Apple’s new smartwatch rival
SAMSUNG is poised to go head-to-head with Apple in the race to put a device on your wrist this year after unveiling its first smartwatch that will work without a phone connection.
The Galaxy Watch, revealed at the company's worldwide event in Brooklyn overnight, will be the first Samsung smartwatch with its own mobile internet connection, and the first wearable technology in Australia that will connect to mobile networks overseas, allowing Aussie travellers to access maps and stay in contact while on holidays.
In a thinly veiled stab at major competitor Apple, Samsung Electronics Australia mobile division vice-president Garry McGregor said the new feature was something rival gadgets had yet to match.
"The cellular model provides a true e-SIM experience so customers can also use their Galaxy Watch when roaming overseas, which we believe sets our smartwatch apart from our competitors," he said.
Mr McGregor said the Galaxy Watch would also be the first smartwatch to work with payment technology from all of Australia's 'Big Four' banks, allowing users to pay for goods by tapping the wristwatch on contactless payment terminals at the counter.
The Galaxy Watch will launch in two sizes, with 42mm and 46mm faces respectively, will be available in black, silver, and rose gold, and will cost between $549 and $699.
It will be released in Australian stores on October 4, with Samsung eyeing off a sales spike in the lead-up to Christmas, when wearable devices are typically popular.
Research firm Telsyte this week revealed smartwatch sales were on the rise in Australia, skyrocketing by 80 per cent in the first half of the year compared to 2017.
More than half of those sales were claimed by Apple, however, which launched a cellular version of its Watch in September last year.