Watch Out – Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 is on the way.

Samsung is expected to make a triumphant return to the smartwatch category with its latest wearable device, the Gear S2 watch which will hit the market in New Zealand before the end of the year.

Reflecting the aesthetic of a traditional wristwatch, the Samsung Gear S2 features a circular display with customisable watch faces and a unique rotating bezel. It is designed with everyday use in mind, and integrates with any Android smartphone running Android 4.4 and above with 1.5GB of ram or more.

The Samsung Gear S2 comes in a versatile, circular design with an intuitive, custom UX and advanced features that enable users to enhance, personalize and bring more fun to their mobile experience. The watch has a unique rotating bezel, along with the Home and Back buttons, which ensures users will have a quicker, more precise method to comfortably access notifications and applications.

In New Zealand, the Gear S2 is schedule for launch in late October 2015 but the price is yet to be announced.

Website: www.samsung.com/nz

Google

That’s Handy – spending time with the LG G Watch R Smartwatch

Let’s face it, most Smartwatches are as attractive to wear as a prison issued ankle bracelet. The new LG G Watch R, $479, however changes that. It’s the first Smartwatch available in New Zealand that looks like a classical watch with a fully usable circular OLED screen.

LG G Watch R

As good as it looks, the best thing about the G Watch R is the smooth functioning of the Android Wear voice controls.  Simply say “OK Google” and your watch will light up to take your voice prompts.

I used it as I was hurtling up the Northern Motorway over the Christmas break.  While traveling to the speed limit of 100km per hour, I said “Okay Google, navigate to Playtech”.  In under 5 seconds, the watch had interpreted my command, opened my smartphone (which was safely positioned in it’s dock) and initiated GPS navigation on the phone’s screen – and all of this happened without my hands leaving the steering wheel. Very cool.

More than just a watch, the LG G Watch is a smartphone companion with a built in heart rate sensor, accelerometer, compass and barometer.

In summary, whether you want to navigate, send a text message or record a voice memo; the G Watch R, paired with an Android phone, can do it all, while looking like a timepiece you would want to be seen wearing.

Website for more information: http://www.lg.com/nz.

Photos:

IMG_0759

How the watch looks on your wrist.  As you can see, it’s only ever so slightly bulky, but would pass for a “real” watch at a glance, except perhaps when the screen is darkened in power saving mode as shown.

IMG_0755

The watch comes with a dock which allows it to be recharged through a micro USB connection (shown here with the G Watch R and the LG G3 Android Phone).  During testing I found the watch would last at least two days before needing recharging though this would no doubt vary depending on usage.  Unlike other Smartwatches (Sony’s for example) the device you can’t plug a micro usb cable directly into it.
Google

First look at the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch

Samsung NZ let me take the first Galaxy Gear in the country home this weekend so I could have a play with it.  Unfortunately for me it was commandeered by Ronan (son of the gadget guy) for most of that time.  See how I (or should I say we) found it in this short Youtube video review.

Announced at IFA in Berlin on Wednesday, the Samsung GALAXY Gear promises to let users live in the moment while staying connected to their Samsung GALAXY devices. This new generation smart-watch notifies users of incoming messages, such as calls, texts, emails and alerts, delivers a preview of those messages. The user then has the opportunity to accept or discretely ignore those messages.