Unlike smartphones, wearables don’t tend to get annual upgrades to their processing power because they don't really need one. The demands of your average smartwatch are much more limited than smartphones, after all.
As such, Samsung tends to upgrade the processor after two or more generations. The Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch Active 2 and Galaxy Watch 3 all used the Exynos 9110, before the Galaxy Watch 4 and 5 took on the Exynos W920. Last year the Galaxy Watch 6 was upgraded to the Exynos W930, and we were fully expecting the upcoming Galaxy Watch 7 to pack the same processor.
Not so, according to WinFuture’s reliable tipster Roland Quandt. On X, Quandt posted that the Galaxy Watch 7 will be “based on Exynos 5535” — something he expects to eventually be marketed as the Exynos W940.
Galaxy Watch 7 is based on Exynos 5535 (again, internal model number, not official marketing name. Guess would be Exynos W940 based on earlier models.There's also an Exynos 5400 (internal model #, no clue, but it is a mobile and likely wearable thing)Also Exynos 6375 exists.January 19, 2024
Unfortunately, that’s all we’ve got to go on for now, but there are some assumptions you can make based on the very presence of a new chipset. We’ll likely be looking at a bit more power for smoother operation in daily use and, more excitingly, a new chipset could well mean better energy efficiency.
In other words, we might be looking at improved battery life — which is a good thing, as the current models stop just shy of two days with the always-on display disabled. If you keep it on, you’re looking at 30 hours, so anything Samsung can do to eke out more would be welcome.
This is actually the first rumor we’ve heard about the Galaxy Watch 7, but we’re broadly expecting more of the same iterative updates that Samsung has provided in recent years. Once again, we’d imagine that there will be a standard version, and the ‘Classic’ edition with its pleasingly tactile rotating bezel for non-touch controls (Samsung did away with this for the Galaxy Watch 5, but it was back last year.)
Speaking of revivals, it will be interesting to see if Samsung brings back the Pro model this year. So far, the top-end smartwatch — with its massive battery, outdoorsy features and premium price point — has only had one release back in 2022 with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. It wasn’t updated last year, though it’s still sold prominently on the Samsung website.
We probably won’t find out until later in the year. Samsung typically refreshes its wearables line in mid-to-late summer, when we’re also expecting new foldables and perhaps a tablet or two.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.