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Samsung races ahead of Apple with smartwatch debut

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After much anticipation Samsung has revealed its Galaxy Gear smartwatch which, as well as telling the time, is voice activated, answers calls and will be available from September 25. 

Samsung has raced ahead of Apple with the unveiling of Galaxy Gear, a touch screen device that connects with other Samsung Galaxy devices. Wrist-worn Galaxy Gear is launching alongside Galaxy Note 3 – a part tablet, part phone device.

In terms of its wristwatch functionality, the Galaxy Gear device includes several face options that allow users to personalise their watch face and it comes preloaded with 10 different clock options, with more choices downloadable via Samsung Apps.

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The watch has been designed to offer "understated elegance" and has "rounded and simple flowing form", which wraps around the wrist. It will be available in six colours, including black, gold, green and orange.

The smartwatch’s functionality allows users to avoid having to search for and hold their smartphone, instead, from its wrist position, notifying them of incoming messages, such as calls, texts, emails and alerts. It delivers a preview of those messages and creates the opportunity for users to accept or discreetly ignore messages.

Through the watch’s interconnectivity with other Samsung devices, when a user wants to look at an incoming message in more detail than the watch allows, a Smart Relay feature means they can instantly see the full content of the message on their other Samsung device.

Voice operated, Galaxy Gear has a built-in speaker that allows users to conduct hands-free calls directly from the watch, maintaining. Users can also draft messages, create new calendar entries, set alarms, and check the weather on the Galaxy Gear with the S Voice feature.

As well as its ability to enable smart device controls, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear’s other features include the Memographer – a 1.9 megapixel camera for photos and video.

Voice Memo also allows users to record spoken thoughts or conversations, which can then be saved into texts on the smartwatch.

For security purposes, an Auto Lock function automatically secures the companion smartphone screen any time that Galaxy Gear is more than 1.5 metres away from the smartphone, and then unlocks the smartphone when the companion devices are near each other again.

Meanwhile, Find My Device helps users find the location of their smart devices when they have been misplaced by making them beep, illuminate and vibrate.

Additionally, Galaxy Gear allows users to control the music played on their Samsung Galaxy device. The smartwatch even boasts a pedometer to track physical activity using built-in sensor technology.
Speaking about the launch, Samsung Electronics CEO and president of IT & Mobile Division, JK Shin, said: “Samsung’s ongoing smart device innovation leadership reflects our commitment to listen to our consumers, who want their daily lives to be easier and more enjoyable. Samsung Galaxy Gear benefits consumers by integrating smart device technology even deeper into their everyday lives, and bridges the gap between the mobile device and fashion worlds to create truly wearable technology. Samsung Galaxy Gear frees users from the need to constantly check their smart devices while maintaining connections. It provides what we call ‘smart freedom,’ by allowing users to choose how, why, when and where they are connected.”

Samsung Galaxy Gear will be launched alongside the Galaxy Note 3 in more than 140 countries September 25.

Tags : Samsung; smart phone
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