Skip to main content

Samsung reportedly launching SIM-enabled Gear Solo at IFA

In addition to the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung is reportedly getting ready to launch the Gear Solo at this year's IFA. While not much is known about the Gear Solo, reports from earlier this year indicated that the Gear Solo will feature a SIM card slot, allowing it to be used without the need to pair with a smartphone.

While a standalone smartwatch which comes with the ability to make voice calls would make the device more accessible to a wider audience, the presence of cellular radios that constantly search for a signal is sure to present a challenge when it comes to conversing battery life.

Furthermore, there is no indication as to whether the upcoming smartwatch would run Android Wear or Tizen, although it is likely Samsung would look to the Tizen ecosystem for the Gear Solo given the restrictions Google has put in place when it comes to customising Android Wear.

What do you guys think about a standalone smartwatch? Would you be okay with sacrificing battery life to gain the ability to make voice calls from your watch? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Yonhap News; Via: SamMobile

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • SUKKS Posted via Android Central App
  • Without question this will be the watch to buy a true Wrist communicator running Tizen not tied to any device. This is far better than any silly Android wear watch with no features or customizations. At the end of the day the Galaxy Gear Solo and Rufus Cuff is leading the way in the Smartwatch game. From my Galaxy Note 3 on T-Mobile via Android Central App
  • A potential embarrassing point for Android Wear would be if this watch would still have longer battery life than the Samsung Gear Live... :D
  • Asked a Samsung rep at work about the Gear Live about six weeks ago, and he proceeded to tell me all about the Solo. Oops! I say "all about", but he didn't give much more info other than that it held a SIM. Posted via Android Central App
  • Considering Samsung is all in with Tizen, with the exception of ones made for Android Wear, they might have a way to keep battery life to a reasonable level. Granted, I foresee them using fuzzy stats to make the battery life look decent by using "Standby time". Posted via Android Central App
  • Samsung is not "all in" with tizen and everyone uses standby time
  • Sorry, I should have made it more clear I meant 'all in' with regards to their Gear line of watches that are not running Android Wear.
  • Now there I can agree. When it comes to the watches they are definitely trying to undercut Android Wear and it sucks/is stupid/insert any insult you want.
  • Samsung read my mind, I thought exactly same way if any company makes wearable watch inserting simcard from my phone, Not all people need it but people who do excise(running, biking) like me then the phone can be left in my car or home for a couple of hours until I am done. I am buying it.
  • That's a great point. If you just want to pop the SIM out of your phone and in the watch for a few hours so you can receive texts or calls, you won't need the battery to last more than a few hours or so. The rest of the time it can be paired to your phone with the cell radios off. Or, if they could design it so it charges the battery with movement or with light, then battery life is less of an issue. Posted via Android Central App
  • Why does solar and kinetic charging always come up? A solar cell twice the size of a phone might charge a smart watch in 3 or 4 hours, so a cell a tenth the size is not doing anything.
    Same with kinetic. A Sieko could run for for what, 2 million years on a smart watch battery? Until these watches only need a 10mah battery with either of those help. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yeah, these are fun ideas, but I think a lot of people don't understand just how big the difference is between even a low-capacity phone battery and a watch battery, or the difference in amount of power used by a smartwatch and a traditional watch.
  • i think the way to use solar and/or kinetic is as a way to supplement the small batteries currently in smartwatches. depending on the size trade off, they could be options to help squeeze more time out of these small batteries since the frequency with which the current models need to be charged may be a deal breaker for some.
  • As I said below, kinetic or solar charging could maybe increase your battery charge by 0.5% per day. Definitely not worth the size/weight tradeoff for no noticeable increase in battery life.
  • I actually tracked down some hard numbers on kinetic watches. A Seiko kinetic watch manual says that you need 250 swings to operate the watch for one day, the maximum charge will last you 6 months, and the rechargeable LiIon battery is 3.5mAh. Since 250swings/day*182.5days = 45,625 swings = 3.5mAh, you get 0.077micro-amp-hours per swing (that's 0.00077mAh). Assuming you swing your arms once per second all day (which you wouldn't) and that you're awake for 18 hours, you'd only increase your charge by 5mAh, or 1.25%, per day. If you're a typical desk worker you might only swing your arms 1,000 times a day, which would only increase the charge by 0.2% per day. Not worth a mechanism that would probably double the size and weight of the watch.
  • Yeah but what if the watch band itself was the solar panels? Heck they could even throw one on that blank spot on the 360 /total sarcasm Posted via Android Central App
  • Well damn, I guess that settles that lol. Appreciate the research and hard numbers, much better than my wild speculation.
  • Nailed it Give or take +/- .0002%/HR due to the drag coefficient applied to the kinetic motion, per arm swing. So I've heard.../S
  • Exactly. Casio sells a ton of digital and analog watches, similar in features to the kinetic and solar watches, that get 10 years off of a single 2025 battery, which has a capacity of 165mAh. Something like the G Watch gets 2 days off of a 400mAh battery. Some quick number crunching shows that a standard watch uses 0.002 mA, while the G Watch uses 8.333 mA. That's over 4400 times more power! In other words, a day of kinetic/solar charging would increase the battery charge of a smart watch by about 0.5%.
  • Sigh. Posted via Android Central App
  • This has a better shot at being an actual smart watch instead of a dumb extension line for a phone. We'll have to see how good is battery life and how practical the charging process is. I still think Samsung will find a way to screw this one up.
  • Please explain how... And good luck on battery life. Posted via Android Central App
