The rumors surrounding Samsung’s switch from its own Tizen OS for smartwatches to Wear OS just refuse to die and it seems that the final word is in, unofficially, of course. Given all the rumors coming from reliable sources, the likelihood that the next Galaxy Watch 4 series will be running Google’s wearable platform is almost all but certain but, in true Samsung fashion, it won’t be looking exactly like the Wear OS some have grown to know and maybe even love.
Against all odds, Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatch OS has gotten its fair share of fans, especially over Wear OS whose development was sporadic at best. Along with health-centric features that few Wear OS smartwatches have today, the Galaxy Watch series seemed to be in a position to take on the Apple Watch. Unfortunately, that’s not enough for app developers to invest in Samsung’s wearable OS over Wear OS and it suffered the absence of apps, especially popular ones.
That deficiency could be solved by switching to Wear OS but, just like on Android, Samsung isn’t content with just taking vanilla Wear OS and calling it a day. According to SamMobile, the company will put One UI 3.x on top of it, a first for wearables. In other words, at least in terms of look and feel, the Wear OS Galaxy Watch 4 would be identical to its predecessors.
The difference will, of course, be the software and access to apps which could be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, users will now have access to more smartwatch apps than before. On the other hand, those who have come to rely on Tizen-only apps will have to hope there are WearOS equivalents. Some staples, like Samsung SmartThings, will be there, of course, as well as new functionality that will turn the Galaxy Watch 4 into a walkie-talkie.
As for the smartwatches themselves, the leak claims no less than three models will be available. That includes a “classic” Galaxy Watch 4 with a rotating bezel. The other two will be variants of more sporty Galaxy Watch Active models.