Samsung Galaxy Gear follow-up may be Galaxy Band fitness tracker, not smartwatch

By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 25, 2013 05:16 AM EST

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Samsung may have not made it big with its first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, but the company is reportedly preparing to launch a follow-up.

Although smartwatches launched so far have failed to meet expectations, they did have a great impact on some users. Wearable technology is expected to gain momentum in 2014, with various heavyweight companies rumored to be working on their own offerings.

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Samsung released its Galaxy Gear a few months back as its first take on the smartwatch market. While there was great anticipation and excitement surrounding the smartwatch's launch, the Galaxy Gear ultimately failed to impress. In fact, it was reported that the device has quite a high return rate, as consumers were not very satisfied with their purchase.

When big-brand offerings are at stake, consumers generally have high expectations. The Galaxy Gear is not a terrible device, but the general opinion is that Samsung rushed too much to bring it to the market, instead of taking its time and offering a truly innovative product.

The Galaxy Gear's initial compatibility was a sore point as well, as the smartwatch only worked with the new Galaxy Note 3 at first. Samsung later rolled out updates to other devices to add Galaxy Gear support, but consumers had already formed an opinion and it was not very good.

Recent rumors have indicated that Samsung realized where it went wrong with its Galaxy Gear, and is preparing to launch a new and improved smartwatch in the first quarter of this year. The latest report, however, now suggests that Samsung's follow-up may in fact not be a smartwatch at all.

Korean site Digital News Daily (DDaily), the same one that recently reported on the purported 5.25-inch Galaxy S5, has now claimed that Samsung will give wearable technology another shot, but with a fitness tracking band called the Galaxy Band.

In other words, if this report is to be believed, instead of launching a new and improved smartwatch Samsung may come up with a device similar to Nike's FuelBand and the Jawbone UP. The purported device would launch as a wrist-worn fitness tracker with various sensors for motion, pressure, and humidity. The Galaxy Band will reportedly sync with other Samsung devices via Bluetooth and it may also support some voice controls.

This purported Galaxy Band fitness tracker will likely work with Samsung's S Health app, which is already available on smartphones such as the Galaxy S4. DDaily further claims that Samsung will unveil its new wearable device at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014 in February and will launch it soon after.

As always with unconfirmed reports, however, take this news with a grain of salt until Samsung makes an official announcement.



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