Apple Watch 4 v Gear S4 – Release, features and what to expect from Apple and Samsung

With Apple boasting of record sales of its Apple Watch it seems the wearable revolution is just beginning.

Smartwatches have had a tough start to life but their popularity is growing with Apple and Samsung both leading the way.

So what’s next for this relatively new technology?

It’s highly likely that the Apple Watch Series 3 and Gear S3 will get a big upgrade this year with rumours rife about what will be featured.

And with these two technology rivals expected to hold events in the coming months, here’s what could be coming to your wrist very soon.


Apple has already announced a big update to its smartwatch this year with the unveiling of its watchOS 5 upgrade.

This software will bring a swathe of new features to Apple’s wearable such as Auto-Workout Detection, Walkie-Talkie mode and Activity Competitions which allow you to take on friends in weekly fitness challenges.

Apple is likely to release this update to all customers in the autumn but a new Watch may arrive before then.

The US technology firm always holds its yearly iPhone event in September and it could also use this major keynote to unveil an updated wearable.

Rumours are rife that some big changes are inbound including a thinner design, longer battery life and bigger display.

In fact, a recent report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says we could see a screen that’s 15 per cent larger on this next generation Watch.

Another thought is that Apple could ditch the physical switches on the side of its watch and opt for solid-state buttons instead – similar to the new home button found on the iPhone 8.

This would make the Watch more robust and could mean its water resistance is improved.

Finally, we’re expecting the new Apple Watch to feature even more ways to track the health of users.

With a longer battery life we could see the device monitoring sleep as well giving a more accurate view of heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels.


Samsung had some success with its Gear S3 but these devices haven’t been updated in almost two years.

This means it’s almost certain that a refreshed watch is coming very soon.

According to SamMobile, the Korean Radio Research Agency has just certified a wireless charger for the S4 which may suggest a launch is imminent.

If Samsung does reveal an updated wearable it seems likely that it will come in two styles including a Classic and Frontier model.

One of the biggest changes to these devices is the possibility that Samsung will ditch its Tizen operating system in favour of Google software.

Wear OS is the new name for Google’s operating system for wearables, which was previously known as Android Wear.

Tizen, which Samsung have built themselves, has powered their smartwatches since 2014, and until recently it was expected to run on the next generation smartwatch.

However, veteran leaker Evan Blass tweeted that Samsung employees have been seen wearing the Korean firm’s next flagship wearable.

Blass said: “Seen on the wrists of Samsung employees: Gear watches running not Tizen, but Wear OS.”

Along with a new operating system the Gear S4 could bring hugely improved health and sleep tracking capabilities plus the ability to check blood pressure may also feature.

And there’s a strong suggestion that a new Gold colour scheme and much larger battery are inbound.

The current Gear S3 includes a 380mAh battery but this looks set to be increased to 470mAh on the next generation wearable.

If true, it could mean users get much longer life out of a single charge.

Samsung is expected to reveal its new Galaxy Note 9 in August and with the IFA technology show also taking place that month expect to see the Gear S4 launching around this time.

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