SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung Electronics Co. on Wednesday unveiled new smartwatches powered by a new operating system and upgraded wireless earbuds as the South Korean tech giant eyes to expand its presence in the wearable device market.
At the Galaxy Unpacked online event, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Watch4 series that runs on the new Wear OS, which the company jointly developed with Google. Samsung previously used the self-developed Tizen platform for its smartwatches.
“The Galaxy Watch4 series is bolstered with advanced hardware performance and delivers a more seamless and connected user experience than ever before,” Samsung said.
“These new devices have been completely redesigned to provide consumers with the best tools to manage their wellness.”
Its latest smartwatch family comes in two models — the Galaxy Watch4 and the Galaxy Watch4 Classic — with both available in LTE and Bluetooth versions. They will be launched globally on Aug. 27.
The Galaxy Watch4 comes in 40mm and 44mm variants, with the starting price for the LTE models set at US$299. The Galaxy Watch4 Classic, featuring a rotating bezel, will be available in 42mm and 46mm variants, with LTE models starting at $399.
The limited edition of the Galaxy Watch4 Classic, for which Samsung collaborated with the U.S. fashion brand Thom Browne, will be available in late September, the company added.
Samsung said its brand new One UI Watch user interface, along with the Wear OS, delivers more seamless and connected user experience.
For example, compatible apps can be automatically installed on users’ watches when they are downloaded on their smartphones, and settings can also be synced instantly.
The new platform also expands the Galaxy ecosystem, allowing consumers to easily use popular Google apps and services.
Samsung said the Galaxy Watch4 family boasts advanced health features with its BioActive sensor.
It runs on a single chipset to utilize three health sensors — optical heart rate, electrical heart and bioelectrical impedance analysis — allowing users to monitor their blood pressure, blood oxygen level and irregular heartbeats.
Also for the first time, Samsung said the Galaxy Watch4 series supports a body composition measurement tool.
Users can check measurements like skeletal muscle, body water and body fat percentage in just 15 seconds, as the watch’s sensor can capture 2,400 data points, according to the company.
Performance-wise, Samsung said the latest smartwatches come with upgraded processors, richer displays and expanded memory.
The Galaxy Watch4 series is equipped with the industry’s first 5-nanometer wearable processor.
Samsung’s Exynos W920 offers 20 percent faster computer processing unit performance, 50 percent more RAM and 10 times faster graphics processing unit performance than its previous generation smartwatches.
“That means scrolling and multitasking on Galaxy Watch4 series is smooth and effortless,” the company said. “We also upped the resolution on the display, up to 450 x 450 pixels, so visuals are crisper and more distinctive.”
Samsung said the Galaxy Watch4 series offers battery life of up to 40 hours, adding that 30 minutes of charging offers up to 10 hours of battery.
At the Unpacked event, Samsung also unveiled the Galaxy Buds2, which is the company’s smallest and lightest wireless earbuds yet. Its earbud weighs 5 grams, down from the previous Galaxy Buds Pro’s 6.3 grams.
The Galaxy Buds2 features dynamic two-way speakers for clear high notes and a deep base, as well as active noise cancellation (ANC) to cut unwanted external background noise.
The latest hearable product provides up to five hours of play time with ANC on.
Samsung said the Galaxy Buds2 will also be launched on Aug. 27, with a price tag of $149 in the United States, which is $50 lower than the Galaxy Buds Pro released in January and $20 cheaper than the Galaxy Buds Live launched last year.
Samsung hopes its new smartwatch and wireless earbuds can boost its presence in the wearable device market where Apple Inc. stays atop.
Samsung was the world’s second-largest vendor of wearable products in the first quarter of the year with a market share of 11.8 percent after shipping 11.8 million units, up 35.7 percent from a year earlier, according to data from market researcher International Data Corp. (IDC).
Apple was the leader with a 28.8 percent share with its wearables shipment reaching 30.1 million units in the first quarter.