Samsung is reportedly working on a smart watch capable of making standalone voice calls.
According to the English-language Korea Herald (hat tip to TechCrunch), the upcoming watch, which would initially be available only in Korea, would come equipped with a SIM card, much like a traditional phone. That SIM card would allow users to directly ring up buddies without first syncing the watch to a tablet or smart phone, as you must do with the Galaxy Gear and Galaxy Gear 2 devices.
The Korea Herald attributes its report only to sources "close to the matter." Samsung, unsurprisingly, isn't commenting. But it makes sense that eventually Samsung would launch a Dick Tracy-type watch-phone. As we noted last year, when Samsung launched the first Galaxy Gear watch, a lot of the criticism of the device centered around the fact that in order for users to take advantage of its most interesting features, the watch always needed to be tethered.
"It works better than I expected and does plenty of tricks to impress your friends and co-workers, like placing calls, displaying email and taking pictures and videos with a camera in the wristband," Brier Dudley, a reviewer for the Seattle Times, wrote. "But the Gear also feels a bit like a prototype – a work in progress that Samsung released early to build interest among app developers and beat its nemesis, Apple, to the punch."
In related news, Samsung has released a software development kit for the Galaxy Gear 2, a smart watch first unveiled back in February. The Gear 2 will run Tizen, a Linux-based operating system – a departure from the original Galaxy Gear, which relied on the Android OS.