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Now there's evidence for Samsung developing a Wear OS watch

We heard a rumor about it before, but Samsung's own code now points to an upcoming device with Wear OS.

Published onMarch 3, 2021

samsung galaxy watch 3 review with samsung galaxy note 20 ultra
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
  • A code sleuth has uncovered references to a device code-named Merlot that’s running Wear OS.
  • It’s believed this is an upcoming Wear OS watch by Samsung.

A frequent tipster noted last month that Samsung has a new smartwatch in the works that will replace Tizen with Wear OS. Now, it looks like evidence has emerged for a Samsung watch running Google’s platform.

XDA developer ivan_meler dug through the Exynos Galaxy S20‘s latest kernel source code release and found references to a device called “merlot” in the Wi-Fi driver. The name alone doesn’t really tell us much, but the kicker is that one of the Merlot references appears right next to a “Wear OS” reference. So it definitely suggests that the Merlot device is a smartwatch running Wear OS. 

There isn’t much else to know about the new device via the source code release, save for the Merlot name also being tied to the Broadcom BCM43013 Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chip.

Related: Why Samsung should ditch Tizen for Wear OS (and why it shouldn’t)

Nevertheless, this serves as the first real evidence that Samsung is working on a Wear OS smartwatch. It doesn’t necessarily mean the Korean manufacturer is ditching Tizen on its smartwatches though, as it could theoretically just be launching a Wear OS variant of an existing Tizen watch to give consumers more options. So we’ll need to wait for more news and leaks in this regard to figure out Samsung’s intentions.

There are benefits to using Wear OS on watches over Tizen though, such as more seamless phone integration and more third-party apps. In saying so, Wear OS is clearly neglected by Google, with “okay, Google” voice activation being broken for months and the platform lacking a YouTube Music client after Google killed Play Music. In fact, Google already released YouTube Music on the Apple Watch, further illustrating how the search giant has neglected its own platform.

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