(Pocket-lint) – Samsung may have only released its new flagship smartwatch last summer, but the latest rumours suggest we could be welcoming the arrival of the Galaxy Watch 4 sooner rather than later.
It might not come on its own, either, with a new variant of the Galaxy Watch Active line also mooted. Such a move would finally bring some cohesion to Samsung’s smartwatch lines, after years of inconsistent branding and launch cycles. However, many of the real details are scarce at this early stage.
Below, we’ll be tracking all the latest industry whispers and reports surrounding both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and its potential sporty sibling, including the release date, price and features.
Release date and price
- Tipster suggests “Q2” launch for both watches
- Model numbers for two smartwatches leaked
As we alluded to up top, judging release dates and names for Samsung’s smartwatches has been a constant battle over the last few years. As an example, the original Galaxy Watch Active was followed up by the second generation within around six months, and the Galaxy Watch line skipped over the Watch 2 and went straight to the current flagship, the Watch 3.
So, before we get too far in here, let’s just caveat things by saying Samsung is most likely to go with Galaxy Watch 4 name for its next smartwatch. Meanwhile, the next generation Galaxy Watch Active (whether it launches alongside or not) could ostensibly be either the Active 3 or Active 4.
Now, the all-important question: when will we see them?
According to a tweet from noted tipster Ice Universe, we could see both the Galaxy Watch 4 and Active 4 in Q2 2021. That means any time in April, May or June, and would represent the first time Samsung has launched a new generation of both watches at the same time. It would also mean Samsung skipping over the Watch Active 3.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) March 6, 2021
That’s pretty much all we have to go off so far, and, if true, would be a little surprising. While the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is 18-months-old and due for an upgrade, the six-month-old Watch 3 is arguably only halfway into its cycle.
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It’s worth noting, though, that an earlier GalaxyClub report backs up this theory of two watches launching in 2021.
According to the outlet, Samsung is planning to release smartwatches currently under the model names of SM-R86x and SM-R87x. However, at this stage, it’s not clear whether these are two completely different styles or simply variations of the same model.
With regard to pricing, there are no details just yet. This is usually one of the last scraps of information to leak, and, naturally, can vary quite a bit depending on the region. However, since the Galaxy Watch line has typically started at £349/$399, we don’t expect this to deviate too much in the next generation.
For the next Galaxy Watch Active, as well, no information we have just yet would point to anything other than it staying at the £249/$249 starting price.
Features and specs
- Tizen could be dropped for Wear OS
- Blood glucose monitoring could debut
Rumours are still at an early stage regarding both features and hardware specs, but we do have a couple of tidbits that could help define the next generation of Samsung smartwatches.
As with previous devices, Wear OS is again being rumoured to replace the company’s own Tizen operating system. That’s according to leaker Ice Universe, at least, who suggests that Samsung will return to Google’s software for the first time since the Gear Live in 2014.
Samsung’s new watch will use Android to replace Tizen.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) February 19, 2021
Wear OS does offer far superior third-party app support and could provide better integration with non-Samsung phone users, so such a move does make sense on paper. If the company was planning to drop Tizen, it may also make sense to launch both new lines at the same time, too, as has been rumoured.
Elsewhere, it seems increasingly possible that a headline feature of the next generation – or at least the Galaxy Watch 4 – could be blood glucose monitoring.
Seen as somewhat of a holy grail for health monitoring in smartwatches, it’s been reported by ET News that the next Samsung flagship will be the first to debut non-invasive glucose monitoring.
This comes after CNET initially detailed that Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology has developed a technique called “Raman spectroscopy” that leverages lasers to track glucose levels with enough accuracy to help users avoid pricking their finger.
Such a move would be a true gamechanger in the space, but we’re not necessarily sold on it debuting this year, despite progress certainly suggesting the fabled, non-invasive tracking is closer than ever.
- Rotating bezel likely
- AMOLED display
As of yet, there are no renders, concepts or leaked photos to give us a true idea of what kind of design changes we can expect from the Galaxy Watch 4. However, as we creep closer to a potential launch date, these things will almost definitely begin to surface.
Until then, we’re simply left to speculate. Design elements like the popular rotating bezel should remain, as well as the AMOLED display, but we’re not expecting anything too dramatic at this stage.
Hopefully, Samsung will also continue to offer devices in different sizes, too, in order to fit as many wrists as possible, and perhaps slim things down slightly.
Really, though, it appears at this stage that the next generation will be more about changes in the user interface and experience, rather than the feel on the wrist.
Stay tuned to see how this area develops.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: What’s happened so far?
Here is everything we have heard so far regarding the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and next generation of Galaxy Watch Active.
6 March 2021: Q2 release date suggested by leaker
Renowned leaker Ice Universe delivers a succinct hint via Twitter at when the next Samsung wearables will launch, indicating that both the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch Active 4 will launch in Q2 2021.
19 February 2021: Leaker hints at Wear OS replacing Tizen
The oft-rumoured switch from Tizen to Wear OS is suggested by reliable tipster Ice Universe via Twitter, suggesting that Samsung’s new watch will drop its own OS for “Android”.
19 February 2021: Model names for two smartwatches appear
As reported by Galaxy Club, Samsung is developing two watches for release in 2021 – with the model numbers being SM-R86x and SM-R87x.
25 January 2021: Blood glucose monitoring may debut
Korean outlet ET News suggests that Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 will be the first to feature non-invasive blood glucose tracking.
Writing by Conor Allison. Editing by Cam Bunton.