User turns on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 by holding down the top button.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Samsung is working on a solar charging smartwatch.
  • A patent describes the use of solar cells mounted in a watch strap.
  • These would allow the wearable to charge the battery using ambient light.

Power consumption has always been an issue for smartwatches, as fitting a sizeable battery within the confines of a small, wrist-worn device is a challenging task. We’ve experienced this very issue in Samsung’s smaller Galaxy Watch 4 variants. However, it seems that Samsung may have found a possible solution to the problem.

This month, a new patent (via LetsGoDigital) details a solar watch strap design for a future Samsung smartwatch. According to the detailed description, Each strap section would house a solar cell that provides power to the watch’s battery. Samsung describes using a quantum dot-laden polymer above these solar cells to change the path of light. The company believes this design could be highly efficient.

Samsung solar charging smartwatch patent

Notably, this patent was first filed in 2019 but was only recently published by the USPTO, suggesting that Samsung has been working on this technology for quite some time. However, it wouldn’t be the first company to mate solar charging with a smartwatch.

Garmin currently offers a bevy of solar watches, headlined by the Fenix 6X Pro Solar. Notably, this device can’t charge entirely using solar energy alone, but Garmin claims it does extend the time between charges.

Samsung would likely face a similar issue. Although it claims its patent design is efficient, it’s unlikely to garner enough energy to negate wall charging altogether. It would also be understandable if lifestyle factors — like wearing long-sleeved shirts or spending all day in low light environments — would impact the solar system’s charging performance.

But how much power can the system garner in full sun? The benefits of the technology would have to be noticeable to warrant inclusion, especially if it would add bulk to the wearable.

As always, just because Samsung filed the patent doesn’t mean it’s slated for use on a consumer product. But what do you think? Would you like to see solar charging on a Samsung smartwatch? Let us know in the comments below.