Samsung unveils ‘world’s first’ standalone smartwatch

Independently connected Gear S capable of call-making without companion smartphone

Tags: Samsung Electronics CompanySouth Korea
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Samsung unveils ‘world’s first’ standalone smartwatch The 3G Gear S can stay connected, even when outside the Bluetooth range of a smartphone.
By  Stephen McBride Published  August 28, 2014

Samsung Electronics today unveiled its Gear S, a significant update to its wrist-wearable range that allows calls to be made from the device through inbuilt 3G connectivity, rather than having to rely on proximity to a parent smartphone.

GALLERY: Samsung Gear S

GALLERY: Samsung Gear Circle

Samsung launches the Gear S less than two weeks ahead of arch-rival Apple Inc's expected unveiling of its next iPhones, widely believed to include larger screens. Previous Gear models served as companion accessories, giving access to Samsung smartphone features by connecting to the handsets. The Gear S is thought to be the first wearable to deliver standalone smart functionality on the wrist.

​"Samsung is leading this exciting and rapidly developing wearable category through progressive innovation," said JK Shin, CEO and head of IT and mobile communication at Samsung Electronics. "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."

GALLERY: Samsung Gear S

GALLERY: Samsung Gear Circle

The Gear S comes with a curved 2-inch Super AMOLED display and flexible band, which is swappable. As with its predecessors, it allows users to read messages and notifications, but the S is fully connected and does not require a nearby smartphone to deliver these utilities. While still expected to have a relationship with a Samsung handset, users can reply to incoming messages using the onscreen keyboard; use S Voice functionality; make and receive calls with complete autonomy; or get calls forwarded from their smartphones.

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