The original remains among our favorite wearables. In fact, it still sits atop our best smartwatch list. However, it’s also around a year old, so it’s just about due an update. Not only that, but we’ve started hearing rumors of a new model.
Below you’ll find all the leaks and news that we’ve heard so far and further down there’s a wish list of all the things we want from the Galaxy Watch 2, to make it a worthy upgrade and a real rival to not just the Apple Watch 4, but also the inevitable Apple Watch 5.
Update: The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 has arrived, which might mean we'll be waiting a while for the Galaxy Watch 2. However, the new wearable offers some hints at what we might see in the Watch 2 when it does launch.
- Samsung launched the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 first
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Samsung's next flagship smartwatch
- When is it out? Unknown
- What will it cost? Likely at least $329 / £279 / AU$499
Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 release date and price
Previously our best guess had been that we'd see the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 on August 7 (which at the time of writing is today), but with Samsung launching the Galaxy Watch Active 2 on August 5 this now seems very unlikely.
Indeed, it could now be months before we see the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2, as we wouldn't expect Samsung to launch it too close to the new Active model.
It is odd though that Samsung launched a sequel to the recent Galaxy Watch Active before the older Samsung Galaxy Watch.
It does make us slightly question whether there will be a Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 at all, especially as the Galaxy Watch Active 2 can be bought with a leather strap, positioning it as a classier option than the original and a real alternative to the Galaxy Watch.
The only release date rumor takes the form of leaked timeline documents which suggest the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 will land in quarter 3 of 2019, meaning any time between now and the end of September. However, there's a high chance that if accurate these were actually referring to the Galaxy Watch Active 2.
As for price, there aren’t any rumors there, but the original Galaxy Watch started at $329 / £279 / AU$499 (for the smaller 42mm version), so the Galaxy Watch 2 will probably cost at least that much.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 news and leaks
There aren’t many Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 rumors yet, but one source suggests that the wearable will come in two different sizes – a 44mm one and a 40mm one.
The original Galaxy Watch also came in two sizes, but they were 46mm and 42mm, so if true then the Galaxy Watch 2 might have been shrunk down a little, which is no bad thing, as the original was a hefty device in the larger size.
It's worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 has now launched in 44mm and 40mm sizes, so it's possible that this rumor was actually talking about that. Equally though, it's very possible that Samsung will start offering those sizes across its smartwatch range, especially as that's in line with the Apple Watch.
It has also been reported that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 is codenamed ‘Renaissance’. One definition of that is ‘rebirth’ or ‘revival’, which – while we might be reading too much into the name - could suggest big changes are coming to the design or features of the watch.
Finally, in the realms of unlikely but possible features, there’s a patent (spotted by Patently Mobile) for a Samsung wearable with a body composition feature that would use electrodes built into the strap to measure body fat percentage.
We doubt we’ll see this on the Galaxy Watch 2 though, as that isn’t specifically named in the patent, and patents often take a long time to turn into products – if they ever do.
That's it in terms of rumors, but we can take some educated guesses about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2, especially now that the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 has been announced, as the two are likely to share some features.
A big new feature on the Watch Active 2 for example is its ECG (electrocardiogram), a feature which will let it monitor your heart’s rhythm and alert you to possible atrial fibrillation. In other words, it could be a life-saving feature. The Apple Watch 4 also offers this and we'd be very surprised if the standard Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 didn't.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 also has a digital rotating bezel. This is in place of the physical one on the Galaxy Watch and could be something Samsung will move to for the Galaxy Watch 2. It's arguably not quite as slick, but also takes up less space, allowing for a more compact design.
Of course, Samsung is also going to want to keep the two wearables distinct, so maybe it won't ditch the physical bezel.
What we want to see
While we don’t know a huge amount about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 yet, we do know what we want from it.
1. More third-party apps
The Samsung Galaxy Watch runs Tizen, rather than one of the big-name wearable operating systems, and one downside of that is that there are fewer apps available than you’ll find on Wear OS or watchOS.
So by the time Samsung launches the Galaxy Watch 2 we’d like to have seen it work with developers to get more apps on the platform, especially big name ones.
2. Better stress tracking
The Samsung Galaxy Watch tracks a lot of things and mostly does a good job, but stress tracking is definitely a weak link.
While it’s available, it required us to manually measure our stress levels rather than tracking them automatically in our tests (despite claiming that it can do it automatically), and its accuracy could be questionable, since the data seems mostly based just on heart rate. So we’d like to see this feature overhauled for the next model.
3. Group challenges
Competing with friends can be a big motivator to get more active and handily the Samsung Galaxy Watch lets you do this. Your friends don’t even need a Galaxy Watch of their own – a Gear watch or the Samsung Health app will do just fine.
However, you can only challenge friends individually, rather than having a group competition. It seems like this would be an obvious and easy feature to add, so hopefully Samsung will.
4. Compatibility with more wireless chargers
The Samsung Galaxy Watch charges wirelessly, but not just any wireless charger will do, you need a proprietary one that comes with it. This is inconvenient and if you’re ever without your charger means you’re likely to soon have a dead watch (though the Galaxy Watch at least has good battery life).
So for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 we want it to work with standard, everyday wireless chargers. That way if you’re at the office or a friend’s house without yours there’s at least a chance someone will have one you can borrow.
5. Big improvements to Bixby
Another downside of using Tizen rather than Wear OS is that the Samsung Galaxy Watch is reliant on Bixby rather than Google Assistant.
This is a problem, because Bixby is nowhere near as good as Google Assistant (or Siri or Alexa for that matter), with one particularly major issue being that it simply struggles to understand us on the Galaxy Watch.
While you don’t have to use Bixby to interact with the Galaxy Watch, it has the potential to be a major feature, but until it gets a lot better it won’t be.
6. An ECG
One of the big new features Apple added for the Apple Watch 4 was an ECG, a feature that lets it check for atrial fibrillation.
It’s a major upgrade and one we’d love to see Samsung match with its rival device. This now looks very likely though, as Samsung has brought the feature to the Galaxy Watch Active 2.
7. Wider LTE availability
There are versions of the Samsung Galaxy Watch that support LTE, but only on select networks, which won’t suit everyone. For the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 we’d like to see an LTE model available on more or less all networks, so it’s an option for everyone.
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