Saturday 31 January 2015

Samsung enters smartwatch market with Galaxy Gear 2

Published 23/02/2014 | 12:18

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 07:  Samsung Galaxy Gear, a wearable device, is on display at the Samsung booth at the 2014 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 10 and is expected to feature 3,200 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Samsung Galaxy Gear

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 leadership in the smartwatch market. Apple is currently developing a smartwatch, to be announced later this year.

The Galaxy Gear 2 includes a 2-megapixel camera, while the slimmer Neo device has no camera. Both watches include fitness, calendar and productivity apps. They also incorporate a music player which 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 that is designed to be more flexible in running software an apps from a wider range of sources. Samsung's original Galaxy Gear smartwatch ran a cut-down version of Android.

No price has yet been announced for the watches. However, industry sources at Mobile World Congress say that the watches are expected to sell for around €300.

The new watches were announced at Mobile World Congress, the world's largest telecoms and mobile phone trade show in Barcelona. Almost 100,000 phone executives and media are expected to attend the event, which will showcase future developments in the mobile technology.

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