Last week, Samsung released the Wear OS 4-based One UI 5 Watch update to the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 5. Apart from Wear OS 4, the new software brought several new features and improved health and fitness tracking features to Samsung's older smartwatches. But one critical improvement amazed me.
I have been a long-time Galaxy Watch 4 user. While I quite liked the smartwatch for its smart features, such as notifications, apps, and music controls, I was always let down by its GPS accuracy during outdoor workouts.
Over the past year, I've routinely followed a more strict fitness regime, and I've managed to lose weight and improve my stamina. I take a 40-minute brisk walk every evening around my apartment building. I used the Galaxy Watch 4 to track my outdoor walks and was let down by the results. The GPS accuracy of the smartwatch used to be pretty bad, resulting in inaccurate workout metrics. It jumped corners by a considerable margin (most likely due to a lower GPS polling rate) and displayed a lower distance-measured figure compared to actual figures.
One UI 5 Watch update improves Galaxy Watch 4 GPS accuracy
I wasn't confident that Samsung would improve GPS accuracy with software updates. However, I was surprised after looking at its accuracy after installing the One UI 5 Watch update. After testing the Galaxy Watch 4 for two days with the One UI Watch 5 update, I can say that the GPS accuracy of the smartwatch has improved tremendously.
As you can see in the images above (before the update) and below (after the update), the Galaxy Watch 4 tracked my walks more accurately after installing the One UI 5 Watch update. It resulted in more accurate data for my average speed, calories burned, pace, and VO2 Max metrics.
The Galaxy Watch 4 is now more closely matched with the Apple Watch, which I used for a few days this year after borrowing it from my wife. This improvement in the Galaxy Watch 4 is a good sign as it shows that Samsung makes an effort to improve things, even for devices launched a couple of years ago.
Galaxy Watch updates need to be more frequent and faster
Even some other tests, including the one from YouTuber The Quantified Scientist, show that Samsung improved the heart rate measurement accuracy on the Galaxy Watch 4 last year with a software update. However, it would been even better if Samsung brought these improvements within weeks after the launch of Galaxy Watches.
I also plan to publish my long-term experience of using the Galaxy Watch 4 for more than two years. Until then, you can view our Galaxy Watch 4 hands-on video below.