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  1. OnePlus Watch could get Always-On Display feature in future update OnePlus has revealed that its new wearable, the OnePlus Watch, could one day get an always-on display feature in a future update. When the OnePlus Watch was introduced, one of the things that stood out were claims about battery life. The company said the wearable could get a week’s worth of use after 20 minutes on a charger. Battery life was a huge priority for OnePlus, which is why an always-on display feature wasn’t introduced. “The one thing we unanimously seemed to agree upon is that having to charge our smartwatch daily really affected our experience,” OnePlus said in a deep dive in its forums. If we forgot to charge it overnight, a few minutes of charging before we head out just isn’t enough and the battery dies later in the day.” But OnePlus said it’s evaluating the possibility of bringing the feature to its watch down the road. “We’ve heard many users request the always-on display,” OnePlus said “We are currently looking at things like how it impacts power consumption and are evaluating the possibility to bring this feature in a future OTA.” The company said the feature could increase power consumption by almost 50 percent, which would result in a serious hit to battery life. Always-on displays have become a common feature in the wearable market, with the Apple Watch Series 6 being the most prominent example. OnePlus went on to ask its forum users how important the feature is to the product. Your feedback could help determine whether it’s introduced or scrapped entirely. The rest of the OnePlus Watch FAQ answers questions about the device’s design, compatibility, functionality, and much more. Basically, if you’re at all interested in buying the wearable when it launches, you should check out what OnePlus had to say. Ultimately, the FAQ provides some insight into what decisions the company’s engineers made, and why. The OnePlus Watch will launch in North America on April 14 and retail for $159. Source: OnePlus Watch could get Always-On Display feature in future update
  2. Samsung's future smartwatch is rumored to use Android, not Tizen It might be all about the Google ecosystem. Cherlynn Low/Engadget Samsung has been using its Tizen platform on smartwatches ever since 2014's Gear 2 line, but it might go back to its Android 'roots' in the near future. Both SamMobile and well-known leaker Ice Universe claim Samsung is making a smartwatch using Android (possibly Wear OS) rather than its usual platform. It would be the first time Samsung had used Android on the wrist since early products like the Galaxy Gear and Gear Live. It's not certain just what this wristwear will look like or whether this would represent a wholesale switch to Android. GalaxyClub recently spotted two model numbers that hint Samsung's next watches will come in two sizes regardless of the software they use. There are no guarantees Samsung will make the leap. It could be a logical move, however. While Tizen-based smartwatches like the Galaxy Watch 3 have key apps like Spotify and are generally well-regarded, there's no question they lack the Android ecosystem tie-ins of Wear OS. Samsung might have decided that the broader compatibility was worth any tradeoffs. It would certainly help Google, which hasn't had much success in wearables compared to Apple or Samsung. With that said, it could be a contentious switch. Samsung has its smartwatch fans in part through a unique control scheme and strong battery life — we characterized the latest watch as the best non-Apple design. Would it lose that enthusiasm if it went with Wear OS or another take on Android? Wear OS devices haven't delivered much excitement, after all. We wouldn't rule out a custom take on Android that preserves Samsung's advantages, but that's far from guaranteed. Source: Samsung's future smartwatch is rumored to use Android, not Tizen
  3. Facebook's next attempt at hardware may be a smartwatch A report suggests Facebook's first watch could go on sale next year. Pheelings Media via Getty Images Facebook's past forays into hardware have had mixed results, ranging from well-regarded Oculus VR headsets to an ill-fated phone tie-up with HTC. Now The Information cites anonymous sources saying the company will try again with a smartwatch that includes a built-in cellular connection. The report claims an initial version could arrive next year powered by an open-source version of Android, with a follow-up in 2023, all in service of trying to control the next computing platform after smartphones. Of course, it's unclear whether that effort will work -- seen anyone using a Portal lately? -- especially considering the privacy issues around Facebook and looming investigations by regulators. Source: Facebook's next attempt at hardware may be a smartwatch
