LG and Samsung announce new smartwatches ahead of Apple's anticipated 'iWatch' reveal [u]

in General Discussion edited June 2015
In a possible bid to get word out before an expected Apple iWatch announcement sucks the air out of the room, LG on Wednesday took the wraps off a circular display-toting G Watch R, while Samsung touted a new cellular 3G-equipped Gear S smartwatch.

LG's announcement comes as somewhat of a surprise given the company just this weekend teased the G Watch R in a YouTube video touting the device's circular display and supposed reveal at this year's IFA, which is set to kick off on Sept. 5.

According to Engadget, the G Watch R boasts a full 360-degree 1.3-inch, 320-by-320-pixel Plastic OLED (P-OLED) display and case styling more in line with classic wristwatches than modern smartwatch products like Pebble or Samsung's Galaxy Gear lineup.

The wearable is meant to complement LG's existing offerings, including the current square-screened G Watch that was first announced in March. Interestingly, the upcoming version takes cues from Motorola's Moto 360 that was announced alongside the original G Watch as one of the first devices to run Google's Android Wear operating system.

LG is touting the G Watch R's unique circular form factor as a main selling point, poking fun at the Moto 360's "flat tire" design in this past weekend's video. The Moto 360's display is not a complete circle, having a bottom slice cut out to house an ambient light sensor and screen control circuitry.

Aside from the format change, however, the G Watch R appears to be a repackaged version of the original G Watch model. Both run a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset with 512MB of RAM, include 4GB of flash storage and come with interchangeable straps. The new version does feature a heart rate monitor built into the case back, as well as a physical power button that doubles as the watch's crown, much like the Moto 360.

LG's G Watch R is expected to see limited release in the fourth quarter, meaning it will face stiff competition from the likes of Motorola, Samsung and possibly Apple.

Samsung on Wednesday also announced a new smartwatch called the Gear S, which features a curved two-inch Super AMOLED display, heart rate sensor, turn-by-turn navigation via Nokia's HERE and two days of battery life. One of the more novel capabilities is 3G cellular connectivity, which supports both voice calling and data transfer when phone tethering is not available.

A report earlier today claimed Apple is planning to announce its own highly anticipated entry into the smartwatch segment at a special event on Sept. 9, which is also expected to feature the next-generation iPhone lineup.

Update: This story has been updated to include Samsung's latest Galaxy Gear entry that was also announced on Wednesday.


  • Reply 1 of 92
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member


  • Reply 2 of 92
    It is interesting if the face is a display and changes and can be anything. The teaser photos don't make that clear. It looks like a nice but pretty standard analog watch in the photos. Something you could get for $40 in ok quality.
  • Reply 3 of 92
    I think that the hardest thing that Apple is going to have is that as a fashion item, it's not great if the watch is ubiquitous. This is where I think that Android will actually do well, if they can convince experienced watch makers end up using Android Wear to release their own smart watches.

    In any case, it'll be interesting to see what (if anything) Apple does. Still kind of think this wearables thing is a fad.
  • Reply 4 of 92
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
  • Reply 5 of 92
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Screen always visible (without weird twitches or gestures) or not?

    Battery life for days, or not?

    If those don't have good answers, then chasing the "watch" concept is barking up the wrong tree.

    Still, throw enough stuff at the wall, and a some of it will be right for some small segment out there.

    At least it looks watch-like! Motorola failed in that attempt.
  • Reply 6 of 92

    It's still some solid defensive maneuvering, since this glut of boring junk has blunted the impact of Apple's big breakthrough.  Fingers crossed that the "wearable thing" can still make a splash.  I agree with Drealoth that wearables doesn't seem like something that will have longevity, a bit like Casio's calculator watches back in the 80s.

  • Reply 7 of 92
    It does appear that LG and Samsung believe the iWatch announcement rumor to be credible. I kind of like the look of the Samsung one--probably because it looks like a shrunken iPhone 3G, molded to fit a wrist.

    I don't think I'm really in the market for such a product. I like a watch to be a functional piece of jewelry. However, I look forward to seeing what Apple brings to market.
  • Reply 8 of 92

    The storied, celebrated Swiss timepiece makers have been put on notice. The Koreans are coming.

  • Reply 9 of 92
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,613member
    The LG G Watch R looks great IMHO. The Samsung one though, VOMIT!
  • Reply 10 of 92

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    The storied, celebrated Swiss timepiece makers have been put on notice. The Koreans are coming.

    funny enough, Korea has a swiss movement watch company called Romanson (and is in Switzerland). They are getting very favourable reviews.

  • Reply 11 of 92
    roakeroake Posts: 818member
    I think it looks nice. Increases my curiosity about Apple's presumed forthcoming offering.
  • Reply 12 of 92
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,597member
    Looking at the back of the Samscum POS, it looks thick as a brick!
  • Reply 13 of 92
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,369member

    That LG "teaser" looks like something I could whip up in Photoshop and Final Cut in an afternoon. Doesn't mean that the device is going to be any good. Like was said before... vaporware.


    I'm not sure who Samsung is designing for. Buzz Lightyear perhaps? Does it come with a laser weapon too?

  • Reply 14 of 92

    Idiotic and desperate duo.

  • Reply 15 of 92

    Are you able to change the band on the SameDung watch? If not, that's a fail.


    I did a quick search but couldn't find any information on being able to change the band.

  • Reply 16 of 92
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,893member

    And Calvin says to Hobbes, "Throw one more glob of goop on the wall there for me, will ya?  I have a feeling this one's gonna stick.  And if not this, then the next one."

  • Reply 17 of 92
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,893member

    Originally Posted by CrashMyTstDummy View Post


    Are you able to change the band on the SameDung watch? If not, that's a fail.


    I think you just might have hit upon the secret to success in the smart watch industry.

  • Reply 18 of 92
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,613member

    Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post


    Idiotic and desperate duo.

    Idiotic? Aren't we getting a bit ahead of ourselves here? 

  • Reply 19 of 92
    The iWatch isn't a smartwatch in a different form factor. The iWatch is a culmination of Apple's research and development in the quantifiable self. The iWatch has numerous potential applications:

    diabetics (glucometer)
    fall detection for balance disorder and elderly (3-axis accelerometer, gyroscopic sensor)
    heart conditions (heart rate, heart rate variability)
    hypertension and hypotension (sphygmomanometer)
    respiratory conditions (oxygen saturation)
    sleep disorders (sleep duration, sleep quality)
    sports performance
    two-factor authentication (biometric authentication)
    weight loss (activity tracking, caloric expenditure, distance and pace tracking, steps taken, steps climbed)

    One or two of these groups might not be a considerable percentage of the population but together these groups are a large potential market.
  • Reply 20 of 92
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    Wow. The watches are already badgered without knowing what they will do. I would expect if Apple releases a smart watch they will explain to us all how it works, why it does what it does and who the intended audience is for. This announcement isn't that, and therefor kinda sucks.
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