Samsung has announced it’s making the Gear S2 watch available for purchase in the U.S. starting on Friday. The watch will cost $299 for the original version and $349 for the higher-end S2 Classic.
The S2 was first announced back in late August, but at the time pricing and availability details were scant.
The round-faced S2 is the first Samsung smartwatch to use its proprietary operating system Tizen, rather than Android Wear. Though Samsung says the watch will have be able to execute best when paired with Samsung Galaxy devices, consumers can also pair the watch with Android phones running KitKat or higher.
The S2 features a unique rotating bezel fitted around the face of the watch that allows for easy navigation of the device. In addition to a variety of apps, the watch can make voice calls, send texts, and translate dictated speech into messages. When paired with a Samsung Galaxy phone, the S2 can also handle contactless payments through Samsung Pay. Perhaps most notable is that the original S2 watch can be connected to a 3G wireless plan through which it can operate autonomously.
All these features make the watch a formidable competitor to the Apple Watch. At $299, the S2 also comes in below the minimum $349 price tag for the Apple Watch.
As far as other watches go, the S2 is roughly matched on price. Motorola’s Moto 360 watch costs $300, while the LG Urbane LTE costs $349.
Starting Friday, consumers can purchase the S2 watch at Samsung.com, Amazon.com, Best Buy, and Macy’s. The connected S2 model will launch later this fall through AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. U.S. Cellular will also carry a Bluetooth-connected version of the S2.
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