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Samsung Gear S smartwatch revealed with curved display, 3G connectivity

Tom Morgan
28 Aug 2014
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Samsung sticks a SIM in a smartwatch to break ties with your smartphone, in the curved shape of the Gear S

It seems no-one is happy to wait until next week's IFA show in Berlin to reveal their latest wearables; at almost the exact same time LG was announcing the G Watch R, Samsung pulled back the curtain on the Gear S smartwatch. Unlike LG's Android Wear-powered watch, however, Samsung's latest is a stand-alone device with 3G connectivity.

Rather than opt for a circular display like Motorola's upcoming Moto 360, Samsung has instead used a curved rectangular screen. The 2in, 360x480 resolution AMOLED display is sharper than anything the company has used in a wearable to date, and curves to match the contours of your wrist.

Other features have been carried across from the Gear 2 and Gear Fit, including a heart rate sensor built into the back of the watch, IP67 dust and water resistance, 4GB of on-board storage for saving music tracks and the S health fitness tracking app for counting daily step totals and keeping a record of your exercise regime.

Powered by Tizen, the Gear S has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS and 3G for voice calls, emails and SMS messages. It's unclear exactly how the Gear S achieves its 3G connection, as there's no mention of a SIM card slot, but if you prefer to pair it with a handset you'll still be able to do so - as long as your smartphone is made by Samsung. The 300mAh battery should last roughly two days between charges, depending on how much you use the watch.

Samsung also announced the Gear Circle, a Bluetooth headset that can be paired with the watch (or a smartphone, naturally) for making calls, listening to music and making voice commands. When not in use, a magnetic clasp locks the earbuds into a clasp around your neck, which vibrates when you're recieving a call or notification.

"Samsung is leading the exciting and rapidly developing wearable category with continuous innovation that aims to enhance the lives of technology fans," Ines van Gennip, Samsung UK's Marketing Director of IT & Mobile, said of the announcement. "The Samsung Gear S is set to redefine the idea of the smart wearable device and the culture of mobile communication, enabling people to live a truly connected life anywhere, anytime."

Samsung expects the Gear S and Gear Circle to both be on sale in the UK from October onwards, although it isn't ready to set a specific date or reveal prices just yet. We're expecting to get a first look at both next week when IFA kicks off in Berlin.

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