Samsung Gear S4 a.k.a. Galaxy Watch rumor review: All you need to know about the upcoming smartwatch
And the rumors show no signs of stopping - if anything, they have only improved their pace, which is inadvertently hinting that the wearable is likely just around the corner.
Design & hardware
Never change a winning teamDon't expect anything alien or extraordinary going on in terms of design: the Gear S4 will most certainly look -- and feel -- like any regular circular smartwatch which on its own is a digitalized reflection of analogue timepieces. No new weird shapes are expected due to the unique Tizen design language that the software employs - this one commands for a round watchface and it's doubtful that Samsung would throw that away.
In terms of build, we expect Samsung to continue using premium materials. Think stainless steel, aluminum, and Gorilla Glass 5. We wouldn't dare mention sapphire, as the material is still too expensive to use in a regularly-priced smartwatch like the Samsung Gear S4. Still, a small part of us hopes that Samsung would come up with a super-premium version of its upcoming gadget that will be a belated answer to Apple's super-premium Watch Edition.
Rotating bezel with sub-displayThe now signature circular dial will most certainly to be an integral part of Samsung's smartwatch feature list as it has been deeply intertwined with the interface over time. This big boon to usability has been patented by Samsung so you can bet your socks that no smartwatch lineup will ever employ a similar functionality. What's more, we are certain that the rotating bezel is here to stay and it's beyond doubt that the Gear S4 will proudly wear this design element. Thus, we can certainly rule out the unsubstantiated rumors that the Gear S4 will feature a bezel-less Infinity display like the company's flagship phones.
Two sizesJust like the Apple Watch, the Gear S4 might be available in two sizes, which would make it that much more versatile. The smaller version will probably be geared (no pun intended) towards female users, while the larger one would be aimed at men. Nothing sexist, just bone structure.
Water-resistanceSamsung would certainly want to keep its Gear S4 water-resistant. The Gear S3 Frontier, S3 Classic, and Gear Sport were all IP68-rated which means that they can resist submersion in up to a meter of water for as long as 30 minutes, so there's really no reason for the Gear S4 to not have the same functionality thrown in.
OLED is here to stayNothing has been set in stone when it comes to the display of the Gear S4, but there's little to no uncertainty that Samsung will continue using OLED displays for its wearables. This type of display is perfect for wearables that often feature always-on display functionalities as OLED not only looks great thanks to its superb contrast qualities but also helps save precious battery juice
Better battery lifeAs we already mentioned, battery life is crucial for wearables. There's a chance that the Gear S4 will arrive with a slightly larger battery than its predecessors, the Gear S3 Classic and Frontier, both of which featured 380mAh batteries. There'[s a rumor flying around that Samsung could embed small flexible batteries inside the watch strap itself which is a viable possibility given the rather restricted space that smartwatches are required to deal with. A patent application suggests that two flexible strips could be embedded inside the watch strap and potentially improve the battery life of the wearable.
ColorsThe device will likely be available in plethora of colors, one of which will likely be gold. This will be a new one for the smartwatch lineup, which usually come in black or silver.
Software & features
Samsung Health improved; blood pressure measurement incoming?
Enhanced sleep trackingAnother feature that was already available on the Gear S3 but will reportedly get immensely improved on the Gear S4 -if the rumors are to be believed, the device will be much more capable at keeping tabs on your sleeping habits. Of course, this feature implies that you wouldn't take the watch off when you hit the hay.
Oh, sweet Tizen!Samsung's own wearable platform has mostly proved to be an excellent smartwatch platform and at this point it's so well-developed that it makes zero sense for Samsung to switch to another platform with the chief suspect being Google's WearOS. Zero chances for that one to ever happen, if you ask us.
Fret not, iOS users, you will most certainly be capable of using Samsung's upcoming watch crown jewel with your iPhone. The Gear S3, S3 Frontier, and Gear Sport are already with both Android and iOS devices thanks to the cross-platform Gear Manager app which can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices.
However, rest assured that while the Gear S4 will likely be compatible with almost any contemporary phone, certain essential features like calls and messages might only work as intended when you pair it with a Galaxy smartphone. To put things in perspective, the table below you will find a handy table depicting what Gear S3 features were available on the different platform-device combinations.
Price and release date
While we haven't heard anything regarding a dedicated rugged, sport, or super-premium variation of the wearable, but any of these is certainly on the table as Samsung has proved time and time again that it has a penchant for such spin-offs.