Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, Watch Active 4: what we know so far

The next Samsung smartwatches are expected to arrive soon. Here’s everything we know so far about Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch Active 4 including specs, possible release date and more.


Galaxy Watch 4, Watch Active 4: technical specs

The next Samsung watch could run on Android

Some of these leaks have come through via tweets from Ice Universe. He has a strong record regarding all-things Samsung, which is partly responsible for his 250,000+ strong following on the social platform. According to Ice, Samsung’s next watch will make the jump from the Tizen operating system to Android.

That would be quite a twist to the plot! Particularly as some consider Wear OS to be a dying platform. Nevertheless, it is used by many wearables manufacturers such as Fossil, Huawei and Mobvoi. Google is issuing regular updates which would indicate it is planning to continue to develop the software.

Having said that, the search giant has recently bought Fitbit which has its own platform. We are yet to see if the two operating systems merge, if they continue living side-by-side, or if one or the other is abandoned. Only time will tell.

What’s interesting is the wording that Ice has used. He did not specifically say Samsung would be switching to Wear OS. That would be strange considering the platform is rather sluggish and poorly reviewed by many. Tizen is more responsive, stable and allows for longer battery life – although the apps are not plentiful.

Instead Ice says “Android”. Android is the base for Wear OS. That would indicate that Samsung is preparing a customized version of the operating system. This is something a number of other companies such as Xiaomi and Oppo have done.

It’s important to note that this has not been confirmed by Samsung. There’s been talk of this switch to Android for a while now. So it’s just a rumor from a source with a well established track record.

Size choices

Another important leak comes courtesy of Dutch site GalaxyClub. They’ve spotted two new Samsung smartwatch models that carry the monikers SM-R86x and SM-R87x. Most likely, these are two variants of the same watch – perhaps two different sized timepieces, both in Bluetooth and cellular options.

This has been confirmed by another leak. It comes from Nils Ahrensmeier – a freelance tech journalist. His sources mention two iterations of each watch.

  • Galaxy Watch 4 – 42 mm (SM-R880)
  • Galaxy Watch 4 – 46 mm (SM-R890)
  • Galaxy Watch Active 4 – 40 mm (SM-R860)
  • Galaxy Watch Active 4 – 42 mm (SM-R870)

If this turns out to be accurate, it would make the larger Watch 4 one millimeter bigger than its predecessor. Interestingly, the larger variant of Watch Active 4 is two millimeters smaller than the current version.

The watch might have glucose tracking

There’s also talk the next Galaxy Watch might be able to monitor for glucose in your blood. Best of all, it would be able to do this by using existing optical heart rate sensors.

Apparently, Both Apple and Samsung are working on the technology together with scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The tech uses Raman spectroscopy to determine glucose levels in the blood. As we’ve said many times before, non-invasive glucose monitoring is the holy grail of diabetes treatment. That would be quite a revolutionary upgrade.


Galaxy Watch 4, Watch Active 4: release date

We thought the new Galaxy Watch Active would go live last summer. Instead Samsung released Galaxy Watch 3 at its Unpacked 2020 event in August.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

The next smartwatches are clearly on their way and are set to land in 2021. It looks like this will be the first year in which we will see upgrades of both Galaxy Watch devices.

Most were anticipating a late summer release date but the devices might land sooner. Ice Universe expects them to launch in Q2. Nils Ahrensmeier expects this to be in June/July.

This means Samsung would consider the upgrade so big that it deserves to skip Watch Active 3. The company did something similar with the last Galaxy Watch. It named it as version 3 instead of 2.

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