Apple Watch was the top-selling smartwatch last year. Samsung’s Gear devices might lag behind Apple Watch in terms of sales, but the Korean company would leave no stone unturned to challenge the dominance of Apple in the wearable device industry this year. The US tech giant is expected to launch Apple Watch Series 4 while Samsung is preparing to bring Gear S4 later this year. The companies haven’t confirmed the existence of their respective smartwatches, but the rumor mill has done a pretty good job so far revealing details about these devices. Let’s dive into a detailed Apple Watch Series 4 vs Samsung Gear S4 comparison based on analyst reports, rumors, and leaks.
Apple Watch Series 4 vs Samsung Gear S4: Design and hardware specs
SamMobile recently reported that Samsung was developing a new smartwatch with model number SM-R800. The device was code-named “Galileo.” Last year’s Gear S3 Classic and Frontier had model numbers SM-R770 and SM-R760, respectively. The SM-R800 is said to be the successor to Gear S3.
According to the rumor mill, the Gear S4 would retain the design elements including the rotating bezel of its predecessor. However, it could sport an OLED display below the bezel to support new features such as a dedicated battery circle. Samsung’s recent patent filings suggest that the company is working to integrate batteries within the bands. It would allow Samsung to offer a better battery life or make the Gear S4 slimmer than last year’s model. There have also been rumors that the Gear S4 could feature a built-in camera.
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Apple Watch hasn’t seen any major design changes in years. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently told investors that the Apple Watch Series 4 would boast of an all-new design. Its display will be 15% larger than the Series 3’s 1.7-inch. Apple would dramatically reduce the thickness of bezels to offer maximum screen space while keeping the overall size similar to the Series 3. Kuo claims it would also have a more “trendy design,” though it is expected to retain the squircle shape of its predecessor.
The Apple Watch Series 4 is said to pack a bigger battery to extend battery life. Apple will likely incorporate the batteries inside the bands. DigiTimes recently claimed that Apple was working with TSMC on micro-LED panels for the future Apple Watch models. The new display technology could be introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4 itself. The micro-LED panels are expected to enter mass production in the second half of this year.
It’s not yet clear whether the Series 4 Watch would retain the hardware button and the crown or replace it with a gesture-based interface. There have been speculations that the next-gen Apple Watch could feature the Face ID technology, but that’s unlikely to happen. Face ID is far too complex to integrate it into a small wearable device. Apple could add a selfie camera in the new Watch, though.
Apple Watch Series 4 vs Samsung Gear S4: Health tracking
Apple is focusing aggressively on health and fitness. So, we could see more health features in the Series 4 Watch. Last year’s Apple Watch came with an Activity app, an improved heart rate monitor, and activity detection. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple could include new health sensors in the upcoming Watch, without specifying what new sensors would track. Recent rumors suggest the Series 4 Watch would be capable of determining the “axial orientation” of your wrist with the help of specialty sensors. It could allow the Watch to detect more activities.
The Samsung Gear S4 is said to be more tightly integrated with Samsung Health. The Korean electronics giant proved with the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus that smartphones could be used to measure a user’s blood pressure accurately. The Gear S4 could also bring a similar feature. SamMobile claims the Gear S4 will be able to track your sleep more accurately, but it also means that you’ll have to wear the smartwatch even while sleeping.
Apple Watch Series 4 vs Samsung Gear S4: Price
Both the Apple Watch and Gear S devices are pretty expensive. The Apple Watch Series 3 costs $329 for the WiFi only model. If you want to buy the cellular + WiFi version, you’ll have to shell out $399. The Series 4 should be priced in the same range. But Apple could bump up its price because it would carry an all-new design and more health-tracking features. Folks at Phone Arena speculate that the Apple Watch Series 4 could be priced at $349 for the WiFi variant and $429 for the cellular + WiFi model.
The Gear S4, on the other hand, is expected to cost in the same range as its predecessor. Last year’s Gear S3 had a starting price of $349. Of course, Samsung could launch more than one version of the Gear S4, and one of them could support cellular connectivity.
Apple Watch Series 4 vs Samsung Gear S4: Release Date
Both the smartwatches should arrive in the second half of this year. Samsung is expected to unveil the Gear S4 at the IFA trade show in Berlin. Apple is expected to unveil the Series 4 Watch at a standalone media event ahead of the holiday shopping season.