Samsung enters smartwatch market with Galaxy Gear 2
Published 23/02/2014 | 12:18
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.