Last month, Samsung quietly revealed that it is working on a round Gear smartwatch – because the company invited developers to start making apps for it in advance of a proper announcement. Now the SDK is available, and it seems the watch has a big innovation in store.
Based on info pulled from that official software development kit, the new Gear watch will feature a rotating bezel that lets you scroll through menus and make other inputs without touching the screen. It still has a touchscreen, of course, but like the Apple Watch digital crown, it offers a way to interact without obscuring the view.
SamMobile has unearthed numerous screenshots and concept art images from the SDK, and it looks like you’ll be able to use the bezel to move between contacts, scroll through options, zoom into an image, increase the volume, and a fair bit more. We’ve got a few of those above, but hit the source link for a deeper look at the interface.
We also know more about the watch itself now. The circular watch has a 1.65in face, with the display running at 360×360, or 305ppi. It’s the sharpest Samsung watch screen to date, plus it’s larger than the Moto 360, which might make some grimace. At least it’s smaller than the Gear S, right?
Also, the device is not equipped with Android Wear: it’s another Tizen device, and it’s currently unclear whether it’ll only be useable with Samsung phones. However, a 3G version will also be available, making it a standalone device akin to the Gear S.
Samsung has yet to give the watch a proper name; we’ll probably have to wait for an official announcement on that front, although previous leaks called the project “Orbis,” and we’ve heard “Gear A” bandied around as a potential proper name. It certainly looks interesting, and a nice step ahead from the company’s previous watches, so we’re looking forward to hearing more – and seeing how developers take advantage of that bezel.