Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Apple Watch 7: Every rumored difference between smartwatches

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Apple Watch 7: Every rumored difference between smartwatches

We previously compared the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Apple Watch 6 (shown above). Here’s how we expect the newest versions of Apple and Samsung’s watches to stack up. 

Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple.

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 is taking on Apple’s smartwatches as it adds the new Google Wear OS. But how will the Android watch hold up against the upcoming Apple Watch 7? Although it’s fun to compare the two rival smartwatches’ specs, most people will pick the one that matches their current operating system, especially since you need an iPhone to use the latest Apple Watch and an Android phone for the Galaxy Watch. But if you like bragging to your friends about which watch is superior, read on. 

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic were unveiled in August at the company’s August Unpacked event. The new smartwatch made its debut alongside two new Samsung foldable phones, the Galaxy Z Fold 3Galaxy Z Flip 3 and the Galaxy Buds 2

The Apple Watch 7 is expected to make its first appearance alongside the iPhone 13 and maybe even the AirPods 3 at the tech giant’s next event on Sept. 14. Although the new smartwatch was previously rumored to be delayed due to manufacturing difficulties, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggests the Apple Watch 7 will debut on time after all, but will be available in limited quantities at launch

Read more: How to watch Apple’s Sept. 14 event live and everything we expect

Apple consistently unveils its smartwatches annually in mid-September. Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, when many product announcements were disrupted, the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE both debuted on Sept. 15, 2020, and were released three days later. (Here’s how the Apple Watch 6 compares to the SE.)

We took a stab at comparing the Galaxy Watch 4 and Apple Watch 7 specs, based on all the Apple Watch rumors we’ve heard so far. Just note that none of the Apple Watch 7 specs have been confirmed. 

If you’re itching for more rumors about the latest from Apple, check out all the details about the iPhone 13 release date, the rumors about the iPhone 13’s features, camera specs, design and price, and how the iPhone 13 might compare to the iPhone 12. You can also take a look at how the Apple Watch 7 could compare to last year’s Apple Watch 6


The Galaxy Watch 4 has a collection of animated watch faces, shown above.

Scott Stein/CNET

Price: The Galaxy Watch 4 could be cheaper than the Apple Watch 7

For many people, price is one of the most important deciding factors when choosing new tech. With that in mind the Galaxy Watch 4 is $50 cheaper than the expected price of the Apple Watch 7

The Galaxy Watch 4 went on sale in the US and UK on Aug. 26, following its reveal during Samsung’s August Unpacked event. The new Galaxy Watch starts at $250 (£249 or roughly AU$470) and goes up in price for the larger-size Bluetooth and LTE versions. Samsung’s previous smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 3, cost $400 at launch. The company also lowered prices for its foldable phone this year.

Like most of the details about the upcoming Apple Watch, we haven’t heard any official word about the upcoming smartwatch’s price. The tech giant’s previous three Watch models launched with a $399 (£379, AU$599) starting price — not counting the Apple Watch SE, which launched at a more “affordable” $279 (£269, AU$429). The price then went up for the larger size option and for cellular connectivity. 

Since we haven’t heard about any major hardware upgrades or new features on the docket that would warrant a price jump, we expect the Apple Watch 7 to mirror the prices of its predecessors. 

Design: All the differences in shape, size and color 

The most noticeable difference between the two smartwatches is their shape. The Galaxy Watch 4 has a round, circular design that mirrors a traditional watch shape. In comparison, Apple’s upcoming smartwatch is said to feature a more box-like design with flat-edges. 

An August report from 91mobiles speculates that the new Apple Watch will get rid of the rounded edges and opt for a square shape. The look would align with Apple’s recent design choices for the iPad Pro and iPhone 12. Apple’s upcoming smartwatch will also get slimmer bezels and a new lamination technique that makes the screen appear closer to the glass cover, according to a June Bloomberg report. 

In terms of size, the Galaxy Watch 4 is smaller than the expected dimensions of the Apple Watch 7. The Galaxy Watch comes in 40mm and 44mm options, while the Apple Watch 7 is expected to come in 41mm and 45mm sizes, according to another Bloomberg report in August. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, however, is larger than the rumored size of the Apple Watch 7. The Classic version of the new Galaxy Watch comes in 42mm and 46mm options. 

