Samsung just keeps hammering away at this smartwatch thing. Ahead of IFA 2014, the company today announced its sixth wrist-worn device in the last year. This time it’s called the Gear S, and it’s the first from Samsung to include 3G connectivity.
The Gear S takes some design cues from the Gear Fit, namely its curved display. But unlike the Gear Fit, which was basically a fitness tracker with a few smartwatch features thrown in, the Gear S is a full-fledged smartwatch.
The new watch doesn’t, however, run Android Wear. Instead we’re looking at the same Tizen OS that now runs on all of Samsung’s previous Gear smartwatches, apart from the Gear Live.
That curved display measures 2 inches diagonally, with 360 x 480 resolution. That comes out to a fairly sharp 300 pixels per inch. It’s also the first dedicated smartwatch from Samsung that has a rectangular screen. The previous Gear watches all had square displays.
Like the previous Samsung Gears, the Gear S will take and make calls. With the new 3G connectivity, though, those calls can now be made without a paired smartphone.
Another new feature is an onscreen keyboard. 2 inches is a pretty tight area to be rapping out text messages, but it’s 45 percent more area than the older Gears’ 1.63-in screens allowed. If all else fails, Samsung’s S Voice (Siri rival) is still around for dictating commands.
We’re still a bit fuzzy on whether the Gear S will be fully functional without a paired smartphone, or whether it will be missing features. Also unknown is whether it’s only compatible with Samsung Galaxy phones, or if the company is opening up to other Android handsets. We’ve reached out to Samsung to clarify, and will update when we get more info.
No word on pricing yet, but we do know that the Gear S will go on sale this October.