Google’s new Wear OS platform is here, but for now, Wear OS 3 smartwatches will be few and far between. Samsung, who partnered with Google to create the “unified platform,” is set to remain ahead of the pack with exclusive rights to the new operating system for the time being.
Currently, the only watches actively running Wear OS 3 are the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. While the hybrid system has made its debut, only select existing smartwatches will be eligible for the software update, and it won’t be available any time soon. Additionally, only one new device is confirmed to launch with it in the near future.
Current smartwatches that will receive the Wear OS 3 update
Some existing watches can stay tuned for an upgrade of their own. Google has confirmed that a select few Wear OS devices will be eligible for the software update, but the invite list is very short. Current devices eligible for the upgrade include:
A few more things to note: Wear OS 3 won’t start rolling out until mid-next year at the earliest, so TicWatch users have a while to wait.
Also, Wear OS 3 packs a big punch. The sheer extent of changes included in the update will require users to reset their device to factory settings. That means erasing any and all data stored on the smartwatch itself. If this makes some hesitant to update to Wear OS 3, they can simply choose not to do it. Users who opt-out will still experience app and security updates for at least two years from the launch of their device.
Future smartwatches confirmed to launch with Wear OS 3
So far, we’ve heard from only a few companies regarding their future Wear OS 3-powered smartwatches. These yet-to-be-announced smartwatches are confirmed to launch with Wear OS 3:
- Future Mobvoi TicWatch watches
- Future watches from Fossil Group
We have not heard word from Motorola, Suunto, Tag Heuer, Oppo, or other smartwatch makers regarding their plans with Wear OS 3. We will update this list as we learn more.
Expected to arrive later this year, the new Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch will launch with Google’s upgraded operating system. A Gen 6 teaser promoting “way more way faster” hit inboxes just days before Samsung’s Unpacked event on August 11 and further info and images have leaked since. Details are still sparse, but one thing’s certain: a high-end Fossil smartwatch will arrive soon, running Wear OS 3. This is particularly exciting as existing Fossil watches will not upgrade to the new software.
If you’ve been patiently waiting for the best time to purchase a smartwatch, you might want to wait a little longer. Wear OS 3 will bring exciting upgrades to Wear OS-powered smartwatches, but not every device can expect to reap the benefits.