By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 28, 2014 07:45 AM EDT
Samsung finally put rumors to rest and officially launched its Gear S smartwatch with 3G connectivity, previously referred to as the Gear Solo.
While smartwatches are becoming quite common these days, the new Samsung Gear S has something that makes it stand out of the crowd: it's not just a companion device, it can make and take calls on its own thanks to its 3G connectivity.
This should go a long way especially for active individuals who like to go for a run or take a hike and want to stay in touch without having to carry a smartphone along with them. The second thing that sets the Gear S apart from its competition is that it runs Samsung's Tizen OS.
"Samsung is leading this exciting and rapidly developing wearable category through progressive innovation," JK Shin, CEO and head of IT & Mobile Communication at Samsung Electronics, touts in the press release on Thursday, Aug. 28. "The Samsung Gear S redefines the idea of the smart wearable and the culture of mobile communication. It will let consumers live a truly connected life anywhere, anytime."
The Gear S allows users to take or make calls without needing a smartphone, and can even send text messages, acting as an independent device. Nevertheless, the smartwatch can also serve as a companion device if users choose to pair it with a smartphone via Bluetooth. According to Samsung, all data will seamlessly sync between the two.
In terms of hardware specifications, the new Samsung Gear S doesn't bring many surprises. It packs a 1.0GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage capacity, and a 300 mAh battery. It remains to be seen whether that battery will be enough with the 3G connectivity on board.
One thing that did change for the better with the new Gear S, however, is the display. Samsung's latest smartwatch now sports a larger, curved Super AMOLED display measuring 2 inches, with a resolution of 360 x 480. Unlike LG, which chose to launch its new G Watch R with a circular form factor, the Samsung Gear S retains the rectangular design of its predecessor.
"The Samsung Gear S features a 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display, providing a richer view with a beautiful and easy-to-use user interface. It allows users to read messages and notifications at a single glance with features such as conversation view and condensed font. The Samsung Gear S's chic, curved design fits comfortably around the contours of the wrist, while its customizable screen options and changeable straps empower users to express their own taste and style," Samsung further touts.
As previously mentioned, the Samsung Gear S doesn't run Google's new Android Wear platform. According to Samsung, the Tizen OS powering its latest smartwatch has more than 1,000 apps available, at least for wearables.
In terms of availability, the Samsung Gear S is set to make its commercial debut this October "in global markets in phases," but the company has yet to provide pricing details or an exact launch date.