Although the number of Google partners to join the Android Wear game seems to be growing by the day, Samsung refuses to abandon the Tizen ship, taking the wraps off its first ever wholly independent wearable device, the Gear S.
Yes, the name Gear Solo had a much nicer ring to it. And we were bound to appreciate more a SIM card-equipped smartwatch with on-board Android Wear rather than another futile, clunky Tizen-based effort. Also, Samsung’s stubbornness to keep things rectangular while Motorola and LG have embraced the rounded life is beyond illogical.
But overall, the just-unveiled Samsung Gear S is still a more than welcome upgrade over the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo or Gear Live. It’s larger than all three, and thicker, which is not great news, but the 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display gives it a nice, distinguished vibe.
Just don’t expect something resembling in any way a conventional, “dumb” wristwatch. In fact, Sammy avoids calling the Gear S a smartwatch, instead going with the safer, more pompous “smart wearable” label.
Assuming you’ll move past the inherent awkwardness of slapping this big, curvy, geeky gadget on your wrist, you should rejoice when discovering a wide array of built-in sensors, as well as a trio of connectivity options.
There’s Bluetooth for seamlessly synching the thing with a compatible smartphone, Wi-Fi for browsing the web on the go, and most importantly, 3G for making and receiving voice calls even when not hooked up to a secondary handheld.
Neat, huh? Too bad Samsung is all secretive about the standalone wearable’s pricing, which can’t be a good sign. Especially as the Gear S essentially ticks all boxes to fall under high-end smartwatches. Beefy dual-core processor? Check, with 1 GHz clock speed. 512 MB RAM for breezy multitasking? Check. Decent battery life? They say two days on “typical usage”, though I’d expect a little less, since the juicer is 300 mAh large.
Plenty of storage space to go around? 4 gigs should be more than enough. And yes, the Gear S is even swim-ready, thanks to IP67 certification for water and dust protection. In a nutshell, you’re looking at the perfect smartwatch, save for software and design.
Expect further information, including cost-related, at next week’s IFA expo. By the by, Berlin should be the official launching stage for the Gear Circle too, which I’m afraid ain’t a round Gear S counterpart. Just a pair of nifty little wireless earbuds that awkwardly doubles as a… necklace, and can sync with a smartphone via Bluetooth to perform a bunch of tasks like listening to music or signal incoming calls and notifications through the powers of vibration. But why?
Source: Samsung Mobile Press