Browsing the Web on the Samsung Galaxy Watch4
Ada Rose Cannon
Web Developer Advocate
The New Samsung Galaxy Watch4 is my first smartwatch in a long time. The smaller model is small enough to fit on my wrist and it’s powerful enough to take over from my phone for small tasks.
By far the most used app on my phone is the Web Browser. Obviously I use the Samsung Internet Web browser (which in my opinion is clearly the best) and now my watch can run it too.
Most Web browser apps on Smart Watches run tethered to a device which sends over pictures of the Web pages you browse but not Samsung Internet for the Galaxy Watch4. Here Samsung Internet runs entirely on the watch itself totally independently of the smart phone.
Installing the browser
You can install the watch version of the browser from the main Samsung Internet page on the Galaxy Store or Google Play Store:
And the performance is superb!
The first thing I tried after installing the browser is running is one of my more complex WebGL tests to see if it would even run at all.
And not only does it run! It runs at 60fps with no glitches!
At the request of a friend on Twitter I ran one of his demos which had a frame rate counter which let us confirm the 60fps rate of the display!!
The next demo I tried was the AFrame.io home page to see if the gyroscope works (spoiler: it does).
I tried to run a WebGL benchmark test but the screen was too small it didn’t want to start the test because it assumed the device isn’t in landscape mode.
The watch is a chromium based browser so it should score highly on https://html5test.com/ and it does. It scores 518 points, whereas latest desktop Chrome scores 528 points. So incredible Web compatibility.
The user interface
The easiest way to open a web page is to search for it, the modes for entering text are handwriting on the watch face’s touch pad, a T9 keyboard or Voice Recognition. I grew up in the 90s so for me the T9 keyboard is fastest but depending on what you are used to Voice or handwriting maybe easier.
It’s still the very first version so there is not a lot of integration with the phone browser yet but stay tuned — UX improvements are coming in future versions.