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
July 10, 2018 — New logo confirms the Galaxy Watch name
Looks like that Galaxy Watch branding is the real deal.
A few short days after that name popped up for the first time, the above logo was spotted going through the Korean Intellectual Property Office — essentially confirming that Samsung’s next watch will be called the Galaxy Watch and not the Gear S4.
July 6, 2018 — Samsung’s next smartwatch might be called Galaxy Watch and use Wear OS after all
The back and forth continues! About a month after Evan Blass put the Wear OS rumors to rest, reliable Samsung tipster Ice Universe shared on Twitter that Samsung’s next smartwatch — named the Galaxy Watch — will run Wear OS after all.
Additionally, it’s also noted that the Galaxy Watch will have a 470 mAh battery, a blood pressure measurement system, and will utilize “new UX interaction” — possibly something to replace the rotating bezel we’ve had since the Gear S2.
June 7, 2018 — Those watches running Wear OS were just “one-offs” from Google
False alarm, folks. A few days after the Wear OS rumor popped up, Blass took to Twitter with the following update:
Update: turns out these were actually just one-offs made by Google and seeded to some Samsung workers (i.e. keep moving, nothing to see here).
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) June 7, 2018
May 23, 2018 — Samsung smartwatches have been seen running Wear OS, not Tizen
Samsung’s own Tizen operating system has been the go-to choice for almost all of the company’s wearables, but according to a new rumor from Evan Blass, that could change this year.
Per to a tweet Blass shared, some Samsung employees have been wearing Gear watches that are running Google’s Wear OS (formerly known as Android Wear).
The last time Samsung released a watch with Google’s wearable OS was back in 2014 with the Gear Live, so it’s very interesting to hear that Tizen could be put on the shelf this year in favor of something else.
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.
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 even so, we have a couple ideas in mind as to when we’ll get our first official look at it.
The Galaxy Watch will likely be announced in August or September.
Right now, IFA 2018 seems like the most logical place for Samsung to announce its new wearable. IFA is one of the largest mobile trade shows of the year, and if this turns out to be the case, that’ll see the Galaxy Watch get announced between August 31 and September 5.
Secondly, it’s possible that the Galaxy Watch will be announced during Samsung’s Note 9 event on August 9. This seems more unlikely as the press invite shows no reference to the Galaxy Watch, and with the Note being one of Samsung’s biggest products of the year, it probably doesn’t want to have anything draw attention away from it.
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.
July 12, 2018 at 09:28AM