Not a huge fan of either Google’s Android Wear or Apple’s Watch? No worries, because Samsung has another solution.
This week, the company has pulled a minuscule set of covers off a project designed for your wrist, as Samsung has announced a follow-up to its Gear smartwatch ahead of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany.
“For the past several years, Samsung has pioneered and advanced the wearables category, bringing brave new concepts to the smart wearables market,” said Samsung’s JK Shin.
“The Samsung Gear S2 reflects Samsung’s most progressive innovation. It is the perfect complement for any occasion, easily taking you from day to night, from work to workout —and ensuring that you get more out of every moment in your day, by making it smarter and ultimately more personal and fun.”
Before we get stuck into this one, you need to know the basics, and that’s the fact that there are actually two models being announced, with the Gear S2 and the Gear S2 Classic, built and modelled for two different types of customers.
As such, Samsung points out that the regular edition is for people who like “minimal and modern design”, while the Classic edition is aimed at those “who prefer a more timeless watch design” with a black finish and leather band.
Beyond the names and cosmetic differences — black versus silver and leather instead of metal — the devices appear to be very similar, with an 11.4mm thin gadget sporting a 1.2 inch circular screen running a display of 360×360.
A dual-core 1GHz processor runs here with 512MB RAM and 4GB storage, and just to make things a little different, Samsung is running the same operating system as it uses on its TVs, with Tizen OS making an appearance, albeit in a wearable format, so a little different again.
Water-resistance and ruggedisation can be found here with IP68 certification, as well as support for WiFi, Bluetooth, and Near-Field Communication, but you might even find something particularly unusual about the watch, because Samsung is also throwing in support in some variants for an eSIM.
This is essentially a new variation of the SIM you’ve known for years, with a software registry that activates the device on a mobile network and doesn’t rely on a physical SIM card, so to speak.
With the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch relying on this technology, you could technically take it out on the run with you and still receive phone calls on it, even if you left your phone at home.
As for availability and pricing, Samsung hasn’t said much for Australia except to tell us that:
“We are very excited to confirm that the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch will arrive in Australia soon.
“The Gear S2 demonstrates Samsung’s commitment to being a pioneer in wearable device innovation and advancing our smartwatch category. In 2013 we launched our first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear and since then, we have seen Australians embrace wearable technology.
“The Gear S2 will provide our customers with a truly amazing smartwatch experience.
“We look forward to providing more details regarding local pricing and availability closer to the Australian launch.”
Or to put it simply, expect a launch of the Gear S2 smartwatch in the next few weeks, likely by mid-October. We’ll let you know when we know more.