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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Buy now or wait?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
(Image credit: Future)

Should you wait for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4? I’ve been tracking next-generation Galaxy Watch leaks ever since the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 came out. And from what I’ve seen so far, longtime fans of the flagship wearable and first-time smartwatch users alike have an attractive gadget to look forward to.

In fact, with rumored upgrades like blood glucose monitoring and a major OS switch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 could be the best smartwatch ever for Android users. But without a release date in sight, you might be wondering whether this new watch will be worth waiting for.

Instead, you could get the Galaxy Watch 3 right now. Not only can you find it on sale, but it’s a little more than six months old. It’s still the biggest competition to the Apple Watch Series 6, and the top accessory pick for owners of Samsung phones.

Here are the top things you should consider if you’re wondering whether to wait for the Galaxy Watch 4 or get the Galaxy Watch 3 now.

Wait: The Galaxy Watch 4 release date is less than six months away

According to a Twitter thread from tipster Ice Universe, the Galaxy Watch 4 and perhaps a fitness-focused Galaxy Watch Active 4 are due in the second quarter of 2021. This means Samsung could be launching its newest smartwatch models earlier than usual — the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 debuted in August 2020.

But even if the next Galaxy Watch comes in August like its predecessors, it’s still less than six months away from making a debut. If you want to avoid buyer’s remorse (or buy a Galaxy Watch 3 now only for the Galaxy Watch 4 to introduce upgrades you care about,) practice a little patience. 

Wait: You’re interested in blood glucose monitoring

A report from ETNews revealed that the Samsung Galaxy Watch will offer non-invasive blood glucose monitoring. Apparently Samsung has been working on this technology for some time.

It works using a technique called Raman spectroscopy. The smartwatch would employ a laser to help identify the chemical composition of glucose through the skin. As described in a method developed by Samsung researchers, the laser offers high prediction accuracies.

Not only is this a game-changer for people with diabetes, but fitness-minded people who track how sugar intake impacts performance could find use for on-demand blood glucose readings, too.

Don’t wait: The rumored upgrades aren’t relevant to you

That said, if blood glucose monitoring isn’t relevant to your health needs, you probably won’t be wowed by the wellness upgrades coming to the next Galaxy Watch. You can expect to see more of the same: SpO2 monitoring, VO2 max readings, automatic activity tracking, trip detection and ECG vital measurements. 

So if that sounds like more tools that you’d ever use, the Galaxy Watch 3 already has everything you need. Sure, there might be minor performance or cosmetic enhancements in Samsung’s plans, but nothing compelling enough to make you regret a purchase now.

Don’t wait: You want a new smartwatch right now

This might seem obvious, but you shouldn't wait for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 if you're interested in a new smartwatch right now. Whether you've aged out of your current smartwatch or decided you want a smartwatch for the first time, you should go ahead and get the Galaxy Watch 3. Especially now that you can find it for $70 off at most retailers.

Of course, you could get a different smartwatch entirely. Any of the best fitness trackers are good options if you're looking for some wrist-based encouragement to get in shape, too. The Fitbit Sense is a solid compromise, offering phone call support for Android users. 

But there is no better smartwatch right now for Samsung smartphone users specifically than the Galaxy Watch 3. I expect that'll change when the Galaxy Watch 4 gets closer to launch. Once we have a better idea of its release date, this buying advice could change.

In the meantime, be sure to bookmark our Galaxy Watch 4 guide for the latest news and rumors concerning Samsung's next-generation smartwatch.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.