The Smartwatch trend is starting to really kick into gear, no pun intended, and we’ve got more competition than ever. Google unveiled its Android Wear initiative just weeks ago and it took everyone by storm. The biggest draw of the platform is its universal nature and the ability for any manufacturer to pick it up and use it in their product, just like Android does for phones and tablets now. Samsung is still kicking with the Gear 2 and it’s going to have to try hard to make it sell better than the first one. Why, you might ask? Well it’s certainly not for lack of features, as the heart rate monitor, front-facing camera and water-resistant nature of the device have proven, rather that it’s still locked into Samsung’s ecosystem much like the first, so those without a Samsung smartphone need not apply. But what if they bypassed that whole thing and just let you use the Gear 2 as a smartphone in and of itself? We saw rumors of that on the same day that Android Wear was announced, and it looks like those rumors are heating up again.
Yes indeed it looks like Samsung is planning a brand new Gear smartwatch that features its own 3G modem and SIM card capabilities, meaning your smartwatch will be completely independent of your smartphone. One of the biggest downsides to most smartwatches on the market is the fact that they are connected to your phone via Bluetooth and cannot go further than 30 feet (9 meters) or so away from the device without becoming just a plain old watch. That means you can’t take it kayaking with you since it’s not exactly wise to take your phone in the boat, but that will all change if we see a Gear with a 3G modem in it. The name Gear Solo has been trademarked by Samsung and is allegedly the name for such a smartwatch with a modem in it. While it’s not exactly the catchiest name ever it looks like that may not even be the final name anyway if the latest leak has anything to say about it. Samsung officials have denied existence of such a device but that’s pretty standard protocol at this point in the game anyway. No word on price or release date either, although you can expect it to be more expensive than a regular Gear 2 would be, which would put it well above the $300 mark.