New Samsung Smartwatch Doesn’t Require Phone Pairing

The Samsung Gear S, which was released last fall.

The Samsung Gear S, which was released last fall.

Samsung has revealed a few more details about its upcoming smartwatch, according to a TechRadar article by Matt Hanson.

For one thing, it has a new name: Whereas it was previously referred to as Orbis, the smartwatch is now called the Samsung Gear A. That isn’t a huge surprise in terms of branding, given the importance of consistency; the company’s last smartwatch, released last fall, was called the Gear S.

More importantly, the new smartwatch will have a round screen, and will not require users to pair it with a smartphone. That could prove to be a major advantage against its main competitor, the Apple Watch, which requires its users to pair their devices with their iPhones – a strategy that might work well in attracting the many consumers who already have iPhones, but won’t go far in appealing to the large demographic of users who don’t. The Samsung Gear A, meanwhile, has the option of smartphone pairing via Bluetooth, but can also function on a 3G network on its own.

It’s a smart move on Samsung’s part, and could help to make the Gear A a strong competitor in the smartwatch market. It also helps somewhat to resolve the awkward pseudo-paradox Apple rivals find themselves in – that Apple’s success will be good news for the overall smartphone market, even as they try to beat it in sales – by letting Samsung effectively target those outside of Apple’s aim, which is set primarily on current iPhone users.