Samsung Launches Galaxy Watch, Teases Galaxy Home AI Speaker To Battle Google Home And Amazon Echo
First out of the gate is the Galaxy Watch, which sheds the “Gear” branding and more closely aligns with the flagship Galaxy smartphones. As with previous Samsung smartwatches, it features a 1.3-inch circular AMOLED touch display (360x360) and is covered in Gorilla DX+ glass. The Galaxy Watch is available in two sizes: 42mm and 46mm, and both of them include 4G LTE connectivity. Both are powered by a Samsung Exynos 9110 dual-core processor rather than the more prevalent Snapdragon Wear SoC from Qualcomm. 1.5GB of RAM is included, and you’ll find 4GB of internal storage.
As you might expect for a smartwatch that will follow you everywhere, it is water resistant, meaning that you can take it for a swim in the pool or out into the ocean. On the battery front, the 42mm Galaxy Watch has a 270 mAh battery, while the 46mm variant packs a beefier 472 mAh power source. Samsung says that battery life is rated at an impressive 80+ hours under typical usage scenarios, and up to 168 hours with “low usage” for the 46mm Galaxy Watch. Those figures fall to 45+ hours and 120+ hours respectively for the 42mm Galaxy Watch.
Although previous reports had suggested that Samsung would be switching to Google’s Wear OS, the Galaxy Watch instead continues on with Tizen. As such, it gives access to the full suite of Samsung Galaxy services including Samsung Health, SmartThings, Samsung Pay and Bixby (among others).
Although pricing hasn’t yet been announced, it will be available in the United States starting August 24. The 42mm Galaxy Watch will be available in Midnight Black or Rose Gold, while the 46mm Galaxy Watch comes in Silver.
The other new device on display is the Galaxy Home, which is Samsung’s take on the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod. Galaxy Home is powered by Samsung’s Bixby smart AI assistant and promises to deliver higher quality audio than what’s possible with the Echo and Google Home. It appears that Samsung is targeting the highly-lauded audio performance of the HomePod. It features six integrated speakers and a subwoofer in addition to eight far-field microphones.
It’s a stylish looking art deco device that will look good either sitting on a kitchen counter or on top of a shelf in your living room. You can call on the speaker using the “Hi Bixby” command and it can be summoned to play music or control smart home devices (as you might expect with a smart speaker) a la SmartThings.
Samsung is being mum on additional Galaxy Home details, and there is no word on pricing or availability.