Wednesday, June 19, 2024

It’s the end of an era for Samsung smartwatches

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Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (left) alongside the Galaxy Watch 3 (right)Andy Boxall/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

For the longest time, Samsung smartwatches have run on Tizen, starting with the Samsung Gear 2 in 2014. Since then, every Samsung smartwatch up until the Galaxy Watch 4 has run on Tizen. With the Galaxy Watch 4, Samsung joined the rest of the Android smartwatch industry by adopting Wear OS. Now, after a decade of having released its first Tizen smartwatch, Samsung is getting ready to sunset Galaxy Store support for Tizen smartwatches in 2025.

According to the translated screenshot posted by Reddit user Seaweed_Maximus, the Galaxy Store will stop selling paid Tizen watch content by September 30, 2024, and will stop allowing new downloads of free Tizen watch content by May 31, 2025. Services related to the watch will stop everywhere except in the My Apps section of the Galaxy Store. On September 30, 2025, downloads of existing purchased items on the My Apps page will end.

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The list of Tizen watches that will lose support includes the Galaxy Watch Active 1, Active 2, all the Galaxy Gear smartwatches, Galaxy Watch 1, and Galaxy Watch 3. In other words, all Galaxy watches released before the Galaxy Watch 4 in August 2021 are being cut off. The Watch 4 and subsequent smartwatches like the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic won’t be affected since they run Wear OS rather than Tizen.

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This has been additionally confirmed by the Samsung Developer portal, which now has a message confirming the discontinuation of Tizen-based smartwatch apps. Going forward, new Watch apps will be distributed through the Google Play Store (outside of China, which doesn’t have access).

A message confirming Tizen’s discontinuation Samsung

It’s never a great feeling when a device you’re still using loses support, but to put it into context, the most recent Tizen smartwatch was the Galaxy Watch 3, released in 2020, so it’s about four years old at this point. When it first came out, we rated it a solid four stars and recommended it as the smartwatch to buy if you owned an Android phone. Our reviewer, Andy Boxall, liked the innovative rotating bezel and the overall functionality of the software, writing, “Tizen on the Galaxy Watch is refined and mature, and is considerably closer in usability to WatchOS than it is to WearOS.”

With this in mind, you’re likely overdue for an upgrade if you’re still rocking it. You can probably hold off for another year since core Tizen services will continue to function till 2025, and you’ll still be able to access some of them until September 30, 2025, on the Galaxy Store.

If you decide it’s time to spring for a newer smartwatch, we’re expecting the Galaxy Watch 7 to launch alongside Samsung’s newest foldables at the next Galaxy Unpacked event, which is rumored to be held in Paris in July. Once announced, we’re likely to see some good bundle deals for the new foldable and smartwatch, along with a price cut to clear out stock of the Galaxy Watch 6 and 6 Classic.

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