Just after details emerge of the Gear Fit 2 Pro (not the greatest name for a fitness tracker) comes confirmation from Samsung that it will launch a new Gear smartwatch at IFA.
The president of Samsung’s mobile division, DJ Koh, spoke to CNBC explaining that the company would use IFA as it has in previous years to announce a new wearable.
He didn’t reveal any details about the device itself, so it’s not yet known whether this will be the Gear Sport, the Gear S4 or something else. However, a recent FCC filing shows the back of a circular ‘wrist’ device with a heart-rate monitor and the model number SM-R600. The model name isn’t Gear S4, though, but Gear Sport.
When is the Samsung Gear Sport release date?
We don’t yet know when it will go on sale, but Samsung will announce the new watch during its press conference at IFA on 30 August.
This is a couple of weeks ahead of the anticipated launch of the Apple Watch 3.
How much will the Gear Sport cost?
With only a few rumours to go on, it’s hard to know which features the watch will have. In turn, this makes it tricky to guess how much it will cost. It won’t be cheap, though.
Samsung has had a few patents granted, one which weirdly involves a watch with a camera seemingly in the centre of the display and another with a screen running round the side of the watch’s bezel (below).
A third depicts a curved screen around the strap. All are pretty crazy ideas, although the last one might be among the realms of possibility as it wouldn’t be the first curved screen from Samsung in a wearable.
What features will the Gear Sport have?
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll already know there’s not much to go on, certainly nothing concrete. One blurry photo has been tweeted which shows two tiny images of the watch along with the Sport name and SM-R600 model number:
— ??? ?? – Tizen Cafe (@esse1000k) 24 August 2017
Based on the rumours, these could be some of the features in the new smartwatch:
- Circular screen, 360×360 resolution
- Tizen operating system
- Water resistant to 5 ATM
- Exynos 7 Dual 7270 SoC
- Bixby assistant built in
- Heart-rate monitor
It’s unlikely Samsung will move to Android Wear 2.0 for the Gear Sport, which is a shame, as we’d rather have Google’s OS than Samsung’s mainly because of the limited choice of apps.
However, if Samsung can improve the core functions of the watch and make it track exercise more accurately (and price it right) it could still be a strong contender.
The Exynos processor, which Samsung has already announced, is the most likely choice for the next Gear smartwatch. It includes an LTE modem and is 30 percent slimmer.
It’s reckoned to be 20 percent more power efficient (thanks to shift to a 14nm manufacturing process), which can only be good news for battery life.
However, if Samsung decides to instead make the watch slimmer than the S3 models it might not gain any extra time between charges and use the improved efficiency to install a less bulky battery.
Here’s a quick rundown of the chip’s capabilities, which could hint at other Gear Sport features:
- CPU : 1GHz Dual-Core
- GPU : Mali-T720 MP1
- Process: 14nm FinFET Process
- Display: Up to qHD (960×540)
- LTE Modem : LTE Cat 4 150Mb/s
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio, GNSS, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, PMIC
- Storage: eMMC 5.0, SD 3.0
- Memory: LPDDR3
- Camera: 5MP 30fps
- Video: HD 30fps recording and playback with HEVC (H.264), VP8 Codec