Samsung reveals new smartwatch with GPS capabilities

Samsung reveals new smartwatch with GPS capabilities

(31 Aug 2016) LEAD IN:
Samsung’s next smartwatch will come with GPS capabilities and the ability to seek help by triple-tapping a side button.
The new Gear S3 retains the circular design of the current S2 model, but is slightly larger. Samsung will still sell last year’s S2 to those who consider the S3 too big on a wrist.

STORY LINE:
Samsung is hoping to stand out from the smartwatch crowd with the new Samsung Gear S3.
It’s larger than the previous S2 but comes packed with GPS capabilities – something that’s not all that common in the smartwatch segment.
But the watch still faces a dearth in apps compared with Android and Apple.
The new Gear S3 retains the circular design of the current S2 model but the larger 1.3 inch display comes with tough Gorilla Glass.
Samsung will still sell last year’s S2 to those who consider the S3 too big on a wrist.
As with the S2, the bezel on the S3 rotates to scroll through notifications and apps. Interface improvements include the ability to accept or reject calls with the bezel rather than a swipe of the screen.
Samsung unveiled two versions of the smartwatch at IFA – the smarter ‘Classic’ version and a slightly heavier ‘Frontier’ version.
The South Korean tech company worked with a Swiss watch designer to bring classic watch styling to its high-tech devices.
The 380 mAh (milliamp hours) battery promises between three and four days of life. The device boasts a IP68 classification, meaning it’s waterproof.
Samsung announced the new watch lineup today (Wednesday) at the IFA tech show in Berlin.
The Gear smartwatches have had some success, but have been hampered largely by a dearth in apps, as developers write for Apple Watch and Android Wear devices instead.
All S3 models will have GPS capabilities, making them more accurate for workouts.
In the S2, GPS was limited to a pricier model with cellular capabilities (on the slower 3G network).
The regular S2 models performed poorly for measuring distance and pace, as the built-in step counter wasn’t calibrated to individual running and walking patterns.
While GPS tends to drain a battery quickly, Samsung expects at least three to four days of battery life.
Meanwhile, the emergency-calling feature on the S3 echoes Apple’s SOS feature coming to Apple Watch later this year.
While Apple Watch will call 911 or the comparable emergency service elsewhere directly, the S3 will call or text pre-specified emergency contacts, such as friends or relatives.
For an extra recurring fee, which has yet to be announced, S3 users will also be able to reach ADT’s security dispatchers, who would then be able to call 911 or offer other help.
The S3 also comes with expanded ability to make payments at stores through Samsung Pay.
As a result, there’s now PIN protection on the watch, though it isn’t automatically activated until the user sets up Samsung Pay.
In addition, the watch’s always-on feature improves with a display of millions of colours, rather than just 16 before.
The IFA tech event, claimed to be Europe’s biggest electronics trade show, opens to the public 2-7 September in Berlin, Germany

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