The Apple Watch 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 are two of the best smartwatches you can buy right now — period. Although each caters to different users, innovations in wearable computing are usually determined by the new features both companies can bring to customers' wrists.
But did Apple or Samsung produce the better device? This Apple Watch 7 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 face-off covers how the two smartwatches stack up.
Apple Watch 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Price and availability
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is available, too. It starts at $249.99 for the 40mm Bluetooth model and $299.99 for the 40mm LTE model. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic model with elevated materials starts at $349.99 for the 42mm Bluetooth model and $399.99 for the 42mm LTE model. It was announced alongside the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, two of the best phones you can buy now.
Apple Watch 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Design
The Apple Watch’s design didn't get the sweeping flat-edged redesigned rumored in past months — the Series 7 is actually curvier compared to previous Apple Watch models. It's not as obvious unless you're looking at the Apple Watch 7 vs. Apple Watch 6 side-by-side, though.
But the Apple Watch 7 display is probably the biggest upgrade, making it the best Apple Watch yet. Apple hasn't changed the Apple Watch's display borders in several years. But now, the Apple Watch 7's display is up to 20% bigger than the Apple Watch 6's. With a tiny 1.7mm bezel, the Apple Watch looks a lot larger, even though the chassis size hasn't changed. It sure looks like it maximizes screen real estate better than the Galaxy Watch 4.
The Galaxy Watch 4 actually has two design options. First, the sporty-looking Galaxy Watch 4 as the company’s flagship and a follow-up to the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. Second, the ‘Classic’ version that carries on the luxurious characteristics of last year’s Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. The Classic model looks more like a traditional watch, offering a good balance of fashion and function, complete with a physical rotating bezel you can use to navigate menus.
Apple Watch 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: New features and software
The Galaxy Watch 4 has several more exclusive features compared to the Apple Watch 7. They include body composition analysis via BIA, plus better sleep tracking with more frequent overnight blood oxygen readings.
Additional upgrades to both smartwatches will come via software. The Apple Watch 7 ships with watchOS 8, which offers new messaging options, multiple timers and a Mindfulness app. One software that is unique to the Apple Watch 7, though, is one we've had on our wishlist for a while now.
Taking advantage of the expanded screen, the Series 7 gets a full keyboard for typing out messages. It's the one thing we said Apple Watch 7 should steal from the Galaxy Watch 4, so we're glad it materialized.
The Galaxy Watch 4 is the first smartwatch to run the new Wear OS, officially called Wear OS 3. Samsung has customized the experience with One UI Watch, though, so it still feels like Tizen somewhat. As the best Samsung watch, we like that the Galaxy Watch 4 offers some familiarity.
If Wear plus One UI Watch lives up to its promises, it could make for the most convincing Apple Watch rival to date. See our Wear OS vs. watchOS face-off for more on how the two softwares stack up.
Apple Watch 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Battery life
Based on our usage, we found the Galaxy Watch 3 lasted just over a day with the always-on display and frequent activity tracking. It seems like the Galaxy Watch 4 lasts about the same length of time, though it can be stretched to two days.
The Apple Watch Series 7 battery life can also last up to two days, but that’s if you pass on popular features. Instead, the 18-hour battery life checked out with daily activity tracking, and always on display and a couple of phone calls answered from my wrist. The Series 7 ships with a new USB-C to Magnetic charger that's supposed to help it charge 33% faster than the Series 6, though.
Apple Watch 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Which wins?
This Apple Watch 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 face-off doesn't have a clear winner. The Apple Watch is the top choice for iPhone users, while the Galaxy Watch 4 is the top choice for Android users. But now that Samsung has teamed up with Google, it could pull from Fitbit's fanbase with the best Fitbit devices, too.
Still not sure which smartwatch is right for you? See our smartwatch buying guide for more advice.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.
There's a lot you didn't cover in this article. I happen to have both watches so I can really compare them. I suppose it's kind of pointless since iPhone users use one and Samsung users use the other. The Galaxy Watch 4 is finally a much better watch than previous versions. One thing they still need to work on however is the transition from wifi to cellular data. The Apple watch seems to do this seamlessly with very little effort while the Galaxy watch takes a good 30 seconds or so to do the job. You might not notice this except the watch always tells you when you're disconnected so your attention is always brought to it. You could turn on "always connected" but then the battery life would really take a hit. This is just one important difference. It would be nice to see a much more detailed analysis.Reply