Intellectual property laws hold no sway over Samsung’s executives; some of whom are criminals who have done time in jail for various misdeeds. History and current events say Samsung will copy, steal, lie, cheat, and probably execute puppies and kittens in the name of making a buck (or, whatever they call a buck in South Korea). Ethics? Pfft. Who needs it?
Alright, that said, the latest Samsung smartwatch has the features you want in next year’s 2016 Watch.
It Does What?
As was the case with PCs, graphic user interface, retail stores, media players, online music sales, smartphones, tablets and streaming TV devices, Apple was late to the smartwatch party. Samsung was there, in the marketplace, selling multiple smartwatch models long before Apple’s device had a descriptive name.
Funny thing, and a true story, Samsung’s early smartwatch effort was typical Samsung; too little, too early. See, if they don’t have anyone to copy first, their own creative efforts tend to, well, you know; stink. And stink their smartwatches did.
Meanwhile, Apple launched a mere iPhone accessory that also displayed the time, and it was game over. Apple won the 2015 Smartwatch World Series in a sweep.
There’s always next year, Samsung. But next year is here now and Samsung’s latest Gear S2 3G might have the list of features that Apple will call amazing, magical, revolutionary, breakthrough, innovative, cool, beautiful, gorgeous, zippy, faster, incredible, awesome… you get the idea… when it is released in 2016.
What does Samsung’s latest have that Apple’s Watch does not but that you’re likely to see in a future Watch?
GPS – For now, Watch is an accessory for the iPhone. Without an iPhone about all Watch does is tell you the time. Watch needs built-in GPS so it can be a truly untethered device. Just like Gear S2 3G.
Waterproof – Watch is pretty good about keeping dust, moisture, and water out, but it’s no IP68. Maybe Apple just doesn’t like to brag (seem superlatives list above) and the Watch really is watertight, circa 2015, but next year’s model needs to step up its game. Samsung’s Gear S2 3G is already there.
Wireless – Wireless devices come in many forms, but Samsung’s latest can be a cell phone without the cell phone. Watch cannot. Having 4G LTE, or just a cell phone, would make the Watch more useful, but so would independent Wi-Fi access. For now, Watch is just an expensive way to tell time and ignore notifications from the iPhone.
Bluetooth – This could just as easily be under the Wireless heading above, but it has a special place if the Watch is ever to become a standalone device. You can’t sit around listening to music from the Watch with a headphone cord attached to your arm. Bluetooth to headphones or earbuds is a must. Samsung has it already (Apple, too, but it’s a kludgy way to listen to music with all that pairing going on). Plus, it has a round screen. And everyone in technology knows that a round screen smartwatch is not a rectangular screen but has more display pixels.
Before you toss your Watch out the window and run down to the Samsung Store in the Mall (like that will happen), there are some issues with Samsung’s latest wrist wear device. Battery life is abysmal. But, hey, it’s a Samsung device, right? Buy two, use one until siesta, then wear the other; battery life problem solved.
Then there’s the problem with apps. Or, maybe it’s app. As in singular. Gear S2 3G does not run Google’s Android Wear so the number of apps available that do anything substantial is lower than a politicians truthfulness meters during an election. Instead, Gear runs Tizen OS, something of a homegrown operating system designed to get Samsung as far away from Google and Android as it can without affecting sales.
Also, try to remember that Apple and Samsung play leap frog every year. Samsung comes out with an S6 smartphone, then six months later Apple comes out with 6s. Samsung copies Apple’s innovative new features six months later, and six months after that Apple introduces some new ones that Samsung hadn’t thought of yet, and won’t; for about six months.
What’s happening in the smartphone league is obvious. Apple is winning, but Samsung is still playing, and within a couple of years it’s likely that Watch and Gear will be small screen iPhone and Galaxy-like devices on the wrist.