It feels like Samsung’s Gear S3 was launched not that long ago, and the Gear Sport – which I’m still wearing today – has been tiding us over. However, the Gear S3 was launched back in 2016 – I remember this, because it wasn’t long after my daughter was born – and it’s high time Samsung did something about updating its wearables line.
As we know from existing rumours, there’s a strong hint that this year’s wearable release from Samsung will represent a break in tradition, opting for a new name – Galaxy Watch – instead of the logical successor being the Gear S4.
So, with an anticipated launch not far away, here’s what we know.
When will the Galaxy Watch be released?
Samsung’s next wearable – be it Galaxy Watch or Gear S4 – will most likely launch at IFA 2018 in Berlin, according to reports from Yonhap.
There was suggestion it might launch earlier – alongside the Note 9 in New York – but Samsung has kept wearable launches separate in the past, and there’s little reason to suggest it would dilute its messaging around Note 9 by launching a wearable or two alongside.
IFA is one of the major trade shows in the yearly calendar, and it is where Samsung has launched wearables previously.
Expect to see Samsung’s next wearable launched between August 31 and September 5.
Will it feature Wear OS?
Yes, rumours abound that the Galaxy Watch will launch with Google’s Wear OS instead of Samsung’s Tizen. It wouldn’t be unheard of for Samsung to go down this path, as it has used Android Wear (as it then was) for one of the first smartwatches it released.
Samsung has put a lot of time and effort into developing the Tizen platform – and it certainly has some benefits over Wear OS – but that’s not to say it’s impossible.
One thing is for sure – Google needs some wins in the Wear OS space, and manufacturer support from Samsung would do an awful lot to bring Wear OS back into the spotlight.
Is it too early to talk price?
Of course it is. The watch has barely been rumoured, much less confirmed.
There is speculation that pricing will be in the $500 to $600 price range, depending on whether LTE is included (which will likely vary by market). It’s worth noting that the Gear S3 launched for $599 at the end of 2016.
This could put Samsung’s Galaxy Watch as slightly more affordable than Apple’s Series 3 Watch with GPS and LTE (at $569). As we know with pricing in years gone by, Samsung and Apple tend to price similarly, so this price range is not surprising.