The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 lineup gives shoppers a few design options depending on what best suits their lifestyle. Whether you want a big-screened device that still looks like a traditional timepiece or a sleek and small smartwatch, there’s a Galaxy Watch 4 for you. Your style preferences could result in spending over $100 more than other customers, though.
If you’ve read our Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review or our guide to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, you’ll know the two models have essentially identical internals, which start at $249.99 and $349.99 for the 40mm and 42mm sizes, respectively.
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The larger sizes of each model (44mm for Galaxy Watch 4 and 46mm for Galaxy Watch 4 Classic) have slightly higher battery capacity than the smaller sizes, but that’s about it in terms of technical specs.
Instead, all the differences lay on the outside. Though Samsung dropped the ‘Active’ branding, the standard Galaxy Watch 4 is slim and sporty-looking while the ‘Classic’ version carries on the iconic characteristics of last year’s Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.
Better yet, this year’s Classic version starts at a lower price than the Galaxy Watch 3. You can find the previous-generation smartwatch on sale right now, but it cost $399.99 at launch. Sounds like a score, right? Perhaps to some, but after spending time with both versions of Samsung’s new smartwatches, I'm not convinced the Classic option is worth the money.
In my video review of the Galaxy Watch 4 smartwatches (opens in new tab) shared to YouTube, I joked how the $100 premium for the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic just gets you a fidget spinner. I meant that in respect to the fan-favorite rotating bezel that first debuted on the original Samsung Galaxy Watch, I promise.
But my sarcasm didn’t seem to land with some commenters, who pointed out the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic’s premium also includes a stainless steel case, rather than an aluminum one. Thanks, I know. I just didn't think most people care about materials as much as functionality.
I’m not saying $349.99 for stainless steel wrist candy isn’t enticing. For comparison, the Apple Watch 6 in stainless steel starts at $799.99. Still, if you really care about luxury materials, what are you doing buying a Samsung smartwatch over a designer timepiece? The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic doesn't even include leather straps. Those cost extra, and don't come in the contoured shape like the silicone ones included in the box.
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic gives me dad vibes, and that's the best way I can describe my opinion. It doesn't quite make the fashion statement Samsung attempted. While the bezel is fun, it's like Samsung is holding onto the mechanism the same way your dad is holding on to your family's old VCR player. Except your dad probably isn't expecting anyone to pay $100 for it.
Look, if you're attracted to the chunkier look of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, don't let me stop you. It has all the best Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Wear OS features, so spend your money how you please.
But if you wanted to hear from someone who used both the standard Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic whether the price for the latter version lives up to the higher price, it's doesn't. For the lower price, slimmer shape and modern design, the $249.99 Galaxy Watch 4 is the ultimate steal.
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