Samsung Galaxy Watch fans get good and bad news in blockbuster launch

Samsung Galaxy Watch fans get good and bad news in blockbuster launch

One of the biggest new announcements at Samsung’s latest Unpacked product unveiling was the new Galaxy Watch models. The upgraded hardware is packed with features and updates, like a 3-in-1 Bioactive Sensor which can check your BMI and fat levels. There’s also the ability to track 100 kinds of exercise, take a blood pressure reading from your wrist and all this is packed into a much thinner design.

That all sounds impressive but it’s not just the hardware that’s been upgraded with Samsung also introducing a major new software upgrade. This is the first Galaxy Watch to get Samsung’s latest Wear OS software created as a joint venture between the Korean firm and Google.

The new operating system will allow for new features and integrations with third-party Google Play apps. Once you install watch-compatible apps on your smartphone, they will be swiftly downloaded onto your smartwatch. It will also allow for custom clock times and the ability to block calls and messages.

Wear OS will also feature an improved watch face design tool, meaning designers can bring out new customer watch faces.

Sounds great! The catch is that all these new specs will only be available to those who purchase either the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Older models like the Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch Active, Galaxy Watch Active 2, or the Galaxy Watch 3 will still continue to run the old OS, Tizen.

Tizen lacks a broad selection of third-party apps and doesn’t integrate as well with Android phones. It’s disappointing news for those who hoped not to have to splash out on a new watch.

However, Samsung has said all the older models of smartwatch will still continue to get software updates for at least three years after they launched. For the Galaxy Watch 3, that means you’ll be covered until August 2023.

Teg Dosanjh, Director of Connected Services and Technology, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland said at the launch: “From our innovative BioActive Sensor to our brand-new Wear OS – developed in partnership with Google – the Galaxy Watch4 series is built to give our customers a deeper, more helpful understanding of their overall wellbeing.”

The new Galaxy Watch range will be available to pre-order from August 11 with prices starting from £259 for the standard wearable with the more premium Galaxy Watch Classic costing £359.

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