What you need to know
- Google says that Samsung will be the first to market with the new Wear OS.
- The new update is expected to arrive on the next Galaxy Watch later this summer.
- Fitbit has stated that it will release a Wear OS smartwatch, and Google could finally release a Pixel Watch.
Samsung stole the show during its virtual MWC showcase when it gave a sneak peek of its upcoming One UI Watch experience. Perhaps the biggest news is that the upcoming Galaxy Watch will be the first smartwatch on the market to feature Samsung and Google's Wear OS.
Sameer Samat, the vice president of Product Management for Android and Wear, stated during his segment that Samsung's next Galaxy Watch will be "the first watch to launch with our new unified platform."
Given the close relationship between Google and Samsung in developing the new Wear OS, it's not surprising that the company would get dibs on its official release. It does strike as odd that Google's own company, Fitbit, isn't getting priority, especially since the company confirmed that it was bringing a Wear OS device to market.
A Google Pixel Watch is also rumored to be in the pipeline, although not much is known about it. We may have to wait until the Fall before seeing anything official about Google's first-party hardware outside Fitbit.
Meanwhile, as the top Android smartphone OEM, Samsung could give Wear OS the boost it needs. The company continues to tout improved performance, longer battery life, and more apps.
Samsung's Wear OS experience also showcases how OEMs can customize the platform, similar to how Android works. Some devices like the OPPO Watch offer a customized Wear OS experience on some level. However, it seems that makers of the best Android phones will get to have a more consistent experience across devices.
Samsung has been mum on Galaxy Watch details, but leaks have pointed to a new design, more efficient chipset, and advanced health sensors. That said, the company announced during the MWC showcase that its next Unpacked event will happen later this summer, where it will launch its next Galaxy smartwatch.