  4. According to veteran Apple pundit John Gruber, Apple’s smartwatch effort will bear fruit next month, the very same month in which the iPhone 6 is expected to be unveiled in a dedicated keynote. But the revelation does not spill the beans whether or not the iWatch will indeed be announced alongside the iPhone 6 or whether it would be announced separately. It looks like Motorola’s designers tried to draw as much attention as they could to the 360’s stupid flat-tire display shape. The only way this could get funnier would be if it doesn’t even ship until after Apple announces their wrist wearable thing next month. Gruber has had a solid track record when it comes to Apple based news and rumors, so it’s highly likely that the guy has got this one spot on. Source
  5. On Thursday, we told you some more information about the TCL/Alcatel Idol X+, which is going to be powered by the true octa-core MT6592 CPU. That chip allows all eight cores to be active at the same time. The rest of the specs belonging to the Idol X+ are top-shelf, including the 5 inch screen with 1080 x 1920 resolution, 2GB of RAM and a 13MP rear-facing snapper. It also appears that TCL/Alcatel has some other interesting products that will be released at the same time as the Idol X+. A published report out of China includes a picture showing a smartphone alongside what appears to be a smartwatch and a smart bracelet. The image also shows a cryptic formula reading "1+1>2?" We don't know what the capabilities will be for the watch or the bracelet, but at the very least we would imagine that they will be able to notify the user to phone calls or messages coming in to the Idol X+. While TCL licenses the Alcatel name, we expect the phone and accessories to be branded TCL in China and Alcatel elsewhere in the world where the products will be offered. The prior model, the Alcatel One Touch Idol X, was priced at $350 lock, stock and barrel so the Idol X+ could turn out to be a very affordable package. Original Article
  6. With Google announcing their smart wearable ambitions, they noted they were working with various OEMs and chipset manufacturers to get the ball rolling. Shortly after launch, we saw an LG smartwatch, which will be featuring google’s new Android system for wearables. Now it’s Motorola’s turn, and they’re promising something pretty big. Via the official Motorola blog, the company is announcing the Moto 360. A modern looking smartwatch, it’s got a very Movado-esque style, but promises all the same functionality we heard about with the Android wear announcement. For those not exited about square watches, Motorola says they’ve re-thought a modern classic, and will be bringing a round smartwatch to the market. That’s quite a departure from their previous smartwatch iteration, the MotoACTV. This keeps Motorola squarely in the mindshare of Android enthusiasts everywhere, and nimbly positions them at the forefront of the Android wearable scene. It also sets them apart, offering a round smartwatch where most others are trying to recreate a smartphone on our wrist. Stylistically, we enjoy the Moto 360 quite a bit. The video below highlights the 360’s design and inception. The 3D model printed shows a watch that is naturally a bit larger than a normal watch, but not obnoxiously bulky. Not a lot of details regarding specs right now, and we still don’t know pricing or availability outside of Motorola saying we’ll see it “Summer 2014”. With Android coming to wearables, the real question now is simple: round, or square? You tell us. Source
  7. Looks like LG's taking Samsung's discarded idea and running with it After Samsung axed the camera module from its smartwatches after the first Galaxy Gear it appeared that was the end of the feature, but it looks like LG has other ideas. The South Korean company has recently filed a patent with the USTPO (United States Trademark and Patent Office) for a design of a smartwatch with a camera module. The patent was spotted by LetsGoDigitalshowing a "a smart watch comprising a camera" and includes a couple of designs of how a camera could integrated. The patent also has references for 'mobile terminal' features, hinting that the smartwatch might come with cellular connectivity as well. Image 1 of 4 Strap only While several camera integrations are detailed in the listing, they all have one thing in common - they're all built into the strap, rather than the actual body of the smartwatch. For example, an adjustable wrist band could allow the wearer to change the angle of the camera, while another option could be to include a metal link for the watch band, where one link comes with an integrated camera. A third possible solution could be to attach a spring click that can be placed anywhere on the watch band. Examples within the application claim you could take a picture of your food and then track your calorie intake, or even scan the barcode/QR code at the supermarket. If the real-world practicality and applicability could be brought to overlap, this could be a real winner. A patent filing doesn't necessarily mean that product will make it to the market (it could be found to be nonviable and therefore be abandoned). Source
