Samsung unveils smartwatch that can make calls

SEOUL Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:59am EDT

Visitors walk past the Samsung stand at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 24, 2014.  REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

Visitors walk past the Samsung stand at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 24, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Gustau Nacarino

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SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Thursday unveiled what it said was the first smartwatch capable of making and receiving calls without a mobile phone nearby, in the South Korean firm's latest effort to find a new growth driver.

The world's biggest smartphone maker has been pushing hard to develop the wearable devices market as it looks to counter slowing earnings in its mobile division, which led to weaker-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

Samsung is hardly alone in pushing wearables, which have yet to catch on with consumers. Rival Apple Inc is expected to launch its own device this year and LG Electronics Inc on Thursday announced its new G Watch R smartwatch featuring a circular plastic OLED screen, a stainless steel frame and leather strap.

Samsung's new smartwatch, called the Gear S, differs from its predecessors with a bigger 2-inch (5 cm) curved display and offers features like WiFi connectivity, pedestrian navigation and a built-in GPS. This device will run on Samsung's nascent Tizen operating system.

Samsung said the Gear S will start selling from October. It did not give details on pricing or where it will be available.

LG said its G Watch R will launch in key markets in the fourth quarter, without indicating a price.

(Reporting by Kahyun Yang; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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Comments (5)
sabrefencer wrote:
DickTracy fiction, turns into reality…

Aug 28, 2014 8:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Celebrindan wrote:
Joe Jitzu, calling Dick Tracy…

Aug 28, 2014 9:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jbeech wrote:
If the upcoming iWatch doesn’t offer this capability, this development would encourage me to investigate purchase of this new Samsung device because the one thing, which motivates me is the desire for a more compact smart phone offering. Since I don’t carry a purse, the whole concept of a phablet leaves me cold because I have no convenient way to carry it. For example, when the 5S came out, my wife upgraded while I remain perfectly happy with my 4S other than resenting its mass. I wish for a device smaller than my 4S, which weighs less than 3oz. This I would go out and buy from Apple immediately.

Aug 28, 2014 9:20am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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