Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5 owners in Korea and the US were recently treated to the One UI Watch 5 and Wear OS 4 beta update. One UI Watch 5 and Wear OS 4 are going to be major updates that add a number of new features and enhancements to various aspects of the user experience in areas such as safety, fitness, and sleep.
The first One UI Watch 5 beta has been available for download for those who enrolled in the beta program for the last few days, and while we were unable to access the beta ourselves due to its unavailability in the countries where members of the SamMobile team reside, we have feedback from Samsung fan and friend of SamMobile, Scott McBurney.
It seems the first beta offers a middling experience that has good and not-so-good parts, which is to be expected from unfinished software. The positives start with the fact that the user interface is now more colorful and looks better than it did before.
Notifications, which are among the more important things many use smartwatches for, look more polished on One UI Watch 5 with the grey background. This could be subjective and may not impress everyone – it certainly doesn’t look too great in the screenshots below.
Inactivity alerts from the Samsung Health app also look great, but that could be subjective as well. Finally, it seems battery life is not negatively affected. That’s great for the very first beta release, though it’s possible future beta updates will mess with battery life.
The first One UI Watch 5 beta unsurprisingly has a few bugs
There are bugs and limitations, too. For example, the new hard fall detection feature, part of the safety improvements on One UI Watch 5, cannot be turned off. When a hard fall is detected, the watch will call your emergency number automatically, though it does provide a window in which you can cancel the SOS alert. In the US, the emergency number is set to 911 by default, but you can change it to any contact.
The One UI Watch 5 beta also lets you add a tile/widget for blood pressure monitoring even if blood pressure tracking is unavailable in your country. This seems like a bug that Samsung will likely fix later as there are still many countries where health features such as ECG and blood pressure monitoring haven’t been enabled on the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5.
As for serious bugs, the only one we have been told about is the screen sometimes takes a long time to turn on. And some popular apps, such as Facer, an app that provides custom watch faces, do not work yet, but new OS updates breaking compatibility with existing apps is not uncommon.
That’s about it for what we have been told about the One UI Watch 5 beta, though we will keep you updated with new details as the beta program progresses over the coming weeks. The final release date or time frame for One UI Watch 5 and Wear OS 4 is not known right now, but there’s a good chance it will arrive on the Watch 4 and Watch 5 after the Galaxy Watch 6 series (which will run the new software out of the box) goes official next month.
We also don’t know if the opportunity to enter the beta program will be expanded to Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5 owners outside the US and Korea. Samsung hasn’t said anything about it so we would suggest not getting your hopes up.