  8. Including some members of Fossil’s R&D group Google and watchmaker Fossil Group today announced an agreement for the search giant to acquire some of Fossil’s smartwatch technology and members of the research and development division responsible for creating it. The deal is worth roughly $40 million, and under the current terms Fossil will transfer a “portion” of its R&D team, the portion directly responsible for the intellectual property being sold, over to Google. As a result, Google will now have a dedicated team with hardware experience working internally on its WearOS software platform and potentially on new smartwatch designs as well. “Wearables, built for wellness, simplicity, personalization and helpfulness, have the opportunity to improve lives by bringing users the information and insights they need quickly, at a glance,” Stacey Burr, the president of product management for Google’s WearOS platform, said in a statement. “The addition of Fossil Group’s technology and team to Google demonstrates our commitment to the wearables industry by enabling a diverse portfolio of smartwatches and supporting the ever-evolving needs of the vitality-seeking, on-the-go consumer.” According to Wareable, the technology is a “new product innovation that’s not yet hit the market,” Greg McKelvey, Fossil’s executive vice president of chief strategy and digital officer, told the publication. It’s unclear what exactly that innovation is, or why exactly Google is so eager to buy it, although $40 million is a drop in the bucket for Google when it comes to acquisition costs. What we do know is that it’s somehow based on tech Fossil got its hands on when it acquired wearable maker Misfit for $260 million back in 2015. Burr’s official statement seems to make clear that Fossil was working on some type of health and wellness-focused technology, and Fossil has been Google’s most consistent and long-term hardware partner on WearOS, since back when it was named Android Wear and Google was looking for watchmakers to help it rival Apple in the wearable space. Burr did tell Wareable that Google saw the technology and thought it “could be brought out in a more expansive way if Google had that technology, and was not only able to continue to use it with Fossil but bring it to other partners in the ecosystem,” she said. Burr goes on to say that Fossil will bring the technology to market in the form of a product and it will expand “across our full breadth of brands over time,” before expanding “across the industry over time to benefit all.” Putting aside the cryptic product innovation talk, Fossil has specialized in what are known as hybrid smartwatches: devices that do some minor smart features like step-tracking and notifications, but otherwise look and feel like your standard, semi-expensive wristwatch. The company makes smartwatches with touchscreens that resemble other WearOS devices and the Apple Watch, but its strong suit has always been the hybrid watch, given Fossil’s design and manufacturing experience in the traditional accessories market. The issue there, however, is that Fossil, while making some of the nicest-looking smartwatches, has been slow to adopt technologies like GPS and heart-rate tracking that have existed on other wearables for years. So in this case, Fossil may have cracked something having to do with hybrid watches, but we just don’t know yet. For Google, this could be a big chance for it to turn WearOS around and truly try to compete with the Apple Watch. Whether the Fossil technology pushes Google to finally develop and release an official Pixel Watch with its own internal design, or it simply helps the company better refine its software, this acquisition proves that WearOS still has some fight left in it. Source
  9. There’s been a lot of news in the Wear OS world this week from Alphabet possibly buying Fitbit to a new Moto 360 and even a new chipset too. Now, we’re getting a better look at Xiaomi’s upcoming Mi Watch which is expected to run on Wear OS including a first look at its design. XDA-Developers spotted a few posts on Weibo which confirm the design and several details of the upcoming Mi Watch. First and foremost, let’s take a look at the design here. As hinted at in an earlier teaser, it’s clear Xiaomi’s first Wear OS smartwatch, the Mi Watch, is going to steal the design of Apple Watch. That means we’re getting a square design and display with a button along the right side which doubles as a rotating crown. There’s another button underneath that again, just like the Apple Watch. In another teaser image, Xiaomi shows the internals of the watch which includes Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC. There’s also a “high-performance” CPU. There’s a Qualcomm chip specifically shown in the image which XDA speculates will be the Snapdragon Wear 3100. The other components detailed include a vibration motor, speaker, and an eSIM for cellular connectivity too. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Xiaomi Mi Watch, including how the company is going to build on Wear OS, but we’ll get more details on November 5th. Source: Xiaomi shows off design and specs for its Wear OS smartwatch in more teaser images (via 9to5Google)
