The tech world has gone wearable mad over the last 12 months and ahead of IFA, both Samsung and LG have lifted the lid on their two hottest new smartwatches.
Samsung Gear S2
For those at Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5/Galaxy S6 Edge+ launch event in New York the other week, the day rounded off with a tease of the company’s next star wearable.
Amidst shots for its new Fashion Forward campaign, photos of models posing with an innocuous and unknown wearable slipped many by, however today Samsung has officially spilled the beans on its first circular-faced smartwatch, the Gear S2.
Unlike the original, rather clunky Gear S, the S2 is a compact, elegant wearable boasting a body that’s 11.4mm thin, a 1.2-inch touchscreen (360 x 360px), IP68 dust and water resistance and a battery which promises 2-3 days of use per charge.
The Gear S2 is set to launch in a range of skews, with the dark grey-bodied S2 Classic that boasts a leather strap, a more modern white/silver version and 3G variants that keep you connected without your smartphone (they also pack slightly larger 300mAh batteries over the 250mAh cells in the standard versions).
Internals sound gaunt with a 1GHz dual-core chipset, 512MB with 4GB of storage, but that’s only in comparison to beefier, power-hungry Android Wear rivals it’s up against. As the Gear S2 runs on Tizen it uses a markedly different circular UI and interplays with compatible smartphones through Samsung’s Gear Apps ecosystem.
Samsung have also bestowed the smartwatch with NFC for easy pairing and compatibility with some mobile payment systems, which likely includes Android Pay and Samsung Pay – although Samsung hasn’t directly confirmed this.
LG Watch Urbane Luxe
At launch the second-generation wearable could be had in silver or gold stainless steel, with the latter costing a few Pounds more, but the new Luxe edition is clearly trying to ape the desirability of the Apple Watch Edition with a 23-karat gold body and a more substantial price tag to match.
For those after an Android Wear smartwatch with a bigger emphases on luxury, right now the Luxe looks to be your best bet, boasting that aforementioned gold bodywork and an alligator leather strap handcrafted by 30 leatherworkers and taken through a 50-step process.
LG only plans to make 500 Urbane Luxe devices for the time being, creating the run in partnership with US retail jewellery company, Reeds jewellers. The Urbane Luxe will be on display at IFA, but hit retail at the end of October, costing $1200 (roughly £785) a piece.