Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Which smartwatch should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Which smartwatch should you buy?

The Apple Watch, for a long time, has been the best smartwatch to buy. The biggest downside to it though is it only works with an iPhone. If you’re an Android user, there have been several options from various OEMs including Samsung. The Galaxy Watch 3 was one of the best smartwatches for Android but came with one major caveat — it ran Samsung’s Tizen OS which lacked some third-party apps.

The new Galaxy Watch 4 has just been announced and one of the highlights is it comes with OneUI Watch based on Google’s latest version of Wear OS. If you’re planning to buy a new smartwatch and are confused about which you should get — the Galaxy Watch 4 vs the Galaxy Watch 3 — we’ll make it easier for you!

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch Active 2 app drawers

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Specs

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Specifications

SpecificationSamsung Galaxy Watch 4 ClassicSamsung Galaxy Watch 3
Size(s)
  • 40mm
  • 44mm
  • 41mm
  • 45mm
Dimensions and Weight
  • 40mm: 40.4×39.3×9.8mm, 25.9g
  • 44mm: 44.4×43.3×9,8mm, 30.3
  • Aluminum case
  • 41mm: 41.0×42.5×11.3mm, 48g
  • 45mm: 45.0×46.2×11.1mm, 53g
Display
  • 40mm: 1.19-inch (330PPI)
  • 44mm: 1.36-inch (330PPI)
  • 41mm: 1.2-inch
  • 45mm: 1.4-inch
ProcessorExynos W920 (5nm)Exynos 9110 (10nm)
Memory
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 16GB Internal Storage
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB Internal Storage
Battery
  • 40mm: 247mAh
  • 44mm: 361mAh
  • 41mm: 247mAh
  • 45mm: 340mAh
SensorsAccelerometer, Barometer, Gyro, Geomagnetic, Light, Samsung BioActive SensorAccelerometer, Barometer, Gyro, ECG, Light, PPG
ConnectivityLTE, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz, NFC, GPS/Glonass/Beidou/GallileoLTE, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz, NFC, GPS/Glonass/Beidou/Gallileo
Durability
  • 5ATM water-resistant
  • IP68
  • MIL-STD-810G
  • 5ATM water-resistant
  • IP68
  • MIL-STD-810G
OSOneUI WatchTizen OS

Before we get on with the comparison, it’s important to note the standard Galaxy Watch 4 replaces the Galaxy Watch Active 2 from last year, while the Galaxy Watch 3 is being replaced by the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. If you’re planning on getting the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic and wish to know how that fares against the Galaxy Watch 3, we’ve compared those two watches as well.

Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy Watch 3: Design and Display

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 in black with orange watch face

The new Galaxy Watch 4 has newer and better hardware both on the inside and the outside compared to the Galaxy Watch 3 from last year. The design language followed by both smartwatches is quite different though. The Galaxy Watch 4 has a more casual, sporty look while the Galaxy Watch 3 looks more formal like a traditional timepiece. The Galaxy Watch 4 has a touch-capacitive bezel around the display while the Galaxy Watch 3 has a rotating bezel. Looks are always subjective so you can decide which one suits you better.

Both smartwatches have an OLED display that’s similar in size. The dial is larger by 1mm on the Galaxy Watch 3 but that’s not something you would notice during day-to-day usage. You can pick up the Galaxy Watch 4 in two size variants — 40mm and 44mm — while the Galaxy Watch 3 is available in 41mm and 45mm variants. The Galaxy Watch 4 is considerably slimmer than the Watch 3 thanks to Samsung’s new BioActive sensor that integrates all the health tracking functions into a single unit.

Internals and Health Features

Galaxy Watch 4

On the inside, the Galaxy Watch 4 is powered by the latest Exynos W920 chipset which is based on a 5nm manufacturing process. This chip is much faster and more power-efficient compared to the Exynos 9110 on the Galaxy Watch 3. The Galaxy Watch 4 also gets more RAM and storage — 1.5GB and 16GB instead of 1GB and 8GB on the Galaxy Watch 3. More RAM helps with smoother performance and more storage means you can now install more apps and store more music offline on your watch. The power-efficient chip means that with almost the same capacity battery on both watches, the Galaxy Watch 4 will give you better battery life.

As for health features, the Galaxy Watch 4 brings a few improvements and new features thanks to the BioActive sensor we mentioned earlier. All the basics like activity tracking, heart rate monitoring and SpO2 monitoring are present on the Galaxy Watch 3. There’s ECG functionality as well. Along with these features, the Galaxy Watch 4 gets additional features like the ability to monitor your blood pressure and one of the main highlights of the watch is the ability to measure body composition. You can check your BMI, fat levels, water levels, etc. in your body similar to what you would get with a smart scale. If these features are important to you, getting the Galaxy Watch 4 makes a lot of sense.

Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy watch 3: Software

Galaxy Watch 4 with Google apps

Along with the new BioActive sensor, the other big change coming to the Galaxy Watch is the new software experience. Samsung is calling it OneUI Watch and is essentially a version of Google’s latest Wear OS update. The Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic are the first smartwatches to come with the latest version of Wear OS, but with a host of add-ons from Samsung. Samsung has been using Tizen on their smartwatches and while it helped with a smoother UI and better battery performance when compared to earlier versions of Wear OS, it was lacking in the features department.

Verdict: Which one should you buy?

You can only use Samsung’s apps and a few third-party apps on Tizen-running Galaxy Watch 3 whereas you can download lots of apps from the Google Play Store on the Galaxy Watch 4 thanks to the integration with Wear OS. The Galaxy Watch 4 can be paired with any Android device that has Google’s GMS core so it can’t be used with an iPhone or even some Huawei devices. The Galaxy Watch 3, on the other hand, has no such limitation and can be paired to even an iPhone.

Which one should you buy?

Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic on a wrist

The new Galaxy Watch 4 starts at $249.99 for the base 40mm variant while the older Galaxy Watch 3 still retails for $349 on Samsung’s website. Considering all the new features and improvements, it doesn’t make sense to get the Galaxy Watch 3 by spending $100 more than a newer product. If you want better looks, for $349, you can get the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic which gives you all the features of the Galaxy Watch 4 along with a stainless steel body and a design similar to that of the Galaxy Watch 3.

    Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
    The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has a new BioActive sensor, and a new unified software platform called One UI Watch.

Unless you get a great deal on the Galaxy Watch 3 or you want to pair your Samsung smartwatch with your iPhone (wonder why you would do that instead of getting an Apple Watch?), the Galaxy Watch 4 should be your obvious option.

    Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
    The Galaxy Watch 3 runs on Tizen OS and an older chip but if you find a good deal, it can still be a decent option.

If you’re an Android user, you’ve probably been longing for a good smartwatch that can compete against the Apple Watch, and it looks like Samsung finally has a winner. If you want to know how the Galaxy Watch 4 compares to the Apple Watch Series 6, we have a dedicated comparison highlighting the differences between both watches. In case you decide to pick up the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, we also have a list of the best bands that you can buy to match your style.

About author

Sumukh Rao
Sumukh Rao

A tech fanatic with a hunger for knowledge in the ever-growing field of science and technology. An avid quizzer and a gadget critic who loves simplifying tech for the masses has a keen interest in modding Android devices.