The two smartwatches also each offer a different collection of colors. The Galaxy Watch 4 comes in black, green, silver, pink and gold (aluminum), and the Classic version of the Samsung watch comes in black and silver (stainless steel). The Apple Watch 7 is rumored to come in a new sage green color similar to the green on the AirPods Max, according to May renders from Leaker Jon Prosser. The new Apple Watch could also be available in red, blue, black and silver, according to speculation.

Apple Watch 7 render -red-green-blue

Renders of the rumored Apple Watch 7.

Jon Prosser

Health and fitness: Apple and Samsung’s smartwatches may have similar features

The Galaxy Watch 4 has a bundle of health and fitness features, including body composition measurements through bioelectrical impedance analysis, heart-rate monitoring, blood-pressure measuring, an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) feature, a collection of stress measurements and workout tracking. The Android smartwatch also has better sleep tracking than its predecessors with more frequent blood oxygen readings and snore detection. Some of the watch’s health features, including ECG, need a Samsung phone to work, while others work fine with any recent Android phone.

Although the Apple Watch Series 7 isn’t expected to see significant health and fitness upgrades compared to the Apple Watch Series 6, according to a Bloomberg report from June, it’s expected to inherit blood oxygen saturation measurements, the ability to take an ECG from the wrist, fall detection and international emergency calling from previous Apple Watch models. 

The new Apple Watch is also likely to come with other Apple health features, including a built-in compass, irregular heart-rhythm notifications, high and low heart-rate notifications and an always-on altimeter. 

More ambitious health features like blood glucose monitoring and body temperature measurements are still a few more years away for the Apple Watch, according to Bloomberg.

Performance: Processors, software and battery specs compared

The Galaxy Watch 4 is powered by the latest Exynos W920 chipset. The watch also features a new Google Wear OS co-designed by Samsung and Google. It’s the first smartwatch to run the new software, officially called Wear OS 3. In his review of the Galaxy Watch 4, CNET’s Scott Stein says, although the move to Wear OS was a big deal and a step toward integrating the smartwatch with Android phones, “it feels like the Samsung ecosystem Band-Aid hasn’t been ripped off completely.”

In comparison, the Apple Watch 7 is expected to house an updated processor with a smaller, double-sided S7 chip. The new smartwatch will also feature Apple’s WatchOS 8 software, announced at WWDC this past June. 

The new chip would free up space for a bigger battery. Compared to other rival smartwatches and fitness trackers like Fitbit, the Apple Watch’s poor battery life is one of the more persistent complaints. Stein says the Apple Watch has been “dead last” in battery life among its competitive set. 

An improved battery would be a game-changer for the Apple Watch 7. The past three models have all offered about an 18-hour battery life, with the Series 6 housing a 265.9-mAh battery. In comparison, the Galaxy Watch 4 houses 361-mAh and 247-mAh batteries for its 44mm and 40mm sizes, respectively. 

We won’t know exactly how the Apple Watch 7 compares to the Galaxy Watch 4 until Apple unveils the new smartwatch next week, but we’ll update this story as new rumors come up. In the meantime, here’s CNET’s Galaxy Watch 4 review, all the best new features coming in WatchOS 8, how to decide between the Apple Watch Series 6, Series 3 and SE, settings to change on any new Apple Watch, best Apple Watch apps and the best Android smartwatches in 2021. 

Apple Watch 7 (rumored) vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Galaxy Watch 4 Apple Watch 7 (rumored)
Shape Round Square
Watch size 40mm/44mm 41mm/45mm
Colors Black, green, silver, pink and gold Silver, black, gold, blue red, green
Software Wear OS 3 WatchOS 8
Processor Exynos W920 chipset Apple S7 with updated U1 chip
Health and fitness sensors Body-composition measurements, heart rate monitoring, blood pressure measuring, an electrocardiogram feature, snore detections, stress measurements and workout tracking Blood-oxygen sensor, electrical heart-rate sensor, optical heart-rate sensor, compass, always-on altimeter and more
Price $250, £249 (converts to roughly AU$470) $399, £379, AU$599

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