  • Unless it is 2-3G only (no LTE) battery life is gonna be kinda bad. Just like the good old THunderbolt taught us (even though radios have gotten better since then) LTE sucks juice and on a battery this small....
  • Very true, but would LTE be necessary, or even something you'd want on a device like this? I doubt anyone would use it for streaming video or downloading large apps on the go. The most data-intensive thing I would ever use it for is streaming music, (and damn, it would be nice to not have to strap a 5" slab to my arm when I run), and 3G is totally sufficient for that.
  • I doubt it would be necessary but to hell with necessary... MOAR SPECS Posted via Android Central App
  • A 1080p screen should just be the standard for smartwatch screens, even the budget models. I mean, come on, it's 2014.
  • I want a developer edition as well sold through the Play Store for 12.95. I WON'T HAVE KNOX ON THIS
  • Oh boy, it's Friday and you guys are gonna get flamed for this kind of talk....didn't we settle all this malarkey last night? What with the removable batteries, sd card support, and TW? That watch would sit a foot and a half off your wrist! But, you should never have to take it off, that's why I am personally TM'ing and designing a mattress with Qi tech! Charge it all while you sleep.....Welcome to the collective.
  • This is one of those arguments that will never die. I find it funny that Samsung stuck with it, sales lapped the competitors 3 times over. Now OEMs are going back to it and Samsung is losing ground. I am waiting for some of the naysayers to admit that Samsung was right all along, OEMs are doing it. /you should start a kickstarter
    //how was that for Friday flame bait?
  • Exactly! That's the point. Samsung reminds me of the big 3 auto makers watching the imports figure it out while they rested on their laurels. Samsung, does have the ability to not let it slip by. The made a better excavator for f's sake. Let's see what the note 4 brings, as they are definitely putting in more effort than the S series. Bait? Man, pulling em' out like you was fishing in a barrel!
  • I am pretty sure they need YOUM in wide release. Maybe it is just because I want it, but it would shake up the design language a bit.
  • I definitely am not against YOUM. I actually would love to see how it can be integrated with the productivity of the note.
  • It's because Samsung was built its success off of just copying everything Apple did for years, and Android fans (who all really just want iPhones) were eating it up. But now that they've finally started to differentiate themselves, their sales are dropping.
  • Ha, that's great about them wanting iphones. That's why apple sells so many iphones, the status of it all. While the courts and lawsuits definitely say they copied, I am on the fence as to see how only samsung copied. If anything, imo, they are all guilty of copying one another. Especially with ios8 coming out, which, I am looking forward to. How about how all of them copying webOS?
  • I do not see the copying either but I WANT TO BELIEVE /drinking and watching the X-Files. Maybe I should not be posting?
  • Ok Mulder, pour another, and one more for me. That used to be my signature......about drinking and posting...
  • Whew i thought you were a Mulder fanboi for a second there...
  • Stupid comment nesting level limit. I have no idea which comments are in response to what anymore. And now, back to marathon-watching ridiculous superhero TV shows! Also beer.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy for me in the Morning!
  • I use outlook to respond when the response email comes in so I know what the heck I am responding to...
  • Yes beer....makes re-runs seem new again
  • Scully actually...
  • You fixed it My response was gonna be: Sully?: Or scully?:
  • Maybe he meant both. OH SHIT, THERE'S A FURRY AMONG US.
  • Didnt we just have that discussion?
  • Though Sculley as a furry is kinda interesting
  • I'm torn! They are both so believable!
  • YOu know your full of crap right? The iPhone is just a knock off of the BEST mobile OS there ever was. WebOS for the FRIGGIN WIN. It was a tragedy how the Illuminati killed it off with the Bilderberg Group
  • Typical fandroid BS. You must be in a really heavy chemtrail zone to have such terrible brain damage.
  • Typical iSheep always "innovating".an excuse
  • New England, and NYC? The air zones kinda frown on those things since 9/11. I think?
  • Info what?
  • Can I get an amen!
  • Illuminati/Bilderberg.....priceless ... Or is it?
  • If we are gonna do this, lets not short change it
  • You keep typing those names and you had better NOT answer that knock on the door in half an hour
  • Just
  • Besides it will not be that big, look at the Neptune Pine. Might as well just buy a Moto G and strap it on
  • Nice. I believe there is enough room on the bezels for a strap. I could have rocked a DINC2 that route! I thought that phone was amazing when it was new......ah, young android love
  • Dinc was good for its time. Not saying much but it is what it was
  • Whatever happened to the Neptune Pine? I was hoping for this smartwatch since CES in January!
  • First batch has been shipped. Check connectdly Posted via Android Central App
  • Buy a moto G and a piece of string
  • I'm strapping my TI-80 with velcro.....The string is for the can to call my dad in Austin.
  • I hope the string is not made by T-Mobile. It only reaches about half a mile then drops to hair the rest of the way instead of string
  • This is perfect for people that kayak and whitewater raft or people that don't want to bring their phone with them everywhere.
  • Meh. Batteries life isn't good enough yet to take a hit. Posted via Galaxy ace plus running Speedmod 2.5 with Xposed
  • I would be interested in something like this. I often go on 3-4 hour runs and do not take my phone. If I had the option to pop a sim in a watch for a few hours only to really be used in emergencies, either if I have an emergency or my wife or children do, then I would strongly consider purchasing.
  • Love it, great for jogging, on the construction site, so many places a stand alone watch phone would prove very valuable. I would buy it.
  • Guys you got this all wrong... PITBOY. All them dials Posted via Android Central App
  • Jeez. George Clooney couldn't get laid wearing that thing. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm not sold on Tizen. It's all about the Applications! Android Wear all the way. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'll get rid of my phone forever! Posted via the Android Central App
  • If the price is right, and I can use my galaxies Sim, I will buy.