If you are like most Samsung Galaxy owners, you have heard about Bluetooth Low Energy in the marketplace. It goes by Bluetooth Low Energy, BLE, Bluetooth LE or Bluetooth 4.0. While your Samsung smartphone may have the hardware components necessary, the software pieces are not there. And as a result, any devices which uses that to communicate with your Samsung smartphone will not work. That is not a good situation given that the Apple iPhone has had and used Bluetooth Low Energy starting with the iPhone 4S which was released in October 2011. Since then, there was no Android device which could take advantage of the technology. And the numerous Samsung mobile devices were missing the value for taking advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy.
While Samsung has slowly caught up with adding the necessary hardware pieces, the phones have not been able to take advantage of BLE. You might ask why you would need BLE and the simple answer is battery life. Under Bluetooth 4.0, devices are going to require less power than previous versions and that will directly translate into longer battery life. The wireless connectivity to your smartphone does require the battery to handle the communication for various devices. Given that we have Galaxy smartphones that struggle to have a long enough charge to last all day, it is very important to make sure that we prolong battery life.
The big reason why you would want to have BLE is because of all the Bluetooth Smart Devices which can interact with your smart phone. As an example, the Galaxy Gear can interact with some Galaxy devices, but only those that have the latest version of the Android OS and the necessary hardware built into the phone. Samsung has been marketing the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear as a package because the Galaxy Note 3 can leverage Bluetooth 4.0. And the Galaxy Gear communicates with the Galaxy Note 3 via Bluetooth Low Energy. You can get more information about the technical aspects from the link above.
Prior to this, wireless headsets had a tendency to help drain your smartphone battery much faster than we would like. Newer models using Bluetooth LE do not have a significant impact on battery life and have quickly become the standard, but for now they do cost a little more. The popular FitBit devices which help you to improve your fitness by monitoring and tracking rely on Bluetooth Low Energy. Samsung Galaxy mobile devices can interact with these and many more.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 have the necessary hardware pieces to support BLE when it was released, but it requires Android 4.3 to be able to use the Low Energy Bluetooth. The same applies to the Galaxy S4 and Note 3. The Galaxy Note 3 already has Android 4.3 OS and with that communication with the Galaxy Gear. The Galaxy S4 is currently getting updated with Android 4.3 allowing it to communicate with the Galaxy Gear as well. We expect the Galaxy S3 to be updated to Android 4.3 here in the US this month and with that, those owners can purchase and use the new Galaxy Gear and so many other devices which rely on the technology.