Home Here Comes A New Samsung Watch, A Lot Like The Old Samsung Watch

Here Comes A New Samsung Watch, A Lot Like The Old Samsung Watch

Samsung Gear S standalone smartwatch

Samsung’s recent pledge to “pause” its smartwatch releases for “a more perfect product” apparently didn’t last long. On Tuesday, SamMobile claimed to have new details about Samsung’s forthcoming round smartwatch.

See also: Samsung’s Smart Move: No More Smartwatches

Even worse, there’s nothing particularly inspiring about the new device, either.

New Shape, Old Features

Rumors of Samsung’s work on a round-faced smartwatch have swirled since late 2014, backed up by images in Samsung patent filings. Equipped with a rotating ring that would function much like the Apple Watch’s digital crown, the smartwatch codenamed “Orbis” seemed like a natural evolution of Samsung’s existing wearables.

When Samsung made its aforementioned promise to make its next wearable “more perfect,” it seemed like it might have learned some valuable lessons about exercising restraint when it comes to product development.

An image culled from Samsung’s patent filing.

However, the details reported by SamMobile—a reliable source for Samsung news which nailed just about every aspect of the Gear VR before its official unveiling—tell a different story. The device will reportedly be called the “Gear A,” yet another meaningless variation on Samsung’s existing wearable-naming practices. 

We’ve seen the Gear, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, Gear Fit, Gear Live, and Gear S. Why this device would receive an “A” is anybody’s guess. Why not go with a “C,” for “circle,” or “R” for “round”? Or, I don’t know, maybe call it the Gear 3?

Samsung also seems to be repeating past design mistakes. According to SamMobile, the Gear A will come in two versions: one with 3G and cellular support, and one without (both will apparently support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, like the Apple Watch).

As Samsung has already demonstrated with the Gear S, there isn’t much proven demand for a smartwatch that can make its own phone calls independent of a connected phone. And between the Gear S and LG’s Urbane LTE, we haven’t yet seen a device that can pull off that trick that doesn’t also cost an arm and a leg.

Aside from its shape, the Gear A doesn’t sound too different from the Gear S—and that’s not encouraging.

It helps that Samsung might make a non-cellular version of the Gear A, but the thought of yet another overstuffed, overpriced Samsung gadget so soon after it seemed to have learned its lesson on that front (see, for instance, the Galaxy S6) is discouraging. Maybe Samsung feels the need to catch up to LG, even though the relationship between the two companies usually works the other way round.

Here’s one rumor that we should hope gets it all wrong.

Gear S photos by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite; patent image retrieved from WIPO

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