Samsung today introduced the Gear S smartwatch, with a 2-inch curved rectangular Super AMOLED display. There are a couple of particularly interesting things about the Gear S:
- It runs Tizen, not Android Wear
- It’s not a smartphone companion; it has its own 3G modem in addition of Bluetooth.
Samsung really does appear to be committed to the open-source Tizen operating system, which is source of friction with Google. That may limit the watch’s functionality, but really: how many third-party apps does anyone actually expect to run on their phone? If you, like we, suspect that the number will be small on any platform, Samsung’s bet may be a good one. And if we’re wrong, Samsung’s got the muscle to pay developers to build Tizen versions of the most popular apps.
The watch is water-resistant to 1 meter (is it time for the industry standard IP67 to enter the lexicon?), has 4GB of storage on board, and can last 2 days on its 300mAh battery, the company says. It has what is now the usual array of sensors: accelerometer/gyro/compass, barometer, heart rate monitor, ambient light, plus a UV sensor and GPS.
Pricing was not announced. Availability will be phased in globally starting in October.