Samsung hoping hi-tech watches make market tick
Samsung has launched two new smartwatches in an effort to take control of the 'wearable' devices market.
The Galaxy Gear 2 and Galaxy Gear 2 Neo watches, available to buy from April, have web-connected 1.6-inch touchscreens that can run online apps through a smartphone connection. The devices, which come just six months after Samsung launched its first Galaxy Gear smartwatch, are seen as an aggressive attempt by the world's largest smartphone manufacturer to claim market leadership. Apple is currently developing a smartwatch, to be announced later this year.
The Galaxy Gear 2 includes a two-megapixel camera, while the slimmer Neo device has no camera. Both watches include fitness, calendar and productivity apps. They also incorporate a music player that can connect to wireless headphones. While the first Galaxy Gear smartwatch only worked by connecting it to Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 smartphone, the new models are compatible with several Samsung smartphones.
The new devices are the first smartwatches to run Tizen – a new operating system designed to be more flexible in running software and apps from a wider range of sources – and are expected to sell for around €300.
The new watches were announced at Mobile World Congress, the world's largest telecoms trade show in Barcelona. The event showcases future developments in mobile technology.