Samsung Electronics is working on a version of its Gear smartwatch with integrated SIM card. The device will allow to make phone calls directly from the watch and will eliminate the need for joint operation of Gear smart-watches with Samsung handsets. While the decision to create “independent” smart watch seems to be a logical one, it also means a number of drawbacks for the product.
The new smartwatch with integrated USIM (universal subscriber identity module) is currently prepared by both Samsung and SK Telecom, which means that it will likely be a product sold exclusively in South Korea. The SIM card will allow owners of the device to make phone calls and possibly access the Internet and special services aimed at very small displays of the phones. The smartwatch are expected to be called Samsung Gear Solo, reports Korea Herald.
At present the majority of smart-watch/smart band devices feature rather basic functionality, but gain compute-intensive capabilities, as well as abilities to work like phones, by connecting to smartphones wirelessly. While integration of higher-performing application processors into smart watches is possible to boost their functionality, this will lower their battery life dramatically. Moreover, integration of SIM card will essentially do the same since connections to cell network also consume a lot of energy. As a result, while the Gear Solo device will be a revolutionary one, it may not be exactly comfortable to use.
It remains to be seen how the Samsung Gear Solo will actually look like. It is not really comfortable to talk using a watch, so Samsung will have to offer a rather unique form-factor for the device.
Samsung did not comment on the news-story.
KitGuru Says: The cost of Gear 2 smart watches is already pretty high. The integration of SIM card, antenna, baseband processor and other necessary elements to enable calling using the Gear Solo will likely significantly increase its price.