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Gear S4 might debut as the Galaxy Watch, run Wear OS

by Justin Herrick | July 6, 2018July 6, 2018 12:30 pm PDT

Samsung is leaving behind Tizen for another platform, according to insider Ice Universe.

The report suggests that, rather than using its own software, Samsung will take advantage of Google’s Wear OS for its next smartwatch. It’ll have a 470mAh battery as well as blood pressure measurement. Other features would come from the software itself, via Wear OS or third-party apps.

To make this even more interesting, the insider says the Gear S4 might not even carry that name. It could be released as the Galaxy Watch as Samsung aligns its product closer together. Then again, the Gear S4 could still be released with Tizen while the Galaxy Watch sets forth with Wear OS. Considering how fickle these leaks have been, anything seems possible.

You might be doubting Samsung actually putting Tizen aside, but the source has a proven track record. Ice Universe, who’s completely anonymous beyond a cat for a profile picture, is often correct when it comes to information on the South Korean juggernaut.

The company’s entire lineup of wearables is long-overdue to be refreshed, whether that’s through a new name or new software. As of late, we’ve seen the company do more of the same with little buzz made.

The wearables space is dominated by Apple, but we’ve still seen a steady flow of Gear-branded devices in recent years. Samsung hasn’t wavered in its commitment to the category. But the decision to switch from Tizen to Wear OS, even for just one product, seems puzzling. Google’s platform doesn’t stand out from the competition at all.

In the fall, Wear OS could be rebooted. The platform saw its name change a few months ago; however, that’s not enough to make people give it another try. Google needs to completely overhaul the look and feel of the software to give everyone more customization.

Samsung, though, should probably keep putting resources into Tizen. The Gear S3 and Gear Sport are among the best smartwatches you can purchase today, and the number of third-party apps is impressive. If things go sour again for Wear OS, Samsung could easily go back to Tizen again.

We’ll see how this one shakes out over the next few months. Samsung is expected to introduce the Gear S4 and/or the Galaxy Watch at IFA 2018. The trade show, which takes place in Berlin, starts on August 31.

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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