Google and Samsung join forces for next Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, it’s a fitness watch that actively gives you advice
(Image credit: Chikena | Shutterstock)

Samsung’s plan to shed the Tizen OS from its Galaxy Watches has been rumored for a while now, and thanks to Google I/O we know that for certain.

Both companies confirmed this new smartwatch OS — a combination of Samsung’s Tizen and Google’s Wear OS — today during I/O 2021. Simply called ‘Wear’ for now, this joint effort will provide several benefits to consumers. That includes longer lasting batteries, smoother animations, a special version of Google Maps and more. 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 will also benefit Fitbit’s fitness tracking and health-based features. It isn’t that shocking considering Google acquired Fitbit in 2019 for $2.1 billion. What is interesting is Samsung stating that Wear OS will be used in all of the company’s future wearable devices. There’s already been some speculation that Samsung is releasing more than one smartwatch this year.

Samsung has done a great job with its watches, as evidenced by our Galaxy Watch 3 review. The company is still looking to compete, and this partnership with Google could be the best shot it has of dethroning the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7. At the moment, the Apple Watch Series 6 sits atop our best smartwatches list. While the Galaxy Watch 3 was well received by fans and critics alike, the Galaxy Watch 4 is being positioned to offer a better, richer experience overall. Not only that, but fans might be able to pick from different versions at varying price points.  

Unfortunately, Samsung’s past smartwatches won’t be able to use the new Wear operating system. The company stated that previously released wearables can’t be upgraded to use Wear. Those watches will still continue to use Tizen with Samsung issuing updates for the next three years.

Here’s hoping that Samsung reveals the finer details about its upcoming smartwatches sooner than later. One could assume a price point of $400, based on past iterations of Samsung’s wearables. Unfortunately, a release date has not yet been announced. 

Kenneth Seward Jr.

Kenneth Seward Jr. is a freelance writer, editor and illustrator who covers games, movies and more. Follow him @kennyufg and on Twitch.