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Samsung's smartwatch has just been unveiled
Samsung's smartwatch has just been unveiled
 









Samsung smartwatch has arrived

After months of speculation and the discovery of leaked documents revealing trademark and design patents, Samsung has beaten rival Apple to the punch and unveiled its version of a smartwatch. 

The Galaxy Gear is an internet-connected wristwatch that allows users to make calls, receive texts and emails and take photos. 

The gadget, revealed earlier this week at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, connects via WiFi to Samsung’s latest smartphone and tablet. Plans for compatibility with older models reportedly have been made. 

The piece is due to launch in some countries on 25 September; however, a release date for Australia and New Zealand has not been confirmed. 

Other features of the device include two microphones for making and receiving calls, a touch screen and six different coloured watch straps. Contrary to rumours, it does not have a flexible screen.

JK Shin, head of Samsung
JK Shin, head of Samsung's mobile business, revealing the newest tech advancement in smartwatches
During the launch in Berlin, Samsung CEO and president of IT and mobile business JK Shin said the device would be "a new fashion icon through the world".

Samsung now joins other technology giants like Sony and Casio, which have similar smartwatch products. But unlike its competitors, the Galaxy Gear allows users to make calls without taking their phone out of their pocket. Instead, they can hold their wrist up to their ear and use the built-in speaker and microphone.

Some industry commentators have already been quick to criticise the gadget, reporting its limitations to connect with other devices, impracticality and relatively high retail price. According to Bloomberg, the smartwatch will retail for US$299 (about A$330) – twice as much as a Pebble smartwatch, and more expensive than most on-contract phones.

As previously reported by Jeweller, rumours continue to circulate about an Apple smartwatch. Despite registering the trademark “iWatch” in several countries, the company has neither confirmed nor denied any plans to develop such a device.     

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