One thing you have to give Samsung credit for is their willingness to go all out for a product they believe in – designing, building and testing every variation and price level that you can imagine. Once they decided that wearables was 'the next big thing' and they were going to build a smartwatch, Samsung has made great strides in only the past year. Their first big attempt was the Galaxy Gear, released simultaneously with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – companion products, if you will. Quickly after that attempt, they dropped the Galaxy prefix and released the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo – not only two newer renditions for different price levels, but both running on their new Tizen OS. One thing remained, however, their attachment to a smartphone to really use them to their fullest capabilities.
Samsung has talked about a more 'standalone' smartwatch and it looks like they are setting the scene for that to become a reality. Last month Samsung filed for a couple of new trademarks in the U.S. and Korea – Samsung Gear Solo and Samsung Gear Now. Next, we find that a Samsung Gear 2 Solo (SM-R710) appeared on some import/export paperwork from the website Zauba – imported from Korea to Bangalore (India) for Research and Development (R&D) purposes. The price translates to about US$205.
Little is known about the Gear 2 Solo, but rumors have been circulating since early March that Samsung was working on a new smartwatch that would have built-in cellular connectivity in partnership with the local operator SK Telecom. The new smartwatch would carry a SIM card slot and would be able to make phone calls on its own, with no need for an 'attached' smartphone. The name, 'Solo' could indicate that very functionality and the numbering scheme – SM-R710 – appear in line with Samsung's other wearables. Samsung has also indicated that it would collaborate with Google and bring out a smartwatch based on the Android Wear format as well.
As we can see, Samsung is far from settling in on just one smartwatch style or design – Tizen and Android Wear – Smartphone dependable or independent. When we hear they will be adding a SIM card, we have to begin to wonder about battery life – already a major concern with wearables – so the next year should be very interesting for the wearable market segment.
Please let us know on our Google+ Page if you would be interested in a smartwatch that could make its own phone calls – are you excited about the new wearables…as always, we would love to hear from you.