As LG, HTC Prep Smartwatches, Samsung Ditches Android On Its New “Gear” Devices

Samsung Gear watch

Credit: Samsung

Samsung’s Galaxy Gear device was the most visible of this group of “1.0″ smartwatches. However it was rushed to market (to beat Apple) and generally panned by reviews. Simultaneously too ambitious and not ambitious enough, in terms of user experience and design, many were sold but it fell dramatically short of expectations.

Galaxy Gear sought, perhaps too expansively, to be a new computing platform for mobile developers. The new generation of Samsung’s smartwatch is called simply called “Gear,” ditching the “Galaxy” label.

Samsung also ditches Android in favor of its own OS Tizen for the new Gear devices, which include Gear 2, Gear Neo 2 and Gear Fit. That was a very interesting choice and once again suggests Samsung’s desire to have independence from Google.

The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are smartwatches very similar to Galaxy Gear in appearance and outward design. By comparison the Gear Fit is a fitness wristband. Samsung unfortunately didn’t discuss pricing for any of these devices.

Right now the most mainstream and popular “wearables” are wristbands such as Fitbit and Nike Fuel Band. It makes sense then that Apple, Google and others would lead with health-related functionality as they prepare their smartwatches.

According to the Wall Street Journal, LG is building the forthcoming Google smartwatch. LG made the Nexus 4 and currently makes the Nexus 5. The specifics of the anticipated Nexus watch’s capabilities weren’t disclosed.

HTC is also building not one but potentially two smartwatches according to Bloomberg. One may be based on the Qualcomm Toq reference design and the other is reportedly built around Google Now. A Google Now-based experience makes sense because it’s about contextual push rather than asking users to solicit information from a watch as they would a smartphone.

The winning smartwatches will offer value (sub $250), functionality and a certain level of aesthetic refinement, which arguably none of the existing designs have yet achieved.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile Marketing | Google: Android | Samsung | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Nwosu Desmond

    Samsung may not continue to use Android in the future as they have always customized their devices to promote their brand and other products. Its no surprise that they have decided to use Tizen OS for their new smartwatches. It may not be long before they build Android phones without much dependence on Google just as Nokia has done with the Nokia X phones.

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