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