gear-a

While both Motorola and LG have dabbled in round-screen smartwatches, Samsung has so far stuck with the more traditional rectangular watch display. For most of this year, we’ve heard rumours of Samsung’s round-screen smartwatch project – which is codenamed Orbis and expected to launch as the Gear A – and today, Samsung has confirmed that its next Gear smartwatch will have a round-display.

The Korean manufacturer has launched an SDK (Software Development Kit) for round-screen smartwatches, which confirms that Samsung’s next smartwatch will be round. As previously heard, the company was “collaborating with its global partners provide a better Samsung Gear experience for users“.

As we wait for an official announcement from Samsung, a new leak has revealed the specs of the Gear A. If accurate, the smartwatch will sport a round AMOLED display (probably measuring between 38mm and 42mm in diameter) with 360×360 pixels resolution and it will be powered by Samsung’s own dual-core 1.2GHz Exynos 3472 processor. Also onboard will be 768MB RAM, 4GB internal storage and a 250mAh battery.

The Gear A will connect to phones and tablets using Bluetooth 4.1 and there will also be variants that support Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Wi-Fi Direct. The watch will also have an integrated GPS receiver, accelerometer, gyrometer, barometer and heart rate monitor but sadly, it won’t be the first Samsung device to have a body fat sensor.

Like most of its Gear range, Samsung has chosen to go with Tizen to power its smartwatch instead of Android Wear like many of its rivals. One of the key reasons behind this may be because the company has developed a brand new user interface designed especially to run on round screen smartwatches. Previous leaks have also revealed that Samsung will take inspiration from the design of other devices by including both a digital crown and a bezel ring to help with navigation of the smartwatch, while the company also plans to launch several partner watch bands from various artists and case makers.

The Gear A is expected to be unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus but we won’t need to wait for IFA in September; as we heard yesterday, Samsung’s new phablets are set to be launched in under a month on August 12th before going on sale a few days later and its likely that the Gear A will be announced and released at the same time.