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Samsung Gear S: 2-inch touchscreen smart watch touches down at IFA 2014

Gear S, the latest smart watch from Samsung, has been officially shown off to the world at the IFA 2014 conference in Berlin. 

The Gear S is Samsung’s most feature-packed smart watch to date, boasting a 2-inch AMOLED display, a multitude of sensors and a slot for SIM cards. 

Perhaps the biggest selling point about the Gear S is that unlike Samsung’s other smart watches, you don’t need to be connected to your phone to make and pick up calls or get things like email and social media notifications, thanks to the SIM card.  

Samsung Gear S: 2-inch touchscreen smart watch touches down at IFA 2014
It’s all in the wrist: The Gear S all but does away with the need for a phone

You’ll be able to reply to messages and respond to calls forwarded from your phone with the Gear S. 

You can even get turn-by-turn directions thanks to the built in GPS receiver and HERE Maps. No more fishing your phone out of your pocket every five seconds when you’re late to a meeting. 

Does the Gear S fully free you up from having to lug a phone around? Well, not quite. While you will be able to do the basics like calling and texting, Samsung revealed today that you will need to reconnect to a Galaxy phone if you want to download any new services from the Gear Apps store. 

Those after a phone-free life where everything is controlled from the wrist might have to wait a while longer. The smart watch, for the time being, will remain at best an accessory to your primary device. 

Building on what the Gear Fit started, the Gear S includes a wealth of sensors designed to augment the various S Health fitness apps. 

A built in pedometer shows number of steps you’ve walked in one day, while an accelerometer, gyroscope and heart rate monitor are all present to help you work out how many calories you’ve burned running or cycling. 

Samsung Gear S: 2-inch touchscreen smart watch touches down at IFA 2014
You can download apps on the Gear S – but you’ll need to be connected to your phone

There’s even a UV sensor which which will tell you what level of SPF protection you should be using. This seems less useful as if you’re already out on a run and you’re not adequately protected, it’s not much good telling you you need to go home and put on stronger sun cream.  Then again, if you’re a pasty ginger spod like this writer is, you’ll simply use Factor 50+ regardless. 

Other than that, Samsung didn’t reveal much more about the Gear S that we hadn’t heard about already. You’ll be able to choose between a range of different digital clock faces and pick from black or if you want to show off when you’re out on your morning run, you can go for a crystalline Swarovski-designed Gear S instead. 

UK prices and solid release dates for all versions of the Gear S have yet to be announced. We know that they’ll be hitting the shelves at some point in October and we expect prices to be in the region of £199. 

Stay tuned for hands on photos and a demo. 


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