Samsung Electronics‘ all set to unveil its next flagship, the Galaxy Note 9 on August 9 in New York. But the Galaxy Unpacked event might see the launch of the company’s upcoming smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch, as well.
While Samsung has kept a tight lip on the Galaxy Watch so far, we all know it’s mighty close to launch. The watch has been picking one-after-another certifications lately, as it continues to complete the formalities before the launch. So as we draw closer to the Galaxy Unpacked event, let’s have a look at what we think we know, and what we can expect from the next Samsung smartwatch.
What’s in the name? Well, there’s a lot
So here we are. It’s about time we say goodbye to the “Gear” brand name by Samsung. Until now, Samsung’s wearable, including smartwatches, fitness trackers, and smart earbuds, all bear the Gear brand name. But in May, the company trademarked two new monikers, “Galaxy Watch” and “Galaxy Fit”, suggesting a potential switch.
Originally, Samsung’s next smartwatch was presumed to be called the Gear S4. But following the Samsung trademark, reports began to emerge that the watch would be called the Galaxy Watch instead. And latest of them all, on , has all but cemented the new watch name.
Samsung re-branding its smartwatch line as Galaxy Watch is an indication that name does matter. Samsung smartphones are branded under the Galaxy name, and it’s sensible for the company to bring all its products under one single roof.
Earlier reports also suggested that the Galaxy Watch would be running Google’s Wear OS, and not Tizen. Tizen’s somewhat poor in-app support, but it’s not bad at all. Furthermore, given the amount of resource and time Samsung has committed for the development of Tizen, it wouldn’t have been a much sensible idea for the company to abandon Tizen altogether. And rightly so, the Galaxy Watch will be running Tizen OS (Tizen 4.0 out of the box).
Features and specifications
Samsung keeping a tight-lip means we’ve had a very little to know about the Galaxy Watch features and specifications. But, in this fast-moving world of technology, it’s really difficult to keep things hidden for long. Thanks to a few official certifications, and some confidential leaks, we do have a few details about the Galaxy Watch to share with you.
The Galaxy Watch will, reportedly, come with Bixby onboard. Bixby will replace Samsung’s ageing S-Voice app, which isn’t any longer a feasible option either. Samsung’s AI is on its phones and a growing halo of products, so it was inevitable that its smartwatches will have it too.
The upcoming Galaxy Watch will be featuring a bigger battery, reportedly 24% bigger in capacity than its predecessor Gear S3. The watch will house a 470mAh battery, opposed to the 380mAh battery of Gear S3.
Samsung’s watches in the past have actually fared better than the average Wear OS watches in the market. The Gear S3 itself gives 3-4 days of battery back-up on normal use. An even bigger battery, and hopefully a more efficient processor, would see the Galaxy Watch delivering an improved overall performance.
Added health features
Last year, Samsung partnered-up with a US-based telemedicine service, Amwell to add telemedicine feature into it’s Samsung Health phone app. And there’s strong chance that the company will be adding more to its health features, with blood pressure measurement being the stand-out addition.
Samsung’s not new to LTE-enabled smartwatches. In fact, the company is among the very first OEMs to make phone-enabled smartwatches. Though last year’s Gear Sport came without LTE-support, the feature’s likely to return with the Galaxy Watch. It’ll reportedly support LTE services from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, in the US. A Wi-Fi-only model will exist too.
Two different screen sizes
The Galaxy Watch will reportedly be available in two different screen sizes. One will be a 42mm model with the traditional 1.2-inch screen, while the other will be a 46mm model with a 1.3-Inch screen. This will give users a flexibility to choose the watch best suitable for their wrist. A bigger screen would also mean more efficient navigation, and typing, of course. People who like a smaller, less imposing watch still have the luxury of picking the 1.2-inch model.
Price and availability
Samsung has itself leaked a rose gold Galaxy Watch on its website. So it’s pretty much confirmed we’ll have a new color option in Samsung smartwatch that many should find appealing. Apart from this, the watch will also reportedly be available in black and silver color options.
Just like the Gear S3, the Galaxy Watch should also be available in two variations, a sporty “Frontier” model, and a “Classic” one. Add to that, the two different screen sizes, and LTE-enabled and Wi-Fi-only models, we’ll have a plenty of Galaxy Watch variants to choose from.
As for the price, last year’s Gear Sport is priced at $300, whereas the more full-featured Gear S3 costs $350 at the moment. The upcoming Galaxy Watch should also fall under similar price bracket, much closer to Gear S3 than the Gear Sport.
All eyes now on the Galaxy Note 9 Unpacked event, scheduled for August 9 in New York. If not then, the watch could be unveiled at IFA 2018 in late August in Berlin.