The year 2022 seems to be placed under the sign of connected watches for the various manufacturers. If we wait for the usual updates like that of the Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch, this year could bring its share of novelty.
Google is expected to launch its first Pixel Watch (in the spring or fall) and Fibit (which is owned by Google) may launch its first Wear OS watch. According to a report by Counterpoint Research, the smartwatch industry grew by 24% last year, which explains the efforts of manufacturers in this sector.
Here are the models that could be released this year.
Apple Watch Explorer Edition
Credit: David Carnoy/CNET
According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple may be adding a rugged version to its lineup. Called Explorer Edition (without knowing if it is the official name), this watch is intended for those who practice outdoor activities and extreme sports.
The watch should take over the functionality of other Apple smartwatches, but with an additional layer of protection, like Casio’s G-Shock. According to the report, it could arrive in 2022 at the same time as other Apple products during the fall keynote.
A way for the brand to expand its customer base to extreme athletes or professionals working in difficult environments.
Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 7 is more like an “Apple Watch 6s”, but it’s a big step up if you have an older model.
“Usual” update, this Series 8 should be announced this fall as is the tradition of the brand. In this new version, Apple should add a temperature sensor (in order to catch up with the competition from Oura and Fitbit), which would only be used, on release, to help wearers have better visibility of their fertility.
To see later if Apple intends to associate this temperature monitoring with that of health more generally. The other expected novelties such as glucose or blood pressure monitoring should still wait a few years according to the various reports.
Apple Watch SE 2
As Apple is said to be on the verge of abandoning its Watch Series 3, a report from Bloomberg announces the release of a new Apple Watch SE this year, which has not seen an update since 2020. This more affordable version would take advantage of most of the traditional functions of the Apple watch, excluding the more sophisticated functions like blood oxygen saturation or ECG.
An opportunity for the manufacturer to offer a watch with a better processor, some design changes, new colors… To contain the price of this accessible model, the display should be smaller, ignore the permanent mode and the Charging shouldn’t be that fast.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
The Galaxy Watch 4 has a lot going for it, but Google Wear still isn’t a unified OS that gives us the impression of being firmly anchored in a single ecosystem. That’s because it’s not: it’s still Samsung’s watch universe, with a Google layer on top. It may not be the ultimate Android watch, but it is the best Android watch on the market right now.
Just like the Galaxy Watch 4, which is progressing in sales, the new iteration should offer a round screen and Wear OS. The novelty would be the integration of a temperature sensor as well as a larger capacity battery according to SamMobile, which claims to have had the information thanks to a regulatory file.
For this year, Samsung’s update should be aimed primarily at tweaking the model rather than revolutionizing it. However, we hope that autonomy will be better worked on, as will the integration of Google services for a smoother experience with Android.
Google Pixel Watch
Jon Prosser / Front Page Technician
Google bought Fitbit and has its own operating system for connected watches, without having a model in its name. According to a report from Insider, that may change this year with the launch of a Pixel Watch.
If the details have remained confidential for the moment, we nevertheless know that the watch would certainly be round (like the other watches under Wear OS) and could be available in 3 different versions.
In terms of features, we expect heart rate monitoring and other classic health-related monitoring. We could also expect the watch, just like the Pixel phones, to introduce exclusive new software features that will be made available later on the other devices.
Fitbit on Wear OS
Credit: Lexy Savvides/CNET
According to CNET’s Scott Stein, Fitbit is working on a high-end model that will take advantage of the new Wear OS developed by the Samsung-Google duo. It could be a Sense-based model with added cellular connectivity and Google app integration.
An update that would mark a big step forward for Fitbit, which offers its own specific OS with its own strengths (health functions, detailed sleep monitoring, autonomy, etc.), but whose user experience is not as neat as ‘with those of Samsung or Apple. Fitbit OS should not be abandoned for all that, and we should find it on the updates of the Versa and Sense (which would be in preparation according to 9to5Google).
Obviously, even if this information comes from usually reliable sources, it is advisable to take a step back as long as the manufacturers have not made official announcements.
CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance