Samsung plans round, more stylish smart watch

The patent drawing of Samsung’s new rumoured smart watch.

Samsung Electronics will add more style to its upcoming smart watch as the new device is rumored to have a round watch face abandoning the rectangular display panel used in its predecessors.

According to industry sources on Sunday, the Korean tech giant aims to unveil the new circular smart watch, together with the new version of its flagship Galaxy smartphone, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from March 2-5.

"Samsung's new smart watch will look more like a traditional wristwatch to appeal to a wider group of customers," said an industry source declining to be named.

Samsung has put an enormous amount of time and money into designing the wearable device since the project, named "Orbis," started in October last year. As the name indicates, it is likely to have a circular face, while a rotating bezel ring around the edge will be used to navigate through menus.

Based on the patent drawing revealed by SamMobile, an online website specialised in Samsung news, the new watch will come equipped with a display that divides up like a pie chart to show the scheduler for one day.

The display is designed to show apps on the home screen ― either one at a time, or three depending on how quickly you rotate the bezel ring.

Even though detailed specifications, such as the resolution, processor and operating system, are little known, experts also predict that the watch could use Samsung's own Tizen OS instead of Google's Android Wear ― in line with the company's future strategy boosting its software power.

Another key feature of the new device will be wireless charging, considering some people are still avoiding a smart watch because of its short battery life. Currently, most competing smart watches, including those from Samsung, last a day on a single charge.

The smart watch market is expected to heat up this year. Apple is scheduled to launch an all-new Apple Watch in April, while traditional watchmakers like Swatch are also making a foray into the market.

Korea's LG Electronics, too, is likely to unveil the new model of its G Watch R at the MWC.

"When the smart watch market expands, it is likely to be segmented like the current smartphone market," said another industry source. "Samsung and LG need to set a specific target group for profitability."

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