Samsung Gear S: Release date, specs and pricing

Smartwatch to include 3G & Wi-Fi as standard

Samsung's mission to establish a dominant position in the smartwatch market continues with the firm announcing its latest product, the Gear S.

The Gear S aims to mimic the look of a traditional watch with the inclusion of a curved 2-inch Super Amoled display (360 x 480). It's powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor, with 512MB of RAM and has 4GB of on-board storage.

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A key differentiator between the Gear S and other smartwatches is its wireless connectivity.

Many devices are restricted to Bluetooth, but Samsung has squeezed in 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities. This means users will be able to send/receive messages or make calls even when it's not paired up with a handset.

Other sensors include an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, ambient light, UV, barometer and heart-rate monitor.

A headset accessory known as Gear Circle will also be made available, allowing users to carry out voice commands or phone calls.

A report from SamMobile has suggested that the Samsung Gear S would be delayed until mid-November in the UK, thought to be due to manufacturers struggling to produce enough units of the device. No official reason has been confirmed. Pre-orders for the smartwatch began back in September.

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With Samsung shunning Android in favour of Tizen, the firm has had to draft in partners to help boost the feature set of the device.

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The Gear S will include turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation provided by HERE, a 24-hour news service from The Financial Times called fastFT', and have Facebook integration.

Health tracking

Health monitoring capabilities are used as a key selling point for smartwatches. The Gear S includes a heart rate monitor and GPS to track activity.

Samsung has pre-loaded its own S Health app, which is able to monitor steps and track calories. The Nike+ running app is also installed.

Battery life

A 300mAh battery pack powers the device. Battery life remains one of the biggest obstacles for smartwatch manufacturers - and the Gear S has an estimated uptime of two days with "typical usage" before it needs to be recharged.

Release date and pricing

The Gear S and Gear Circle was said to start shipping globally in October, though it has been rumoured that UK customers may have to wait unti November. Pricing is set at 340.

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