GET THE 4 AND DITCH THE 3?

As I start penning, more like tapping on my Logitec K- 380 keyboard; I look out the glass door of our living room. The time is 2.35 in the afternoon.

I love to daydream. I still remember my place in class in La Salle Primary School, Petaling Jaya; when I was in Standard 3 (1). Facing the blackboard, my desk was right up front, next to the window on the left. I used to spend whatever time I had when teachers were not looking or paying attention to me; looking out this window; dreaming of what I wanted to be when I grow up. I was only nine years old at that time.

In those days, it was blackboard; white(most popularly used), yellow, blue, green, purple, red chalk and a blackboard duster. Standard 3B’s classroom was just above the tuck shop (2). Standard 3 classes were in the afternoon session.

Coming back to looking outside the glass door of our living room…not able to see the sky from where I am but it looks like a shadowy overcast, the blocking of direct sunlight by what may seem to be rain clouds forming. I think I will go for my 15,000 step walk now.

15,000 steps is about 11.9 kilometers, a cutback from my usual 15 kilometer walk which is my daily routine without fail. I find that it does not make that much of a difference in calorie burn and health improvement if I shorten my daily walks. I make up for this loss by alternating daily, a short plank session or 20 sit-ups.

I acquired Samsung’s latest smartwatch – the 46mm Galaxy Watch 4 classic. This is to replace the Watch 3 that I have. I recently wrote an article on the Watch 4. I will leave a link down below if you like to read up on it (3).

Let me give you an idea as to how I have used all these smartwatches over the last few years. The only time they come of my wrist is when I have to recharge the battery in these watches and when I shower. That’s it. From the first time I started wearing these smartwatches, I have stopped wearing all the other types of watches, including those that were intended to display the time only.

One of the main reasons I picked up the Watch 4 Classic is because it comes with the Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) that measures body composition. I am one of those people that like to know how I am doing physically. So, this is an added function besides the already available heart rate, stress, Oxygen level, number of steps done, distance, etc; which the watch 3 already had.

The Watch 4 runs on Google’s Wear OS3, where else the Watch 3 runs on Samsung’s Tizen OS. Samsung has decided to discontinue the Tizen OS.. According to Youtuber AllStarSpace in one of his most recent videos; Samsung struck a deal with Google that it (Samsung) will be the first smartwatch maker on the Android OS to use the WearOS3 version. All other smartwatch makers on Android OS2 will not get the OS3 upgrade till next year. I personally think, it is no big deal.

AllStarSpace is passionate with all things Samsung. He produces great, fun videos. He is usually the first with the latest and greatest about Samsung. You should check out his YouTube channel. (4)

I decided to find out whether these watches, running on different Operating Systems (OS) provided the same information and results. I wore both these watches, one on each hand and would put them through their paces over a 10km walk. I wore the Watch 4 on my left hand and the Watch 3 on my right hand.

My focus of this shoot out was not on the battery performance, steps count or heart rate, etc. I was just keeping track on distance, time taken and at the 15,000 step mark; how many steps did both these watches record.

The 1km distance comparison

I walked my usual route – around the USJ 4/4 Subang Jaya route. It has a slight gradient climb and on the reverse, an equally angled down-the-slope descent. I like it for this reason, instead of a level route all the way.

The 1km distance comparison.

My 1st stop was at the 1km mark. I hit the pause buttons for both these watches. Both clocked 10min 45 sec. The watch 4 was 40 meters or 0.04km slower than the watch 3. I removed both the wrists, placed them on the ground by the roadside and used an Apple iPhone 11 Pro to take the shots. Then, I put the watches back on, and continued with my walk. When I continued on my walk, I pressed the button on the Watch 4 first to continue recording, then the Watch 3.

The 3km mark

At the 3.0km distance mark reached by the watch 3, I stopped to take readings. Time wise, the watch3 showed 41 seconds faster and it was ahead by 0.08km.

5km and still going. Phew! It is hot… The day, I mean.

The watch3 continued to race ahead and lead in time and distance at the 5km mark. It was already 54 seconds in time and 0.14km ahead in distance.

At the 8km mark

At the 8km mark, the time and distance widened between the two smartwatches. the Watch 3 was now ahead by 1min 2sec in time and 0.18km in distance. Note, the time itself, remained consistent on both watches.

Across the finish line. 10km.

At the 10km finish line, the watch 3 recorded 10.01km, yet it recorded 8 steps less than the watch 4. It was 1min 23sec faster in timing. Both recorded same time of day. This means the watch 3 does not have a faster time mechanism.

Day’s walk exercise completed – 15,000 steps

What was interesting to note was the step count was slightly higher on the watch 4. It recorded a shorted distance of 0.25km and the duration time recorded was 1min 25sec slower.

In conclusion, both watches, even though with different operating systems (OS) provided the same information, give and take a slight variation in recorded information.

I did not benchmark these watches against any professional measuring systems for accuracy in their recordings. So, I can’t tell for sure which watch is accurately displaying km distance and pace time.

If you have a Watch 3 or ActiveSports 2, should you “upgrade” to the Watch 4 or Classic? I think you should save your money and just stick with what you have right now.

Design-wise, they are about the same.

If you are worried about not getting OS support for the Tizen models; I think they are still good to go for at least another couple of years or so.

Unless, you must have the ultimate latest, then go ahead with either the Watch 4 or Classic, with prices ranging from RM899 to RM1,399. These prices are for the non-LTE model version. The LTE models are not available in Malaysia. I don’t think they will make their way here as the take up rate will be low.

NOTE:

  1. What is known as Year 3 in today’s terms.
  2. Tuck shop – a shop, typically one on school premises, that sells confectionery, snacks and soft drinks. “The tasty crisps have proved popular with school tuck shops”. Definition from Oxford languages. The term “tuck shop” was more popular in the ’60s to the ’90s. The phrase ‘tuck in” is an invitation to start eating and enjoy the meal.
  3. https://leatherpotato.com/2021/09/30/is-the-watch-4-same-same-but-not-the-same/
  4. AllStarSpace, YouTube
  5. A mention to Ms Thanalaxmi of USJ 4/4. Earlier last morning on my daily walk, I passed by her house and she asked what I was writing on. I said, “The Walk”. My apologies. “The Walk” is coming up after this. I have some ideas on my sketchpad of what I am going to write about. I am thinking, “Tudor”. What say you?
  6. Background of pictures in the 10km walk: USJ 4/4 road and pavement 😁

3 thoughts on “GET THE 4 AND DITCH THE 3?

  1. Whatsapp message from Jane, USJ 4

    “Alan,
    Thanks for the write up, interesting good memories of Sch days.

    Btw just asking,
    The smart watch has a BP which i check daily. Recently i was at the clinic the Dr used the conventional pump type to check my Bp & the reading was xx (low).
    I checked against my smart watch & it gave me a perfect reading.

    What’s your comment?”
    09:51 11th October, 2021

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, Jane.

    The conventional pump type of BP reading may show different results, depending on the doctor.
    An experienced doctor may give you a more accurate result.

    Today, more doctors rely on the electric (battery operated) devices for BP readings.

    Readings from your smartwatch should only be used as an indicator. These readings from
    whichever brand of smartwatch it may be, is to be used for fitness monitoring. You should not use it
    to for health diagnosis.

    To be more precise with your question, get another manual BP reading to check on accuracy.

    The watch readings act as indicators. If the indicator is not favourable, then you should pay a visit to your doctor. 13:17 11th October, 2021
    Tudor USJ 4/4

    Like

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