Samsung has been creating smartwatches for years.

But only now does it have stark competition from Apple's Watch, LG, Sony, Asus, and others. Can focusing on it's own operating system and adding 4G connectivity (standalone) help it lead the way?

We've dissected Samsung's watch history, current state, and future to show what it has to offer your wrist.


Samsung first released a smartwatch with its Galaxy Gear in 2013. It was an accompanying device that appeared at the Galaxy Note 3 launch event. It ran an Android OS and worked with a phone via Bluetooth. The first Galaxy Gear was poorly received in terms of sales, though it's build quality was high and it received mixed reviews.

Next up: The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, which were revealed in February 2014. They replaced Android OS with Samsung's own Tizen operating system. They also dropped the Galaxy moniker.


The Gear 2 had a redesign with a 2-megapixel camera found in the watch itself, alongside an IR blaster (rather than in the strap). The Gear 2 Neo was an affordable version without a camera. Also launched was the curved AMOLED Gear Fit, which tracked heart rate, activity, and connected to a smartphone for alerts.

At first, Samsung was fighting competition mainly from Sony and LG, but then Google stepped in with its Android Wear operating system, which all three have adopted. Samsung's first Android Wear device was the Gear Live.

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The Gear Live is a square watch that works in conjunction with a connected Android smartphone to offer information, respond to voice commands, and deliver alerts. It also has a built-in heart rate monitor to offer exercise information.

Since Samsung first unleashed the Galaxy Gear, times have significantly changed. We now have round smartwatches, the Apple Watch, Android Wear, and even stand-alone 4G smartwatches.

Available to buy right now, as the Samsung pack-leading smartwatches, are the Gear Live, Gear Fit, or Gear S.

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The Gear S is a stand-alone device that uses Tizen OS and has a SIM slot for a 3G connection, meaning it can make calls and send messages independent of a smartphone connection.

With LG revealing its standalone, 4G connected Urbane LTE watch, it looks like is where wearables are headed.

Samsung Gear S2 is the next smartwatch iteration from Samsung. It will be Samsung's first round-faced smartwatch and should be announced at IFA 2015 on 3 September.


This new smartwatch line may do away with the past offerings in order to deliver one unified Samsung watch. This will reportedly come in a 3G-connected, standalone version (presumably running Tizen) and a Bluetooth connected variant that may run Android Wear, which is largely reliant on a smartphone connection.

According to South Korea's Electronic Times the watch will also come with NFC. This will mean it will be able to be used for mobile payments using the contactless tap to pay system.

Sensors are a huge area for smartwatches. Heart rate appears in most, but it'll be next-generation tracking that sets new smartwatches apart. Sensors that track sweat to measure vitamin levels and offer nutrition and hydration advice are already being licensed to manufacturers, and we hope to see these appear in future Samsung watch variants.

Battery life is another big issue for smartwatches. We hope Samsung can manage to crack a 4G smartwatch that lasts longer or at least as long as a smartphone... and charges wirelessly.


Samsung has released a next-generation Gear smartwatch SDK to developers, shown off on TizenExperts, which has confirmed it will feature a rotating bezel. This bezel will be used as part of the user interface to navigate menus on the watch which should mean less finger smudging of the screen.

READ: Samsung Gear S2: What's the story so far?

Samsung Gear S3 review: Android Wear, beware, this is the smartwatch to beat