Samsung wants to use physical hands to boost Galaxy Watch 2 battery life

The most advanced smartwatch might use some of the oldest technology available

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung is considering adding physical hands to its follow-up to the Galaxy Watch in order to extend battery life, according to the latest patent filed by the company.

If that feature sounds at all familiar, it's probably because rival firm LG included the same hybrid design that combines analogue hands with a digital display on its all-new Watch W7, which launched October 14, 2018.

According to the patent, Samsung envisages using a circular display on its new smartwatch, similar to those seen on previous wearables from the company.

Based on the drawings included with the patent, it's unclear whether the Galaxy Watch successor will boast a rotating bezel around the display. Samsung introduced this mechanism, which is used to navigate around the operating system, in the Gear S2 and has become a staple of its smartwatch range ever since.

Like a traditional timepiece, the analogue hands will be used to tell the time. This will conserve battery life on the smartwatch and should keeping it running for longer.

For comparison, Apple Watch Series 4 does not offer the ability to keep the display permanently illuminated to always show the time because of the devastating impact it would have on battery life. Samsung has offered this feature in some of its previous efforts, but battery life always suffers and is therefore never set by default.

According to the patent, Samsung plans to include two modes on the wearable, dubbed smartwatch mode and analog mode, powered by two separate batteries.

The Galaxy Watch successor could also feature an inbuilt camera. This is something Samsung has experimented with in the past with the Galaxy Gear 2, launched in April 2014, which included a small camera to take photographs from your wrist.

Unlike the Galaxy Gear 2, the new patent describes the camera being fitted into the bezel at the top of the screen, presumably for video calls from your wrist.

It's worth noting that technology firms patent a swathe of different designs and features that never make it into final products. While it's undeniable that Samsung is looking into the possibility of adding physical hands to its next smartwatch, it's no guarantee that we'll ever see a hybrid design Galaxy Watch hit shelves.

So, we'd recommend taking this with a healthy pinch of salt, as exciting as the prospect of receiving video calls from your Galaxy Watch à la Dick Tracey really is. 

Aaron Brown

As a former Staff Writer for T3, Aaron writes about almost anything shiny and techie. When he’s not barking orders at Alexa-powered microwaves or gawping at 5G speed tests, Aaron covers everything from smartphones, tablets and laptops, to speakers, TVs and smart home gadgets. Prior to joining T3, Aaron worked at the Daily Express and and MailOnline.