Ever since Google’s announcement where they will work with Samsung to provide a better wearable experience, I’ve been anticipating the day when Samsung finally launches its next-gen Galaxy Watch.
You see, the market is filled with plenty of smartwatch wannabes and most of them are just an over-glorified fitness band that looks like a watch. I can’t blame those companies because Google has obviously failed to provide a solid ecosystem where consumers would want to get their hands onto.
Even after Google’s $40M acquisition of Fossil’s smartwatch technology is not doing anything apart from refreshing their own Fossil Gen 1-5 smartwatches. The Wear OS itself requires a somehow powerful SoC and for some reason, the “reference” Fossil Gen 5 is still using Snapdragon Wear 3100 whereas TicWatch has moved on to Snapdragon Wear 4100.
The outcome? Pathetic battery life which leads most of the brands and manufacturers to look for alternative solutions which explain why they settled down with a dumb fitness operating system. First, it consumes less power, second, it is cheaper to make. As long as the company can make the watch looks good, for example, make it round, then it will sell. Most of the consumers don’t even know or care about the difference between the operating system and what they can do because they just want a fancy looking watch that looks futuristic.
If this is not resolved anytime soon, all the money will be poured into making dumb “smartwatches” because there is money to be made. No one would care about actual smartwatches just because for consumers, they all look the same.
Google is Desperate
The Wear OS desperately needs a makeover, based on what Samsung has learned from their Tizen OS smartwatch, I certainly hope to witness what they can do to revive the Wear OS ecosystem, especially enticing the third-party developers coming back to the platform. That question will remain unanswered for now as we shift the focus towards hardware capabilities.
For the very first time, the Wear OS will be powered by Exynos W920, a brand-new 5nm power-efficient chip that is 20% faster than the Exynos 9110. It features two ARM Cortex-A55 CPU cores and an ARM Mali-G68 GPU that is capable of handling displays up to qHD (960 x 540). The chipset also features a dedicated low-power ARM Cortex-M55 display processor to handle Always-on-Display tasks. If you don’t care about all those technical stuff, in short, the Exynos W920 might be the answer to longer battery life.
That said, The Wear OS is still pretty much relying on the Android community. Given that many of the smartphone brands have started investing in their own smartwatch platform, it is a very difficult task for them to pick up the new Wear OS “powered by Samsung”. We can only hope this collaboration goes well and steer the smartwatch industry back in the right direction.
The Galaxy Watch4 is available for pre-order for $250.
- Green (44mm only)
- Pink Gold (40mm only)
The Galaxy Watch4 Classic is available for pre-order for $350 for the Bluetooth-only option.
Shipping August 27, 2021.