Samsung is preparing to launch its Galaxy S20 series next month, but where there's a smartphone there's almost always a smartwatch. In Samsung's case, the Galaxy Watch Active wasn't exactly an original Galaxy Watch successor, but a new Samsung smartwatch spotted with a model number suggests Samsung is soon to remedy that.
Galaxy Watch 2 features model number SM-R840
The smartwatch comes with model number SM-R840, which squares it nicely with the first-generation Galaxy Watch Samsung announced on August 9, 2018. If you remember, the original Galaxy Watch was released in two sizes (46mm, 42mm) with model numbers SM-R805 and SM-R815, respectively. The Galaxy Watch Active had the model number SM-R500, so the new model number (SM-R840) is more in line with the original model than with the "Active" spinoff model. If you recall, Samsung made the Active smartwatch thinner and lighter than the original version. Samsung also removed the bezel from the first-generation Galaxy Watch Active but brought it back in the Watch Active 2 as a touch/digital bezel instead.
Will Samsung modify the physical rotating bezel for a digital one?
There's no telling if Samsung will stick with the physical rotating bezel of the original Galaxy Watch or go with the new digital bezel, but Samsung's smart thinking will likely move the company to upgrade the physical bezel for its true second-generation successor.
What that means is that the bezel isn't going anywhere but is getting an upgrade. Touch/digital bezels aren't as intuitive as turning a doorknob to enter a room, the dial of old landline phones, the volume button on old radios, or the steering wheel of your car to drive it, but in this digital age of ease will prove convenient for consumers who aren't as invested in the manual turning of things as were their non-smartphone era counterparts.
What are the chances that the Galaxy Watch 2 will run Wear OS?
One of the rumors surrounding the Galaxy Watch Active when it launched was that Samsung would abandon Tizen and return to Google's wearables platform (now Wear OS) for the device's operating system. Fortunately, Samsung didn't do that, bringing back one of the most battery-efficient and lightweight wearables platforms consumers have seen in the market to date.
Wear OS has had its share of defectors, Android OEMs who abandoned it because, to put it simply, Wear OS doesn't yield much profit.
Samsung abandoned Wear OS back when it was formerly Android Wear because of its desire to stick out and not conform to the uniform experience of Android Wear and other Android OEMs. Tizen didn't have its greatest success in entry-level smartphones, but it found a home in wearables, smart TVs, and home automation.
With Samsung's success in its Tizen-powered smartwatches, there doesn't seem to be much incentive for Samsung to return to Google's platform. And yet, with Samsung, one can never tell how it will all turn out. Samsung's unpredictability factor can upset and excite buyers simultaneously.
Galaxy Watch 2 will likely see a Galaxy Note 20 or IFA 2020 Unveil
With Samsung working on the Galaxy Watch 2, per the credible source above, it appears as though there's very little information about the upcoming watch. The model number (SM-R840) and the battery size (330mAh) are all we're given to go on. What this means is that it's just too early in the prep cycle to know as much as we'll find out the closer we get to a 2020 unveil.
What we can know with certainty is that Samsung won't release the device next month alongside the Galaxy S20. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 released last Fall, which means it's only been out for a few months. Samsung has normally released its smartwatches at the end-of-the-year IFA conference in Berlin, Germany, and it doesn't seem unreasonable that Samsung wouldn't break with tradition. Samsung could always launch the device at its Galaxy Note 20 unveil as well, but at this point, a February 2020 unveil would be too soon.