Smartwatches haven't gone anywhere. All the focus may have faltered slightly in the last few months, but we all knew that rumors and speculation about Samsung, Apple, Google, Microsoft and whoever else making one hadn't disappeared altogether. Just to prove that point, a new report has been making the rounds that Samsung is in fact gearing up to unveil their smartwatch pretty soon. On September 4, to be exact. And, finally, that actually makes sense.
This isn't the first time that we've heard Samsung would unveil their smartwatch alongside the release of a brand new smartphone. Before the Galaxy S 4 was officially revealed, reports were swirling that the handset would be accompanied by Samsung's intelligent wrist wear. We know how that worked out, though, and now those who were excited to see Samsung's take on wearable technology in the year 2013 had to keep on waiting.
If these new reports are to be believed, we don't have to wait for much longer. According to Bloomberg, the house that built its own Galaxy is gearing up to unveil a "wristwatch-like smartphone." Interesting, eh? It definitely piques my own interest, that's for sure. Especially with language like "wristwatch-like smartphone."
Because, to me, that's not like any of the popular smartwatches we've seen launched, or announced, recently. Specifically, like Pebble. That is just a watch, that's really smart. It's a smartwatch, yes, but I wouldn't describe it as a "wristwatch-like smartphone." That's not what it is. It's an intelligent watch, yes, but it's definitely not a smartphone.
As my fellow editor, Anna, brought up last week, there could be a time that our smartwatches *are* our phones, but I don't think we're there quite yet. Some day, yes, but not yet. I think people like their phones too much, and I think manufacturers are still putting a lot of effort in making handsets that are amazing so we *want* to use them. I don't want to replace it with a smartwatch.
Obviously, I'm sure there are some people out there who would love to do exactly that. Especially those who have huge phones.
Which is why I think it makes more sense that the rumors are pointing to a Samsung-branded smartwatch launching with the Galaxy Note III, more than it ever did with the Galaxy S 4. Sure, the Galaxy S 4 has a large, 5-inch display, but it's not as big as the Galaxy Note II's, and it surely won't be as big as the Galaxy Note III's. More over, though, the Galaxy Note is designed specifically to bridge the gap between a smartphone and a tablet, while the Galaxy S 4 is marketed solely as a smartphone. While a smartwatch would be great, it just makes more sense as a companion device to a large handset like the Galaxy Note III.
But, at the same time, the language that Bloomberg used in the original article, with "wristwatch-like smartphone" just has me a bit worried, too. I want a smartwatch, which will actually work as a companion device to the Galaxy Note III. I don't want a smartphone on my wrist. I don't want to have a speakerphone on my wrist for everyone to hear, and I certainly don't want to hold my wrist up to the side of my face. And if you suggest a Bluetooth device, why would I not just connect that to my phone?
No, if Samsung is indeed planning on launching the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, then I want it to work *with* the Galaxy Note III (and other Android-based devices), and not just as another device that gets notifications that I have to cycle through. The device needs two-way communication. If I clear the notification from the smartwatch, then clear it from the phone, too. And vice versa.
We've known that Samsung has been working on a smartwatch for several months now, ever since a Samsung executive confirmed work on the device had been underway for some time. It makes sense for the company to unveil it next to the Galaxy Note III, but only if they plan on marketing it as a companion device to the large handset. Don't get me wrong, the smartwatch should work with other Android devices, and hopefully Samsung doesn't do any weird exclusive things to make it work "better" (or only, for that matter) with only Samsung-branded devices. But, let's face it: that's a real possibility.
So tell me, what do you want to see from Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch? Do you think it makes sense for them to launch it alongside the Galaxy Note III? Do you believe they will try to build it as a true companion device to the phablet? Or will the smartwatch be a standalone product, which can sync with the Galaxy Note III if you really want? Let me know what you think!