A Wear OS version of Samsung’s Gear S4 smartwatch may still be on the cards, even as known industry insider Evan Blass downplayed the possibility of such a device hitting the market earlier this year. A prototype of an unannounced Samsung wearable running Google’s operating system was reportedly spotted in May and while the device is later said to have been modified by Alphabet’s subsidiary with the goal of being pitched to Samsung, that pitch may have been successful; according to one established insider from China, Samsung’s next smartwatch will likely feature the rebranded version of Android Wear, have a 470mAh battery, and support blood pressure monitoring.
The wearable is expected to be called the Galaxy Watch and utilize panel level packaging technology, in addition to delivering a new user interface, as per the same source. The Gear S3 lineup is nearly two years old now, with Samsung’s 2017 efforts in the wearable segment being primarily focused on fitness trackers and wearables aimed at athletes instead of more stylish products. The term “Galaxy Watch” was recently trademarked by the South Korean tech giant in several countries, though Samsung already secured the rights to that moniker several years back but has yet to commercialize it.
The Seoul-based consumer electronics manufacturer provided little support to Google’s Android Wear and wasn’t expected to embrace Wear OS until recently. Samsung is instead pushing its own Tizen ecosystem as the ultimate wearable solution and may still debut a Tizen-powered smartwatch by the end of the year. The Gear S4 or however its next high-end smartwatch ends up being called is likely to be announced in late August at this year’s iteration of Berlin, Germany-based IFA trade show. The same event may serve as a platform for Samsung to introduce the Galaxy Tab S4 lineup of Android tablets, industry sources repeatedly claimed in recent weeks.