Their low autonomy remains, today, one of the main drawbacks of connected watches (Xiaomi Mi Band type fitness bracelets last longer). This is due to the fact that the manufacturers cannot equip these watches with large batteries which would spoil the design. The more sophisticated the product, the more energy it is likely to consume.
To solve this problem, Samsung has already considered using… solar energy. This is indicated by an article recently published by our colleagues from Android Authority, who relay a publication from LetsGoDigital.
The article mentions a Samsung patent that describes small solar panels placed on the strap of a watch to power the battery. The document was reportedly submitted in 2019, but was only recently released to the public. This suggests that Samsung has been working on this solution for years.
So, soon, connected watches using solar energy?
First of all, it should be remembered that the existence of this patent does not mean that Samsung will offer this functionality on a commercial product. Companies the size of Samsung have a very significant amount of intellectual property, and not all of it is used.
On the other hand, as Android Authority notes, there are also many constraints to take into account. These small solar panels won’t necessarily be enough to charge a smartwatch battery, and in some cases they might be completely unnecessary (for example, if the user is indoors all the time). There are also design constraints that could deter Samsung from equipping its watches with solar panels on the bracelet.
Note, however, also that there are already products of the same type that use solar energy. This is for example the case with the “fēnix 6X – Pro Solar Edition” watch from Garmin.
For the moment, it is therefore impossible to say whether or not Samsung will exploit this idea. But in any case, it should be remembered that currently, a major transformation is underway for Samsung watches and for the Android ecosystem. Indeed, this year, Google and Samsung have decided to merge their Wear OS and Tizen platforms in order to combine the advantages (which will make it possible to have better competitors of the Apple Watch).