Samsung’s current crop of smartwatches are designed to pair with your Samsung phone or tablet to display notifications on your wrist, act like a remote control for your media player, and let you start a phone call without taking your phone out of your pocket, among other things.

But Samsung may be preparing to launch a smartwatch that lets you do all of those things without a phone.

Rumors of a Samsung Gear 2 Solo have been making the rounds for weeks, and now a device by that name has shown up in India.

Samsung Galaxy Gear 2

The Gear 2 Solo has the model number SM-R710, and if the rumors are to be believed, it’s basically a wearable smartphone. While it’ll probably have a user interface similar to that of the Samsung Gear 2 or Gear 2 Neo smartwatch, this model is expected to have a SIM card slot and cellular capabilities.

That would let you make calls, send and receive text messages, and possibly access internet services without carrying a separate phone.

It seems to be priced at about $200 wholesale in India, which means it will likely cost more than that when it hits retail availability.

via SamMobile, BGR, and MakTechBlog

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18 replies on “Samsung Gear 2 Solo could be a smartwatch that makes phone calls”

  1. I’m curious about how hot it will get while making a call. That’s a non-negligible amount of heat generation, and not a lot of free surface area for dissipation. If you’re walking and swinging that arm while calling, you get the advantage of forced convection over the top surface, but what if you’re just sitting or standing somewhere?

    1. i wonder if this might work better as a pendant hanging from a chain or a lanyard? it seems that the size and shape of the wristwatch could be adapted to other types of clothing or jewelry that wouldn’t be pressed flush against the skin.

    2. A valid concern, considering the 1st gen Gear received a few complaints about getting too hot when recording video.

  2. As long as they can figure out how to make the battery last all day this would be great.. some kind of kinetic energy charging system maybe… body heat to electricity.. something.. anything..

  3. What a horrible idea. It is already very clear that the best smart watches are the simple, and passive ones. They just need to provide notifications, and they only need to be a companion to your smartphone. Samsung already fell on their face with the Galaxy Gear because they tried to make it something that they shouldn’t have.

    Samsung needs to stop thinking “What is the most amount of unique features we can possibly cram into this device, nevermind the fact that they are completely useless to everyone, the only thing that matters is that we do it before Apple does”.

    Sometimes I just think that Samsung is only making electronic devices for the purpose of having a feature in the market, so when Apple needs to include it out of necessity, they will either get royalties, or settlements. Its kinda like your immature little brother who licks things to claim them.

    1. good thing that you are not in product development then. I very much want a smartwatch that is standalone, which makes a whole lot of sense in situations where I want to remain communicated, but neither want to whip out a smartphone, nor transport a smartphone anywhere on my body, or have a data connection to a smartphone that is too unstable. Which all applies to situations where someone is on the move (i.e. on the bike, running, swimming, windsurfing) or generally can’t be arsed to dedicate their whole attention and hands to a brick of glass and metal, like all those tools you see everywhere in public who are up to their ears immersed into their smartphone universe. There are people who live their lives outside of offices and cars and who want to experience their surroundings and, to us, a dominating and demanding smartphone screen is already too big. We need connectivity and information, without the bloat and the footprint.

      1. Amen! Something with a small footprint and limited capability (little screen) like a smart watch would force us to enjoy LIFE, instead of stare at a device and type away all day. I would think it’d be annoying/difficult to be on facebook for hours on this thing. That’s a plus.

        1. well, facebook definitely has its upsides, I just don’t need it when I am sitting on my bike. My phone’s resting on my triathlon-handlebars as a navigation-thingy, that’s all that does while I’m out.
          Then, maybe in the evening, sitting in a hostel or in front of my tent, I might post my exploits and photos of the day to facebook, but for making a phone call, all I need is a number pad, a bluetooth headset, and some sort of connectivity. And if I can stuff in LTE or whatever, I might also check my e-Mail from time to time. Call me old-fashioned, but I’ll just do facebook, or surf the web, or play Angry Birds (well, actually, I don’t, but let’s just assume for the example’s sake) when I cannot run into things, or get run over by them. Which is not limited to the great outdoors, but all interactions on a social scale and in traffic.
          Also, maybe “force to enjoy LIFE” is also a bit harsh, because whoever needs forcing, is beyond hope.

