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Best smartwatches to expect in 2018

Best smartwatches to expect in 2018

2018 is shaping up as an interesting year for wearables. Google has recently rebranded the faltering Android Wear platform to Wear OS and is reportedly planning to launch three Pixel-branded smartwatches by the end of the year. Between Qualcomm's releasing of a brand new Snapdragon chipset for wearables and rumors about an upcoming Samsung smartwatch that runs Wear OS, 2018 really looks like a great year for wearables.

So, what are the best smartwatches to look forward to in 2018? There's at least a handful we know about right now, though many others are sure to be announced further down the line. That's why this article will be updated throughout the year, as more information is revealed about future wearables from Samsung, Apple, Google, and other manufacturers. Right now, here's the best smartwatches coming out this year that we know about right now!

Samsung Galaxy Watch (a.k.a Gear S4)


Best smartwatches to expect in 2018

Samsung recently trademarked the 'Galaxy Watch' and 'Galaxy Fit' names, presumably for use in its future smartwatches and fitness trackers. Samsung's current wearable lineups are split under the Gear and Gear Fir monikers. It's a name that the company has been using for various phone accessories and smaller devices, but it seems that as far as fitness trackers and smartwatches are concerned, things may change in 2018, as the Gear S4 is heavily rumored to adopt the 'Galaxy Watch' branding.

Given the huge success of Samsung's Galaxy lineup of smartphones -- in both the flagship and mid-range segments -- it would make sense for the company to fold its wearable products under the same branding. The Galaxy brand is widely recognized and associated with Samsung, so the recent trademark application could indicate a serious intent on Samsung's part to rename its current Gear and Gear Fit lines of wearables. What's more, the 'Galaxy Fit' could suggest a possible successor to the 2016 Gear Fit 2 further down the line.

The Galaxy Watch is expected to retain the round design of the Gear S3 and S2, as Samsung's smartwatch UI is now perfectly tailored around the rotating bezel that's been a mainstay since the S2. The Galaxy Watch, however, is expected to be Samsung's first smartwatch to come in two sizes. All rumors point to a single design that will be available in a smaller and larger size, much like the Apple Watch. No word yet on whether it'll also come in 'classic' and 'sporty' versions, as was the case with the Gear S2 and S3.

To get up to speed with all the rumors surrounding the Samsung Galaxy Watch, check out our rumor review!


Apple Watch Series 4


Best smartwatches to expect in 2018

The Apple Watch Series 4 is another highly-anticipated on the wearables front this year. As is the case with the Galaxy Watch, the design of the new Apple watch is not expected to be a big departure from the previous models, in that it will retain the current rectangular design, but it may feature a bigger screen. According to recent rumors, the Apple Watch Series 4 will come with 15 percent more screen real estate than its predecessors.

Speaking of the screen, Apple is tipped to be working on its own microLED displays in a secret facility in California, with the Apple Watch family being a prime candidate for the first implementation of the tech. Current models have OLED displays, but switching to the new technology would offer a number of benefits, since microLED panels are thinner, consume less power, and are capable of reaching higher brightness levels than OLEDs.

Another interesting rumor surrounding the new Apple Watch is about the possible implementation of modular straps in the Series 4. We've already seen third-party smartwatch straps with embedded batteries, but Apple itself is said to be exploring the concept of modular straps that incorporate various core function of the device. For example, one such modular watch could house a battery, a camera, and even a secondary display, without actually increasing the bulk of the watch body itself.

To get up to speed with all the rumors about Apple's upcoming smartwatch, check out our Apple Watch Series 4 rumor review!


Samsung Wear OS (Android Wear) watch


Best smartwatches to expect in 2018

We recently reported on a new rumor that claims that Samsung is developing a Wear OS smartwatch (née Android Wear). This rumor falls in line with recent statements from Qualcomm that Google and "several partners" are developing a number of products, as well as a "flagship smartwatch" that will showcase the capabilities of the new Snapdragon chipset for wearables and the revamped Wear OS. Samsung and Google have teamed up to work on various Nexus devices in the past, so another collaboration is not out of the question.

A Wear OS smartwatch made by Samsung, rotating bezel and all? If that's really the case, count us in! To get up to speed with everything you need to know about the rumored project, check out our coverage here.


Google Pixel Watches


Best smartwatches to expect in 2018

Android smartwatches are not in a good place right now. Due to fizzling popularity and dwindling sales, Google recently made the decision to rebrand Android Wear as Wear OS, in hopes that it would be able to turn a new page and regain its foothold in a market dominated by watchOS and Tizen.

Aside from rebranding the OS, Google is also working on improving it to be better compete against Apple's and Samsung's feature-rich offerings. But it's not alone in the fight – Qualcomm is preparing to launch a new smartwatch chipset later this year while several Google partners are working on new Wear OS smartwatches. Amidst all this, there are also three—yes, three—Pixel-branded watches allegedly slated for release before the holidays as well. 

Huawei Watch 2 (2018)


Best smartwatches to expect in 2018

Huawei has been long-rumored to be working on a successor to its 2017 smartwatch model, but it seems like the company is not ready to jump to number '3' and will instead do the Huawei Watch 2 2018. We already know what the timepiece will look like, as it's been fully leaked, and it isn't much of a departure from last year's design. It looks pretty much exactly the same, only more sporty, and reportedly packs similar hardware – a Qualcomm 2100 chipset, paired with 768MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory. It even has the same 390 x 390, 1.2-inch OLED display as last year's model. The biggest difference between the Huawei Watch 2 2018 and its predecessor will be the inclusion of eSIM support in the 2018 model. 


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