Watch 4 vs 3 vs Active 2

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(Pocket-lint) – Samsung announced the next generation of its Galaxy Watch in the form of the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic in August 2021.

The two latest smartwatches succeed the Galaxy Watch 3 that arrived in August 2020 and the sleeker, bezel-free Samsung Galaxy Active 2 from August 2019, but how do they compare?

Here is how the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic compares to the Galaxy Watch 3 and Active 2.

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Design

  • Galaxy Watch 4: 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8mm / 40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8mm 
  • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: 45.5 x 45.5 x 11mm / 41.5 x 41.5 x 11.2mm
  • Galaxy Watch 3: 45 x 46.2 x 11.1mm / 41 x 42.5 x 11.3mm
  • Galaxy Watch Active 2: 44 x 44 x 10.9mm / 40 x 40 x 10.9mm

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic adopts a similar design to the Galaxy Watch 3, with a rotating bezel sitting on the top of the display and two function buttons on the right, though the Galaxy Watch 4 is more refined and features redesigned lugs and a new strap that allows the device to sit closer to the wrist.

The Galaxy Watch 4 takes its design cues from the Active 2, with a sleeker finish than the Galaxy 4 Classic and Galaxy Watch 3. Like the Watch 4 Classic, it too has a redesined strap and it ditches the touch bezel of the Active 2, simply offering a flush bezel around the face for a more streamlined design to the Watch 4 Classic and Watch 3. 

The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic comes in 42mm and 46mm size options – both stainless steel – and it is available in silver and black colours.

The Galaxy Watch 4 comes in 40mm and 44mm size options – both aluminium – and both sizes are available in silver and black, while the 40mm is also availabe in pink gold and the 44mm in green.

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 comes in 42mm and 40mm size options and there are a couple of strap options, inlcuding leather, as well as a couple of different models, such as an Under Armour edition and a Golf edition.

The Galaxy Watch 3 comes in a three different finishes – Mystic Black, Mystic Silver and Mystic Bronze, and there is also a titanium option. Sizes are 45mm and 41mm and there are a number of strap options available, including a link bracelet.

All Galaxy Watches are IP68 water and dust resistant, MIL-STD-810G compliant and waterproof up to 5ATM.

Display

  • Galaxy Watch 4: 1.4-inch 450 x 450 pixels / 1.2-inch 396 x 396 pixels, AMOLED
  • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: 1.4-inch 450 x 450 pixels / 1.19-inch 396 x 396 pixels, AMOLED
  • Galaxy Watch 3: 1.4-inch/1.2-inch, 360 x 360 pixels, AMOLED
  • Galaxy Watch Active 2: 1.4-inch/1.2-inch, 360 x 360 pixels, AMOLED

All four Samsung Galaxy Watch models being compared here have Super AMOLED round screens protected by Corning Gorilla Glass DX.

The 40mm Galaxy Watch 4 has a 1.2-inch display with a 396 x 396 pixel resolution, while the 44mm model has a 1.4-inch display with a 450 x 450 pixel resolution.

The 42mm Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has a 1.19-inch display with a 396 x 396 pixel resolution, while the 46mm model has a 1.4-inch display with a 450 x 450 pixel resolution.

The 45mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 comes with a 1.4-inch display, while the 41mm model has a 1.2-inch display. Both have a 360 x 360 pixel resolution.

The 42mm Galaxy Watch Active 2 has a 1.4-inch display, while the 40mm model has a 1.2-inch display. Again, like the Watch 3, both have a 360 x 360 pixel resolution.

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Hardware and specs

  • Galaxy Watch 4: Exynos W920, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage
  • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: Exynos W920, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage
  • Galaxy Watch 3: Exynos 9110, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage
  • Galaxy Watch Active 2: Exynos 9110, 768MB/1.5GB RAM, 4GB storage

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic run on the 5nm Exynos W920 dual core chipset, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Watch Active 2 both run on the Exynos 9110 dual core processor. All models offer LTE and Bluetooth variants.

There is 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of storage on the LTE and Bluetooth models of both the Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic. The Galaxy Watch 3 has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage on both the LTE and Bluetooth models.

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has 1.5GB of RAM and 4GB of storage in the LTE models and 768MB of RAM and 4GB of storage in the Bluetooth models. 

Battery

  • Galaxy Watch 4: 44mm – 361mAh / 40mm – 247mAh
  • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: 46mm – 361mAh / 42mm – 247mAh
  • Galaxy Watch 3: 45mm – 340mAh / 41mm – 247mAh
  • Galaxy Watch Active 2: 42mm – 340mAh / 40mm – 247mAh

The larger models of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic have 361mAh batteries, while the smaller models have 247mAh batteries.

The larger model of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 has a 340mAh battery, while the smaller model has a 247mAh battery, which is the same as the respective larger and smaller models of the Galaxy Watch Active 2, meaning there isn’t a great deal of difference across all Samsung smartwatches.

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Features

  • Galaxy Watch 4: Sleep tracking with REM stages, fall detection, 39 sports modes, ECG, blood pressure, blood oxygen, body composition, Wear OS 3
  • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: Sleep tracking with REM stages, fall detection, 39 sports modes, ECG, blood pressure, blood oxygen, body composition, Wear OS 3
  • Galaxy Watch 3: Sleep tracking with REM stages, fall detection, 39 sports modes, ECG, blood pressure, blood oxygen, Tizen OS
  • Galaxy Watch Active 2: HR, sports tracking, smartphone notifications, running coach, stress feature, Tizen OS

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic both run on Wear OS 3 with the One UI Watch over the top. They are compatible with Android smartphones running Android 6.0 and above – no iOS support. The Galaxy Watch 3 and Watch Active 2 both run on Tizen OS and are compatible with iOS and Android devices.

All the Samsung smartwatches being compared here have heart rate monitoring, smartphone notifications and sports tracking, as you would expect. They also have sleep tracking, built-in GPS and Samsung Pay. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has a running coach too, as well as a stress feature.

The Galaxy Watch 3 has the ability to take an ECG as well as your blood pressure and your blood oxygen level, fall detection, run analysis and 39 sports modes.

The Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic offer the same features as the Watch 3, but they add body composition to the mix of features thanks to a new BioActive sensor that is able to detail information like skeletal muscle and body fat percentage. 

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Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic offer refined designs compared to their predecessors, along with a completely redesigned interface and operating system. They also offer extra features on top of the Watch 3, like body composition, a more advanced processor and access to more third party apps. They aren’t compatible with iOS devices though.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 offers a very similar design to the original Galaxy Watch but with a few welcomed refinements and several extra features, including ECG, blood pressure, blood oxygen fall detection and more sports modes. It’s still a great smartwatch if you don’t have the budget for the latest models, or if you have an iOS device and don’t want an Apple Watch.

The Galaxy Active 2 meanwhile, is a smaller, more stylish smartwatch offering, whilst also offering a number of extra features over the original Galaxy Watch but not quite as many as the Galaxy Watch 3 or Watch 4 and 4 Classic.

You can read our Galaxy Watch Active 2 review and our Galaxy Watch 3 review to see what we thought of the devices. We also have an initial review on the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic if you want to read our first impressions.

Writing by Britta O’Boyle. Originally published on .





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