4: 40mm - 1.2-inch, 396 x 396 resolution / 44mm - 1.4-inch, 450 x 450 resolution
  • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: 42mm - 1.19-inch, 396 x 396 resolution / 46mm - 1.4-inch, 450 x 450 resolution

As mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 comes in two case options: 40mm and 44mm. The 40mm model has a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display with a 396 x 396 resolution. The 44mm model has a 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 450 x 450 resolution.

The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic meanwhile comes in 42mm and 46mm case options. The 42mm model has a 1.19-inch Super AMOLED display with a 396 x 396 resolution, while the 46mm model has a 1.4-inch display with a 450 x 450 resolution, like the larger Watch 4 model.

All models feature Corning Gorilla Glass DX for protection and they are all colour, Always On Displays.

Hardware and specs

  • Galaxy Watch 4: Exynos W920 5nm chip, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage, Bluetooth and LTE
  • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: Exynos W920 5nm chip, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage, Bluetooth and LTE

Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic run on the Exynos W920 5nm chip, supported by 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. They both also come in Bluetooth only and Bluetooth and LTE variants and they both run on the new Wear OS 3 platform with Samsung's One UI Watch 3 over the top.

The Galaxy Watch 4 44mm and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 46mm models both have a battery capacity of 361mAh, while the Galaxy Watch 4 40mm model and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 42mm model have a capacity of 247mAh.

Software and features

  • Galaxy Watch 4: One UI Watch, heart rate monitoring, built-in GPS, waterproofing, NFC
  • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: One UI Watch, heart rate monitoring, built-in GPS, waterproofing, NFC

Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and the Watch 4 Classic have the same sensors on board, offering the same features. They both have a BioActive sensor that records optical heart rate, electrical heart rate and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis.

This allows users to monitor blood pressure, detect AFib irregular heartbeat, measure blood oxygen and calculate body composition, the latter of which includes skeletal muscle and body fat percentage, among other factors.

Both smartwatches also offer built-in GPS, both have waterproofing with swim tracking and both offer detailed sleep tracking too. The two models also offer NFC for Samsung Pay, allowing you to pay with your wrist if you have a compatible bank.

As mentioned, the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Watch 4 Classic run on Samsung's One UI Watch 3 platform on top of the Wear OS 3 operating system that was created by Samsung and Google, so they will offer a very similar experience in terms of software. Features include the built-in compass on the watch models working with Google Maps, and compatibility with multiple third-party apps like Spotify, Adidas Running, Strava and Calm.

Price

  • Galaxy Watch 4: From £249 in the UK
  • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: From £349 in the UK

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 starts at £249 in the UK for the 40mm Bluetooth only model. The 40mm LTE model starts at £289. The 44mm model costs £269 and £309, respectively. 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic starts at £349 in the UK for the 42mm Bluetooth only model. The 42mm LTE model costs £389 in the UK. The 46mm model costs £389 and £409, respectively.

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Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic share similarities in design, but the Classic model is a little bulkier and larger, whilst also offering a rotating bezel, while the standard model is available in more colours and has a sportier build.

The user interface is the same across the two models - though the Classic model of course has the extra features that come with the rotating bezel - and they offer the same hardware and sensors.

The decision between these two models therefore comes down to your budget, but also which design you prefer.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 13 July 2021.