Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 will get a seriously useful upgrade

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
(Image credit: Future)

Update: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 bug reportedly breaking smartwatch — what to do.

Messaging on even the best smartwatches isn't easy, but the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is getting a major upgrade to tackle that conundrum: a QWERTY keyboard.  

This upgrade will come with One UI Watch 4.5. when it releases "soon," according to Samsung, and will provide a pop up keyboard when users need to send messages, write emails, or search for things. If the idea of tapping out more than a few sentences on a small wrist-mounted display seems like madness then don't worry as the keyboard has a "Swipe to type" function. 

Getting a QWERTY keyboard now gives the Galaxy Watch 4 a feature to better compete with the Apple Watch 7. And it's a welcome alternative to text-to-speak and Scribble. 

That said, Samsung watches actually had a keyboard before the Apple Watch. Given, it was a T9 keyboard like you might find on an old flip phone, but I’ve always appreciated the option to type out the occasional text message I sent from my wrist. Before the Apple Watch 7 came out, I argued a keyboard was the one thing it should steal from the best smartwatch for Android

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 QWERTY keyboard

(Image credit: Samsung)

Now the roles have been reversed, but I’m nonetheless a fan of the Galaxy Watch getting a QWERTY keyboard of its own.

Alongside the new keyboard, One UI Watch 4.5. is also bringing in other new features, including accessibility assistance, more customizable watch faces, and dual-SIM support.

It’s possible these new features will officially launch alongside the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, making both the current-gen model and Samsung’s upcoming smartwatches strong rivals to the Apple Watch Series 8.

One UI Watch 4.5 for Galaxy Watch — additional upgrades

The Galaxy Watch 4 will get additional upgrades alongside the QWERTY keyboard. Also in the realm of communication, the Galaxy Watch will get dual-SIM support, meaning users can assign a preferred SIM on their paired Galaxy smartphone and the assignment will automatically sync to their watch. Users can also choose which SIM they want to use when making calls from their wrist.

In terms of personalization, One UI Watch 4.5 is adding more customization options to the watch face library. Before, you could only add one version of a watch face to your favorite list, but now you can customize the same foundational design multiple times. 

Finally, the Galaxy Watch is getting more accessible with new visual and audio settings. The display can be adjusted in hue, contrast and font size, plus there will now be the option to remove animations and other interface effects. Sound can be balanced for listening through Bluetooth headphones, too.

Kate Kozuch

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.