Samsung Electronics

Samsung releases revamped smartwatch with circular face, longer battery life in challenge to Apple

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 September, 2015, 12:38pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 September, 2015, 12:51pm

Samsung Electronics released its new Gear S2 smartwatch on Tuesday featuring a circular design, as it looks to regain traction in the wearable technology market quickly being dominated by the Apple Watch.

Samsung introduced two versions of the device that will run on the company’s tisen operating system, which will limit its reach. Google last year introduced an Android operating system as a software solution for wearable manufacturers.

The device has more battery life than the Apple Watch - two to three days compared to 18 hours - but will likely require an Android device from Samsung.

The company said its frame will rotate to help users access apps and notifications. It will come in various colours and bands.

This is not a new shape for smartwatches: Motorola and LG make circular frames, too.

READ MORE: Apple beats Samsung to take 75 per cent of global smartwatch market in second quarter

Apple sold 3.6 million watches in the second quarter, making it the top provider of smart wearable devices after just one quarter of sales, market research firm IDC said in a report last week.

While Samsung didn’t release any apps for the Gear S2 on Tuesday, the new watch will allow for mobile payments, smart car keys and remote control of home devices, the South Korean company said in a statement.

Fitbit dominates the basic wearables market with 4.4 million units sold in the second quarter, according to IDC. Basic wearables differ from smart wearables in that they don’t run third-party applications. Other companies making fitness wearables include Garmin and Jawbone.

IDC estimates that the smart-devices sector will grow to 89 million units in 2019 from 33 million this year, surpassing sales of basic wearables, which are forecast to increase to 66 million units in 2019 from 39 million this year.

The new Samsung watch features a 1.2-inch circular screen with a thickness of 11.4 millimetres. It will include "at-a- glance" notifications for calendars, e-mail and news and enables users to send text messages from their wrists.