In an interview with Reuters, Samsung’s senior VP for product strategy Yoon Han-kil stated that the manufacturer intends to launch a smartwatch that runs Google’s Android Wear OS sometime this year. Yoon also stated that in addition to the smartwatch, Samsung would launch a high-end Tizen smartphone. Android Wear would be the fourth different operating system Samsung utilized on its wearable devices, after a tweaked version of Android for the original Galaxy Gear, Tizen for the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo and RTOS for the Gear Fit. Samsung’s reasoning behind switching to Tizen for the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo was that it offered better battery life to using Android, but then again it could be a move undertaken to drive Samsung’s digital content in favor of Google’s services. As for the Gear Fit, Samsung stated that using a lightweight operating system like RTOS allowed the manufacturer to run low-end hardware and eke four days of battery life out of the device.
Yoon did not offer any further details into the smartwatch, but if a recent trademark filing is any indication, the device will be called the Galaxy S Fitness. Samsung trademarked the name in the US this week, along with other names like the Gear Now and Gear Solo. The Gear Now and Gear Solo will likely be based on Tizen considering the lack of the Galaxy branding, but the Galaxy S Fitness might turn out to be Samsung’s first Android Wear smartwatch.
While Yoon mentioned that an Android Wear smartwatch will launch later thios year, it is unlikely the manufacturer will unveil the device anytime soon, as it would affect sales of the Gear 2 and Gear Fit. It is feasible that the device would launch at the same time as the next version of the Galaxy Note. If the device will in fact be called the Galaxy S Fitness, it will be interesting to see the hardware it will feature. What are your thoughts on it? What features would you like to see on a smartwatch running Android from Samsung? Let us know in the comments below.