Samsung Plans New 'Premium' Smartwatches, Alongside Galaxy Ring

The tech giant says it's expanding AI efforts to wearables and more.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
3 min read
Photo of a smart ring

The Galaxy Ring, like its competitor, the Oura Ring, will offer many popular health sensors without a screen.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Typically, when consumers hear about a new product before an official announcement, it's because of a rumor or leak. This time, Samsung decided to preannounce a new "premium" smartwatch in addition to its upcoming Galaxy Ring wearable, tucking the news into its quarterly earnings report for investors.

The Korean tech giant said Tuesday that it's planning to expand its artificial intelligence efforts, called Galaxy AI, to include "new flagship products," including the Galaxy Ring. The company added that for smartwatches, it hopes to "meet demand for upgrades through the launch of new premium models."

Watch this: Samsung Galaxy Ring: Our First Glimpse of Samsung's Health-Tracking Wearable

Samsung representatives declined to comment. 

The company is widely expected to hold a product announcement event in July, during which it will reportedly announce its next-generation foldable, the Galaxy Z Fold 6.

Read more: Best Samsung Phone of 2024

Samsung's move to announce a premium smartwatch alongside its upcoming Galaxy Ring underscore how the company is hoping to innovate with a lineup of devices, meant to complement its well-reviewed Galaxy line of phones

The company has been telegraphing its plans for some time. Samsung VP Hon Pak called the Galaxy Ring part of the "many steps towards multi-device engagement," in an interview with CNET's Lisa Eadicicco in January. Another term for it though could be an ecosystem, much like Apple has built around its iPhones with accessories like the Apple Watch wearable and AirPods earbuds. Much like Apple's App Store and iCloud services tie each of its devices together to complement one another, Samsung said it believes the Galaxy AI and other experiences will help connect its devices, too.

Read more: The Galaxy S24 Is Just the Start. Here's What Else Samsung May Launch in 2024

Samsung's expanding Galaxy line

Many companies have attempted to replicate Apple's ecosystem approach, with mixed results. Google's Pixel Phones are well-regarded, as are its Pixel Tablet, Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds, but the company has struggled to lure people away from similar devices from Apple or Samsung.

Aside from its Galaxy phones and tablets, Samsung also sells an Android-powered smartwatch, called the Galaxy Watch 6. The device earned praise from CNET's reviewers for its bright screen and easily swappable bands, while it was criticized for its inconsistent sleep and heart sensors. At $300, the device competes more directly with the Apple Watch Series 9, though, which starts at $399. 

Samsung's Galaxy Ring Finally Shows Up in Person

See all photos

Samsung's announcement of a premium smartwatch could mean plans for a competitor to Apple's version that features an upgraded stainless steel finish and crystal display, and which starts at $699. Samsung could also be planning to take on the $799 Apple Watch Ultra, which is marketed to extreme sports enthusiasts, but has also received praise for its durability, extended battery life and upgraded screen.

The Galaxy Ring, meanwhile, is designed to offer many popular health sensors without a screen, akin to products like the popular $299 Oura Ring. Samsung hasn't said much about the Galaxy Ring beyond preview demos with press and industry analysts, but it likely will appeal to people looking for more discrete health tracking. It could also be worn when watches are charging, such as at night.

Whatever Samsung's plan, the company will likely reveal more during its next product launch event, expected in July.

Read more: Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 6 Is Coming in July, Report Says