  10. When Google originally announced Android Wear (now called Wear OS), one of the first smartwatches with it was Motorola's Moto 360, it quickly became a fan-favorite with its elegant design; it was also one of the first Android-powered smartwatches with a round design. Many were disappointed in 2016 when Motorola said it was getting out of the smartwatch market, after two generations of the Moto 360. But if you're a fan of the brand, there's good news: the Moto 360 is back. The brand is being licensed to a company called eBuyNow, similar to how Nokia licenses its brand to HMD Global and BlackBerry licenses its brand to TCL. The third-generation Moto 360 has a stainless steel frame that comes in Steel Grey, Rose Gold, and Phantom Black. It does have larger bezels than its predecessors, also eliminating the so-called "flat tire" in the display. It packs a Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, 1GB RAM, and 8GB of internal storage, so while it's somewhat expensive at $350, it does include top-end specs. It's unclear if the Moto 360 will be able to win back the hearts of consumers, being that in the last few years, the Wear OS market has seen many stylish options, such as the Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch. The new Moto 360 will be available in December, and you can check it out at Moto360.com. Source: The Moto 360 is back, but it's not made by Motorola (via Neowin)
  11. After announcing its penta-camera smartphone, Xiaomi has also introduced its first smartwatch that’s simply called the Xiaomi Watch. It looks identical to the Apple Watch and it runs on Google’s Wear OS with MIUI for Watch skin on top. The Xiaomi Watch comes in a single 44mm size with a 1.78″ AMOLED display that pushes a 368×448 pixels resolution. This is similar to the Apple Watch Series 5. It even gets a digital crown and a physical button on the right, but it looks more boxy and chunkier than the Cupertino version. Powering the watch is Qualcomm’s 3100 wearable platform with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. The new wearable is offered with eSIM connectivity as standard and it supports a variety of FDD-LTE bands such as band 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 19, 20, 26 and TDD-LTE bands such as band 39, 40 and 41. You can even make calls with it via its built-in speakerphone and mic. The watch also supports 802.11n 2.4GHz WiFi as well as Bluetooth 4.2. As you would expect, the Xiaomi Watch has an array of sensors for fitness tracking which include a heart rate sensor, 6-axis gyroscope, GPS, compass and barometer. It is also water-resistant and you can use it for swim tracking as well. The watch lets you pay for public transport via NFC and it also supports both Alipay and WeChat pay. One of the biggest highlights is its 36-hour battery life, which is double of a typical Apple Watch that is rated to last 18 hours on a single charge. The watch has a 570mAh battery that charges via a magnetic charging base. Instead of Siri, it also supports Xiaomi’s “Xiao Ai” AI assistant and you can also use the watch to control Xiaomi’s smart home appliances. In China, the standard version that uses Gorilla Glass 3, aluminium alloy case and a rubber strap is priced at CNY 1,299 (about RM770). Meanwhile, the premium edition that features sapphire glass, stainless steel case and stainless steel strap is going for CNY 1,999 (about RM1185). Both editions share the same hardware and the premium edition is heavier due to different materials used. Considering it has eSIM support built-in, the Xiaomi Watch is quite a bargain with a third of the price of an equivalent Apple Watch with LTE. In Malaysia, the Apple Watch Series 5 44mm aluminium variant with cellular support is priced at RM2,349, while the stainless steel version with a link bracelet is going for RM4,449. It isn’t clear if the watch will be sold outside of China and at the moment, it supports a decent number of apps that are catered for the Chinese market. It is still possible for Xiaomi to offer an international variant since it runs on Wear OS. Source: Xiaomi Watch costs a third of the price of an Apple Watch and offers 2X battery life (via SoyaCincau)
