Samsung preparing stand-alone smartwatch, to debut this summer?

May 23, 2014

Samsung Gear 2 -1

In April the Korea Herald claimed that Samsung was gearing up to release a stand-alone version of its Gear smartwatch called the Gear Solo, complete with a SIM card allowing it to make its own calls, send texts and even browse the web using data. Now a new report from the Wall Street Journal seems to corroborate some of the details from the earlier rumor.

The original report said the Gear Solo may or may not be the final name of the device and that it would launch first in South Korea with SK Telecom as a partner. Now WSJ chimes in with even more details about the watch, claiming that outside of SK Telecom, the Korean giant has also began talks with major carriers in the U.S. And Europe. As for the feature set? The watch will offer GPS, Bluetooth, a camera, a heart monitor, and will essentially do everything a typical smartphone can. Like recent members of the Gear family, the watch-phone will run on Tizen as opposed to Android.

The Wall Street Journal’ss sources indicate the device will ship with SIM card support within the next few months, perhaps as soon as June or July. No word on pricing, but we wouldn’t be too surprised if it ends up costing somewhere in between the Gear 2 and a typical Samsung smartphone. Paying $400+ (a likely price point) for a watch might sound crazy, but for those looking for Dick Tracy-like functionality on their wrist, this could be a device that not only replaces the need for a watch (if you still wear one) but it could even render your phone obsolete.

Being totally honest, we can’t see this one taking off, especially considering Samsung’s early troubles with the smartwatch market up until this point. Of course, Samsung isn’t afraid to try new form-factors and sometimes these ideas work out even when no one excepted them to (See: Note family and the S-Pen). What do you think, like the idea of a stand-alone smartwatch experience or do you feel that such a device is unnecessary?

Comments

  • Corbin Crutch

    I don’t know how I feel about standalone smartwatches yet…

  • nicolas99

    I feel that the thethered watches need to become a lot better before watches like this are interesting, I fear it is just another gadget that needs charging all the time.

    • The Wasp

      totally agree there is no way i would touch one at the moment too clunky , i like the idea of the SmartyRing but haven’t really heard much on that front as to if it is even shipping yet.

    • vayapues

      I disagree. I use the Omate Truesmart, which is a full android phone in watch format. It is no larger than any other watch, does not look clunky, and works great.

      If I have to have a companion device, I want the companion device to be the clunky device… ie the phone-sized device, and the main device to be the intrusive device. Admittedly I sometimes carry an iPod, or my Surface Pro with me. But I use them as companion devices, when I need a larger screen. Something that is surprisingly not very often.

      Usually it is just my watch. Which I love. It is always on my wrist, I can answer calls, get turn by turn directions, I can watch netflix, I can listen to music, I can read emails, I can play Angry Birds….

      I cannot surf the web very effectively on it for obvious reasons. Nor can I read kindle books. On those occasions I pull out a “companion” device. But when I don’t want the weight or bulkiness of these devices, my watch and I do great.

      As more people realize this convenience I think the mentality will reverse.

      I am at a complete loss as to why Samsung would not load full android on their watch. The Omate and four or five other devices prove it works great…

  • http://zorgplanet.tourism.com Spaceman spiff

    brace yourselves folks, we are about to get clone either like g watch, moto 360,smart watch or pebble

    • _X_

      But the GEAR looks better than the LG…even the SONY looks better than it….pebble is just a weird smartwatch. I hope they copy the 360…then we will get the 360 looks but with more functionality! Besides SONY was first and Samsung made it better…hence the more Samsung can copy the better!

      • vayapues

        With all due respect, Pebble was the first, at least the first to see any success. Pebble still has a vastly lower return rate than any of the others. That said, I gave up my pebble for the Omate Truesmart. Talk about powerful! A full android phone on my wrist.

        • _X_

          Will google it thanx

  • wat

    I want to buy it but I expect it to be £250 which is too expensive for my taste, even at £200 I don’t think I would. At £150 I certainly would, maybe up to about £180.

  • vayapues

    Would be awesome if it ran on Android. I truly do not understand why you would create something so useful, and then handicap it by not putting a full os on it. Oh well…

    • wizardx

      battery issues i would presume

      • vayapues

        reasonable assumption. If you are trying to compete with the Pebble, which gets a week+ off a single charge. That said, I would still rather have Android.

        My Truesmart gets about 1.5 days off a single charge. I don’t mind charging it each night… but that is just me.

  • dick

    I like my Rolex.

  • jpd514

    All I can say, it’s: bring the phone and GPS on my Gear and I don’t need an annoying smartphone anymore. I just discovered the feeling of being able to go away ten meters from my smartphone, imagine going everywhere without a smartphone and having most of the function of a smartphone on my Smartwatch.

    S Voice on my Tizen Smartwatch is fantastic so I don’t have to write or read, I listen or dictate to my Smartwatch. Impressively accurate.

    • T.J.

      And no battery life. Hooray!

      • jpd514

        From 3 to 7 days. It never bother me. Better than what your smartphone do!

        • T.J.

          If you used your watch as much as I use my phone, it wouldn’t last more than an hour.

          • jpd514

            Buy one and test it, you will me amazed

          • T.J.

            I’ve played around with one and I can’t stand their junk UI. I’ll wait and see what Motorola comes up with. Thanks for the offer though.

  • Andrew Goh Tse Hau

    I have been waiting for something like that. Only Omate Truesmart for now.. What Samsung coming up with a similar one…? Cool? WAiT….TIZEN??? USELESS THEN…

  • http://www.prosociallab.com/ www.Androiddisucss.com

    i am also agree

  • Rakesh Rocky

    Is it based on android wearable sdk? i mean the Os it uses