The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series arrived with two devices, the standard Galaxy Watch 4, and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. The Classic model had the iconic rotating bezel, that let users navigate the smartwatch on the tiny 1.4-inch display. Previous Galaxy devices tried to emulate the rotating bezel, but it never quite worked as well as physical hardware.
According to new information by IceUniverse, the upcoming Galaxy Watch 5 Pro might do away with the rotating bezel altogether. New rumors claim that Samsung is working on three new Samsung Galaxy smartwatches, codenamed Heart-S, Heart-L and Heart-Pro (via GSMArena). We don’t have information on the exact sizes for the new smartwatches, but we expect to see 40mm and 44mm variants.
Judging by the codenames, it’s fair to assume that we won’t see the “Classic” branding return this year. And instead, it looks like Samsung will apply the “Pro” name to its highest-end smartwatch. We also heard that the Watch 5 series might pack a larger battery than their predecessors, and rumors have it they might have a temperature sensor.
The new Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series are expected to be announced alongside the next generation of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 foldable devices. Samsung revealed the last generation at its August Unpacked event, and we expect a similar timeline for this year.
Why would Samsung remove the iconic rotating bezel?
We don’t have any information to make an educated guess, but the lack of space inside the device might be giving Samsung headaches as the new smartwatches are expected to pack larger batteries and potentially even more sensors. The rotating bezel might be demanding more space inside the already crammed watch. Removing the rotating bezel could also allow Samsung to equip the Watch 5 series with a larger display, and slim down the bezels, making it look more modern and stylish.
Samsung could also develop its own Digital Crown competitor to potentially free-up some extra space inside the watch, but we haven’t seen any information confirming or suggesting that change. The rotating bezel is iconic, and it’s a unique characteristic of the Galaxy Watch series.
Another plausible explanation is that the Galaxy Watch 4 may have outsold the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, which is likely due to the difference in price between the two smartwatches. The difference in sales could prompt Samsung to reconsider the implementation of the rotating bezel, and cut down on its costs of further improving and integrating the feature.
The rotating bezel must make a come-back
The rotating bezel isn’t only iconic, but it’s also a far superior way to control and use the smartwatch. It makes it easy to interact with the device. Changing the brightness and switching between different watch faces and other settings takes the pain away of covering the display with fingers. Besides the rotating bezel, the digital crown found on the Apple Watch is also an outstanding way of controlling and using a device with such a tiny display.
Having a touch-sensitive bezel around the screen introduces problems, and you can accidentally navigate the device when it is supposed to be turned off. I’ve used the Galaxy Watch Active 2, and while it worked well most of the time, there were a few mishaps and accidental touches that happened every once in a while. That never happened on my original Galaxy Watch with the physical rotating bezel.
If the rumor pans out, Samsung will be removing one of the most beloved features of its lineup. We loved the rotating bezel as it didn’t sacrifice the usability and durability of the smartwatch, and it enabled an easier way of using a small display.
Will you buy the Galaxy Watch 5 if it lacks the iconic rotating bezel? Are you a fan of the touch-sensitive bezel on the Galaxy Watch 4? Let us know in the comments!
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
The Galaxy Watch 4 is the best companion if you want to monitor your health and fitness activities. It’s one of the most customizable smartwatches on the market, and it has excellent features to keep you focused.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the device for those looking to own a traditional-looking timepiece that does more than meets the eye. It’s one of the best smartwatches for Android users.
First Galaxy Z Flip 4 Color Sells Out
The entire suite of new Galaxy products has been up for pre-order since Wednesday and we keep checking to see if any of it is selling out. So far, not much has outside of a single online exclusive color of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, while the Fold 4 and both Galaxy Watch 5 watches can still be had with August 26 launch day delivery.
The first color of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 to sellout is the “Navy” colorway. The pre-configured version with navy is listed now as “out of stock,” plus if you try and use the Bespoke tool to capture a Flip 4 entirely in navy, it’ll show there as soldout too. Interestingly, if you Bespoke tool a Flip 4 and only put navy as a single panel, you’ll get a 3-4 weeks estimate.
The only other item with even a slight delay is the goofy burgundy Fold 4, but it appears to be sticking to the advertised 3-4 week delivery. I wouldn’t actually consider it much of a delay.
