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Question Is it worth upgrading to the GW4 (in Canada)?

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jtOttawa

Senior Member
Oct 27, 2013
407
127
Ottawa
Been following this forum for a bit, and would like to hear views on whether the GW4 is worth the upgrade from the Gear S3 Frontier, particularly in Canada, where several of the GW4's features (e.g., BP, ECG) are currently not enabled. Now, before anyone says that the Gear S3 is 'years old' etc., please understand that I have changed the batteries on my two Gear S3s, and I currently get almost four days of use from each. Of course, I could charge every night as I do with my phone - but I like not having to worry about battery life and fewer cycles means longer overall battery life. I must admit I like the chunkier look of my Gear S3, the wider bands (of which I have several extras), and the available apps and watch faces (I mostly use my watch for notifications, taking calls when on the bike, and Samsung Pay). Speaking of Samsung Pay, don't forget the Gear S3 has MST - which still comes in handy when NFC tap fails. I didn't upgrade to the original Galaxy Watch, as I saw no advantage to doing so, nor with the GW3. I was really looking forward to the GW4 - but not gonna lie, with the daintier look of the 'Classic,' those cheap skinny bands, the mediocre battery life, and the lack of functionality in Canada, I'm having a hard time making the case for it. Your thoughts?
 

TacoDeMuerte

Member
Feb 16, 2021
17
13
I can't comment on upgrading, but BP and ECG work fine on Canadian models. You just have to install a modified version of Samsung Health Monitor on both the watch and your phone. Measuring BP requires access to a cuff-based BP machine for initial calibration.

As for battery life, I have turned off things like always on display and lift to wake, but keep the sensors on constantly and can squeeze out roughly 3 days use. I could probably get it up to 4 days by disabling other features infrequently used, but that will depend on your needs.
 
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jtOttawa

Senior Member
Oct 27, 2013
407
127
Ottawa
I was really on the fence with all the reported bugs. I just found an open box deal at BB for $249+tax for the GW4 44mm (fka Active). Yes, BB Canada! I have an old S3 Frontier but it got slow so I moved onto the Active and I liked it better on the wrist, especially for running.

Anyway, no brainer at that price.
Thanks, I'm actually eyeing Best Buy's current deal of $100 off if you trade in any working smartwatch. Of course, I would not trade my Gear S3 Frontier for that price, so I grabbed a cheapo smartwatch on AliExpress for about $10. Even so, my Frontier still works fine, battery is great, and it does what I need it to do - so I'm still struggling to justify the expense.
 

fliptwister

Senior Member
May 12, 2010
133
53
While I'm not in Canada I still have the same issues with BP and ECG not working because I do not have a Samsung phone. As TacoDeMuerte mentioned this can be circumvented. I have not done so yet but I plan to. Even without those features I'm very happy with the upgrade (coming from a Galaxy Watch 1). Coming from a Gear 3 I think the Watch4 Classic gives you the pros of:
  • Being "daintier". I know this does not seem like a positive to you but for me it is. Less issues with long sleeve shirts hanging up with watch. Less issues with putting backpacks on, etc. The Galaxy Watch 1 is very similar in size to the Gear 3. With the Watch 1 I always had these issues. I'm very much liking the Watch4 being a bit slimmer and smaller than my Watch 1 (and lighter).
  • Bluetooth 5.0 vs. 4.2. More data and further range. I do not use wifi on Watch4 (or previously on Watch1) so this is a big deal for me. The distance I have been from phone with Watch4 and still getting notifications is crazy.
  • 16GB 1.5GB RAM vs. 4GB 768MB RAM
  • Exynos W920 (5 nm) vs. Exynos 7 Dual 7270 (14 nm). I imagine this watch is significantly more responsive than the Gear 3.
  • Bigger and higher res screen. 1.4" (450x450) vs 1.3" (360 x 360).
  • More water resistant. 50m vs. 1.5 m.
  • Corning Gorilla Glass DX vs. Corning Gorilla Glass SR+
  • Better GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS vs. just GLONASS.
  • Android Wear OS, One UI Watch 3 vs. Tizen. There is still a lot that needs to be worked out here but ultimately I think this will be a pro.
Cons:
  • Clearly battery time. I was getting 4+ days with my Watch 1. With Watch4 I'm typically getting 2+ days. I have had over 3 days on 2 charges but I was not very active. I have had less than 2 days on only 2 occasions. While this is a bummer I have adjusted. Would I trade a thicker Watch4 with more battery time for the current watch? Probably not . I'm fine with battery time. I'm not streaming music to my watch though.
  • No MST though I have never used the Samsung Pay feature so this does not impact me.
 
