The Samsung Gear S is real, and it’s a watch that’s also a phone

We’d been hearing rumors about Samsung releasing a standalone smartwatch, which was believed to be named the Gear Solo, and now it has actually come true. The new smartwatch is actually named the Gear S, and it comes with 3G connectivity, allowing the wearer to make and receive calls, or browse the Internet without the need to interact with, or be connected to, a phone.

What’s more, Samsung hasn’t simply stuffed this new functionality into a rehash of the existing Gear 2’s design, but has fitted the sleek looking (although quite large) Gear S with an attractive 2-inch curved Super AMOLED touchscreen. It has a resolution of 360 x 480, which should mean it produces crisper images than the Gear 2, and runs on a dual-core 1GHz processor.

Once again, Samsung has installed its own Tizen software, shunning the increasingly popular Android Wear platform from Google. Tizen hasn’t been a hit so far, but Samsung is seemingly dedicated to using it on its wearable devices, far more so than any smartphones. By popping in a SIM card, the Gear S provides complete control over your messages and calls, using either a 2G or 3G connection. Alternatively, it can still link up with your phone using Bluetooth, and it comes with Wi-Fi too.

Related: Read our review of the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch

All the usual notifications will come through to the Gear S, including those from your calendar and any connected apps, plus calls can be forwarded from your phone to the watch. Here Maps is onboard for navigation, while there’s also a host of fitness features too. These include Samsung’s own S Health suite, Nike+ Running, and a built-in heart rate monitor. A total of 4GB memory joins 512MB of RAM, and the 300mAh battery is said to last for two days before needing a recharge. We have a feeling this will fall drastically when you start making calls though.

Samsung will sell the Gear S globally, and it’ll go on sale in October. What we don’t know is the price, but we doubt it’s going to be very cheap. Samsung’s Gear 2 Neo costs $200, the Gear 2 is $300, so a $400 price tag seems logical for the Gear S. We’ll find out more during the IFA tech show next week.


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