Samsung working on smartwatch that will make calls: Reports

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The existing smartwatches, including Samsung’s Galaxy Gear devices, cannot be used to make calls and they work properly only when they are connected to a smartphone. But according to a report by Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Samsung is now working on a smartwatch that would be able to make calls and send text messages without requiring a connection to a smartphone. It will be a standalone device, which will offer almost all the functionality of a phone in a smartwatch.

According to the WSJ report, the watch will also feature GPS chip, a camera and a heart rate monitor.

Currently, Samsung sells three smartwatches — Galaxy Gear 2, Galaxy Gear 2 Neo and Galaxy Gear Fit. While the Fit is more of a fitness band, the other two allow a user to receive a call if they are connected to a supported Galaxy smartphone through Bluetooth. They can also make calls but for that too rely on the connection provided by the smartphone.

Gear 2 has a camera and can shoot 2MP images. Gear 2 Neo lacks a camera.

Samsung has sold over half million smartwatches in Q1, 2014, garnering 71% market share. But these are the early days and smartwatches are still evolving. While Samsung has established itself as a leader in the smartwatch market, Gear series of products are yet to offer features and utility that could make them irresistible and draw mainstream consumers. For now, most of the consumers buying smartwatches are early adopters and geeks.

With the new smartwatch that Samsung is planning, the company may offer more utility and features to make Gear devices more attractive. If it is going to work without a smartphone, it will likely feature a slot for SIM card and possibly easier-to-use software. The WSJ report noted that Samsung was already in talks with telecom operators in the US and Europe for the watch, which is likely to be launched June or July. The watch is likely to run on Tizen, Samsung’s own operating system for smart devices, instead of Android that powers Galaxy phones.

Filed in: News, Technology News

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