In the world of ‘all wearables that aren’t Apple Watches’, Samsung had one small but significant advantage. Its smartwatches have, since the Galaxy Gear S2, included a twisty tactile rotating bezel. This not only lets you select things without awkwardly prodding a teeny-tiny touchscreen, but feels oddly soothing to fiddle with.
But apparently Samsung is sacrificing this one strategic advantage for the next generation. Writing for 91mobiles, the prolific leaker Evan Blass has shared a bunch of pictures of the upcoming Galaxy Watch 5, and the rotating bezel is absent on both models.
First up is the regular Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, which replaces the regular rotating-bezel-free Galaxy Watch 4. This will come in 40- and 44mm sizes, and will offer a “more expansive colour palette” than the advanced offering: the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro:
Replacing the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, we’re treated to an unconvincing “Digital Bezel” as the alternative. Samsung has used haptic resistance to make it feel like a real-life twisty bezel in the past, and that’s presumably what’s happening here. As you can see from side on, the rim is actually curved inwards to compensate.
Even if it works flawlessly, it doesn’t sound as fun as a rotating bezel, does it? That’s risky when the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will presumably get cheaper when the new wearables emerge later this year.
It will only come in a 45mm size, apparently, and while Blass doesn’t confirm it here, in the past we’ve heard it’ll have a whopping 572mAh battery included. Given it doesn’t appear to be comparable to the size of Flava Flav’s clock, I’d say that’s one rumour that can now be treated with a little suspicion.
GPS, 5ATM water resistance and sapphire crystal displays have been mentioned for both, as has the One UI, based on Google’s WearOS 3.5. Expect the two wearables to appear alongside Samsung’s new foldables around August if past form is anything to go by.