SAMSUNG HAS UNVEILED the Samsung Gear S, its next-generation smartwatch that can make and receive calls with its own 3G connection.
The Gear S is Samsung's first standalone smartwatch. Samsung said it will "deliver the most advanced wearable experience yet" by integrating 3G connectivity for the first time, since users don't have to rely on the internet connection of a smartphone linked to the watch via Bluetooth.
The Korean firm said, "The device offers a new and powerful wearable experience with 3G network connectivity, giving users the freedom to carry out their day-to-day lives without interruption, allowing them to be active whilst always being able to access their smartphone information."
The Samsung Gear S features the usual Gear connectivity capability of Bluetooth along with the addition of a 3G network and WiFi connectivity to liberate the watch from the shackles of a connected phone and let users make and receive calls directly from their wrists.
"The device lets you enjoy seamless communication by freely switching between connections, automatically connecting and synchronising information once it is paired to your smartphone," Samsung added.
The Samsung Gear S boasts a curved 2in Super AMOLED screen with 480x360 resolution embedded in a flexible and interchangeable wrist band. Samsung said it has incorporated such features as conversation view and condensed font, which mean users can read messages and notifications in a single glance.
The smartwatch is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and has 4GB of storage, running Samsung's own Tizen wearable operating system (OS) fuelled by a 300mAh battery. Samsung claims users will receive around two full days of typical usage from the watch, but after our experience with the original Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which promised the same thing, we won't hold our breath.
As well as the Gear S, Samsung also announced the Gear Circle, an accessory that works alongside its smartwatches so users can listen to music, make more private phone calls and issue voice commands without needing to shout at the watch. It pairs with a smartwatch or smartphone over Bluetooth and features a magnetic closure that clasps around the user's neck when not in use. There's also a vibrate function to signal incoming calls and notifications.
Both the Gear S and Gear Circle wearables will be available sometime in early October in global markets, but Samsung said that UK availability will be announced "in due course". The firm hasn't announced pricing yet.
We can expect to get a closer look at the devices at IFA next week, so check back then for a hands-on review. µ