Last edited:
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Reactions: jtOttawa

jtOttawa

Senior Member
Oct 27, 2013
407
127
Ottawa
While I'm not in Canada I still have the same issues with BP and ECG not working because I do not have a Samsung phone. As TacoDeMuerte mentioned this can be circumvented. I have not done so yet but I plan to. Even without those features I'm very happy with the upgrade (coming from a Galaxy Watch 1). Coming from a Gear 3 I think the Watch4 Classic gives you the pros of:
  • Being "daintier". I know this does not seem like a positive to you but for me it is. Less issues with long sleeve shirts hanging up with watch. Less issues with putting backpacks on, etc. The Galaxy Watch 1 is very similar in size to the Gear 3. With the Watch 1 I always had these issues. I'm very much liking the Watch4 being a bit slimmer and smaller than my Watch 1 (and lighter).
  • Bluetooth 5.0 vs. 4.2. More data and further range. I do not use wifi on Watch4 (or previously on Watch1) so this is a big deal for me. The distance I have been from phone with Watch4 and still getting notifications is crazy.
  • 16GB 1.5GB RAM vs. 4GB 768MB RAM
  • Exynos W920 (5 nm) vs. Exynos 7 Dual 7270 (14 nm). I imagine this watch is significantly more responsive than the Gear 3.
  • Bigger and higher res screen. 1.4" (450x450) vs 1.3" (360 x 360).
  • More water resistant. 50m vs. 1.5 m.
  • Corning Gorilla Glass DX vs. Corning Gorilla Glass SR+
  • Better GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS vs. just GLONASS.
  • Android Wear OS, One UI Watch 3 vs. Tizen. There is still a lot that needs to be worked out here but ultimately I think this will be a pro.
Cons:
  • Clearly battery time. I was getting 4+ days with my Watch 1. With Watch4 I'm typically getting 2+ days. I have had over 3 days on 2 charges but I was not very active. I have had less than 2 days on only 2 occasions. While this is a bummer I have adjusted. Would I trade a thicker Watch4 with more battery time for the current watch? Probably not . I'm fine with battery time. I'm not streaming music to my watch though.
  • No MST though I have never used the Samsung Pay feature so this does not impact me.
Thanks so much for this, @fliptwister, really appreciate the effort you put into this, and I think you sum up the pros and cons very well! I agree with each of your points and, with respect to MST, as I mentioned in a separate post, I'm thinking its loss may not be so bad after all, as I have a theory that MST may actually be contributing to some of those point-of-sale tap fails. In any event, I think on balance you're right, so now I'm looking at taking advantage of the current discount on offer at Best Buy ($100 off with trade in) as well as selling one of my Gear S3s for a GW4 Classic 46mm. Thanks again!
 

jtOttawa

Senior Member
Oct 27, 2013
407
127
Ottawa
Um, Im doing this as we speak. I kept the charger for the new Gear s4 in the box with the sticker for resale. Currently using my s3 classic charger to charge my GW4
Dang, when I read your reply, I thought 'Great! I had wanted to use my Gear S3 charger!' But when I put my GW4 Classic 46mm on it, it starts to charge, then I get a flashing red light...so I'm assuming it's not compatible with the Classic 46mm? 😕
 

FoxyDrew

Senior Member
Aug 18, 2014
1,016
318
East Taunton
Dang, when I read your reply, I thought 'Great! I had wanted to use my Gear S3 charger!' But when I put my GW4 Classic 46mm on it, it starts to charge, then I get a flashing red light...so I'm assuming it's not compatible with the Classic 46mm? 😕
Very possible, I had the gear s3 classic 45mm and went to the regular GW4 44mm. I didn't bother opening the new charger when I saw it was identical in size/shape/design. Theyre the exact same charger for me, are your two chargers diffferent in any way?

Edit: I checked and the model number on the back of the 2 chargers are the exact same. EP-OR825
 

jtOttawa

Senior Member
Oct 27, 2013
407
127
Ottawa
Very possible, I had the gear s3 classic 45mm and went to the regular GW4 44mm. I didn't bother opening the new charger when I saw it was identical in size/shape/design. Theyre the exact same charger for me, are your two chargers diffferent in any way?

Edit: I checked and the model number on the back of the 2 chargers are the exact same. EP-OR825
I think you might be referring to the Galaxy Watch 3 charger? The Gear S3 charger is a completely different (and better, IMHO) beast.
 

