Samsung has announced a new Samsung Galaxy Watch, a rebranded approach to Samsung smartwatches. The Galaxy Watch was unveiled at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event on 9 August.
Rumors have persisted for a while that Samsung would soon be canning its Gear range of smartwatches, and bringing them in line with the Galaxy name usually reserved for phones and tablets. The new Galaxy Watch claims to have ‘several days' of battery life, plus works with Samsung's Connected Health platform, accommodating heart rate and sleep tracking, plus step and exercise detection.
We round up the specs and design for the new Samsung smartwatch, which were revealed alongside a new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 phone.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Specs and Features
Galaxy Watch Design
- Retains circular design and rotating bezel from previous Galaxy smartwatches
- Available in 2 sizes – 46mm and 42mm
- The 46mm version only comes in silver whereas, the 42mm version comes in black and rose gold
- The 46mm version weighs a not-inconsiderable 63g without the strap, and the smaller 42mm version weighs 49g sans-strap
- It'll have a Super AMOLED display made with Cording Gorilla DX+ glasss, which should hopefully make it extra strong
Galaxy Watch Features
- Offers 5ATM and IP68 water proofing, making it “swim ready”, in Samsung's words
- Offers standalone LTE connectivity, available in 15+ countries with 30+ carriers – giving more choice than the Apple Watch LTE
- The 46mm version has a 472mAh battery, and the 42mm version has a 270mAh battery – giving you enough power to last over a day
Samsung also announced an improved Connected Health platform. This works with all other Samsung devices, and features:
- Stress management by measuring heart rate
- Exercise functions – 39 exercises, 6 of which are automatically detected
- Sleep tracking – how long, amount of quality sleep
The Korean company also announced a new wireless charging pad, which will accommodate your Galaxy Watch and your Samsung phone
The Bluetooth-only Galaxy Watch is able to pre-order now, with the 42mm version costing $329.99 and the 46mm version costing $349.99. These are expected to have a full release on August 24.
The LTE Galaxy Watch will be available at AT&T, Samsung.com, T-Mobile, and Verizon, along with other major retailers, later in 2018.
Galaxy Home – Bixby smart speaker
This was an additional announcement at the Samsung Unpacked event.
- AKG-developed speakers featuring 360-degree sound dispersal and a built-in sub-woofer
- Innovative ‘Soundsteer' function detects where you are in the room and can direct sound towards you, giving an improved listening experience
- It's voice-controlled, with eight microphones to detect voices instructions from far away
There was no info on price or release date with this one, either.
More on this – Best New Wearable Tech for 2018
Galaxy Watch Design
On July 24, however, these rumours seemed to have been confirmed by Samsung itself after another rogue product accidentally made its way on the Samsung’s site.
Cnet spotted a rose gold-colored wearable called the Galaxy Watch on the American Samsung website, claiming a 42mm display diameter and Bluetooth connectivity.
The 42mm case would suggest that there are multiple sizes, and considering users of the Gear S2 said to Samsung that its 30mm case was too small, a display size closer to 40mm seems more likely for a smaller variant.
The explicit listing of Bluetooth connectivity might also suggest that there is an LTE-connected variant in the works as well. This would put it in direct competition with the latest Apple Watch.
The Galaxy Watch comes with the usual smartwatch roster: heart rating monitoring, NFC for Samsung Pay and fitness tracking. There’s also the potential for the Galaxy Watch to pack in some more advanced health smarts, including blood pressure monitoring and improved sleep tracking.
The blood pressure tracking, in particular, would represent a see-change in the abilities of mainstream wearables, and given Asus recently announced a watch which claimed to measure blood pressure and Samsung registered a patent to track it on its Gear Icon X wireless earbuds, it might be coming with the Galaxy Watch.
There were rumors that the Galaxy Watch would run Google’s new WearOS, rather than Samsung’s Tizen OS, currently in use on all its other wearables. However, these proved to be untrue – Samsung has persisted with its own operating system instead.
WearOS would have represented a real departure for Samsung, so perhaps it's unsurprising that it has stuck to its guns on Tizen. If Google wanted to really stake a claim to the wearables market, putting its new operating system on Samsung’s new watch would have been a good place to start, however.
Google runs the risk of losing real ground to Apple in the smartwatch stakes, otherwise. If Samsung can come close to matching its phones success in the smartwatch market, then Google would doubtless like to see its own WearOS on the wrists of Samsung customers worldwide, though that's looking unlikely for the foreseeable future now.