Samsung to launch smartwatch that can make calls

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Samsung to launch smartwatch that can make calls
Samsung Gear S.

Curved device doesn't require a connection to a smartphone.

Samsung Electronics has unveiled what it claims to be the first smartwatch capable of making and receiving calls without use of a mobile phone in close proximity.

The world's biggest smartphone maker has been pushing to develop the wearable devices market as it looks to counter slowing earnings in its mobile division, which led to weaker-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

Samsung is in a crowded field to pursue the wearables market, which has yet to catch on with consumers. Rival Apple is expected to launch its own device this year and LG Electronics recently announced the G Watch R smartwatch, featuring a circular plastic OLED screen, a stainless steel frame and leather strap. LG said its G Watch R will launch in key markets in the fourth quarter, without indicating a price.

Samsung's new smartwatch, called the Gear S, differs from its predecessors with a bigger 2-inch (5 cm) curved display and offers features like WiFi connectivity, pedestrian navigation and a built-in GPS. The device will run on Samsung's nascent Tizen operating system.

Samsung said the Gear S will start selling from October. It did not provide pricing or availability.

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