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Following this week’s leak of the first official image of Samsung’s sequel to the Gear Sport, additional firmware and image leaks appear to have established the sleek wearable’s name, specs, and color variations. The smartwatch will apparently be known as the Galaxy Watch Active and include a considerable number of hardware upgrades over the Gear Sport, albeit with a much smaller battery.
Apart from losing the physical turning bezel of its predecessor, Galaxy Watch Active is set to improve upon everything from screen size to sensors and wireless capabilities. According to XDA Developers, the new watch will jump from a 1.2-inch screen to a 1.3-inch display with the same 360 x 360 resolution and will add a speaker and come in an LTE cellular-capable version. It will also include new sensors for linear acceleration, gravity, and stress monitoring, as well as support for faster 1-Amp charging.
On the other hand, the battery is taking a sharp dip in capacity from the Gear Sport’s 300mAh cell down to 230mAh, which on paper would be a roughly 30 percent drop in power between the models. However, any impact on run time may be offset by Galaxy Watch Active’s switch from a 14-nanometer Exynos 7270 processor to the newer and more power-efficient 10-nanometer Exynos 9110 — the same change made to the prior Galaxy Watch from Gear S3.
At this point, at least four color variations appear to be in the works. Thanks to a leak by TigerMobiles, Galaxy Watch Active has been revealed in black, blue, and rose gold metal bodies, adding to the silver version depicted in the original leak. The latest imagery suggests that the watch will use a fair amount of its curved glass face as display area, but with a significant black bezel.
From a software perspective, Galaxy Watch Active generally looks like a small upgrade over the Gear Sport. It will ship with the Tizen 188.8.131.52 operating system, while Gear Sport currently runs 184.108.40.206. But the newer watch will feature support for Samsung’s Bixby AI assistant, which on the Galaxy Watch enables users to say “Hi, Bixby” to trigger the assistant, albeit with modest functionality thereafter. Similarly, Active’s inclusion of a stress monitoring sensor suggests that Tizen will offer the same breathing exercises found in the standard Galaxy Watch.
Samsung is expected to officially unveil the Galaxy Watch Active at its 2019 Galaxy Unpacked event on February 20. Pricing, a full list of variations, and retail availability will all be revealed at that time, most likely with lower price points than the standard Galaxy Watch’s $330 Wi-Fi and $380 LTE options.
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