Early rumours indicate this could be called the Samsung Galaxy Sport – a mash-up of the previous two watches released by the Korean giant. However, in reality, the naming is still likely to be decided. It could still wind up being another spin-off of the old Gear moniker, such as the S4, or something like the Galaxy Watch 2.
Read this: What is the best Samsung smartwatch?
It’s not just about the name, either. Below, we’ll be diving into all the potential new features and design changes we could be looking at in 2019. Be sure to check back, too, as we update this investigation with all the latest industry whispers.
Samsung Galaxy Sport: The rumors
It’s all in the numbers
As reported by Sammobile, the new Samsung watch’s model number will be SM-R500 and will be going by the codename ‘Pulse’. Work on the new smartwatch is reportedly set to begin in January, with the outlet also reporting that it believes the new watch is likely to be a successor to the Samsung Gear Sport, and not the Galaxy Watch 2 that we initially presumed.
Why? Well, if we’re working from the model numbers, the supposed Galaxy Sport carries a similar model number to the original Gear Sport, which was SM-R600. Now, it’s admittedly a little unusual to see a company go backward in model numbers – for reference, the Galaxy Watch held the model number SM-R8xx, while its predecessor, the Gear S3, was SM-R7xx – but this could be down to the Gear Sport and Galaxy Sport holding different monikers.
Taking your pulse?
As the Galaxy Watch approached, rumours consistently pointed toward Samsung developing a smartwatch that could take a blood pressure reading. Of course, only the Omron HeartGuide has so far been able to receive the required FDA clearance to perform such a task, and it always felt a little unlikely that Samsung would provide such a feature in its mass market smartwatch.
However, is 2019 the moment we’ll see the company take a stab at such a prized wearable feature? At this stage, we wouldn’t rule anything out – particularly with a potential sport-focused smartwatch likely to take health and wellness features into account.
Another potential hint may also come through that codename we just mentioned – Pulse. We admit it’s more likely this refers to the general use of a heart rate monitor in say, activity monitoring, but it’s still a little curious. We’ll continue to monitor any movement on this one, including if any of Samsung’s C-Lab spin-offs are cooking up anything related to the feature.
A fingerprint scanner
This is a bit of a stretch, as most patents typically are, but a recently granted filing from Samsung details a built-in fingerprint scanner.
Currently, of course, if you want to open up a device with a security wall on a Samsung smartwatch, you’re required to enter a four-digit pin code. And with most top-tier smartwatches now harnessing the ability to pay from the wrist, having this kind of passcode is essential.
With a potential fingerprint scanner, however, the chance of a lost or stolen watch being compromised could be greatly reduced. And, let’s be honest, it’d just be cool to open your smartwatch with a fingerprint, wouldn’t it?
As we say, the chances are probably pretty low that this appears on the Samsung Galaxy Sport, and there are some logistical issues we can think of (like, you know, smudging) that would make it difficult to pull off, but the fact it’s even a consideration for the company is noteworthy.
No rotating bezel
Reliable leakster @OnLeaks shared some renders back on factory data and third parties of the new Galaxy Sport. We can see from the images that it’s got a minimalistic look with two buttons on the side.
There’s also what could be a heart rate sensor on the back. One interesting thing is that this smartwatch doesn’t appear to have Samsung’s rotating bezel, which is one of its smartwatch lines best features. Could Samsung be looking to ditch the unique input method? Why?
Just to be clear: These aren’t official, and it’s wholly possible that things have changed and that the new smartwatch will in fact have a rotating bezel. Or maybe even a rotating bezel that’s touch based rather than mechanical.
Bixby’s time to shine
It feels like we’ve spent the best part of the last two years wondering whether Bixby, Samsung’s smart assistant, will be incorporated into one of the company’s smartwatches in a serious way.
However, progress on this front has been slow, as has been Bixby’s development on other platforms. A Samsung spokesperson previously told Wareable: “Bixby is the assistant that we’re going to empower many other Samsung devices with – the watch, the TV, the fridge.”
It’s becoming increasingly unlikely that’s the case, with Bixby features missing from the latest generation, but Sammobile hints that the Galaxy Sport could prove to be the first true wearable landing spot for Bixby.
Included in the outlet’s original report was news that the watch will ship with the assistant locked inside and a feature called Bixby Reminder, which lets the helper ping notifications to your wrist.
Will it run Wear OS?
Before we knew that the Galaxy Watch would come featuring Samsung’s proprietary Tizen OS, there was wild speculation that the company would turn to Google and get Wear OS to run the software show.
At one stage, it even appeared that Samsung may release two smartwatches – one running Tizen and the other featuring Wear OS. Of course, that second watch never materialised, but we expect to hear more rumours that Samsung is leaning toward a change in operating system.
Is it likely? We’d say not. Samsung’s Tizen OS may not be perfect, but it’s certainly seen less turbulence than Wear OS over the past couple of years. And really, as it stands, there’d be no tangible benefit in Samsung making the switch.
When’s it coming?
The Galaxy Watch debuted at Samsung’s big Galaxy Note Unpacked event, and it’s very likely that Samsung once again uses an Unpacked event to debut the Galaxy Sport. It just so happens that there’s an Unpacked event around the corner on 20 February at 11am Pacific Time. While the Galaxy S10 is the big new device, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Galaxy Sport.