Even though I have the privilege and luxury of testing all the latest Apple products, I have been quite vocal about my preference for using Android phones, and by extension, Google’s ecosystem. However, there are some Apple products that are (or were), just clear cut better than any rival counterparts: the iPad and the Apple Watch.
And so I use the former daily. Unless I have to edit videos, my preferred stationary computing machine is the 2021 M1 iPad Pro. It doesn’t matter that my main phone is usually an Android, or that all the cloud and productivity services I use are Google’s, the iPad works fine with them.
But the Apple Watch, sadly, doesn’t work with Android at all. It must be used with an iPhone. And so I can only wear it when I am using an iPhone as my main phone, which is like maybe two months of the year. The other 10 months I am usually wearing a competing device like the Fitbit Sense or a smartwatch from an Android phone brand and I am always reminded of their inferiority to the Apple Watch—until now.
Samsung’s just-released Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the first smartwatch I’ve tested that almost meets all my wearable needs the way an Apple Watch can. There is still one major flaw, but Samsung promises a fix for that is coming, too.
A quick note before we begin the review: Samsung actually released two new smartwatches in its Watch 4 series: a $350 “Classic” edition that’s larger, has a rotatable bezel, and a stainless steel body; and a smaller standard Watch 4 that doesn’t have a bezel, is made out of aluminum, and costs $250. Although I only tested the Classic model, the majority of things I cover in this review apply to both watches unless specifically stated otherwise.
Responding to messages work well on an Android wearable, finally
In my opinion, with fitness bands being so much more compact and affordable, a smartwatch is only worth wearing if it allows me to check my smartphone less. And the reason most of us check our phones so often is to check, and respond, to notifications, which are often chat messages.
The Apple Watch…