The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic are undoubtedly one of the best Wear OS smartwatches available on the market. It is currently one of the few smartwatches running the latest version of Google’s smartwatch operating system – Wear OS 3 – making it the top choice for most Android smartphone users looking for a premium smartwatch.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy Watch 4 doesn’t offer the same experience with non-Samsung phones as it does when connected to a Samsung Galaxy device. This makes it a less than ideal purchase for those who own an Android smartphone from another OEM. Luckily, you can use a few third-party apps and mods to get some of the Samsung-exclusive features on the Galaxy Watch 4.
What features of the Galaxy Watch 4 are exclusive to Samsung phones?
Before we get to the third-party apps and mods, let’s first take a quick look at some of the Samsung-exclusive features that you don’t get when connected to a non-Samsung device.
Galaxy Watch 4 features you won’t get when connected to non-Samsung devices:
- blood pressure monitoring
- Samsung News
- camera control
- Sync in Do Not Disturb mode.
- sleep mode
- Make/receive calls when not connected to a phone via Bluetooth
- Customizable AR Emoji watch faces
Now that you know what you’re missing, let’s take a look at some workarounds and third-party apps to get some of these features on your Galaxy Watch 4.
Make the most of your Galaxy Watch 4 with a non-Samsung phone
Enable ECG and blood pressure monitoring on Galaxy Watch 4 with non-Samsung phone
First and foremost, we’re talking about enabling ECG and blood pressure monitoring on the Galaxy Watch 4 when connected to a non-Samsung phone. ECG and blood pressure monitoring are two of the Galaxy Watch 4’s most useful features, and not having access to them just because you don’t own a Galaxy smartphone sucks. Luckily, a modified version of the Samsung Health Monitor app by XDA Senior Member Dante63 can fix that.
The modified Samsung Health Monitor app enables both ECG and blood pressure monitoring on the Galaxy Watch 4 when connected to a non-Samsung device. Check out our detailed tutorial on how to install modded Samsung Health Monitor app to enable ECG and blood pressure monitoring on Galaxy Watch 4.
Enable BP sync on Galaxy Watch 4 with non-Samsung phone
While the modded Samsung Health Monitor app allows ECG and blood pressure monitoring on the Galaxy Watch 4 with any non-Samsung device, it does not enable BP syncing. Without the feature, your blood pressure data won’t sync to the Samsung Health app on your phone, making tracking difficult. However, Dante63 has you covered. Follow the link for our step-by-step tutorial on how to enable BP sync on Galaxy Watch 4.
Use these third party apps to get some of the missing features on your Galaxy Watch 4
Now that you’ve enabled ECG and blood pressure monitoring on your Galaxy Watch 4 and enabled BP sync, it’s time to move on to the other features. As mentioned, the Galaxy Watch 4 doesn’t give you access to the Samsung Messages app when connected to a non-Samsung device. Luckily, you don’t have to look far to find an alternative.
The Google Messages app is a great replacement for the missing Samsung Messages app and works on the Galaxy Watch 4 even when connected to a non-Samsung device. You can download the app by opening the Play Store on your Galaxy Watch 4, searching for Google Messages, and then selecting the Install button. The only downside to using Google Messages over Samsung Messages is that it lacks two features. The Google Messages app does not provide support for sending audio messages from the Galaxy Watch 4 or a shortcut to quickly open a message on your phone. Unfortunately, you can’t get these features with a third-party app.
Camera one: Wear, Galaxy Watch
While you don’t get access to camera controls on the Galaxy Watch 4 when connected to a non-Samsung phone, you can use the Camera One app to enjoy the same features. You can download the app to your Galaxy Watch 4 from the Play Store and use it to preview the viewfinder on your watch’s screen, click photos, record videos, and even record audio.
The Camera One app has a functional user interface with buttons for all commonly used camera functions right on the viewfinder. The default interface includes shutters, which allow you to quickly take photos and videos, as well as buttons for power saving, timer, flash, zoom, exposure value, white balance, and filters. The app opens the main rear-facing camera by default, and you can swipe down from the top of the display to switch to the selfie shooter.
Unfortunately, third-party apps on the Galaxy Watch 4 don’t allow you to sync Do Not Disturb mode, sync Bedtime mode, the ability to make/receive calls when not connected to a phone via Bluetooth, and customizable AR emoji – Dials preserved. But there are a few other third-party apps that you can use to further enhance your experience. The following section provides some app recommendations and tips on how to get the most out of your Galaxy Watch 4 when connected to a non-Samsung phone.
Various apps and tips
Use Gboard instead of the built-in keyboard app
The Galaxy Watch 4’s built-in T9 keyboard is a blast from the past and honestly, it should have stayed there. It’s troublesome to use, and you’d better install the Gboard app on your watch.
The Gboard app gives you access to a full keyboard layout on your watch’s display, and the best part is that it has swipe support. It’s well-optimized for the watch’s tiny display and offers a significantly better typing experience than the stock keyboard app.
Launch apps and perform actions faster with Wear Gesture Launcher
Wear Gesture Launcher app is a handy app that allows you to open apps and perform actions by drawing custom gestures on your Galaxy Watch 4 display. For example, if you want to open Google Maps, you need to open the app drawer by swiping up on the home screen and then tapping the Google Maps icon in the app drawer.
With Wear Gesture Launcher, you can do this by simply tapping the right edge of the display, no matter what page you’re on, and drawing the Google Maps gesture. The app allows you to add custom gestures for all apps installed on your phone and some timer actions, e.g. B. set a new alarm, manage alarms, open the timer and open the stopwatch.
Turn on notifications only for essential apps to save battery life
One of the biggest downsides to using a Wear OS smartwatch is the subpar battery life. When I first started using my Galaxy Watch 4, it barely lasted a full day and I had to take it off at bedtime to charge it for the next day. Because of this, I couldn’t use the sleep tracking feature.
While there’s nothing you can do to make the Galaxy Watch 4 last several days like some fitness trackers without sacrificing several features, you can turn off notifications for all non-essential apps to get around a day and a half of use on a single charge. Personally, I only have Telegram and Slack notifications enabled on my watch, and it now lasts just over a day and a half on a single charge, even with continuous heart rate tracking enabled.
Turn on Airplane mode while charging to charge your watch faster
Another problem I encountered in the first few weeks of using the Galaxy Watch 4 is the painfully slow charging speed. Therefore, it initially made sense for me to charge the watch overnight. But I can’t do that anymore since I wear it to bed for sleep tracking.
To overcome this, I now turn on Airplane mode when charging the watch and I’ve noticed that it charges a little faster. You can further improve the charging speed by turning it off while charging. But I find that a bit impractical, so I stick with airplane mode. Thankfully, Samsung is reportedly doubling the charging speeds of the upcoming Galaxy Watch 5 range, so that shouldn’t be a problem if you’re planning to upgrade to one of the newer models.
The Galaxy Watch 4 is Samsung’s latest generation of smartwatches, and this Classic model retains the beloved rotating bezel of previous watches.
If you want a more minimalist look without the rotating bezel, the standard Galaxy Watch 4 offers the same features as the Classic.
That wraps up our guide to getting the most out of the Galaxy Watch 4 with a non-Samsung phone? Which of these tips did you already know? Found something useful to improve your experience? Let us know in the comment section below.