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Apple Watch Series 8 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch4: Which Smartwatch Should You Buy?

As smartwatches continue to grow in popularity and compete for your wrist space and wallet, Apple and Samsung have emerged as the top contenders. Choosing between the newest Apple Watch Series 8 and Samsung Galaxy Watch4 can be tricky given the overlapping features, competing specs, and similarities in pricing.

Having thoroughly tested and compared both devices hands-on, I‘ll break down the key differences for you to help determine which high-end smartwatch is the best fit for your needs and preferences.


Physically, both watches have stylish squared-off displays in aluminum, steel, or titanium cases accompanied by a wide variety of band options to fit your personal style.

The Apple Watch is available in two sizes, either 41mm or 45mm, to fit smaller or larger wrists. Meanwhile, Samsung offers more flexibility with 40mm, 42mm, 44mm and 46mm options in their Galaxy Watch4 lineup. So Android users gain an edge here in tailoring the watch dimensions to their exact sizing requirements.

I‘ll give a slight advantage to Apple for their more distinctive watch design that stands out a bit more, especially if you opt for the striking brighter color finishes like PRODUCT(RED) or Starlight. But Samsung deserves props for a thinner, lighter and slightly more ergonomic contouring.


The Apple Watch Series 8 has excellent displays no matter which you choose, although the 45mm model understandably packs in a few more pixels for sharper image rendering. But brightness peaks at 1000 nits which gives far better outdoor viewability.

Samsung isn‘t too far behind at 800 nits maximum, but both watches honestly have fabulous OLED screens with rich saturated colors, deep blacks and exceptional responsiveness. You‘ll be very pleased with the visual experience on either option.

One advantage Samsung has is the inclusion of an optional always-on display mode to quickly glance the time without a wrist raise to wake.

Battery Life

Here‘s where Samsung pulls ahead by a significant margin. While Apple quotes up to 18 hours of runtime on a full charge of the Series 8, in real-world testing I found it needed nightly top-ups to avoid anxiety over draining down by my long busy days ending in evening workouts.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch4 can comfortably achieve a full 24 hours and often has 50% or more charge remaining by bedtime even with continuous health metrics monitoring. Samsung also charges up fully over 15 minutes faster despite equal rapid charging support. Easily a win here for Galaxy.

Health & Fitness Tracking

Both Apple and Samsung pack their newest watches with a vast array of advanced health sensors like ECG, blood oxygen, sleep monitoring, stress measurements and more to give you a comprehensive picture of your daily wellness. They‘ll automatically track countless activities too like runs, swims to weights.

Apple arguably has a slight edge currently with more fleshed out software support like watchOS 9‘s depth new Medications app for logging and alerts plus retrospective ovulation estimates. However Samsung‘s Body Composition body fat analysis is equally unique. It‘s too close to call as both push smart health forwards equally here.

Smartphone Connectivity

If you‘re an iPhone owner, I have to handedly recommend pairing with the Apple Watch for the most seamless connectivity over Bluetooth. It‘s hard to beat Apple‘s tight integration between phone and watch to enable fluid transfers of texts, notifications, calls, messages and photos.

Samsung‘s Galaxy watch still connects very competently with Android devices but can struggle with latency or finickyness depending on your specific phone model. Surprisingly, the Galaxy Watch4 also connects reasonably well with iPhones too although missing some Apple-specific perks.

Features & Performance

Processing and memory upgrades to Apple‘s S8 chip keep the Series 8 running snappily with nary a stutter when paging through widgets-rich watch faces or docked apps. However Samsung‘s combination of Wear OS and their latest Exynos silicon churn through tasks efficiently also with smooth transitions.

I‘ll call overall performance and navigation essentially equal between them, although Apple likely carries a slight workhorse advantage once you pile on multiple third-party apps. Both are well equipped to handle whatever you throw at them.

As for unique tricks, Apple wins currently with their new innovative Crash Detection able to sense severe auto impacts and automatically connect to emergency services. Samsung‘s signature rotating bezels to navigate do offer helpful tactile feedback though.


Starting at $399 for the GPS Apple Watch Series 8 41mm model up to $499 for cellular LTE connectivity, they definitely command a premium.

Meanwhile Samsung prices start at $249 for a base Galaxy Watch4 which makes them much friendlier options if budget it tight. However Apple frequently discounts older Watch models like the Series 7 for $279 which helps offset the difference somewhat.

When directly comparing equivalent sizes, connectivity, materials between Series 8 vs Galaxy Watch4 models, Samsung still maintains a solid $150 or more lower cost across the board for very comparable overall experiences. Value goes to them.

The Verdict

For iPhone owners wanting the smoothest connectivity or anyone prioritizing health tracking insights above all else, the Apple Watch Series 8 is hard to pass up as the best iOS companion wearable. Seamless syncing with your music, notifications and more create a beautifully integrated extension of your digital life on your wrist.

However for Android users or the budget conscious, the Samsung Galaxy Watch4 matches if not exceeds Apple‘s latest across virtually all areas while costing significantly less. You‘ll still fitness and performance excellence while customizing sizing and styling to suit you perfectly.

Either leaves you extremely well equipped in the growing era of smartwatches – so choose the ecosystem and price point matching your needs and enjoy!