Newfound evidence is lending more credibility to the idea that Samsung is developing one or more Galaxy smartwatches that run on Google’s Wear OS platform as opposed to Tizen. Last week we discussed two codenames — Wise and Fresh — that seem to be related to two upcoming Galaxy smartwatches, but there seems to be more to this story than we initially thought.
A third codename related to Wear OS was recently discovered by XDA Recognized Developer ivan_meler in the kernel source code for the Galaxy S20 (SM-G980F). The code includes references to a device codenamed Merlot, and it directly links the device with Wear OS. Merlot is described as using a Broadcom BCM43013 chip similar to the Galaxy Watch 3.
Is Merlot still in development?
We’re fairly confident that the codenames Wise and Fresh correspond to two Galaxy smartwatch models that are currently in development, but we’re not as certain about Merlot. As some of you might remember, the kernel source code for the Galaxy S20 was released a year ago, which means that Merlot — as a codename — is relatively old.
More importantly, there seems to be no trace of Merlot in later kernel source codes for One UI 3.1, so perhaps the project was shelved or replaced by Wise and / or Fresh later down the line.
Either way, it’s now more obvious than ever that Samsung is, or at least has considered turning to Watch OS recently, and a new Galaxy watch powered by Google’s platform could be released before the end of the year.