Gear S2: Samsung’s new smartwatch - Weekend

Gear S2: Samsung’s new smartwatch

SAMSUNG began selling its new smartwatch last week in the US Retailers carrying the Gear S2 include Best Buy and Macy’s. The starting price is $300. The South Korean company announced the Gear S2 in August, but gave no details on prices then.

RUNNING APP. A personal fitness application is shown running on Samsung’s Gear S2 smartwatch during a presentation in New York. Samsung’s new smartwatch will begin selling earlier this month in the US starting at $300. (AP PHOTO)
RUNNING APP. A personal fitness application is shown running on Samsung’s Gear S2 smartwatch during a presentation in New York. Samsung’s new smartwatch will begin selling earlier this month in the US starting at $300. (AP PHOTO)gadget

The S2 has a circular frame that can be rotated to scroll through notifications and apps. Past models required swiping, similar to phones, which could tire out fingers given how little fits on each screen. The watch itself is also smaller — roughly the size of the larger version of Apple Watch. For the first time, Samsung’s smartwatch will work with any Android phone, not just Samsung’s, though all features might not work.

What’s not known yet is how good the apps will be. This has been one of the weak points for Samsung’s smartwatch, given that many app developers have focused instead on the Apple Watch and the variety of models running Google’s Android Wear. The S2 runs the little-known Tizen system. Samsung has said it expects about 1,000 apps at launch, but rival watches have many times that.

Apple Watch, meanwhile, will come to Target. The retailer says some models and bands was offered online starting Oct. 18. All stores will get them by Oct. 25.

Besides Apple’s own stores, the watch is available at Best Buy, Sprint and T-Mobile stores, along with specialty department stores and boutiques, mostly outside the US Apple Watch starts at $349. (AP)

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