Samsung unveils Gear S that can make calls

August 29, 2014 - 12:00:00 am
The “Gear S”, Samsung’s first smartwatch able to make stand-alone phone calls.

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd yesterday unveiled what it said was the first smartwatch capable of making and receiving calls without a mobile phone nearby, in the 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’s Gear S, differs from its predecessors with a bigger 2-inch (5cm) 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 Electronics also announced its new G Watch R smartwatch featuring a circular plastic OLED screen, a stainless steel frame and leather strap. LG said its G Watch R will launch in key markets in the fourth quarter, without indicating a price.