3 features I want from the rumored Galaxy Watch FE

Samsung is reportedly working on its own answer to the Apple Watch SE as a way to offer the Galaxy Watch experience at an even lower price.

3 features I want from the rumored Galaxy Watch FE

Key Takeaways

  • Expect 2024 to be Samsung's year for wearables, with new Galaxy Watch models and the first smart ring on the horizon.
  • Samsung's affordable Galaxy Watch FE should focus on extended battery life and unique design options to stand out in the market.
  • Incorporating features like a skin temperature sensor could open up new health functions and make the Galaxy Watch FE a compelling choice.

It sure looks like 2024 will be the year of the wearable for Samsung. Setting aside the Galaxy Ring, which was announced in January 2024 and will be the company's first smart ring, Samsung is also reportedly working on as many as three different versions of its Galaxy Watch smartwatch.

3 features I want from the rumored Galaxy Watch FE

One of these new watches will presumably be the Galaxy Watch 7, the sequel to the Galaxy Watch 6. Another might be a new Galaxy Watch Pro, a smartwatch with a larger screen and battery Samsung first introduced alongside the Galaxy Watch 5. And the third, could be an all-new affordable Galaxy Watch FE.

They look and work similarly to the new phone, tablet, or wireless earbuds from a few months ago, just with tweaked specs to help lower the overall cost.

Samsung's Fan Edition (FE) branding is usually reserved for the more affordable versions of the company’s flagship hardware that it releases after its splashy launches. Think of them like Google's Pixel 7a, or in the case of the Galaxy Watch, like the Apple Watch SE. They look and work similarly to the new phone, tablet, or wireless earbuds from a few months ago, just with tweaked specs to help lower the overall cost.

It's not completely obvious what that will mean for a smartwatch, but here's what's known about Samsung's cheaper Galaxy Watch so far, and what I think it needs to be a success. Samsung's Fan Edition versions aren't always just flagship phones with cheaper internals, they often come with tweaks to the design, and in some cases, better specs than the fancier phones they're based on. The Galaxy Watch FE should ideally strike a balance between the two.

1 Battery life needs to improve

A bigger battery and longer life is a must

3 features I want from the rumored Galaxy Watch FE

Battery life is critical to a good smartwatch and having a long battery life while costing less would be the simplest way for the Galaxy Watch FE to feel like a deal. The current Galaxy Watch 6 starts with a battery capacity of 300mAh and is supposed to get up to 40 hours of battery life, putting it in the same two-day ballpark as Samsung's previous two smartwatches.

If the Galaxy Watch FE can launch with an even bigger battery that pushes that battery life closer to three days, that could really make it stand out.

3 features I want from the rumored Galaxy Watch FE

Samsung has opted to put bigger batteries in its Fan Edition smartphones more than once, so there's reason to believe that it could happen with its new smartwatch. For instance, the Galaxy S23 FE has a 4,500mAh battery in comparison to the original Galaxy S23's 3,900mAh battery. In terms of performance, those might end up being closer than how they appear because of the efficiency of the other components Samsung used, but what's maybe more important is that a larger battery can increase the lifespan of a gadget overall.

2 Updated watch styles, colors and design options

New colors and finishes would go a long way

3 features I want from the rumored Galaxy Watch FE

Most smartwatches look boring. The display is the star, so having fun and useful watch faces seems to be what most companies have focused on. The Galaxy Watch doesn't look bad by any means, but the graphite, silver, and gold color options the Galaxy Watch 6 is available in aren't particularly thrilling.

Why not a Galaxy Watch FE in green, or red, or blue? Why not finish that aluminum body in any way other than matte?

Samsung likes to have exclusive colors it only sells in its own store, and it's released new colors and finishes with Fan Edition smartphones that weren't available in the original release. Let the Galaxy Watch FE come in different colors.

Why not a Galaxy Watch FE in green, or red, or blue? Why not finish that aluminum body in any way other than matte? The variations of the Apple Watch that have been released are a good example of the kind of variety you can squeeze out of more or less the same smartwatch year after year. It's not useful, but it might be appealing to the kind of person who can't spend over $300 for a fancy smartwatch.

3 Include the skin temperature sensor

Would add greater health features and functions

3 features I want from the rumored Galaxy Watch FE

Samsung introduced a skin temperature sensor on the Galaxy Watch 6 which enabled features like cycle tracking for the first time and could be critical to future health features down the road. It seems highly unlikely Samsung would offer the same bundle of sensors on its cheaper smartwatch as it does its premium ones just in an effort to cut costs.

But the potential health inequities addressed by offering a cheap watch with at least one solid reproductive health feature shouldn't be discounted. Having more sensors leaves the door open to new software features that could further extend the lifespan of the smartwatch as well.

3 features I want from the rumored Galaxy Watch FE

FAQ

Q: What will the new affordable Samsung watch be called?

While it seems certain that Samsung plans to release some kind of affordable smartwatch this year, there's disagreement about what it might end up being called. WinFuture writer and leaker Roland Quandt claims Samsung will call this new watch the Galaxy Watch 4 (2024).

There's precedent for Samsung doing something like this. The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite was originally released in 2020, and Samsung just announced the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2024), which is the 2020 tablet with an updated processor and Android 14. The affordable Galaxy Watch could simply be a Galaxy Watch 4 with new internals.

However, Android Headlines claims the new smartwatch will feature the FE branding, which suggests a watch that might be a bit more substantial. Samsung is flexible when it comes to names, and the reality is, the visual changes to the Galaxy Watch have been so minor since the Galaxy Watch 4 that buying one in 2024 wouldn't necessarily make you look out of date.

Whatever the name, the general direction of these rumors suggests a smartwatch that looks something like a Galaxy Watch 4 or 5, with a round display, side buttons, and at the very least, the ability to track things like movement and heart rate. The details are where things get more interesting.

Q: When will the Galaxy Watch FE come out?

Last time Samsung announced smartwatches it was alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 on July 26, 2023. It would make sense that a Galaxy Watch FE being positioned as the cheap option in a lineup of wearable devices would be introduced at a similar event this year.

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