Samsung has also announced an upgraded smartwatch and a newly refreshed smart speaker during the Galaxy Note 9 launch. Here are the details.
Highlights at the Unpacked event includes a new wrist wearable, dubbed the Galaxy Watch available in 42mm and 46mm models. Along with this, there’s another product which the company lifted up the curtains of its first smart speaker, the Galaxy Home, powered by Bixby AI.
As the South Korean electronics firm strives to match and pull ahead of rival Apple with the unveiling of Galaxy Watch and an all-new Galaxy Home smart speaker.
New Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Home
Starting off with the Galaxy Watch, you can immediately notice that the company has dropped the Gear branding of the past. On the watch front, Samsung decided to match the name of its product to its top-selling smartphone line. So, no longer the Samsung Gear Watch now, the device is now called Samsung Galaxy Watch. As said, it comes in two sizes; 46mm for $350 and 42mm for $330, and hits the store on August 24.
The new wearable will feature 3G / LTE connectivity, support both Android and iOS compatibility. The larger size wearable will come only in silver color, while the smaller size likely more suitable for female customers will be available in a variety of colors including Silver, Midnight Black, and Rose Gold.
What you should note is that the higher-priced version coming later will include LTE cellular connection, matching the capabilities Apple’s third-gen watch (Apple Watch Series 3) from last year. The watch has heart rate monitoring and a breathing guidance app like Apple’s watch.
That said, Samsung’s watch will have “several days” of battery life and can be used for sleep tracking. Although some rumors previously predicted that Samsung would switch its watch line to meet Google’s Wear OS software, the new watches remain on the company’s proprietary Tizen platform.
We have to see whether Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch could take on Apple’s fourth-generation watch series next month. Rumors also indicated the upcoming Apple Watch Series 4 may have a larger screen, thinner design, and possibly even a version with a round face.
Now, speaking about Samsung’s new Galaxy Home speaker powered by Bixby. The new speaker is shaped like a small cooking pot and stands on three silver legs. It also includes Samsung’s AI-based voice-controlled digital assistant and close integration with the Spotify music service. But Samsung didn’t say when the smart speaker would go on sale or how much it would cost.
This is the first time Samsung products enter a crowded market led by Amazon – Alexa-enabled speakers, Google’s Home AI products, and Apple’s HomePod.
The Galaxy Home, however, is a different story, with not many details from Samsung to follow. Although Samsung does promise “amazing sound and elegant design”, with a 6 speaker + subwoofer combo. This same initiative also partnered Seoul-based giant ‘Spotify’ that would allow you to switch over to the Galaxy Home from your phone seamlessly.
With no sure-shot release date announced for the Galaxy Home, we know that Samsung would be talking more about the galaxy Home “soon”, maybe at the Samsung Developer Conference due on November 7? We’ll see.
As for the Galaxy Watch purchase, it will be available starting 24th in the US, with Korea to follow on the 31st. As for other markets outside of the US and Korea, the wearable will be made available on September 14th.
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