Samsung's Galaxy Watch 4 to track your sleep with cartoon animals

Samsungs Galaxy Watch 4 to track your sleep with cartoon animals
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Samsung's Galaxy Watch 4 to track your sleep with cartoon animals

Highlights

Samsung may not launch a new smartwatch at its Unpacked event this week, if you were expecting a Google Assistant update, it's "coming soon". Galaxy Watch 4 users will also get a 30-day trial of the app.

Samsung may not launch a new smartwatch at its Unpacked event this week, but it hasn't forgotten about the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Starting February 9, both smartwatches will support new health and fitness features such as personalized interval training, sleep coaching, and the ability to set body composition goals. Oh, and it also promises better app compatibility for the new Wear OS platform, but you'll still have to wait a bit for Google Assistant.

Sleep tracking has been one area where Samsung lagged a bit behind more fitness-oriented trackers. On that front, Samsung is adding a sleep coaching program that appears to be inspired by chronotypes; In a nutshell, it's basically what your natural circadian rhythm is. Traditionally, people are classified into four chronotypes associated with animals (lion, dolphin, bear, or wolf), but it seems that Samsung has gone a step further and expanded it to eight types. After tracking your sleep patterns for a week and completing two sleep surveys, Samsung says it assigns you one of eight animals that represent a type of sleep. You'll then have the option of a four to a five-week program that aims to help you improve your sleep quality through things like checklists, sleep articles, meditation, and reports.

One of the marquee health improvements for the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic was a brilliant new 3-in-1 biosensor that enabled body composition readings. It was impressive, as that had been the realm of smart scales and specialized equipment in your doctor's office or at a gym. That said, what you ended up getting was a number readout that may not have made much sense to beginners. Now, Samsung says it's partnering with Centr to provide "insights on body composition." (If you've never heard of Centr, its claim to fame is that it's Thor, Chris Hemsworth's fitness app.) For example, if someone gains weight while gaining body fat and muscle, it might provide additional context as to why that's normal. Galaxy Watch 4 users will also get a 30-day trial of the app.

Samsung also introduced running training a few years ago, but the updates also add a new interval goal feature for runners and cyclists. You will now be able to preset the duration, distance, and number of sets. Samsung says that from there, the Galaxy Watch 4 will guide users through a personalized "intensity training session" that alternates high and low-intensity workouts.

Samsung's main announcements may be health-focused, but it also snuck in on the promise of more Android compatibility. The watches launched with Google Maps, Google Pay, and YouTube Music, as well as other third-party apps. Samsung offers more style options in the form of new strap colors, a fabric band, and a link bracelet. It will also add more digital clock colors and fonts to better customize clock faces.

The new health features will be available through the Galaxy Wearable app starting February 9. The new straps will be available at the end of February. And hopefully Google Assistant will arrive before the end of 2022.


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