Exclusive: Samsung Galaxy Gear Tizen Preview

Earlier this year, there was speculation about Samsung launching new version of its Galaxy Gear along with the Samsung Galaxy S5 at the UNPACKED 2014 Episode 1 event in Barcelona, Spain. Many, including us, didn’t believe that it would happen because it hadn’t even been 6 months since the launch of the original Galaxy Gear. However, the rumour turned out to be true and Samsung did launch a new updated Gear 2, and also introduced a new Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit. Samsung’s all new smartwatches were missing the “GALAXY” branding, the reason being the use of Samsung’s own Tizen OS rather than Android, except the Gear Fit; which uses a proprietary OS.

This was terrible news for Galaxy Gear users because the Galaxy Gear is based on Android and after the launch of Samsung’s new smartwatches, it was certain that from now on Samsung would be focusing heavily on Tizen and will be building a whole new ecosystem for wearables. But, keeping in mind that the device was only 5 months old, a Samsung spokesperson confirmed to TechRadar that Samsung will be ditching Android and upgrading the original Galaxy Gear to Tizen as well. However, no official roll out timeframe was provided.

Luckily, we have got our hands on a recent Tizen test build for the Galaxy Gear, but due to the software being in early stages we are not able to leak it, so we decided to give you folks a preview instead.

The new Tizen upgrade brings in a ton of new features and functionality to the Samsung Galaxy Gear. The Galaxy Gear can now measure sleep patterns using Sleep mode, it can also keep track of your workouts in real time using Exercise mode. In Android, the Galaxy Gear was only able to track footsteps using the built-in Pedometer. Samsung has also included a standalone music player, which allows the user to store music on the smartwatch itself. Previously in Android, there was a double tap shortcut to quick controls in which the user could manage the display brightness and sound volume, Samsung now allows the user to customise the double tap shortcut and set it to any desired application. Due to this change, Samsung has created a separate Controls app, so if the user wants the quick controls functionality back they can simply choose the Controls app as the shortcut. Moreover, the user is able to choose between different font styles, set custom wallpaper, choose home icon size, connect bluetooth headset and set privacy lock. Samsung has also introduced voice commands in the camera app. Almost all features from Samsung’s new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are present in the update, except WatchON Remote and Heart Rate monitor.

At the moment, we are not sure when Samsung will officially start rolling out the Tizen upgrade for the Galaxy Gear but we will keep you folks in the loop and let you know whenever we receive more information.


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2 years 5 months ago

I have found battery life to be good enough up to a week depending on the settings you use. Sound mode seems to drain the battery life (1 day regular use 60 pct battery drain) way faster that weak vibration only (7 days 10 – 15 pct per day). It’s more color full and requires less brightness due to color contrasting with the time.

No shortcut for camera or dialer :( voice control has improved, some nice fitness gimmicks and the biggest downer is that fleksy keyboard is not yet ready for Tizen lol and there are less apps in the store that run on Tizen.

But I prefer the new software due to battery life and you can play with it a little more than with android.

Oh and btw the gear manager takes a little longer to open in menu options than before 1 to 3 seconds more.

2 years 6 months ago

i notice also there is no shortcut for camera and dialer when you slide down for the camera and up for the dialer

2 years 6 months ago

I probably can’t send reply using that OS definitely will not downgrade to Tizen

2 years 6 months ago

Ware schön wenn sammobile tizen raus rückt

2 years 6 months ago

What about root and abd ability? I like the way I can sideload android apps, so what can Tizen do? Can it do all that or is it the end of it?

2 years 6 months ago

Sideloading does function because the Galaxy Gear run android, but with this actualization it would not

2 years 6 months ago

Any idea of when would Samsung start the rollout?

2 years 6 months ago

Android = bloatware, TIZEN = Speed.

2 years 6 months ago

What about batery life?

2 years 6 months ago

I support this change to the original Galaxy Gear as well as supporting TIZEN 100%. At the end of the day people will realize Tizen offers so much more than android ever will.

2 years 6 months ago

In terms of performance, or number of features available for consumers/developers?

2 years 6 months ago

Tizen will always give you more battery life, as it doesn’t have things like a virtual machine and heavy Java code running underneath. All that is what makes Android the poorest at battery life (multitasking also adds to it, but multitasking is actually useful rather than a problem like Java is.)