Samsung has been pumping out smartwatches at a feverish pace, and in the past year alone we’ve seen the release of the Galaxy Gear, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, Gear Fit, and most recently the Gear Live. We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the inaugural Galaxy Gear’s launch, and with Samsung’s IFA 2014 Unpacked event scheduled for less than two weeks from now, will we see the debut of a new wearable? That’s sounding like a distinct possibility, as we hear about Samsung’s work towards a possible Gear 3.
The first big change from the Gear 2, at least according to our source familiar with the hardware, would be the move to a curved display. Instead of the 1.6-inch flat square screen on the Gear 2, the Gear 3’s would be slightly rectangular –not nearly so extreme as what we see on the Gear Fit (right), but a bit taller than the Gear 2’s display– with thin side bezels, and with a very pronounced curve to it; look for it to be significantly more curved than the Gear Fit. Between the curved construction and a report of impressive brightness and color saturation, we’re almost certainly looking at another AMOLED panel.
We could also see Samsung go with a bigger, rectangular home button for the watch, quite similar to what it does with its smartphones. Like the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, the Gear 3 would continue to run Tizen; Samsung does not seem interested in going all-in with Android Wear.
What about features like the return of a camera, or stand-alone cellular connectivity, as we’re expecting for the rumored Gear Solo? Despite Samsung keeping the camera as it moved from the Galaxy Gear to the Gear 2, and even improving upon it, it doesn’t look like a camera is back for the Gear 3. However, a cellular radio may indeed be present; we’re not sure what that spells for the Gear Solo name, but we’ve only heard the model at hand referred to as the Gear 3.
According to our source, the Gear 3 is being prepared with a release target of sometime in September, which could fit with the idea of an IFA announcement. It’s possible that some of these details may change between this pre-release hardware and what Samsung ultimately brings to market, but this account still gives us our best sense yet of what to expect from the smartwatch.