Samsung’s Gear S Brings Curved Display, 3G Connectivity To Fight Against Round Smartwatches

Today, Samsung announced yet another smartwatch, called the Gear S, that comes with a higher-resolution Super AMOLED display that curves around your wrist, has Wi-Fi, is dust and water resistant, and has up to two days of battery life.

The Gear S also brings 3G connectivity as one of its main features, which is a rarity in the current smartwatches on the market. Most of them just get their Internet connection through Bluetooth 4.0 LE, from your phone.

Samsung has used a curved AMOLED display before in the Gear Fit, but that form factor is not particularly practical. While it looks good and stylish like a band on your hand, it’s hard to see what’s on the screen from its side, and the narrow display poses a bit of an ergonomics problem. The new Gear S adopts part of that form factor, but this time it’s a lot wider, so you shouldn’t have a problem using it.

Round smartwatches are all the rage right now, and almost everyone interested in smatwatches seems to want either the Moto 360 or the recently announced LG G Watch R. However, the Gear S, with its curved display and wide band, should appeal to a lot of people, too. It also sets the company apart, as not many other companies are able to make curved Super AMOLED displays. It’s a technology Samsung has been working on for years, and this year it finally seems ready for the mainstream market.

There is one aspect of the Gear S that may be a deal-breaker for some - its Tizen operating system. Most of this year’s smartwatches should come with the Android Wear operating system, and while Samsung’s Gear Live has adopted it, too, it seems the company still wants to push its own Tizen operating system into the wearable market.

Recently, Huawei’s boss said that Tizen is a dead-end, and it doesn’t look like many other companies are interested in it. However, while Tizen may not stand a chance against the dominating Android OS in the smartphone market, it may still be able to take part of the wearable market, if Samsung pushes it hard enough. This market is so new and underdeveloped, without a clear winner, that is may give Tizen a fighting chance.

Samsung also announced a pair of "smart" Bluetooth earbuds, called "Gear Circle" from which you can answer calls, listen to music, and use voice commands that are tied to your smartphone. It even has a magnetic lock that clasps around your neck, and vibrates when you receive calls or notifications. The play time for the Gear Circle is rated at 9 hours.

No pricing has been announced yet, but the new Gear S and the Gear Circle earbuds should come out in stores in early October, according to Samsung.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • deftonian
    Oh no.... I was getting really excited until I saw Tizen OS....

    Well, I can't really judge yet so I'll wait until release and test it out before I can truely judge Tizen as a watch OS.
  • scook9
    The biggest problem with using Tizen OS is that it will likely only work with Samsung Galaxy smartphones whereas Android Wear powered devices should work with ANYTHING that runs android 4.3 or higher
  • eszklar
    Tizen is doomed. Just port this to Android Wear and watch sales increase.
  • anthony8989
    Pun intended :)
  • Solandri
    14056006 said:
    Tizen is doomed. Just port this to Android Wear and watch sales increase.
    I'm guessing that's what this is - a trial balloon to see if Tizen can stand on its own feet. If it can't, it's still using an ARM processor so they can switch it to Android Wear. They were unsure enough about Tizen that they pulled it from their smartphones. But they don't want to write it off entirely without giving it a public trial. So a lower-profile device like a smartwatch is a good test platform.