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Make calls from your wrist - South Korea's Samsung and LG unveil new 'smartwatches'

Published on Aug 28, 2014 2:54 PM
 
The functions of Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch are displayed by a hostess at an event ahead of the IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) electronics trade fair in Berlin in this September 4, 2013, file photo. South Korea's Samsung and LG unveiled new smartwatches on Thursday with upgraded functions and design as they step up their drive to lead an increasingly competitive market for wearable devices. -- PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea's Samsung and LG unveiled new smartwatches on Thursday with upgraded functions and design as they step up their drive to lead an increasingly competitive market for wearable devices.

The "Gear S" is Samsung's first smartwatch able to make standalone phonecalls with built-in 3G alongside Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. Users can make and receive calls directly from their wrist, or get calls forwarded from their smartphones. Notifications from social networks, calendars and applications can also be received. "It will let consumers live a truly connected life anywhere, anytime," said Mr J. K. Shin, head of Samsung's IT and mobile communications division.

LG's "G Watch R" features a traditional wristwatch design with a 1.3-inch circular plastic OLED display that the company said provided "stunning image clarity even under bright sunlight". It runs for up to 30 minutes in 1m of water and is able to receive notifications of missed calls and messages, upcoming events, and weather forecasts. "We wanted to complement the modern design of the original G Watch with the classic look of the G Watch R," Mr Park Jong Seok, president of LG's mobile communications unit, said in a statement.

Prices will be disclosed when LG's new device hits key markets early in the fourth quarter. Samsung said its Gear S, which features a curved 2-inch "Super AMOLED" display, would be available in global markets from October.

 
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