We expected a rather slow news week with IFA and many other dedicated events kicking off next week, but Samsung and LG look to be unveiling things a bit early instead.
Samsung Gear S
Samsung announced yet another smartwatch, Samsung Gear S that runs Tizen and comes with a 3G wireless radio. I have seen some call this the Gear Note because it does have a long two inch curved Super AMOLED display.
The Gear S has WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G radios and antennas inside so you can use the watch when your phone isn't handy. Turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation is powered by HERE. It has an integrated GPS chip and can be used for exercise, again without a phone connection.
The Gear S is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, and a 300 mAh battery with a typical usage life of two days.
LG G Watch R
LG posted a teaser video of the LG G Watch R a few days ago and we thought we would have to wait until IFA next week to see the official announcement. It looks like LG doesn't want to risk getting lost in all the other IFA news as they officially announced the G Watch R.
Rather than the quick glances we were able to see of just the watch face, we now see the watch in all its glory. It is confirmed that it doesn't cut off the bottom of the display like the Moto 360 and at first glance you would think it was a standard analog watch. I think it looks awesome and may be the one I end up buying in the 4th quarter.
The LG G Watch features a circular plastic OLED (P-OLED) display that uses 100 percent of the face with a size of 1.3 inches and 320x320 resolution. It runs Android Wear and is powered by a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 process, 4GB memory, 512MB RAM, and a 410 mAh battery. It also has an integrated heart rate monitor. We do not yet have pricing or availability information.
Motorola impressed people with the Moto 360, but if they cannot get it launched soon then it looks like there are plenty of other great options for the smartwatch buyer. It still seems a bit soon for a wide variety of these as consumers have not yet found them essential. We may see Apple announce their iWatch in September and maybe that will change the public perception of smartwatches.