Samsung stopped making Android smartwatches a while ago, the last one being the Gear Live announced in 2014 — back when Wear OS was called Android Wear. It then turned towards its in-house Tizen OS and hasn’t looked back since. However, this may be changing as the next smartwatches from the South Korean company are rumored to run either Google’s Wear OS or its own UI based on Android.
This development comes from Ice universe, who doesn’t share any additional information about a specific upcoming watch. However, the folks over at Galaxy Club report that Samsung is working on two devices with model numbers SM-R86x and SM-R87x. They speculate that they might be part of the Galaxy Watch Active 3 or 4 series. Given that the regular Galaxy Watch series was already updated last year, it would make sense for the next models to come with Active branding.
The rumored Samsung Wear OS watch may be a successor to the Galaxy Watch Active2.
Samsung and Google have been tightening their ties of late, and the Galaxy S21 series is proof of this. The phones replaced Samsung’s SMS app with Google Messages and even gave users the option to have Google’s Discover feed to the left of their homescreens. Last year, both companies teamed up to make their smart home products more interoperable as well. There have even been reports of Google convincing Samsung to drop Bixby and the Samsung App store. However, this hasn’t materialized yet.
Over the years, Samsung’s Tizen OS for smartwatches has been refined to offer an experience that’s superior to most Wear OS watches, especially in the areas of power efficiency and performance — something Corbin noted in his review of the Galaxy Watch3. If the next Galaxy Watch adopts Wear OS or a new custom version of Android, it remains to be seen if Samsung will be able to offer an experience as good.
If the rumor does pan out, this may turn out to be a shot in the arm that Wear OS badly needs.