After the arrival of smartphone-dependent wearables like the Gear 2 and Gear Live, Samsung's smartwatch line is ready to step out on its own. Launching this October, the Samsung Gear S touts a rich display and 3G connectivity for using apps and getting notifications when your Android phone is nowhere near.
Touting Samsung's most stylish smartwatch design yet, the Gear S has a 2-inch, curved AMOLED 360 x 480-pixel display that sits atop a black or white rubber wristband. The device's customizable home screens are clever imitations of luxury watch faces, sporting digital hands and subtle, circular icons for battery level and notifications.
Like the Gear 2, you can pair the Gear S with your Android phone to make and receive calls from your wrist, as well as shout voice commands via S Voice. Unlike the Gear 2, however, the Gear S packs a SIM card slot, allowing you to connect to 2G and 3G networks when your phone is at home. Beneath the SIM card slot is a heart rate sensor, which can be used with the included S Health and Nike+ Running apps.
The Gear S is powered by a 1-GHz, dual-core CPU and 512MB of RAM, with 4GB of internal memory for storing songs and photos. The watch comes IP67 dust and water-resistant, and packs a 300-mAh lithium-ion battery designed to last two days on a charge.
Announced alongside the Gear S today (August 28) is the Gear Circle, a set of wireless earbuds that doubles as a smart necklace when rested on the user's neck. When connected to your Android device, the Circle (available in black, blue and white) can recognize voice commands and give the user a vibrating nudge when they're receiving the call.
The Gear S will be entering a soon-to-be-crowded smartwatch space, with devices like the Motorola Moto 360, Apple iWatch, LG G Watch R and Asus ZenWatch expected to also drop this fall. However, the Gear S's standalone capabilities could make it a winner. We expect to see both the Gear S and Gear Circle at IFA 2014 in Berlin, so stay tuned for our hands-on impressions.