  12. Samsung’s next smartwatch reportedly tracks blood sugar levels On the Android side of things, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch lineup is perhaps the most advanced smartwatch available. With its next generation, it looks like Samsung is going to expand its health efforts on smartwatches to include blood sugar tracking. A report from ETNews claims that, like the next Apple Watch, Samsung’s next Tizen-based Galaxy Watch will be able to detect and track your blood glucose levels, more commonly known as blood sugar. This is done using an optical sensor rather than drawing blood, which is the usual way that information is gathered. Apparently, this will be accomplished using “raman spectroscopy” tech. This feature is reportedly being positioned toward diabetic users as it would save the regular finger-prick that analyzes that data daily. It’s unclear at this point how the accuracy of this feature compares to traditional tests. Samsung Electronics has decided to apply a technology to its new smart watch “Galaxy Watch 4 (tentative),” which is set to be introduced this second half, so that the watch is able to monitor one’s blood glucose level. The technology utilizes an optical sensor and detects blood glucose level without having to draw blood and it is expected to make a great contribution in assisting those with diabetes and normal people with managing their health. The “Galaxy Watch 4” is set to be announced in the second half of 2021, presumably alongside either the Galaxy Fold 3 launch or some other new Samsung smartphone. Apparently, that watch will be one of three new wearables being announced later this year, with a “Galaxy Watch Active 3” also possibly in the cards. Source: Samsung’s next smartwatch reportedly tracks blood sugar levels
  13. Fossil debuts an LTE smartwatch and adds new styles to its Michael Kors lineup Plus, some hybrid watches from Skagen. Fossil Fossil is single-handedly keeping the Wear OS dream alive as the platform languishes while we wait for Google to complete its acquisition of Fitbit. At CES 2021, the fashion giant is announcing several new smartwatches and hybrid watches from its family of brands including Michael Kors and Skagen. Of note, it’s introducing its first LTE-enabled smartwatch under the Fossil Gen 5 family. Meanwhile, the new Michael Kors Access connected watches run Google’s operating system in designs that are smaller and cleaner than previous generations. The Fossil Gen 5 LTE Touchscreen Smartwatch (yes, that’s its official name) supports 4G cellular connectivity via Verizon (Engadget’s parent company) and is currently only available for Android users on the carrier’s Number Share service. The wearable is based on the fashion company’s existing Gen 5 series and uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 and eSIM. With the LTE radio, the Gen 5 LTE enables users to make calls and send texts even if they’ve left their phones at home. It’ll be available for $349 in the US starting this spring. Gallery: Fossil Gen 5 LTE smartwatch press pictures | 32 Photos Meanwhile, under the Michael Kors brand, two main styles are available in the latest Gen 5e series: the $350 Darci and $250 MKGO. The latter is a sportier version with silicone straps and an aluminum case, while the Darci features an eye-catching topring with embedded crystals circling the face and a 7-link bracelet. Because they’re Wear OS watches, the Gen 5 LTE and Access support features like Google Pay, Fit and Assistant, as well as third-party apps like Spotify. But Fossil added its own software to make these watches more useful, including things like sleep tracking, custom modes, an optimized activity tracker and prompts to switch to extended battery mode. Fossil’s latest watches also allow users of both Android and iPhones to answer calls from their wrists (when connected to their phones). Gallery: Michael Kors Access Gen 5e Darci and MKGO press photos | 69 Photos The company also unveiled a new hybrid watch under its Skagen brand called the Jorn Hybrid HR. Its features are pretty much the same as its other hybrid watches — a customizable 27.9mm e-ink display on the watch face show notifications from your phone as well as metrics like your steps and heart rate, which is scanned via the sensor on the underside. The Jorn is available in 42mm and 38mm case sizes and offers more than two weeks of battery life. It’ll be available for $195 through Fossil’s website. Typically, Fossil is one of the wearables makers that adopts Qualcomm’s latest offerings, but it’s curious to see that none of these new launches pack the latest Snapdragon Wear 4100 CPU. That might not be entirely surprising given Android wearables are in a sort of limbo while the industry waits to see what might happen with the platform after Google completes its acquisition of Fitbit. In the meantime, if you still really want to get a new Wear OS smartwatch, there are some fresh options to consider. Follow all of the latest news from CES 2021 right here! Source: Fossil debuts an LTE smartwatch and adds new styles to its Michael Kors lineup
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