The Galaxy Watch could be Samsung’s best and boldest smartwatch yet — here’s why.
It’s been a hot minute since Samsung released the Gear S3, and while the Gear Sport did a nice job at holding us over for a while longer, it’s time we get a proper sequel to one of 2016’s best smartwatches.
The rumor mill suggests that this year will see Samsung release the successor we’ve been longing for, but instead of a traditional Gear S4, reports are coming out that the new gadget will be called the "Galaxy Watch" and use an operating system Samsung hasn’t dabbled with since 2014.
What is the Galaxy Watch and why should you care about it? Here’s everything you need to know!
The latest Galaxy Watch news
August 6, 2018 — Galaxy Watch to come in two sizes, have 7-day battery life, and not include MST for Samsung Pay
Samsung hasn’t commented at all on the Galaxy Watch after accidentally publishing the listing on its website last month, but thanks to one Redditor that’s reportedly close with an employee at the company, we now know a lot more about what to expect from the impending wearable.
First thing’s first, Samsung will apparently offer two different sizes of the Galaxy Watch to accommodate both smaller and larger wrists — including 46mm and 42mm options. Also, despite being similar in size to last year’s Gear Sport, the Galaxy Watch is said to last an impressive "7 days" on a single charge.
That rose gold variant we saw on Samsung’s site is a new color option that’ll be sold, and if you’re into fitness, the Galaxy Watch will come equipped with a total of 40 workout modes out of the box.
Unfortunately, while Samsung Pay will be present on the Galaxy Watch, it’ll only work for NFC payments with no support for MST transactions.
July 23, 2018 — Samsung accidentally lists the Galaxy Watch on its official website
I think this is about as official as we’re going to get until the Galaxy Watch’s unveiling.
A screenshot was recently sent in to CNET showing a search result on Samsung’s website for "Wearables", and right next to the Gear S2, the unannounced Galaxy Watch popped up alongside it.
This is our very first look at the watch, and to not much surrpise, it follows a similar design language to the Gear Sport and Gear S3 with a circular display, metal body, and two physical buttons on the right.
The model shown here is a 42mm rose gold option, and seeing as how Samsung specifically calls this out as a Bluetooth model, it’s likely we’ll also see an LTE variant.
All the big details
What’s with this talk about Wear OS?
Almost all of Samsung’s wearable products have used the company’s own Tizen operating system, but with the Galaxy Watch, that could be changing.
Back in late May, it was reported that some Samsung employees had been seen wearing Gear watches running Google’s Wear OS (previously called Android Wear). That rumor was put to rest a couple weeks later, but then on July 6, another tipster stated that the Galaxy Watch will, in fact, use Wear OS instead of Tizen.
While that may seem like a ball out of left field, this wouldn’t be unheard of for Samsung. In 2014, one of the very first Android Wear watches to come out was the Samsung Gear Live.
However, on July 18, another report popped up claiming that Tizen will actually be the operating system of choice — not Wear OS.
We’re still not entirely sure what’s going to happen here, but a Wear OS watch from Samsung would be a huge win for the platform as a whole. Google needs big names to back Wear OS, and who better to support it than one of the largest companies on the planet?
When will the Galaxy Watch be released?
Samsung’s yet to release any teasers or press invites for the Galaxy Watch, but according to the rumor mill, we’ll see it announced alongside the Galaxy Note 9 on August 9.
Current rumors point to the Galaxy Watch launching on August 24.
Following the August 9 announcement, pre-orders for the Galaxy Watch will follow on August 14. From there, the gadget will officially launch on August 24.
Should that rumor turn out to be false, the next logical announcement will likely come during IFA in Berlin in late August / early September.
How much will the Galaxy Watch cost?
Now, most importantly, let’s talk price.
As much as we loved the Gear S3, its price tag wasn’t the easiest to swallow at the time at $349. However, compared to today’s market, that’s not really unheard of.
A Series 3 Apple Watch with GPS and LTE will set you back at least $399. If you get the model without LTE, you’re still looking at a minimum of $329.
With that in mind, we’ll probably see the Galaxy Watch sell for around $300 – $350 depending on whether or not it has LTE.
That’s certainly not cheap, but if Samsung knocks it out of the park with its design and features, it should be able to hold its over (if not trump) what Apple’s currently offering.
Updated July 18, 2018: Updated Wear OS and release date sections to reflect current rumors/reports.
August 6, 2018 at 05:49AM