Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic to plenty of acclaim and attention, ditching its in-house Tizen operating system. However, several finer points were missing from the numerous press junkets.
For one, the Galaxy Watch 4 series is only compatible with devices running Android 6.0 or newer with Google Mobile Services (GMS) and at least 1.5 GB of RAM. Hence, recent and future Huawei smartphones are out of luck, as are iPhones. While we imagine that few people used a Samsung smartwatch with an iPhone, the Galaxy Watch 3 supported iOS devices.
Additionally, pairing the Galaxy Watch 4 with an Android device requires you to download the Galaxy Wearable app, Samsung accessory service and the Galaxy Watch 4 plug-in. In short, the Wear OS app is redundant for the Galaxy Watch 4 series.
You must also reset your Galaxy Watch 4 or Watch 4 Classic if you ever need to pair it to a new smartphone, a continual frustration of Google and Samsung smartwatches. For the record, it is possible to pair a Wear OS 2 smartwatch to a new smartphone using ADB commands, so we fail to see why Google insists on resetting a device to re-pair it.
Worse still, Samsung continues to restrict ECG and blood pressure functionality to its smartphones. The company requires you to have the Samsung Health Monitor app installed, which is only officially available through the Galaxy Store.
Overall, the Galaxy Watch 4 series is not a fresh start for Wear OS. Instead, Samsung's new smartwatches carry the combined baggage of Tizen and Wear OS 2. Ultimately, the only way to get the best from the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic is to use it with a Samsung smartphone.