While Android Wear is quickly becoming the dominant smartwatch platform Samsung is still experimenting with alternatives too and packing them with innovative features.
The company’s recent Gear Live is a standard Android Wear watch, but the newly announced Gear S runs Tizen. That’s no surprise in itself as it’s not the first time Samsung’s put Tizen in a smartwatch, but it does show that it’s not wholly committing to Android Wear.
More interestingly though the Gear S also offers 3G connectivity, meaning it can work as a standalone device, allowing you to continue to receive and respond to emails and social network updates even when it’s not paired to a phone.
In fact with the Gear S you can even make and receive calls straight from your wrist, so it’s a far more full-featured device than its Android Wear rivals.
Another interesting aspect of it is that it has a 2.0-inch curved display. It’s rectangular like the Gear Live and many other smartwatches, but it wraps around your wrist slightly, so it should sit more comfortably and stick out less despite the large screen size.
Its 360 x 480 Super AMOLED screen should also be fairly crisp and bright and with a 1.0GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM it’s set to be pretty powerful too.
The other specs are fairly standard for a smartwatch, including a 300 mAh battery which promises around two days of life, 4GB of internal storage and IP67 certification, so it’s dust and water resistant.
On the software side the Gear S includes health and fitness features such as S Health integration and Nike+ Running, both of which can track your activity using built in sensors. It also comes with turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation powered by HERE maps and a news service from The Financial Times.
By eschewing Android Wear Samsung may struggle to build interest in the Gear S, but a curved screen and 3G connectivity should certainly help.
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