It’s no secret that Samsung is moving to Wear OS for the next generation Galaxy Watch 4 – but now we have a clue about how it might work.
That’s courtesy of a new report from the reliable SamMobile, which says that while Wear OS will be running the show, the look and feel of the new Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch Active 4 will be very familiar.
The report states that there are three smartwatches on the way, codenames Wise, Fresh and Lucky. ‘Wise’ will be the classic dress-watch like Galaxy Watch 4 including the rotating bezel, and the others will be the sportier Active version. However, we’re not clear why there are two product codenames for that.
But SamMobile has revealed that Samsung will be skinning Wear OS with its One UI 3.x, which will have an entirely new smartwatch version. Samsung One UI 3.0 rolled out to smartphones in Dec 2020, and you can see the design language below. It should be a fresh look for the wrist.
Samsung One UI 3.0 for smartphones
This means it will feel very familiar to Samsung smartwatch and phone users, although it seems there will be a large overhaul aimed at boosting ease-of-use.
And there’s word on two new features: a walkie-talkie style feature is set to land, and there’s a new bunch of SmartThings integrations as well.
Google allowing manufacturers to customize the Wear OS experience has been a major shift, and undoubtedly a large part of luring Samsung back to the platform. The Oppo Watch, one of the best Wear OS devices in recent memory, uses Color OS to offer its own unique UI. And it seems Samsung is to follow suit.
We also reported rumors from a Korean language news site last week, which alleged that Samsung partners in South Korea were reluctant to develop Tizen apps for the Galaxy Watch, which may have been a major contributing factor in the company moving back to Wear OS for the first time since the Galaxy Gear Live back in 2014.
It's clear that technically the Galaxy Watch 4 (and Active 4) will be a big change, but we’re unsure how much difference users will notice.
There have been rumors of a size change (which are highly dubious), although battery life will surely remain largely unchanged. A better selection of apps should be a given – but it seems hardware design changes could be minimal.
Rumored blood glucose tracking seems to have been ruled out – and we’re assuming that apps for blood pressure and ECG monitoring will be ported over to Wear OS without the need for renewed FDA involvement.
In terms of release date, all signs are pointing to July or August 2021.
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