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.

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.

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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.

Widgets

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.

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.

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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

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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

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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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