Which smartwatches will receive Wear OS 3

Google has clarified some of the (many) perplexities about Wear OS 3, the revision of the operating system for wearables designed alongside Samsung

During Google I/O 2021 last May, Google announced Wear OS 3, the operating system designed for smartwatches derived from the green robot, the subject of a real revolution that has gone beyond what the trivial numbering change from Wear OS 2 to Wear OS 3 suggests.

Google has worked alongside Samsung to overhaul the operating system and optimize it like never before. The fact that Seoul has decided to put aside the Tizen operating system, developed in house some time ago to equip various products including Korean wearable devices, gives an idea of the importance of the work done, and at the same time loads of expectations for users and insiders regarding Wear OS 3. Due to the scope of the innovations that the OS by Google and Samsung should introduce, since the official announcement we've been wondering if the smartwatches already on the market had the capabilities to put Wear OS 3 into motion, and the fact that companies like Fossil and Mobvoi weren't clear about their update plans only gave strength to these doubts.

Only three smartwatches will receive Wear OS 3

Doubts that now, with hindsight, we can say were justified. Google took the floor recently confirming the fears: the current smartwatches that will receive Wear OS 3 are on the fingers of one hand. And not only that, there are even two left: only TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular/LTE and TicWatch E3, all manufactured by Mobvoi, will receive the update to the next OS.

Google has hinted that both Mobvoi and the Fossil group will launch new smartwatches - Fossil, moreover, has made it clear in the last few hours, "they'll be here by the end of the year" - that won't have Wear OS 3 just out of the box, but for which the update will be optional.

It's hard to explain such an anomalous picture, with only three models among the many on the market to receive the update and others coming out that won't have Wear OS 3 from the factory. And even Google in its communications could have been clearer: products that won't come natively with Wear OS 3, Google said, could have repercussions on the user experience.

It's not clear whether it could be missing features or revisable performance, but more information is needed on the matter so that users make an informed choice: Google has promised that when the time comes it will give all the necessary information. However, if you were to flip a coin on one of the two possible explanations, it would be more likely to end up on the revisable performance.

Wear OS 3 might require a lot of power

The lowest common denominator among the three TicWatches mentioned by Google that will receive Wear OS 3 is the chip: all of them have Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 4100, so it's possible that previous generations of the American chip for wearables don't have the "strength" needed to handle the new OS without huge fatigue.

It will all become clearer later, and of the rest of the time there is some: Wear OS 3 will not arrive before June 2022, however, Google has held to specify that those who decide to stay with Watch OS 2 will still receive security updates and some functional innovations.