Samsung have been selling smartwatches for some time now, after introducing the original Samsung Galaxy Gear in late 2013, which was based on Android and paired up with Samsung’s Android devices running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or later. Samsung’s smartwatch ran a modified version of Android on a single core Samsung Exynos processor, clocked at 800 MHz, which is somewhat less powerful than the typical Android Wear device, which use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. The Gear used 512 MB of memory and 4 GB of internal storage (the same as Android Wear devices) but contained a camera built into the wrist. The device used a square screen of 360 by 360 pixel resolution. Shortly after the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 was released, Samsung updated the Android-based original Galaxy Gear by replacing the software with Tizen. The update improved battery life (as do many, many software updates if you read through the accompanying notes) and of course, introduced a new operating system to the platform. Samsung have also introduced other smartwatch models such as the Galaxy Gear Live showing above, but these have not been such a commercial success.
Now, Samsung are preparing their next smartwatch. At their Tizen conference at the end of July, Samsung reported that they were using Tizen 2.3.1 and a rotating round watch face in their next smartwatch, which at the time was called the Samsung Galaxy Gear A. The hardware has been given something of an uplift and it is rumored to be based around a dual core Exynos processor, backed up by 768 MB of RAM and with the same 4 GB of internal storage. It will also feature the as-expected low energy Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi, plus a number of other sensors for location and motion detection in common with other smartwatch models. The more powerful hardware and especially the additional RAM is an interesting twist for TIzen, which has long been believed to have a lighter footprint compared with Android: perhaps Google will recommend an increase in Android Wear RAM from 512 MB to 768 MB or perhaps 1 GB before the year is out?
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Samsung’s next Unpacked Event is on the 13 August in New York, where we believe they will be officially announcing the next generation Samsung Galaxy Note model, plus the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. The Gear A, or whatever the device ends up being named, is also expected to be announced on the same day and if this is the case we will have clarification as to the changes and improvements in both the design and the hardware of the new smartwatch.