Business Insider Edition

Samsung just unveiled the Galaxy Watch, its answer to the Apple Watch — here's everything we know about it

Avery Hartmans , Business Insider US
 Aug 10, 2018, 07:14 AM
Elina Vives unveils the Galaxy Watch at Samsung Unpacked. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Samsung unveiled a new smartwatch called the Galaxy Watch on Thursday. 
  • The Galaxy Watch is a fitness-focused smartwatch. It's waterproof, has LTE connectivity, and gets "several days" of battery life on a single charge. 
  • The Galaxy Watch will come in two sizes and three colors. It will be available to buy on August 24.
  • With the Galaxy Watch, Samsung is abandoning the Gear branding from its smartwatches. "It was about simplification," Elina Vives, Samsung's head of marketing for computing, audio, smartwatch, and VR, told Business Insider.

Samsung has a brand-new smartwatch.

At its Unpacked event on Thursday to introduce the new Galaxy Note 9, Samsung also revealed the new Galaxy Watch. 

The Galaxy Watch has two stand-out features: battery life (Samsung says it can get up to four days, depending on the watch size), and a rotating bezel, which allows you to control the watch without always needed to use the touchscreen display. 

Besides those features, the Galaxy Watch is a fitness-focused smartwatch. It will have 39 different exercises built in, will be able to automatically detect six of the most common workouts, and will also have sleep tracking. The watch is waterproof and can be worn swimming as well. 

A version of the Galaxy Watch will have LTE connectivity, which means you can make calls or listen to music without being tethered to your smartphone. The watch will be able to charge wirelessly on Samsung's new Duo wireless charging pad, which can charge a smartphone and the watch at the same time. 

Like Samsung's past smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch will run Tizen OS, Samsung's smartwatch operating system.

The Galaxy Watch has an AMOLED display and "military-grade durability." It comes in three colors — silver, black, and rose gold — and two sizes: 42 mm and 46 mm. 

The Galaxy Watch in silver.

Goodbye, Gear

The Galaxy Watch isn't Samsung's first wearable, but it's the first with the Galaxy brand name — in the past, Samsung's smartwatches have been under the "Gear" branding. 

"It really just makes sense from a nomenclature standpoint, from a brand equity standpoint, that when you interface with Samsung devices, you're interfacing with the Samsung Galaxy," Elina Vives, Samsung's head of marketing for computing, audio, smartwatch, and VR, told Business Insider.

"The other reason is that, it's pretty obvious I think, but people go, 'Gear?' Our consumers are used to it because we're on Series 3 [of the Samsung Gear watches] but it was also about simplification and making sure we continue to bring new consumers into the category," she said.

Current Gear products — like the Gear Spot watch or Gear VR — will keep their name, but as time goes on, Vives said, Samsung will lean into the Galaxy name. 

Vives said she hopes the Galaxy Watch will attract customers who are looking to upgrade from a Gear S2 watch, but also new customers or Samsung loyalists. While it's a fitness-focused watch, Samsung hopes certain features, like battery life, will interest people looking for both connectivity and "seamlessness."

And from a design perspective, Vives is hoping the watch will attract more women.

"It's definitely gender-neutral, but we want to invite more women into the category," Vives said. "If you are very fashion-forward, I think this is extremely competitive — it's the only smartwatch that looks like an actual watch."

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