Samsung to introduce 5th smartwatch, this one has a SIM card

Samsung logoWe've had many complaints about Samsung's smartwatches over the past few months. We've raised concerns about the devices' usefulness (view this notification on your mobile device!), hardware design (a built-in camera?!), compatibility (Samsung only), and aesthetics (they're square and bulky). One thing we really haven't had a problem with is the requirement that they tether to a cell phone, especially when the alternative—a watch with built-in cellular and Wi-Fi—would be bigger, more power-hungry, and require a second data plan.

According to The Wall Street Journal, though, that's the exact "problem" that Samsung's next smartwatch will try to "fix." The publication is reporting that Samsung is planning a standalone smartwatch with a SIM card—meaning no tethered smartphone will be required. According to the report, Samsung's next watch will be a monster, with a cellular modem, GPS, a camera, and a heart rate monitor.

Samsung Gear 2

GPS and mobile data are typically left out of smartwatches because of battery life concerns. Mashing all the usual smartphone components into a watch while keeping the battery life respectable will be a huge challenge for Samsung.

Samsung's first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, was released only eight months ago, and since then the company has followed up with the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit. Along the way, the company switched from Android to Tizen, its home-grown, Linux-based OS. The report says Samsung will be sticking with Tizen for this version, as well, and the watch is expected to launch in June or July. Android Wear is expected out during that timeframe, too.

With no need to tether to a smartphone, is the expectation that we leave our smartphone at home? Would anyone want to completely depend on a smartwatch to stay connected?

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Samsung, smartwatch

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