One the key wearable devices that saw the light of day for the first time this week at IFA was of course Samsung’s Gear S smart watch, a sleek looking wearable that represents the company’s third attempt at a smart watch. We caught up with the new Gear S at the Samsung booth at IFA 2014.
The Samsung Gear S follows in the footsteps of the Galaxy Gear and the Gear 2 and in all fairness, the device could be considered a worthy successor to its predecessors, being lighter and smaller with an improved Tizen OS that actually works in a pretty intuitive way once you get used to its swiping gestures. Sensors abound with an Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Heart Rate monitor, Ambient Light sensor, UV sensor and Barometer. All of the data recorded and deduced by these sensors are used by an array of fitness and monitoring apps, most of which are installed by default.
Before reading on, make sure you watch the video below that we shot on the show floor of IFA 2014:
Of course, one of the most important elements of the Gear S is its display. Samsung are still leagues ahead of most manufacturers when it comes to AMOLED panel production and we find the Gear S to once again prove the company’s expertse in this area. The Gear S sports a 2 inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 360 x 480. It’s bright, its sharp, the touchscreen works as smoothly possible for screen this size, but by far the most attractive thing about the display, is that it is beautifully curved, not flat and square like previous generations.
Under the hood we find a 1.0GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. Not that you will need too much storage as the device features no camera or media play back functionality. What you get is a very slick Tizan OS (co-developed as an open source project by Samsung and Intel) that features plenty of Samsung aesthetics and simple navigation. Swipe up from the bottom edge and you are taken to the app draw. Swipe left to right on the left edge to see notifications, and right to left on the right edge to access your own home screen where you can place a variety of widgets. There is also a small discreet home button on the lower portion of the front face that will take you back to the customizable clock face from where ever you are.
The Samsung Gear S is still a little clunky compared to the Moto 360 or the Asus ZenWatch (the dark horse in this mainstream wearables race), but it is impressive and can be regarded as a move in the right direction. It will be available in October in Korea. The rest of the world awaits with baited breath.