Whatever the situation is here, I’ve got to admit that I’m surprised that more of the new Samsung devices aren’t soldout or with extended shipping times. As of right now, all four of the main Flip 4 colors will arrive on time (see here), as will the three main Fold 4 colors (see here) and the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro in all configurations (see here).
Compare this launch to the Galaxy S22 from earlier in 2022 and they couldn’t have hit differently. Samsung’s dates for the exclusive online colors of the S22 Ultra started slipping almost immediately, which we know first hand because of Tim’s struggles to land one. Within a week, the dates further moved with estimates a full month out or even later.
We’ll keep an eye on shipping times over the next week or so to see how this launch changes. Will the situation start to match the Galaxy S22 launch or are the minor improvements in this year’s foldable line-up not enough to get people to bite? In my first couple of days with the Flip 4, I can tell you that the phone is very much like the Flip 3, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the hell out of it.
Telegram’s Big Update is for the Emoji Lovers
A new update is rolling out to Telegram today and it is all about emoji. If you love emoji, custom emoji, animated emoji, or any other type of emoji, you are in for a special treat.
Telegram announced its new Emoji Platform “where anyone can upload custom packs with unique art styles and characters for Telegram Premium users.” Folks can use these uploaded custom emoji packs in messages or captions, plus premium users are getting access to another 10 emoji packs.
To make it more obvious that all of these new custom and animated emoji are available, you’ll see the sticker shortcut in the message box turn into an emoji shortcut as you type. That shortcut leads to a new emoji panel, where you’ll see suggestions and be able to browse your various packs. To make things (potentially) easier, typing shortcuts like :smile or :lol will give you all of the available options too.
And finally, custom emoji can be interactive in 1-on-1 chats, so “any user can tap to play synchronized, full-screen effects” from all of the emoji you spam off to friends.
For iOS users, there are new sticker, GIF, and emoji panels “with separate tabs for stickers, GIFs and emoji – just like on the Android, desktop and web apps.”
In other Telegram Premium feature news, users will find a setting that allows them to control who is able to send them voice and video messages. The options now are Everyone, My Contacts, or Nobody.
There are additional controls that will let you choose specific people or groups, and of course, you can always convert audio messages in to text. The settings for all of this are in Settings > Privacy and Security > Voice Messages.
The last new feature for Premium users is an option to “share the experience with friends, family and coworkers by sending them a prepaid subscription for 3, 6 or 12 months – at a discount.” To do so, you can tap on the profile image of someone in a chat, then the 3-dot menu to “Gift Premium.”
These updates appear to be rolling out right away, as I’ve already seen the update on Android.
First Early Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Review Arrived
Of the two new Galaxy Watch 5 models announced, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the one we’re most interested in. Not only is Samsung marketing it as an “outdoors” watch for the active type, they also gave it “Pro” name, as if it packs a number of extra features over the regular model. We don’t have one in for review (we did order one) yet, so we’re doing that thing we often do with Samsung launches – looking elsewhere for early impressions.
Thanks to Ray from DC Rainmaker, one of the best at reviewing sports watches, we have a first early Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review to analyze. He took the watch for a run to test GPS and heartrate accuracy, as well as battery life. The video he posted also compares some features of the Watch 5 Pro to the Watch 5, in case we didn’t do a good enough job of that earlier in the week.
The takeaways from this early and not-at-all-final review, show that the new Compass feature might have some initial issues, GPS accuracy is not bad and performs far better than the Apple Watch Series 7, heartrate accuracy was quite good after a slowish start, and that GPS battery life is probably closer to half of what Samsung is advertising. Daily battery without GPS is likely closer to 2.5 days vs. the 3.5 days advertised. Again, these are all early, first look numbers that could change over the coming weeks with more testing.
The video also dives into “Pro” features here and laughs a bit at what that even means because there aren’t really any pro features when you compare to other outdoor-focused sports watches. And I would tend to agree with that. In fact, Tim and I were joking earlier in the week about Samsung’s forced “outdoors” push for this watch, when almost nothing about the watch makes it better for outdoors than other Samsung watches except for GPX support and backtracking when navigating. These are not “pro” features and the rest of the watch is just the same as the Watch 5. It’s just silly branding.
Anyways, we’ll have our Watch 5 Pro soon enough and will do out own testing. If you were trying to decide now to get in on this awesome pre-order promo ($50 credit, free Charger Duo, and $240 off trade-in) , give the video below a watch.
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