Rumors about the demise of the smartwatch may be incorrect if Samsung and Apple have anything to say about it, as both of tech giants are set to announce the next iterations of their devices in the coming weeks. As for what the Samsung Gear S3 and Apple Watch 2 will offer, continue reading for a breakdown of what is rumored and known.
Samsung Gear S3: rumor breakdown
Launch date: According to The Verge, Samsung is in the process of sending out invitations to its next wearables launch event set for August 31 at 12 p.m. Eastern. Apparently, the invite shows the image of an abstracted clock face with the caption “Talk about 3.”
Rumored design: What look like overexposed images have appeared on Twitter showing what could be the first glance of the Gear S3, but there is no way of knowing if they are real or not, so take this with a grain of salt. When looking at the image, it is evident that the smartwatch in it has a Rolex-like design, including a fluted bezel and a metal bracelet. There’s also a brand stamp that says “Gear S3,” but yet again, I don’t know if this is real or fake.
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Hardware: The Gear S2 was, according to Samsung, its most advanced wearable to date, so it is reasonable to think that the Gear S3 will take over that mantle and carry on what so far has been a rather underwhelming tradition. According to SamMobile, the Gear S3 will pack a host of new sensors, including a barometer for measuring atmospheric pressure, an altimeter for determining altitude, speedometer for velocity and GPS for location tracking.
It is, however, not clear if every variation of the Gear S3 will carry all these sensors, but it would make sense to have one health/fitness-focused variant with them all integrated.
Software: Details about this wearable’s software leaked a few months ago, and it is no surprise that Samsung has decided to use its own OS, Tizen, instead of Android for it. However, further details are not currently available in the public domain.
Price: The Gear S2 costs anywhere from $250 to 350 for the standard model, but the price climbs much higher for the other variations. While I do expect 2016’s wearable to cost somewhere within that same price bracket, there is talk of a high-end premium variant that could cost as much as $15,000.
Apple Watch 2 rumor breakdown
Launch date: Along with its rumored iPhone 7 launch on September 7, Apple could include a little extra in the form of the Apple Watch 2. However, this has not been confirmed by the tech giant, so please don’t book a day off work to watch an event that has also not been confirmed yet!
Rumored design: Many rumors suggest that the Apple Watch 2 will be very similar in design to the first Apple Watch and that instead Apple has focused on improving the internal workings of the watch. However, there are some who believe Apple is working on new variants for the Apple Watch 2 which will sit between the pricey steel variant and the lower cost Sports edition.
Hardware: The Apple Watch 2, due to changes in materials used in production, could be up to 40% thinner than the previous watch, but it is believed that Apple will use that space to improve internal components.
This extra space could see a more powerful CPU, which would mean that the Apple Watch 2 is up to 25% faster than its predecessor, the ARM Cortez A32. In addition to being quicker than the previous Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A5 CPUs, it is said that a much-desired increase in battery life will also be seen.
Software: Apple will bundle WatchOS2 with the Apple Watch 2 and hopes that this new and improved UI experience will change the way consumers think about the Apple Watch.
Price: In March the first Apple Watch received a price drop; it now starts at $299, and I would expect Apple to follow similar pricing tiers to what is already available.
However, according to 9to5Mac, Apple may introduce more price points for the Apple Watch 2 between the $1,000 steel watch and the $10,000 18-karat gold edition. It is thought that this means pricing for its next wearable will be solely based on the materials a user chooses and not hardware.