The aging Samsung Galaxy Watch scores a huge new update packed with Watch 3 features
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After ditching Wear OS several years before it changed its name from Android Wear, Samsung is expected to return to the Google partners' fold at some point in 2021, which feels pretty surprising. That's because the world's largest smartphone manufacturer appears to have invested a lot of time, money, and resources into its own smartwatch software platform, managing to develop an extremely successful product portfolio that looks destined to challenge the popularity of the Apple Watch family... eventually.
Just a few weeks after the Galaxy Watch 3 received a somewhat unusual update inspired by the older and slightly humbler Watch Active 2 model, the OG Samsung Galaxy Watch is reportedly served a nice and juicy slice of Tizen 188.8.131.52 goodies in a number of regions around the world, most notably including the US.
Samsung's software support remains pretty much unrivaled (Apple notwithstanding).That could obviously change if the company suddenly decides to drop or reduce its Tizen focus, but for the time being,
Unsurprisingly, this latest OS version previously rolled out to both the Galaxy Watch Active 2 and Watch 3, and while the first-gen Galaxy Watch is not sufficiently well-equipped from a hardware standpoint to do everything its successors are capable of, several features delivered today to the ancient device will undoubtedly sound familiar to owners of the two newer timepieces.
We're talking about an "enhanced notification" system showing images from various chat apps in addition to good old fashioned text, as well as AR Emoji and Bitmoji support brought directly to your wrist, voice guidance provided through a connected headset while tracking your run and other types of exercises, general system stability and reliability improvements, and a couple of other minor tweaks for screen capture and running/cycling monitoring functionality.
Tipping the scales at a hefty 290MB or so, the latest update comes after a slightly smaller but similarly important OS promotion sent out to the nearly three year-old Galaxy Watch stateside back in February 2020. All this highlights Samsung's remarkable commitment to keeping its Tizen-powered wearable devices up to date longer than Android smartphone users, for instance, are accustomed to.
By the way, the 2018-released Galaxy Watch is still up for grabs at a number of major US retailers, delivering excellent bang for your buck to this day at a discounted $189 price in a 46mm stainless steel model when purchased from Best Buy.