    2. That’s a horrible argument. How many of us would like to go jogging, cycling, shooting hoops, etc., without that smartphone flapping around our active wear pockets? I think the majority of us do. Yeah, there’s the armband, but it’s terrible, it slides off, it puts pressure on your arms, and it can still be smashed by a basketball. Leave it on the side of the court? Right. Let’s just leave it all there and have it swiped by some bum while you’re in the heat of your game. Wear a fanny pack? Not a bad idea if this was still the 90’s. Don’t bring your phone? Well, guess you’re not calling anybody then.. even if you’ve injured yourself on a bike ride 100km away from home.

      Just because you can’t find a use for it doesn’t mean the rest of the world can’t.

      1. Perhaps I should have expanded on my argument regarding why I think the original Galaxy Gear was terrible. Absolutely everything on it was a compromise. The camera integrated into the strap meant you cant change the watchstrap. The excess of features left it with a 24 hour battery life. To me, owning it sounded like a chore, more than a convenience. My Pebble Steel suits my needs perfectly.

        Regarding your desire for a do-it-all smartwatch, let me get this straight (allow me to apply my reasoning to your proposed needs). Do you really value your ability to text message people while playing basketball, enough that it is worth the initial cost, surcharge on your wireless bill (for a 2nd device), and the need to charge it nightly? Nevermind the fact that most phone providers don’t have the ability to let you share a number between 2 SIMs. If you want voice/sms, you might have to live with an extra number. I know I’m making this sound ridiculous, but it really begs the question: how far does Samsung think people will go to fill in every technology-void gap in their lifestyles?

        Its clear that I am not their target demographic for this product, so excuse my cynicism. And I’m not trying to turn anybody off this device, I just see another failed attempt from Samsung. I feel it will attract wishful-thinking tech nerds, and end up disappointing in the long run.

        1. No I dont need to text while I’m playing hoops, but I’d like to be able to make calls after i’m done and when I’m on my way home. Do you never go for a jog or a ball game? You would understand the inconvenience of bringing a phone if you do.

          Pebble sounds like the pretty useless device to me. It’s a watch that relays information from your phone.. without your phone, it’s just a watch.

          1. I leave my phone in my car if I’m ever going somewhere, and it’s impractical to carry my phone. If I bike somewhere (like the gym), it stays in my bag, in a locker.

            I can’t imagine a situation where I’m going somewhere that I don’t want to carry a phone, but yet there is nowhere safe to keep it.

          2. I don’t want people calling me while jogging. I’m sure as hell not going to answer.

            I’m also sure as hell not buying a $200 device to facilitate people calling me, and paying a $10/mo charge to share my voice/data plan with it.

            If I had an burning desire to carry a mobile phone while I exercise, my solution to the problem would be to find an arm-band holder for my phone. Not to buy another phone entirely. It just sounds like too inconvenient of a solution to me.

            After thinking about it some more, it seems to me Samsung must be pitching this as a Primary device for customers.

            I can think of a few people who would make good use of the device as a primary device. For example a few of my friends work for the local Hydroelectric power company, and they climb huge powerline structures, and spend a few hours up there. But then again, a Bluetooth headset suits them just fine.

          3. I said it before, it’s not about while you’re doing the activities. It’s about before and after. You can choose not to get calls while you’re jogging by not bringing your phone, but what do you do when you need to look up bus times to transit home, to call to meet up with friends after your jog?

            I mentioned the issues with the armband, I use it now because that’s the closest thing but it certainly can be better.

            Again, just because you wouldn’t spend $200 to buy another device + another plan doesn’t mean others won’t. I know too many people with two phone numbers.

          4. In today’s society of instant gratification, I think a smart watch like this is great. It makes going online or checking facebook a DESTINATION instead of a WAY OF LIFE. It allows us to experience reality for what it is, because who in the world would want to stare at a tiny tiny screen. It’d make me experience what’s before me and wait till I get home to go into facebook. It’d allow me to experience boredom, which is where the mind opens up and becomes creative. I think a phone like this would by nature be more limited in it’s capability compared to a full smartphone, which is not bad at all–it’d help us really live.

          5. I can see the use for a standalone smartwatch, but I can certainly accept the downfalls to this, in particular the need for a 2nd sim card. I’ve been looking for a watch I can use for sports that runs android and has the ability to stream music via bluetooth and at the same time track my run/bike ride via gps. I’d also like it to have a camera so I can take.pictures while I’m at it. The neptune pine seems to tick all the boxes. Some people are intending to use it as their primary phone but for me it’s too chunky and under powered. One solution I’ve found is to use a sports bum bag (fanny pack). The one I use is a slimmed down version, fits my galaxy s4 zoom perfectly and is barely noticeable when it’s on.
            I can also pair the s4 zoom to my galaxy gear which is handy.

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