The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sees practically every new piece of consumer electronics before it goes on sale. Now, there’s a filing, spotted by those eagle-eyed sorts at Android Authority for a new ‘wrist device’ from Samsung. Here’s what we know so far.
1 It can’t be far off
The FCC needs to approve products before they go on sale. If it’s a whole new product category, the FCC needs to know about something for longer, though this may not apply here.
In case you’ve ever wondered, the reason the first iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch were announced months before they went on sale was not, as some had thought, Apple couldn’t build them sooner. No, it’s because as soon as something has been filed with the FCC, its existence risks becoming public knowledge, as this one has, and Apple has never been any good at wanting anyone but its own executives to reveal a secret. Though you could argue they haven’t done the best job of keeping stuff quiet when it comes to this year’s smartphone launch. Pretty much everything has been revealed, except the iPhone 8’s name and I have some thoughts on that.
2 It’ll be called the Samsung Gear Sport
That means it’s not, as some had previously thought, Samsung Gear Pop. We know this because, well, it’s printed in the image the FCC has published. So it looks like a successor to the Samsung Gear S3 Classic and S3 Frontier smartwatches released last year at the consumer electronics show IFA, held in Berlin from September 1-6 this year.
3 It may be announced this month
Samsung has a big event in New York on August 23 which is focused on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, we think. So the Gear Sport could be a part of that Samsung Unpacked event. Or, and I think this is more likely, Samsung may have a separate Unpacked event at IFA on August 30 or 31, just before the main show opens. After all, that’s exactly what happened last year.
4 It may not be a smartwatch
Again, my personal belief is that it will be, but there’s a chance it could be more of a fitness tracker than a full-on smartwatch. After all, the filing only says wrist device, which could be anything from a heart rate tracker to a teched-up bangle.
However, Samsung’s style is to build on previous products rather than producing something that does less than last year’s model.
5 It won’t run on Android
Samsung styles its Android products with the word Galaxy in the name and uses its own Tizen operating system for other products such as the Gear series. This is a Gear. As one reader has pointed out to me, more recently Samsung has also used Galaxy for non-Android products such as the Galaxy Book tablet which runs on Windows. But the reverse proposition, the one we’re considering here, still applies: if it ain’t called Galaxy, there’s no way it’s running Android!
6 It’ll likely have great battery life
This time last year Samsung cracked battery life on its Gear S3. You can set the screen to permanently display the time and still have 1.7 days of use between charges. Set it so the display only comes on when you raise your wrist and that doubles to three to four days.
7 It’ll be sports-focused
I mean, that’s in the name, right? But it’s also likely to be there because Samsung has realized as Apple has, that fitness tracking and general wellness features are crucial to the success of a smartwatch.
8 It’ll be in an increasingly crowded market
A new Apple Watch, not reliant on being connected to a companion iPhone will almost certainly be revealed in September.
And there’s a Fitbit watch coming soon, too. Samsung will need to work hard to provide something differentiated from its rivals and desirable.