Wearables are now a solid part of the mobile technology category and Samsung was rumoured to launch a round smartwatch at MWC 2015 codenamed the Orbis was is likely to arrive as the Samsung Gear A but we now know it will be the Gear S2. Here's what we know about the Samsung Gear S2 including release date, predicted price and specifications. Read: The best smartwatches of 2015.
Update 20 August: Following Samsung's Unpacked 2015 event, the firm has revealed its next smartwatch is called the Samsung Gear S2 - formally rumoured to be the Gear A and codenamed 'Orbis'. We've now got images of the device, a teaser video and a date for when it will be officially launched.
Samsung has launched a number of smartwatches and activity trackers including one of the first Android Wear devices. This year, the Korean giant will introduce a smartwatch with a round face to rival the likes of the Motorola Moto 360 and LG G Watch R called the Gear S2, codenamed Orbis.
Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch: Release date and price
With Samsung holding its Unpacked 2015 even in August instead of September at IFA 2015, we now know more about the Gear A. There was no mention of it at the London event we attended but Samsung teased the device across the pond in New York.
Now Samsung has posted a teaser video which confirms that the Gear S2 will be officially unveiled and launched on 3 September in Berlin for IFA 2015.
If you like the sound of the Gear S2 already, then you might want to get saving as there are suggestions it could cost more than the Gear S which costs £329. However, that does not require a smartphone to work fully so we expect the Orbis to be cheaper and more in-line with rivals such as the Moto 360 and G Watch R which cost around £200.
— Samsung Exynos (@SamsungExynos) June 10, 2015
SamsungExynos (@SamsungExynos) June 10, 2015
Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch: Design and specs
Courtesy of SamMobile, we now have some more detailed specs for the Gear A - which may or may not be correct. The round screen will have a 360x360 resolution and use Super AMOLED tech but the size is unknown. It will also have an Exynos 3472 0.2GHz dual-core processor, the Mali-400 MP4 GPU clocked at 45 MHz, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a 250mAh battery. Bluetooth 4.1 is built-in and there will also be a model with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n.
The main design aspect of the Gear A is the circular display making it look more like a regular wrist watch. Samsung has effectively confirmed this a while ago by releasing an SDK for the next Gear watch. "We are collaborating with our global partners to provide a better Samsung Gear experience for users. We welcome more developers to join us on this journey." said Samsung.
The site shows various round interfaces including CNN, Yelp, FidMe and apposter. Developers can get early access to the SDK by applying but it more interestingly implies that the Orbis/Gear A will use Samsung own Tizen operating system rather than Google's Android Wear.
Like the Apple Watch, Samsung's Orbis will use a crown shaped power button but won't offer the same functionality as its fruit flavoured rival. Instead, a rotating bezel ring around the edge will be used by the user page navigation and device control, as confirmed by the Gear A SDK (thanks to TizenExperts for the below illustration). The crown, meanwhile, will supposedly wake the screen, launch S Voice with a double tap and send an emergency message.
As the below patent shows, the Gear A could use a display which divides up the display like a pie chart to show the schedule for one day.
There are various rumours on the specs including a built-in camera and sensors for object, image and barcode recognition. The usual heath related hardware such as a heart rate monitor and the Gear A might even be usable as a key for your car and a remote for your TV. Samsung is likely to use its own Exynos 14nm processor inside the Orbis (which now seems even more likely based on the above tweet) and it will also have wireless charging.