News by Luke Jones on Wednesday September 03, 2014.
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Samsung's IFA event was dominated by the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge smartphones, but the company had other things to offer too. Chief among those was the Gear S, a smartwatch we had heard about before it was launched in Berlin today. However, while Samsung loves launching a wearable, the Gear S may be the most interesting one the company has made yet.The Korean company has done in the smartwatch market what it always does, flood it; and there is always a persistent questions with Samsung, did the market need this product? Indeed, there have been six smartwatches from Samsung, but what the Gear, Gear 2, Gear Fit, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Live have done is improve the wearable experience each time. The same is true of the Gear S as this is comfortably Samsung's best ever smartwatch, in all ways too. It is the best looking for a start. Not hugely desirable like the Moto 360 maybe, but elegant and easy on the eye nonetheless, although at 2-inches it looks big on the wrist. Of course, it is what the Gear S can do that is arguably more important, and this is of course the first smartwatch that does not need a smartphone to function properly. Boasting a 3G modem and a nano SIM card, the Gear S is a fully working call making/taking, message sending, notification grabbing device in its own right. If you have ever used a Samsung smartwatch before (aside from the Gear Live) then you will be on familiar ground here, as this runs Tizen like all the others. If you are unfamiliar with Tizen in this form than you needn't worry, the Gear S is extremely easy to use, and if anything that larger screen helps in swiping up or down to drag in the full menu of apps. The big thing here is the ability to function as a solo product, so Samsung has made it easy to access emails and other info; a simple swipe from the left brings up messages, emails, and data from Samsung's S Health suite. Emailing is surprisingly elegant on such a small device, with messages displayed in full and a scrolling ability to see a conversation. As for replying to those messages and emails, a tiny onscreen QWERTY board allows you to do that. Sure, you won?t be ploughing out 60 words per minute, but for this size the keyboard is snappy and works just enough to not be entirely annoying. Although, this is something only for emergencies because of that small board, so don?t plan on ditching your smartphone just yet. The "calling" card of the Gear S is... the calling, but unfortunately Samsung was not showing off that feature today, so you will have to wait for our full review. The Gear S will land in October, but Sammy has not put a price on it yet.
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at Glamorgan University before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news.