We knew it was coming, but that doesn't make it any less weird to me. Samsung is now rolling out an update to the original Galaxy Gear that effectively removes Android, replacing it with the company's self-built mobile OS, Tizen (which is what the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit are all running). This immediately raises one question in my mind: since "Galaxy" is Samsung's branding for Android devices, will it just be called "Gear" moving forward? Something to ponder on your Friday morning.

But I digress, there's a good chance this is a smart move. Android simply isn't ready for wearables (in its current state, anyway). We're hearing that, while the updated interface looks very similar to the existing version, the update itself will bring about a several improvements in the performance and battery life departments. Changes like that are always welcome to most users.

An early look at Tizen on the original Gear

It's worth noting that this change will also wipe all user data from the device. Makes sense, as the OS is being completely replaced. Hard to retain that sort of information across platforms.

It's unclear whether or not this update will roll out OTA, but if you just can't wait for the swap, you can grab the manual update from SamMobile; if you'd prefer, however, it's also available via KIES right now.



Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Steve Freeman

    Does this mean (or at least indicate) that they're thinking about or planning on doing the same thing for their smartphones? If they copy as much as the interface as possible (and is legal), most people wouldn't even notice the difference. Or care. Other than people that visit this and similar sites, of course.

  • Konstigt2

    Looking at them booting, they are just called Samsung Gear/Gear 2.

    Wonder if it was different for the Gear "1" before this update?

    • Arch9

      yes, samsung remove "galaxy" name because it now doesn't run android anymore


  • mustbepbs

    Next headline:

    "Samsung Galaxy S5 leaves Android behind, now being updated to Tizen."

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      I wouldn't be surprised, actually

      • http://SammyToday.com Krzysztof Bryk

        you will not be, at the moment there is only one 'to release' deviec sm-z910f and sm-z9005 the rd-pq developer device. sm-z910f will be launched in russia, poland, germany, franec and uk afaik and only there

  • Bazar6

    Doesn't the Gear only work with their new {Android powered} Galaxy phones? I guess the two will still be able to talk to each other correctly, but still weird that they're not being kept on the same platform.

    And insinuating they'll drop "Galaxy" from Tizen powered devices isn't the only way they could go. Most people I know who are on Android are on a Galaxy, and they refer to their device as such (not "a Samsung, Android, S{X}, whatever, just Galaxy")... Samsung could run with it and keep Galaxy when switching to 100% Tizen, and most consumers who don't care about / pay attention to the OS will still buy it because the name is familiar, and they stick with the brand they're familiar with (Samsung Galaxy, and not think twice about {Brand A, Model B, Powered by Android}... at least that's my $0.02

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      "Doesn't the Gear only work with their new {Android powered} Galaxy phones? I guess the two will still be able to talk to each other correctly, but still weird that they're not being kept on the same platform."

      You realize that the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit are all running Tizen, right?

      • Bazar6

        Nope. I don't have one, and haven't really paid attention to the Gear line so far. Thanks for the heads up tho, guess that answers my question.

        • alfuen00

          In fact moving to Tizen opened the compatibility with more devices because the original galaxy gear was only compatible with devices with 4.3 or more (4 devices back in the release were only compatible with note3), now is compatible with at least 28 Samsung devices.

  • AbbyZFresh

    Poor Google. They shoud've extended Android Wear to include apps instead of being purely a notification OS.

    And soon Samsung will extend Tizen to phones, and it's all over.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson


      • David Cesarino

        My reaction exactly.

    • Pratik Holla

      Who wants full blown apps on a wrist?

    • saltyzip

      From my own perspective this makes me avoid Samsung products completely. My allegiance is with Google not Samsung, Google gave us this Brave New World and I'm not going to let Samsung try and walk all over it. HTC, LG and Sony rule in my books over anything Samsung produces.

    • Kcls

      They said full apps will be coming later in the OS's development cycle somewhere, I believe.

  • Moose

    Android Wear is going to mop the floor with these watches. I dunno what Samsung is thinking.

    • alfuen00

      Samsung is preparing a smart watch with Android Wear they already told officially to Korea Times, maybe the rounded one we see in patents this week, Samsung is just ditching Android in its Gear product line because at least for them Tizen works better than the stripped version of Android 4.2.2 used in thr original Galaxy Gear. And remember that Android Wear is not ready that's why Motorola and LG are holding and not releasing their products because they not ready at least today not.

  • GazaIan

    You know generally I wouldn't mind a Tizen based watched, but going from Android to Tizen is an annoying switch in my opinion. You scrapped all apps, all user data, for a platform that doesn't have nearly as much support yet. I think it would have been nicer to wait until the Gear 3.

  • deltatux

    Technically the data could have still be retained through the Tizen transition since ext4 works with all Linux devices since that's the current standard filesystem. However, the question now is, is Tizen retaining the same partition structure as Android? If not, then ya, I can see why you'll lose all your data.

  • JG

    "Android simply isn't ready for wearables (in its current state, anyway). "

    Which is why Google is releasing Android Wear soon (presumably at i/o next month). I wonder why Samsung decided to go with Tizen instead of just upgrading the watch from whichever JB/KK version it's using to Wear 1.0 (or whatever it's going to be called).... They could have had the OTA set to roll out the second Google announced it & be able to claim they were the first company to offer Android Wear gear. And it would keep the Galaxy name related to Android devices.

    • Matthew Fry

      I would guess they are moving the Gear line to be exclusively Tizen and starting over with something noticeably different and unencumbered with the legacy of the first 2 less than stellar offerings. Also, the Gear 1 might be too slow for Wear 1.0.

  • A2theC

    The real question is, will the new Gear line ever get (even unofficial) android, I really liked the galaxy gear but I like the hardware on the new line better.

    • http://SammyToday.com Krzysztof Bryk

      fun fact, the VR set made 'with' oculus will be called Samsung Gear VR =)

    • alfuen00

      Yes there are custom roms for gear 2