6 Samsung Rumors: From Galaxy Note 6 to a New VR Headset
Whether it’s brand-new flagship phones Samsung and LG or product launches from more overlooked brands like Acer, there are plenty of new gadgets making their debut each month. But even if you love hearing about new devices, it’s also fun to keep up with the rumors about products that aren’t quite ready for their moment in their spotlight. Read on to catch up on this week’s most exciting rumors about what Samsung has in the works.
1. Samsung is working on a standalone VR headset
Janko Roettgers reports for Variety that according to the opening keynote at Samsung’s developers’ conference, the company is working on a standalone virtual reality headset, which will incorporate positional tracking similar to the tech available on higher-end devices like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. The company is also considering the possibility of including hand and gesture-tracking.
Such plans would mean that Samsung would be competing against its current partner, Oculus, which developed the software platform that powers the Gear VR. But Roettgers suggests that Oculus and its owner Facebook could become “more of a platform operator,” leaving it to Samsung and other manufacturers to build Oculus-powered headsets. In that case, they’d all be competing against Google, which is reportedly working on a standalone wireless VR headset of its own.
In the meantime, Samsung will look to improve the Gear VR, its current virtual reality headset that uses its smartphones for display and computing. The company will also work on making it easier to publish content filmed with its Gear 360 camera or other 360-degree cameras with a VR Upload SDK, which will enable camera makers to add the ability to upload content to Samsung’s Milk VR service. Samsung hasn’t yet shared any timeline for its standalone VR headset, though it did say that features like hand tracking remain several years away in both Samsung’s devices and those by other manufacturers.
2. The Galaxy Note 6 may have a giant battery
SamMobile reports that according to the latest rumor, the Galaxy Note 6 could feature a 5.8-inch curved display and a huge 4,000mAh battery. According to a report from Dutch publication GSM Helpdesk, Samsung is considering both a flat and a curved display for its next Note flagship, and both options would feature Quad HD resolution. The curved display would reportedly be the same size as the flat display, and while Samsung will only be launching a single device as the successor to the Note 5, it’s currently undecided on which version it will release. SamMobile reports that a curved model seems “highly plausible,” since Samsung “wouldn’t mind pushing a form factor it has so beautifully perfected with the Galaxy S7 edge.”
The other interesting detail in the report is its suggestion that the Galaxy Note 6 could be powered by a 4,000 mAh battery. With the larger body of the phone, it wouldn’t be difficult to fit in a large battery, particularly if Samsung opts to make the Galaxy Note 6 thicker than its predecessor, as it did with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge in order to fit in a larger battery. The Note 6 is also expected to feature improved camera software, 6GB of RAM, Android N, 32GB of internal storage, and either Exynos 8890 or Snapdragon 823 chipsets.
3. The Galaxy Note 6 will get the same accessories as the Galaxy S7
SamMobile reports that the Galaxy Note 6 is expected to get the same accessories as the Galaxy S7. Since the release of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung’s accessories have become more premium and more useful, with new options like a keyboard accessory and a fast wireless charger. A source indicates that Samsung’s accessory lineup won’t change with the Galaxy Note 6, which will be compatible with the same optional accessories as the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. The accessory lineup that SamMobile reports is confirmed for the Galaxy Note 6 includes:
- G Grace LED Flip Wallet Case EF-NN930
- G Grace Leather Cover Case EF-VN930
- G Grace Screen protector ET-FN930
- G Grace S View Cover[Stand]_Case EF-CN930
- G Grace Backpack [WPC1.2_3.1Ah_IP68] Battery EB-TN930
- P Grace Kit [Lens Cover] ET-CN930DBEGAE
- P Grace S View Cover [Clear] Case EF-ZN930CYEGCN
The publication expects that other accessories, like the keyboard cover, to also become available for the Galaxy Note 6.
4. Gear Fit 2 and Gear IconX wireless earbuds are on their way
Samsung is reportedly preparing two new products in its line of Gear wearables, as Evan Blass reports for VentureBeat. Blass reports that according to a source who’s testing both items, Samsung is preparing a Gear Fit 2 fitness tracker and Gear IconX cordless, Bluetooth earbuds. The source didn’t share how much the devices will cost upon their release, or even when they’re expected to be released.
The Gear Fit 2, which is the sequel to 2014’s Gear Fit fitness wristband, will feature a 1.84-inch curved Super AMOLED display. The device is reportedly more curved and ergonomic than its predecessor, and the most important addition to the 2016 version is a dedicated GPS chipset, which will improve the accuracy of the device’s distance-tracking features.
The Gear IconX, for which Samsung trademarked the branding earlier this year, is a set of touch-controlled earbuds that are completely wireless. The earbuds are dust and water-resistant, and will be housed in a charging case. The earbuds, interestingly enough, double as a fitness tracker and a standalone digital music player. To play music, one of the earbuds features 4GB of storage, and the device’s touch controls are said to work similarly to those of the Gear Circle.
5. Gear S3 should arrive in the fall, and a ‘super-luxury’ Gear S3 next year
According to SamMobile, the Gear S3 smartwatch is expected to be unveiled in September, and a “super-luxury” version of the device will appear next March. Swiss luxury jeweler De Grisogono, which worked with Samsung on a limited edition of the Gear S2, has confirmed that it’s working with Samsung “to develop its next-generation smartwatch.” The limited-edition Gear S2 created with the jeweler features a rose gold bezel and more than 100 black and white diamonds, plus a price tag of about $15,000. While there aren’t many details about the Gear S3 available yet, Samsung is likely to unveil the device at the IFA 2016 convention in September.
As 9to5Google points out, the Gear S2 followed a similar path; it was announced and released in the fall, and the luxury model was launched the following March. De Grisogono claims that the watch sold out internationally, so it seems that Samsung’s next smartwatch is going to receive the same luxury treatment on the same timeline as its predecessor.
6. You may begin to see apps tailored to Samsung devices
Shara Tibken reports for CNET that Samsung wants developers to create apps that are tailored specifically to its devices, rather than generic Android software. The company is hoping that developers will tweak their apps to take advantage of features like the S Pen used with its Note devices, its Gear S2 smartwatch. But the biggest reason that Samsung has for developers to build apps specifically for its devices? The fact that Samsung is big, and the majority of Android devices on the market are made by Samsung.
Samsung doesn’t have a great reputation for software, and has had trouble getting developers interested in its own software products, ranging from its Tizen operating system to the Samsung Video Hub to Milk Video. The company held its first developers’ conference in 2013 as an effort to differentiate itself from all of the other Android manufacturers. Because it’s getting harder for manufacturers to differentiate their products based on hardware alone, Samsung needs developers’ help to give customers reasons to stay loyal to Samsung’s devices.