Samsung Gear S: Smartwatch Untethered

Samsung is taking the wraps off the Gear S with can send and receive messages or make calls without an accompying smartphone. There’s a 3G modem inside. While it may not be especially fast, it doesn’t require a Bluetooth-connected phone or WiFi.

It features a 2-inch AMOLED screen plus a dual-core 1GHz CPU along with GPS, heart rate and motion sensors. It’s powered by a 300mAh battery that Samsung says can last up to two days. It runs Tizen instead of Android Wear, with pedestrian navigation available from from Nokia’s HERE and support for Facebook.

In the run up to IFA next week Samsung is also bringing the Gear Circle headset that pairs with a phone over Bluetooth, letting users hear notifications, use voice commands or listen to music through the earbuds.

Meanwhile, LG’s G Watch, one of the first Android Wear devices, has a round smartwatch successor, the G Watch R. It needs to be tethered to a smartphone (via Bluetooth) for any voice communications.

The G Watch R’s key feature is its display, says The Verge, with a 1.3-inch Plastic OLED panel that takes up 100 percent of the watch’s round face. LG promises that it’s viewable in sunlight and clear from any angle. The screen rests in a stainless steel frame, and comes with an interchangeable calf skin leather strap. This device looks perhaps more like a normal analog watch.

It’s powered by Android Wear, so it offers the same Google Now-based experience. You’ll get notifications, easy access to notes and calendar and directions. It’s powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM, plus 4GB of internal storage. It has a heart-rate monitor, unlike the G Watch, plus a handful of health and fitness apps that should make the G Watch R a little more useful as a fitness tracker.

Motorola’s Moto 360, another round Android-powered smartwatch, will have a retail price of $249 and features a heart rate sensor and inductive charging system. The wearable will be introduced next week at IFA in Berlin.

Apple now plans to unveil a new wearable alongside the two next-generation iPhone on September 9, according to Re-Code. The new device will use of Appleā€™s HealthKit, a health and fitness platform, and Apple’s HomeKit, their new framework for controlling connected devices.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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