Rumor: Samsung is working on a round smart watch, and it won’t run Android Wear


Samsung Logo CES 2015 DSC07919

The success and attention of smart watches like the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R seem to confirm that people like their watches to be round. Samsung seems to have finally caught on if the latest report is to be believed: the company is readying a round smart watch.

The report comes from credible Samsung publication SamMobile, who suggests the South Korean electronics giant will launch it at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month (which is usually the place they choose to announce their latest Samsung Galaxy S phone).

We don’t yet have a solid retail name to attach to it, but Samsung Gear R could be an obvious candidate. Its model number is SM-R720, for what it’s worth, and it’s internally codenamed “orbis.”

There are a couple of interesting, and — depending on who you are — damning features noted early on:

  • There will be a mechanical dial that can be used to navigate the smart watch’s user interface.
  • The smart watch won’t be running Android Wear — this is a Tizen baby.

It’s a shame Samsung won’t look to continue their Android Wear line with this release, but we can’t say we’re surprised. Tizen might not be fit for smartphones just yet, but the company has remained adamant in using it for nearly everything else they have their hands dipped into.

Some might ask why Samsung decided to release one of the first Android Wear devices in the first place if they’re just going to shun it down the line. Your guess is as good as anyone’s, but it’s looking more and more likely they did it as a favor to Google to get the train rolling than to signify they were going to embrace the platform for what it is. We should learn more as February makes its way to the forefront of calendars everywhere.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I still think Tizen on Samsungs watches is much better then what android wear currently offers

    1. your an idiot. give me an example of how its better. It only works on a limited number of devices

  2. “There will be a mechanical dial that can be used to navigate the smart watch’s user interface.”

    iWatch much?

    1. If they’re going to copy so blatantly then please by all means use Tizen.

  3. Who cares what OS runs on the watch? As long as it will connect to an Android phone, that’s fine. Android wear seems to be losing traction, and that’s BEFORE the Apple Watch is available.

    I’m still packing my Pebble, but would be interested to see the sales figures for the Moto 360 and what determines “success”…

    1. Android Wear will have a lot more applications to choose from than a Tizen smartwatch(at this time)

      1. Yep! It’s going to once again become about apps. Whoever has more will win.

        1. Agreed. If Microsoft doesn’t do something quick with Windows Phone, they could lose in the long run.

        2. Apps AND compatibility. For Tizen you must have a companion app since it doesnt support the generic APIs. So its up to Samsung to make it compatible and even their old models are only supported by Samsung devices.

        3. Pebble has more apps

      2. The apps are irrelevant to most users – they will buy these watches for notifications.

        1. I think someone might buy their first smartwatch because of notifications. However, once great third party applications start coming out, especially great watch faces(which are both already happening) then people will regret having a smartwatch that just does notifications.

          I think it will be the same thing that happens with everyone who tries a Windows Phone but ultimately switches back to Android because of the lack of application/developer support.

          I do agree that it won’t be everyone, but for the most part, I think people will gravitate toward the apps in the long run

  4. I’m not surprised. I made mention of this on a separate post, but Google is a great services company. They don’t have the cache to push the industry forward the way Apple does. They had Google Wallet out for YEARS, meanwhile, Wells Fargo, Chase, etc. are making Apple Pay commercials excited with the prospects of it. Apple will release Apple Watch and will probably render Android Wear irrelevant in the eyes of consumers. So to me, this doesn’t surprise me. As a matter of fact, I would argue Samsung has more swag than Google does overall. Look at how poorly the Nexus devices sell, I still haven’t seen someone using a Chromebook in public in Dallas, TX…I don’t know.

    1. Why would you expect to see a Chromebook used in public. What was the last laptop you saw used in public? It’s not like a phone or even a tablet in it’s carry around type of usage.

      1. Dude, I’m in Dallas Texas. A lot of folks bring their devices out for lunch. Seeing Macbooks, Surface Pros, random Dell/HP/Lenovo devices is not uncommon at all during the day.

        Let me put it to you like this… A Windows Phone is a common occurrence compared to a Chromebook.

  5. Meh. Samsung can keep trying for the Apple lifestyle lock-in strategy, but I don’t think it’s ever going to work for them.

  6. DOA

  7. it will later after the S6 comes out. i bet their new UI gonna look like the apple watch

  8. im shocked.. *hits head on rusty nail*

  9. Ah of course it won’t..

  10. Dear Samsung, YOU’RE DOIN’ IT WRONG!

  11. … And it won’t be on my future purchase list.

  12. Samsung profits down? I wonder why. They keep trying to distinguish themselves from Android so much so that they have become their own thing. I’m all for it, but don’t be surprised when you end up with a smaller market share.

  13. Samsung, you made a great product w/ the Note 4. Don’t soil yourselves by making Tizen products. Nobody wants Tizen. Hell, Windows Mobile is #3 and they don’t have as many apps as Android or iOS, so see how that’s working out for Microsoft’s OEMs? They’re not doing as great as yourselves, HTC, LG, Google, Motorola, or Apple.

    1. make both and let the best win! nothing wrong with options.

      1. No thanks. Tizen won’t work if people since app selections wouldn’t be there.

  14. The Gear S with Tizen is the best smartwatch and there is obvious reasons to go with it.
    A round smartwatch is not something of my interes, I don’t see any advantage of a round screen and I think Samsung should continue pushing its bended line as the Fit and the S.

  15. And it will die a lingering death like their other smartwatches. It will only be compatible with the S6 and eventually the Note5 at launch, then a year later 3 or 4 more Samsung phones.
    Compared to other smart watches that will work with all android devices right out of the gate.

  16. forget the smart watch, i have a moto 360 and i dont use it much! Where is the GS6? THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO KNOW!

  17. Kill it with fire!!!

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