10/21/16

Samsung to release new smartwatch

Samsung Electronics plans to release the Galaxy Gear S3 smartwatch next month, which is expected to help the tech giant recover from the Galaxy Note 7 crisis.

The company said Wednesday the device will debut in Korea, the United States and major European nations. China is not on the list.

"We decided to market the Gear S3 midway through November at the latest in Korea and some other countries," a Samsung official said. "In China, the timepiece will be launched later."

He said the price would be disclosed after the release date is fixed. The price of the two models ― the Gear S3 Frontier and the Gear S3 Classic ― would be different but they are likely to be in the neighborhood of 400,000 won ($356).

Since its late-August unveiling at the IFA trade show in Germany, the Gear S3 has been much anticipated because of its features and rich functionalities.

The water-resistant gadget, with a 3.3-centimeter circular display, has an in-built global positioning system (GPS) and the capacity to make contact-less payments.

In an emergency, Gear 3 users can tap the back buttons three times to send SOS signals and their location to designated friends or relatives, even if the smartwatch is not connected to a cell phone.

Users also can access 10,000 applications, while the watch has a maximum four-day battery life and plenty of health-tracking functions.

"We are confident that the Gear S3 will be one of the most loved smartwatches for users, as we focused on bringing cutting-edge technologies and emotional designs to it," a Samsung official said.

The G3's competitor is the Apple Watch Series 2, introduced last month with the iPhone 7.

According to research company IDC, Apple accounted for 47 percent of the global smartwatch market as of the second quarter of this year while Samsung had 16 percent. But the gap was much bigger a year ago when Apple's market share was 72 percent and Samsung's was 7 percent.

Recently, U.S. high-tech website Phone Arena polled readers on which of the two competing gizmos they would buy.

Among around 1,650 respondents, 82 percent opted for the Gear S3 while 18 percent picked the Apple Watch Series 2.

Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note 7 large-screen smartphone in August but decided to cull the flagship model this month after continued reports that it caught fire while charging.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/

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