Samsung's next flagship smartwatch could signal a new direction for what the electronics giant does with wearables.
The watch, which some rumors had been calling the Gear S4 to reflect how Samsung named past smartwatches, could be in for an entirely new name — the Galaxy Watch. That's according to recently discovered paperwork filed with the Korean Intellectual Property Office. There's no more information on the potential device in that filing, SamMobile says, but it looks like Samsung will bring its popular wearable under the Galaxy branding.
Still, there are some rumors surrounding Samsung's plans. And here's a quick rundown of the features we can expect when the Galaxy Watch launches.
What's the Design?
SamMobile has previously reported that Samsung is planning to update the Galaxy Watch's design, and Samsung itself may have just accidentally leaked a photo of its unreleased smartwatch.
On July 23, CNET noticed a new wearable listed on Samsung's website: a 42mm rose gold Galaxy Watch. No specs or pricing details were listed alongside the watch, but the Galaxy Watch as pictured on the product page looked more fashion-forward than Samsung's last-gen smartwatches. In addition to the rose gold finish, the Galaxy Watch was shown with a round watch face and a sub-dial inset on the face, similar to some of the high-end Wear OS-based hybrid smartwatches currently on the market. The listing has since been removed.
According to a TechRadar report, Samsung is also planning to offer silver, gold and black versions of the watch. There's also a good chance that the watch will ship in two versions — one designed for sporty use and another for dress use. Samsung took a similar approach with different models of the Gear S3.
Some patents uncovered by Patently Mobile point to the possibility of the Galaxy Watch's display being baked into the bezel, which would create a flush mount that might be appealing to some folks.
According to a SamMobile report, Samsung is planning to offer two versions of its Galaxy Watch this year. One of the models will measure 38mm and the other will come in at 42mm. Again, that's fairly standard for smartwatches: the Apple Watch comes in those two sizes, for instance.
A Bigger Battery
Arguably the most important change this year will come to the Galaxy Watch's built-in battery. According to an XDA Developers report, Samsung is upping the size of its Galaxy Watch battery from 380 mAh in the Gear S3 to 470 mAh in its new device. The move could make the Galaxy Watch one of the longest-lasting smartwatches ever released. And it might last several days on a single charge.
Which Operating System Can We Expect?
There's been some debate over whether the Galaxy Watch would run on Google's Wear OS or opt for Samsung's own Tizen OS, which has powered its previous smartwatches. However, SamMobile's sources have said that it's "highly likely" the Galaxy Watch will ship with Tizen, and PhoneArena also makes the case for Samsung sticking with Tizen.
You Can Count on LTE
If you're going to connect remotely to the Web with your Galaxy Watch, expect more options than just Wi-Fii. According to a SamMobile report, Samsung's Galaxy Watch will ship with LTE connectivity. That should mean that you can use it to connect to apps and maybe even make calls on a cellular connection.
When Will We See It?
That's tough to say. But there's a general feeling in the tech world that Samsung will unveil its Galaxy Watch at its Unpacked event on Aug. 9, where it's also expected to unveil the Galaxy Note 9. If that doesn't happen, look for the watch to make its debut at the IFA trade show, which kicks off in Berlin on August 31. Last year's IFA was where Samsung took the wraps off the Gear Sport watch.
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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.