Samsung confirms next Gear watch will feature rotating bezel

Samsung has released new development tools for its forthcoming round-faced smartwatch, revealing a host of facts about the device in the process.

The newest Gear watch, codenamed Project Orbis, has long been rumoured to feature a rotating bezel, which will allow users to browse through the user interface and zoom in and out on objects. Thanks to the SDK tools released to app makers on Tuesday, we now know that’s true.

The SDK documents (via SamMobile) and accompanying images show how users can command the rotating bezel to move through lists, switch between screens (as pictured), alter the volume of music, type messages, change values like the timer, and to zoom in and out of images.

Judging by the new information, Samsung’s UI innovations certainly look like they’ll raise the bar for its wearable line, allowing it to better compete with the Apple Watch.

The SDK release also features some key specs. The next Gear will have a 1.65-inch circular display with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels at density of 305ppi – the highest of any Samsung watch to date.

It’ll also have Wi-Fi, Apple Watch-beating built-in GPS, cellular connectivity, a heart-rate monitor, pressure sensor and magnetic sensor. Naturally, there’ll be an accelerometer and a gyrometer to enable motion sensing.

While today’s SDK release doesn’t confirm which operating system the device will run, it appears almost certain Samsung will once again avoid Android Wear in favour of its home-brewed Tizen OS.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S6 review

We still don’t know exactly when Samsung will announce the next Gear smartwatch, but we’d expect it well before the IFA tech show which takes place in September.

The more we see, the more this looks like the wearable device that could change Samsung’s fortunes in the sector.