Week in wearable: Samsung's smartwatch plans and Apple Watch sales

What went down over the last seven days
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Congrats on making it through that slog of a first week of the year. But while you've been easing your way back into a work, we've been hard at work getting our new smart home site The Ambient live (go check it out). We've also been prepping ourselves for CES 2018, which kicks off over the next few days.

We've already started to see the announcements flow, plus there's been big wearables news from the likes of Samsung and Apple to get you back into the swing of things.

Read this: Wearables to help keep your resolutions on track

So what exactly had gone down this week? Here's the first Week in Wearable of 2018, folks...

Samsung Gear S4 could get a big battery boost

Week in wearable: Samsung's smartwatch plans and Apple Watch sales

The Samsung Gear S3 is one of the better battery performers of the big name smartwatches, but we are definitely all for making it better. If a crop of patents are to be believed, the Korean tech giant is hatching a plan to improve battery life by putting batteries inside the straps. Moving those batteries away from the main body could open the door for Samsung to add new features like a fingerprint sensor or an advanced heart rate sensor.

On top of this battery-boosting patent, there was also another indication that Samsung is thinking of adding a sub-display to its smartwatch. So will we see a battery-packing watch strap or a second display on the Gear S4? That's the big question we hope will be answered in 2018.

Apple Watch sold pretty, pretty well in 2017

Week in wearable: Samsung's smartwatch plans and Apple Watch sales

It sounds like Apple's smartwatch was a big seller in 2017, according to USA Today and GBH Insights which ranked the smartwatch as the fourth best-selling gadget last year. It was beaten by the Amazon Echo, the iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy smartphone range having approximately sold 20 million units. Apple doesn't of course reveal sale figures so those numbers would've most likely been based on estimates and analyst reports, but even still that's pretty good going for the Apple Watch.

That's also unlikely to have factored in how well the Apple Watch Series 3 and older models fared over the Christmas period. We have a feeling there were a fair few nestling under Christmas trees around the world. It's good news not only for Apple, but for wearable in general: the smartwatch is starting to have some serious appeal for a lot more people.

How smartwatches can help kick that smoking habit

Week in wearable: Samsung's smartwatch plans and Apple Watch sales

For many, the first few weeks of January can signal whether those new year's resolutions are going to stick or get ditched once it turns 1 February. Quitting smoking is one of the most common resolutions and one company believes it can use smartwatches to help you ditch the nicotine. Somatix has created software that is able to detect smoking in real time based on hand-to-mouth gestures picked up by sensors packed into smartwatches.

The SmokeBeat app will apparently will tell users how much they've smoked, as well as the financial cost of smoking. In a study conducted by Somatix, it found that the software was able to detect more than 80 percent of smoking episodes, which sounds pretty impressive. There are no details just yet on when SmokeBeat will be up for grabs, but we're sure smokers will welcome any help to way bye bye to the cigarettes for good.

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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