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Tech giants brace for smart watch war

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Published : 2014-09-03 21:05
Updated : 2014-09-03 21:08

LG G Watch R. (LG Electronics)
With the novelty for owning smartphones slowly waning, global tech heavyweights are scrambling to get a grip on the next big thing in wearable technology converged with health care services.

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are set for a fresh battle over smart watches, and will soon be joined by U.S. tech giant Apple later this year.

LG and Samsung will officially unveil their new smart watches with innovative designs at IFA, the world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, next week in Berlin.
Samsung Gear S. (Samsung Electronics)

LG’s G Watch R, featuring a round display and a small knob to set the time on one side, looks more like a traditional analog watch.

“LG added a classic design to the G Watch R after the modern G Watch. LG will take the leadership in the wearable market with products incorporating premium designs,” Park Jong-seok, president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, said in a statement.

LG’s smart watch, powered by Google’s Android operating system for wearable devices, boasts 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, a 410 mAh battery, 4 GB of storage, 512 MB of RAM and a 1.3-inch plastic-OLED display.

The new G Watch also has dust- and water-resistant features.

Samsung Electronics’ Gear S, its sixth smart watch model following the Galaxy Gear and Samsung Gear 2, has a 1.0 GHz dual-core processor and a 300 mAh battery.

The Gear S running on the Tizen OS, developed in part by Samsung Electronics, is also fitted with a curved 360x460 super AMOLED display.

“The Gear S will create a new communication environment,” said Shin Jong-kyun, chief executive of Samsung Electronics’ mobile business unit.

“Samsung will continuously achieve innovation by introducing new wearable devices,” he added.

The most notable feature of the latest Samsung smart watch is that it is a standalone product. Users can make and receive calls without pairing it with their smartphones.

“Down the road, competition in the wearable market will heat up when Apple unveils its first, long-awaited smart watch this month,” said a market analyst who declined to be identified.

The Cupertino, California-based tech firm is expected to introduce the iWatch along with the iPhone 6 next week.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)

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