Samsung rumored to replace Android with Tizen on Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch

For more check out our full Samsung Gear 2 review.

Samsung is rumored to introduce the second generation Galaxy Gear smartwatch at Mobile World Congress next week, and the latest gossip surrounding its specification suggests it’ll be running the Tizen operating system, and not Google’s Android. This comes from a report published by USA Today, quoting anonymous sources supposedly familiar with Samsung’s plans.

Tizen is a joint project between Samsung and Intel, and although it has been pushed as a mobile OS, it’s also quite at home on other devices, including televisions and cameras. However, the OS has yet to make its public debut, and has suffered several delays. There was a further set back recently when Japanese network DoCoMo reportedly decided not to launch its first Tizen phone, and cancelled an event set for March.

Installing Tizen on the next Galaxy Gear could be Samsung’s way of showing the mobile industry the software is not only ready to go, but versatile too. Tizen uses universal HTML5 apps, and not those sourced from Google Play, which may persuade developers to write more software for the device. Using an essentially in-house OS could also be a way to reduce the price of the Gear 2.

Samsung’s use of Android on the existing Galaxy Gear has seen Google’s OS shoot to the top of the smartwatch charts, eclipsing the Pebble and Sony’s SmartWatch 1 and 2, both of which use their own operating systems. If Android is replaced by Tizen on the new watch – rumored to be a cheaper, better looking model – this statistic will rapidly change.

However, none of this information is official yet, and we don’t know for sure if Samsung will launch the Gear 2 at MWC next week. The USA Today’s sources say it will though. Samsung will be holding its first Unpacked event of 2014 in Barcelona on February 24, so if the Gear 2 is coming, we’d expect to see it announced there, potentially alongside the Galaxy S5 smartphone.

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