Galaxy Watch AI features may work with all Android phones; Samsung reiterates paid AI

Samsung announced more AI features coming to Galaxy devices this week, and it seems that the new Watch AI features may work on other Android phones, though the company is still hinting it may one day charge for AI.

Earlier this week Samsung unveiled several new AI features coming to the Galaxy Watch with the upcoming One UI 6 Watch update based on Wear OS 5. The new features are all heavily focused on health – no surprise there – but there are some interesting tidbits outside of the core announcement.

In a footnote in its announcement post for the upcoming Galaxy Watch AI features, Samsung yet again hints that Galaxy AI features will eventually be paid. Like in the past, the company says they’ll be free until “at least” the end of 2025.

Availability of Galaxy AI features may vary by device model. Galaxy AI features will be provided for free until the end of 2025 on supported Samsung Galaxy smartphone devices. Different terms may apply for AI features provided by third parties.

In the past, Samsung has used this same language, but refused to answer any questions about how paid Galaxy AI would work besides hinting it could be a little “more powerful.”

But another big question that rose from this week’s announcement was whether or not these new Galaxy AI features will work on Galaxy Watch if you’re not paired to a Samsung smartphone. It’s been pretty common for Samsung to lock some Galaxy Watch health features to users pairing the smartwatch to a Samsung phone. One of the biggest examples of that is ECG, which only works when paired to a Galaxy phone.

It does seem entirely possible that some of these upcoming Galaxy AI features for Watch could follow a similar path, but Samsung’s initial language leaves the door open to other devices.

In another footnote talking about the “Energy Score” feature, Samsung says that the feature is “available on Android phones” and requires the Samsung Health app, making no mention of a Galaxy device.

Available on Android phones (OS Android 10 or above) and requires Samsung Health app (v6.27 or above). Samsung account log-in is required. To check the Energy Score, the health data tracked from Galaxy Watch (Galaxy Watch4 or later released Galaxy Watch series) must be synchronized with the Samsung Health app.

Similarly, other footnotes about Wellness Tips and Aerobic/Anaerobic Threshold Heart Rate Zones only mention needing to connect to “Android phones.” The only feature that’s implied to only work with Galaxy phones is Functional Threshold Power, which Samsung specifically calls out as needing a “Galaxy smartphone” to be connected to a “power meter,” but “a more accurate FTP” only requires “an Android smartphone.”

To measure personalized FTP, Galaxy smartphone must be connected to a power meter. In order to calculate a more accurate FTP, it is necessary to connect the Galaxy Watch only to an Android smartphone.

We likely won’t know for certain which features truly require a Galaxy phone until Samsung launches these features in the coming months, but it does seem entirely possible that most of them will work for all Galaxy Watch owners.

Samsung will release these features in the One UI 6 Watch beta which will be available in June.

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