What you need to know
- Samsung has been rumored to ditch Tizen for Wear OS in its next Galaxy Watch.
- The upcoming watch has supposedly been spotted in the source code for the Galaxy S20.
- The code hints at least some of the connectivity options for the rumored smartwatch.
Rumors of Samsung replacing Tizen with Wear OS for its next Galaxy Watch certainly came out of nowhere. For years, the company had been pretty adamant about proving that it didn't need to rely on Google for everything. Samsung made the switch from Google's software to its own Tizen-based OS back in 2014 and hasn't looked back... until now, it seems.
A developer known as ivan_meler spoke to XDA Developers about what he believes is code that references Samsung's upcoming Wear OS Galaxy Watch. It was discovered in source code for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Exynos version, and references the device which is reportedly known internally as "Merlot":
Elsewhere in the source, MERLOT is mentioned alongside other Samsung devices that use Broadcom chips, including A7LTE (Tab A7 LTE) and NOBLESSE (Galaxy Watch 3). There are no relevant hits for MERLOT in the latest One UI 3.1 firmware, sadly.
3/3 pic.twitter.com/XeViCc73vGElsewhere in the source, MERLOT is mentioned alongside other Samsung devices that use Broadcom chips, including A7LTE (Tab A7 LTE) and NOBLESSE (Galaxy Watch 3). There are no relevant hits for MERLOT in the latest One UI 3.1 firmware, sadly.
3/3 pic.twitter.com/XeViCc73vG— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 2, 2021March 2, 2021
While little is known about this mysterious Wear OS-toting Galaxy Watch, mention of the Broadcom BCM43013 suggests that it will at least have Bluetooth 5 and 802.11n WiFi. Although while the name "Merlot" is mentioned a few times along with devices like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, XDA Developers states that there's no mention of the device in any One UI 3.1 firmware.
While this doesn't confirm that a Galaxy Watch with Wear OS is on the way, it definitely adds credence to the possibility of one. Samsung's Tizen-powered wearables are currently some of the best Android smartwatches on the market. Still, while neither smartwatch OS from Google or Samsung is perfect, Wear OS has a ton of potential to get better, some of which are laid out in our Tizen vs Wear OS comparison. Our Ara Wagoner also laid out some ways that a Wear OS smartwatch from Samsung could result in a great watch for women.
Given Samsung and Google's refreshed partnership, a Wear OS Galaxy Watch definitely isn't out of the question. We might not have to wait too long, with an expected launch coinciding with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 that's expected in the second half of the year.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.