Samsung to Launch Stand-Alone Smartwatch ‘Gear Solo’ This September
We think the idea of stand-alone smartwatches is not yet feasible in the present market scenario, but Samsung thinks otherwise. Reports indicate that Samsung is moving ahead with plans for a smartwatch with its own SIM card and hence, doesn’t need a paired phone. It seems likely that we’ll hear about it as soon as next month.
Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo reports that Samsung intends to unveil the Gear Solo watch at the big IFA conference in September. As speculated, the Gear Solo will not require a smartphone for communication functionality, and will be able to place calls, send texts and emails, and perform other tasks with its own SIM card, cellular radio, and service plan.
The inclusion of SIM support in a smartwatch would enable users to make phone calls from the device, but it is yet to be revealed how Samsung has tackled the issue of heavy battery drain. Samsung has launched three Tizen-powered versions of its Gear smartwatch to date, and one Android Wear model in the form of the Galaxy Gear Live.
Samsung released the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo at this year’s MWC, less than six months after their predecessor. The logic of releasing a smartwatch alongside a smartphone makes sense, but in this case the Gear Solo won’t depend on tethering itself to any other device, hence will get a different sort of treatment in the market.
However, Samsung used last year’s IFA to launch the original Galaxy Gear, so it seems a good time as any to unleash a new smartwatch frenzy. Timex Group also announced a smartwatch with its own cellular connection, letting it transmit data without needing to be connected to a smartphone. The company calls it the Ironman One GPS+, and while it may have features commonly found in a smartwatch, it is made mostly for athletes like its predecessors.