Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 could switch back to Wear OS

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
(Image credit: Future)

The Gear Live in 2014 was the last smartwatch that Samsung made with Google-powered software on board – it was so long ago that Wear OS was still called Android Wear – but the rumor is that the company is about to make the switch back.

According to the usually reliable Ice Universe on Twitter, "Samsung's new watch will use Android to replace Tizen@. The tipster doesn't provide any other information, so it's down to us to fill in the blanks here.

Ever since the Gear Live, Samsung has used its own Tizen software on its smartwatches, and it's made a pretty good go of it too. The most recent launch was the Galaxy Watch 3 back in August, which we liked very much.

As for what the "new watch" will be, that's not clear – two new models are apparently in the pipeline, but whether either of these will be the Galaxy Watch 4 or perhaps a new entry in the more affordable Active series of Samsung smartwatches remains to be seen.

To sum it up, there's a lot we don't know, except that the switch might be made – and among the questions that we have is why Samsung would decide to go back to the Google and Android camp. Perhaps maintaining Tizen is too much of an extra burden.

It's true that the Galaxy S21 had a few more Google ties than previous Samsung smartphones, so it's possible that the two companies are friendlier than they have been for a while. This could be a sign of Google getting Samsung to help push a platform that has been in the doldrums of late.

Right now there are very few top-tier Wear OS smartwatches of note, with the likes of the Fossil Gen 5 and the TicWatch Pro 3 left flying the flag. It's certainly debatable whether Wear OS is any better than Tizen, though you could argue that Google's offering has better app support and a wider choice of watch faces.

What we could really do with is a Google Pixel smartwatch to set the standard for Wear OS wearables going forward, but it's been a long time since we heard a solid rumor about that device. Perhaps Google's acquisition of Fitbit will put it back on the drawing board.

Via Android Police

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.