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  • 1
    BTW, is it true that the GW4 wont charge using the Gear S3 charger? Have you tried this?
    No, you can't use the Gear S3 charger to charge the GW4.
    1
    While I'm not in Canada I still have the same issues with BP and ECG not working because I do not have a Samsung phone. As TacoDeMuerte mentioned this can be circumvented. I have not done so yet but I plan to. Even without those features I'm very happy with the upgrade (coming from a Galaxy Watch 1). Coming from a Gear 3 I think the Watch4 Classic gives you the pros of:
    • Being "daintier". I know this does not seem like a positive to you but for me it is. Less issues with long sleeve shirts hanging up with watch. Less issues with putting backpacks on, etc. The Galaxy Watch 1 is very similar in size to the Gear 3. With the Watch 1 I always had these issues. I'm very much liking the Watch4 being a bit slimmer and smaller than my Watch 1 (and lighter).
    • Bluetooth 5.0 vs. 4.2. More data and further range. I do not use wifi on Watch4 (or previously on Watch1) so this is a big deal for me. The distance I have been from phone with Watch4 and still getting notifications is crazy.
    • 16GB 1.5GB RAM vs. 4GB 768MB RAM
    • Exynos W920 (5 nm) vs. Exynos 7 Dual 7270 (14 nm). I imagine this watch is significantly more responsive than the Gear 3.
    • Bigger and higher res screen. 1.4" (450x450) vs 1.3" (360 x 360).
    • More water resistant. 50m vs. 1.5 m.
    • Corning Gorilla Glass DX vs. Corning Gorilla Glass SR+
    • Better GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS vs. just GLONASS.
    • Android Wear OS, One UI Watch 3 vs. Tizen. There is still a lot that needs to be worked out here but ultimately I think this will be a pro.
    Cons:
    • Clearly battery time. I was getting 4+ days with my Watch 1. With Watch4 I'm typically getting 2+ days. I have had over 3 days on 2 charges but I was not very active. I have had less than 2 days on only 2 occasions. While this is a bummer I have adjusted. Would I trade a thicker Watch4 with more battery time for the current watch? Probably not . I'm fine with battery time. I'm not streaming music to my watch though.
    • No MST though I have never used the Samsung Pay feature so this does not impact me.
    1
    No, you can't use the Gear S3 charger to charge the GW4.
    Um, Im doing this as we speak. I kept the charger for the new Gear s4 in the box with the sticker for resale. Currently using my s3 classic charger to charge my GW4
  • 1
    I can't comment on upgrading, but BP and ECG work fine on Canadian models. You just have to install a modified version of Samsung Health Monitor on both the watch and your phone. Measuring BP requires access to a cuff-based BP machine for initial calibration.

    As for battery life, I have turned off things like always on display and lift to wake, but keep the sensors on constantly and can squeeze out roughly 3 days use. I could probably get it up to 4 days by disabling other features infrequently used, but that will depend on your needs.
    1
    I was really on the fence with all the reported bugs. I just found an open box deal at BB for $249+tax for the GW4 44mm (fka Active). Yes, BB Canada! I have an old S3 Frontier but it got slow so I moved onto the Active and I liked it better on the wrist, especially for running.

    Anyway, no brainer at that price.
    1
    You can prob sell your Gear S3 for more than $100 on Kijiji...
    1
    BTW, is it true that the GW4 wont charge using the Gear S3 charger? Have you tried this?
    No, you can't use the Gear S3 charger to charge the GW4.
    1
    While I'm not in Canada I still have the same issues with BP and ECG not working because I do not have a Samsung phone. As TacoDeMuerte mentioned this can be circumvented. I have not done so yet but I plan to. Even without those features I'm very happy with the upgrade (coming from a Galaxy Watch 1). Coming from a Gear 3 I think the Watch4 Classic gives you the pros of:
    • Being "daintier". I know this does not seem like a positive to you but for me it is. Less issues with long sleeve shirts hanging up with watch. Less issues with putting backpacks on, etc. The Galaxy Watch 1 is very similar in size to the Gear 3. With the Watch 1 I always had these issues. I'm very much liking the Watch4 being a bit slimmer and smaller than my Watch 1 (and lighter).
    • Bluetooth 5.0 vs. 4.2. More data and further range. I do not use wifi on Watch4 (or previously on Watch1) so this is a big deal for me. The distance I have been from phone with Watch4 and still getting notifications is crazy.
    • 16GB 1.5GB RAM vs. 4GB 768MB RAM
    • Exynos W920 (5 nm) vs. Exynos 7 Dual 7270 (14 nm). I imagine this watch is significantly more responsive than the Gear 3.
    • Bigger and higher res screen. 1.4" (450x450) vs 1.3" (360 x 360).
    • More water resistant. 50m vs. 1.5 m.
    • Corning Gorilla Glass DX vs. Corning Gorilla Glass SR+
    • Better GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS vs. just GLONASS.
    • Android Wear OS, One UI Watch 3 vs. Tizen. There is still a lot that needs to be worked out here but ultimately I think this will be a pro.
    Cons:
    • Clearly battery time. I was getting 4+ days with my Watch 1. With Watch4 I'm typically getting 2+ days. I have had over 3 days on 2 charges but I was not very active. I have had less than 2 days on only 2 occasions. While this is a bummer I have adjusted. Would I trade a thicker Watch4 with more battery time for the current watch? Probably not . I'm fine with battery time. I'm not streaming music to my watch though.
    • No MST though I have never used the Samsung Pay feature so this does not impact me.