Samsung isn’t expected to launch a new smartwatch at its Unpacked event this week, but it hasn’t forgotten about the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Starting February 9, both smartwatches will support new health and fitness features such as personalized interval training, sleep coaching, and the ability to set body composition goals. Oh, and it also promises better app compatibility for the new Wear OS platform – but you’ll still have to wait a bit for Google Assistant.
Sleep tracking has been one area where Samsung has lagged a little behind more fitness-focused trackers. On that front, Samsung adds a sleep coaching program that seems to draw inspiration from chronotypes – in a nutshell, it’s basically what your natural circadian rhythm is. Traditionally, people are categorized into four animal-associated chronotypes (lion, dolphin, bear, or wolf), but it looks like Samsung has gone a step further and expanded it to eight types. After tracking your sleep patterns for a week and performing two sleep surveys, Samsung says it assigns you one of eight animals representing a type of sleep. Then you’ll have the option of following a four- to five-week program that aims to help you improve your sleep quality through things like checklists, sleep articles, meditation, and reports.
One of the marquee health upgrades for the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic was a shiny new 3-in-1 biosensor that enabled body composition readings. That was impressive, because it had been the job of smart scales and specialized equipment at your doctor’s office or at a gym. That said, you ended up getting a number reading that might not make much sense to beginners. Now, Samsung says it’s partnering with Centr to provide “body composition information.” (If you’ve never heard of Centr, his fame is that he’s Thor For example, if someone is gaining weight while gaining body fat and muscle, this can provide additional context as to why this is normal. Galaxy Watch 4 users will also get a 30-day trial of the app.
Samsung also introduced run coaching a few years ago, but the updates also add a new interval goal feature for runners and cyclists. You will now be able to preset the duration, distance and number of sets. Samsung says that from there, the Galaxy Watch 4 will guide users through a personalized “intensity workout” that alternates high and low intensity workouts.
Samsung’s major announcements may be focused on health, but they’ve also slipped into the promise of greater Android compatibility. The watches launched with Google Maps, Google Pay and YouTube Music, along with a handful of other third-party apps. However, that’s pretty much it since the watches launched in late August. The company now says it plans to enable easier setup, as well as the ability to stream directly to the wrist via Wi-Fi or LTE on the YouTube Music app. He also confirmed that Google Assistant is in fact coming to the Galaxy Watch 4. Once it arrives, users will have the choice of Assistant or Samsung’s Bixby. As for when, Samsung remained vague. While YouTube’s update will be “coming soon”, it says Google Assistant will be available “in the coming months”.
Finally, Samsung is offering more styling options in the form of new strap colors, a fabric strap, and a link strap. It will also add more digital clock colors and fonts to better customize the watch faces.
The new health features will be available through the Galaxy Wearable app from February 9. The new bracelets will be available at the end of February. And hopefully Google Assistant will arrive before the end of 2022.