Samsung has been making wearables for the better part of forever, but like all companies that make money off hardware sales, it can only offer support for so long. Now it looks like Samsung may be ending support on upcoming 2021 smartphones for some older Gear wearables — including the Galaxy Gear 2 and Gear S.
A notification appearing in Samsung's Members app states that five Gear watches will not be compatible with Samsung phones released in 2021 and after. The Galaxy Gear, Galaxy Gear 2, and Galaxy Gear 2 Neo are among the affected devices, as well as the Gear S and Gear Fit.
Users with these wearables should be able to continue using them in conjunction with current Samsung phones, but if you want to switch to the S21 lineup or another new Samsung phone released in 2021, you may have to upgrade more than just your phone in order to have a fully-functioning smartwatch on your wrist.
Drawing the line cutting older devices off from phones released in 2021 feels a little arbitrary when the Galaxy Wearable app required for the watches can presumably be updated and still work as usual on newer phones. There might be some sort of technical explanation for Samsung's decision here — or it might just be a little extra encouragement to pick up a brand-new watch this holiday season.