Samsung Unveils Newest Smartwatch, the Gear S2

Samsung's new Gear S2 smartwatch is pictured at a event beside the consumer electronics trade fair IFA in Berlin, Germany, September 3, 2015. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters/Hannibal Hanachke)
Samsung’s new Gear S2 smartwatch is pictured at a event beside the consumer electronics trade fair IFA in Berlin, Germany, September 3, 2015. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters/Hannibal Hanachke)

Looking to regain ground in the wearable market, Samsung on Thursday unveiled its newest smartwatch.

The Gear S2 is Samsung’s seventh smartwatch and will be available in the United States starting in early October, CNET reports. Among its most striking features is a circular screen and rotating rim that lets users easily navigate through apps and features on the device.

It comes in two models. The Gear S2 has a modern, minimalist look and comes in a version that includes a built-in 3G capability. The more traditional Gear S2 Classic boasts a black body. Both models will last two or three days on a single charge and, unlike earlier models, can work with non-Samsung phones for the first time.

Samsung didn’t reveal how much the Gear S2 will cost. Its previous devices have retailed for about $300.

“We found our inspiration in a simple, perfect shape, a circle, the symbol of wholeness, focus, revolution and completion,” Young-Hee Lee, head of marketing for Samsung’s mobile business, said during an event Thursday in Berlin’s Tempodrome. “The circle is intuitive. As your body knows instinctively, a circle is functional. With every turn, your life gets better.”

Samsung is among several companies that have rolled out computerized watches in an effort to challenge Apple, a relative newcomer to selling smartwatches.

Apple Watch was the leading smartwatch in the second quarter, with an estimated 4 million shipped worldwide, for a market share of more than 75 percent, according to Strategy Analytics. Samsung was a distant second with 400,000 shipped and a 7.5 percent market share.

However, the market is still nascent, and Apple Watch isn’t an option for millions of people who use Android smartphones. Samsung’s Gear S2 will work on Android. Meanwhile, watches running Google’s Android Wear software will now work with Apple’s iPhones.

Here’s a look at how the watches compare and how the marketplace is shaping up in light of this week’s developments at the IFA tech show in Berlin.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: CBS News, The Associated Press

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