Samsung devises new smartwatches

Monday 24 February 2014 11.31
Samsung to launch two new versions of its smartwatch
Samsung to launch two new versions of its smartwatch

Samsung has upped the ante in the race for wearable technology supremacy by developing two new versions of its Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

Details of the watches were announced in Barcelona, ahead of the start tomorrow of Mobile World Congress, which is among the largest annual mobile technology trade shows in the world.

The launch of the Galaxy Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo come just five months after the release of the tech giant’s first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear.

It failed to take-off for a number of reasons, including its restricted number of apps and because it only worked with a limited range of high-end smartphones.

That problem has been overcome in the two new watches, which will be compatible with a range of smartphones and tablets.

Also among the changes in the two new devices is the use of the Samsung championed Tizen operating system, which replaces the scaled down version of Android on the original.

A key difference between the two new watches is that the Gear 2 Neo does not have camera, while the Gear 2 has a 2-megapixel camera at the top of its 1.6 inch Super AMOLED screen.

The new devices also feature fitness and health tracking via a pedometer and heart rate monitor. They can independently play music via Bluetooth headphones without needing to connect to a smartphone or tablet.

However, they remain dependent on connection to a smartphone or tablet for internet access.

Bluetooth is used to display notification and allow the handling of calls of the device they are connected to.

They both have an infrared emitter that can be used for controlling other devices, such as televisions.

The devices will go on sale in April.