New Samsung smartwatch won't need companion phone

Aug 28, 2014 by Anick Jesdanun
New Samsung smartwatch won't need companion phone
This undated product image provided by Samsung shows the Gear S watch. Samsung unveiled the new Gear S, the company's fourth major smartwatch in a year, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Samsung)

With the holiday shopping season coming, Samsung and LG unveiled small improvements to their computerized wristwatches to try to sway shoppers.

Samsung's latest version can do more without a smartphone to go with it. LG's has a round screen. Apple is also believed to be working on its own smartwatch, and could announce it at a Sept. 9 event.

Smartwatches are another product technology companies can offer since many people already have smartphones and tablet computers. But companies have yet to make a strong case for why everyday consumers need smartwatches, especially when so far they have had little functionality without a phone nearby.

Samsung's new Gear S, the company's fourth major smartwatch in a year, will have 3G cellular connectivity so that it can receive notifications directly from social networks, calendars and other apps. The Gear S promises to offer turn-by-turn walking directions using mapping data from Nokia's Here service. It also promises to make and receive phone calls, though it's not clear how that will work without its own phone number.

For this watch, Samsung Electronics Co. is using a fledging operating system called Tizen rather than Google's Android Wear, which Google has promoted as a way for the same apps to work with watches from competing manufacturers. The new watch will have a screen that measures 2 inches diagonally, which is slightly larger than those on Samsung's previous watches. The display will be curved to fit better around the wrist.

Samsung on Thursday also unveiled a headset called Gear Circle.

Both products will be available starting in October, though the company didn't say whether they will be available in the U.S. then. Prices weren't announced.

LG Electronics Inc., meanwhile, unveiled a watch with a 1.3-inch circular screen—a departure from the rectangular design found in previous smartwatches from LG and others. Like the G Watch that came out in June, the new G Watch R will use Google's Android Wear system. LG said nothing about prices and release dates other than to say the watch will come out early in the fourth quarter.

Motorola also is expected to come out with a round-face smartwatch soon, the Moto 360, that uses Android Wear.

Explore further: South Korea's Samsung and LG unveil new smartwatches

4.8 /5 (9 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Samsung, LG launch smartwatches with new Google software

Jun 26, 2014

South Korea's Samsung and LG on Thursday launched rival smartwatches powered by Google's new software as they jostle to lead an increasingly competitive market for wearable devices seen as the mobile industry's ...

Recommended for you

China clears way for Apple iPhone 6 sales

10 hours ago

China has cleared the way for Apple to sell its latest iPhones in the key market by granting it a licence, the industry regulator said on Tuesday, after the US giant agreed to improve the security of users' ...

A Closer Look: Stream-box gaming is a mixed bag

Sep 29, 2014

As gaming consoles such as the Xbox and the PlayStation diversify into video, social media and other non-gaming apps, it seems only fair that streaming TV devices start nudging into gaming territory.

Turkey's Erdogan dismisses new iPhone: 'Same as the last'

Sep 28, 2014

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, known for his hostility to social networks and mobile technology, on Sunday brushed off the frenzy surrounding Apple's new iPhone 6, saying it was much the same as its iPhone 5 predecessor.

IT student seeks to help mitigate risks of Google Glass

Sep 26, 2014

As online data breaches continue to challenge companies' and consumers' trust in cybersecurity, UC information-technology major Marina Grebenshchikova is exploring the risks associated with ever-evolving ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Jimee
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2014
It has to start somewhere. With an integrated projector for screen and keyboard (holographic) and motion sensitive gesture control, who knows where it could go?