Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005935) took the wraps off its new 3G-equipped Gear S smartwatch while LG Electronics Inc. (KRX:066575) introduced its round-shaped G Watch R on Wednesday, in a move seen as an attempt to beat the rumored launch date of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) widely anticipated smartwatch, dubbed the iWatch.
LG was the first to announce its G Watch R, which features a 1.3-inch circular plastic OLED display, 4GB of storage, 512MB RAM and a durable 410mAh battery. The device, which runs on the Android Wear operating system, is powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor from Qualcomm.
Users can also use the new G Watch R smartwatch to monitor their heart rate with the support of an embedded sensor. The device, which comes with a leather band and a stainless steel frame, also carries a suite of dial designs that are accessible by touching the display. Thanks to an Ingress Protection Rating of IP67, the G Watch R works in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
According to LG, the G Watch R will be available in key markets early in the fourth quarter of 2014. The smarwatch will be unveiled for consumers at the IFA 2014, which is scheduled to kick off on Sept. 5 in Berlin, and details such as pricing and availability are expected to be announced locally at the time of launch.
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On the other hand, Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch features a 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display with changeable straps and a customizable screen. With novel capabilities of 3G cellular connectivity that supports both voice-calling and data transfer, the Gear S is touted as “a phone within a watch.”
The Gear S features a heart-rate sensor, turn-by-turn navigation powered by Nokia's HERE and a 300mAh Li-ion battery with two days of usage. The device also carries an IP67 certification, making it resistant to dust and water.
Other key specs of the Gear S include a dual core 1.0 GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal memory, Samsung’s new Tizen operating system, a built-in accelerometer, a gyroscope, a compass and a barometer. The device will be available in global markets in phases through the company's retail channels, e-commerce websites and carriers beginning October.
Meanwhile, Re/code reported on Wednesday that Apple is planning to announce its iWatch at a special event on Sept. 9, where the company is also expected to unveil its next-generation iPhone 6 lineup.