Upcoming Samsung smartwatch may run Android, report suggests (Update)

Upcoming Samsung smartwatch may run Android, report suggests (Update)

The Samsung Gear S4 rumor mill is now steadily blowing, with recent reports claiming that the Gear S4, code-named Galileo, is being developed in the United States and will come in two sizes. Further adding fuel to the fire is Samsung's recent trademarking of the 'Galaxy Watch' and 'Galaxy Fit' names, which could suggest a big branding change for future Samsung smartwatches and fitness trackers.

A new report, coming from prolific tech leaker Ice Universe (@universeice), now claims that Samsung is working on a smartwatch powered by Google's Wear OS (née Android Wear). This would be something of a precedent in Samsung's history with wearables, which have traditionally been based on Tizen, save for the 2014 Gear Live, which ran Android Wear, and the original Galaxy Gear, which was Android-based at first, but got its OS replaced with Tizen via a firmware update.

The report appeared on Chinese microblogging site Weibo and doesn't make it clear whether Samsung intends to separate the alleged Wear OS smartwatch from its main lineup of Tizen devices, or if it's looking to make the switch over to Google's OS. Going by logic, and given the huge popularity that Samsung's Gear wearables have been enjoying over the years, it seems highly unlikely that the company will turn its back on Tizen and adopt Wear OS entirely.

Upcoming Samsung smartwatch may run Android, report suggests (Update)

Samsung and Google are going to release an Android Wear flagship watch in the second half of this year. Gear S4 to be renamed Galaxy Watch (Translated from Chinese)

However, in his post, Ice Universe claims that Samsung and Google are working on a new "Android Wear flagship watch," which is supposedly slated for release in the second half of 2018. He goes on to confirm that the Gear S4 will, indeed, adopt the 'Galaxy Watch' moniker, as suggested by previous reports.

This report should be taken with a grain of salt, but if true, it could mean that Samsung intends to keep Tizen at the forefront with the new Galaxy Watch (a.k.a the Gear S4) and release a Wear OS-powered smartwatch on the side.

Talking about the new Snapdragon smartwatch chip, Qualcomm's senior director of wearables, Pankaj Kedia, recently said that Google and "several partners"  are working to release Wear OS devices packing the new chip by the holiday season, alongside a "flagship smartwatch" that will highlight all the best features of both the new silicon and Wear OS. Could this flagship smartwatch be co-developed with Samsung? It wouldn't be completely out of the question, as Google and Samsung have previously teamed up to work on hardware (Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 10), but it is too early to tell.

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 Tizen and watchOS. The rebranding was a necessary move, considering that every third Android smartwatch was being paired with an iPhone, and reflects a broader trend at Google of removing the Android moniker from cross-platform services. But rebranding a product is one thing. Reinventing it is something else entirely.

Update: Evan Blass (@evleaks) recently claimed that Samsung employees have been spotted wearing "Gear watches" running Wear OS. Still no word on whether this Android smartwatch is a separate endeavor, or if the next Samsung flagship wearable will, indeed, ditch Tizen in favor of Wear OS.


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26 Comments

1. Ciro1900

Posts: 591; Member since: Dec 17, 2017

Bye bye tyzen, samsung always abandons his os

6. iushnt

Posts: 3037; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Someone didn’t read the article nicely!!

11. cmdacos

Posts: 3767; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

He can't read...

8. TechNeck

Posts: 623; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Someone can't spell properly either.

10. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1497; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

You can’t read properly on that 4K display screen. I think you should get a phone which has Amoled screen, maybe you would properly be able to read after that. Lol

24. KingSam

Posts: 1335; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

The bezels are blocking his view lol

14. Skizzo

Posts: 401; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

Samsung is not gonna abandon Tizen, as it's doing quite well for them and their smart watches. The Wear OS watch by Samsung may infact be a Google/Samsung partnership for the upcoming Google Pixel Watch (made by Samsung)!

22. NewroticSlob

Posts: 179; Member since: May 09, 2013

It's adorable when the uninformed make illiterate comments. Just give him his bottle and send him back to bed.

2. Phonehex

Posts: 720; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

"Galaxy Watch" is a much better name than "Gear S4" .

9. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

Agree, it creates continuity with the rest of their product lineups.

13. Skizzo

Posts: 401; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

"Galaxy Watch" is MUCH better than "Gear S" as far as the naming goes.

3. phljcnth

Posts: 548; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Precedent? Samsung Gear Live is the company's first Android wearable.

4. Milen_Y

Posts: 111; Member since: Jun 09, 2016

Thanks for the correction!

26. tedkord

Posts: 17047; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Wasn't the original Gear also Android? Or am I fermenting wrong?

5. phljcnth

Posts: 548; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Samsung also had the Galaxy Gear that got updated later to Tizen.

7. surethom

Posts: 1560; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Tizan no wear OS yes. Aslong as the watch is not thick, large & black.like current Samsung smartwatches.

12. cmdacos

Posts: 3767; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

As long as there are both Tizen and wearOS options I don't care. Tizen if you want a smartwatch, wearOS if you want half baked trash.

15. youssef44

Posts: 547; Member since: Apr 29, 2014

Good idea! I have gear S3 and many time I hoped that it's with Android wear instead of Tizen because there are many applications not available on Tizen OS

16. GlenBarrington

Posts: 12; Member since: Feb 04, 2016

Not sure how to feel about this. My Tizen powered S3 is pretty good! And maybe a future version of WearOS will be great, but right now, not so much. I'd like to see Samsung do this, but I would wait to see how the early adopters react to such a watch.

17. DRS1977

Posts: 678; Member since: May 27, 2015

Google probably see's how well Samsung is doing and wants a part of it. I wouldn't be surprised if the Pixel watch was made by Samsung with a rotating bezel.

18. LiveFaith

Posts: 335; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Nice article. Quote the source, comment on it, speculate on it. Then say "take the source with a grain of salt". What did I just read? Nothing?

19. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

I wouldn't mind a Samsung Gear s3 frontier that runs Wear OS with a rotating bezel.

20. macawmatt

Posts: 133; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

I have no idea why, Tizen on my GearS3 is SO much more efficient. I can go three to four days with AOD off on my S3, never, never could I get any more then a day with either of my Android Wear watches.

21. irossdrummer

Posts: 365; Member since: Jan 17, 2015

Wow it's been awhile since Samsung used android wear OS (which I would prefer anyway because it has lots of supported apps than tizen)

23. collin3000

Posts: 70; Member since: Apr 28, 2015

As long as its power efficient switching to wear OS is a good move. The tizen powered watches required 1.5 GB of RAM which meant that ironically they couldn't run on all Samsung phones. Meanwhile Android Wear could. Not to mention bring able to keep the watch no matter what Android or iOS phone you have with WearOS vs Samsung's limited phone list.

25. cozze02

Posts: 119; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

Good, I loved my gear S3 but I hated tizen with a passion

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