Samsung’s Apple Watch killer – with 3G and voice calling – to be called Gear A

8 Apr 2015

Samsung's smartwatch

Samsung’s competitor to the Apple Watch, the Orbis smartwatch, will have a circular display and will make its debut as the Gear A.

The device will come in two variants – one with Bluetooth functionality to interact with a smartphone device and the premium model will come with Bluetooth, 3G and voice support. Both devices will, most likely, also support Wi-Fi.

SamMobile also obtained the model numbers for the Gear A, both unlocked and carrier variants: SM-R720 is for the Bluetooth version while SM-730 will have 3G and voice support.

The move could be a clever one for Samsung, in that a Bluetooth device without all the bells and whistles could compete on price with the Apple Watch Sports Edition, the lowest-priced model in the Apple Watch range, enabling consumers to get in on the smartwatch trend without breaking the bank.

The more premium model with 3G and voice support will no doubt compete against the more expensive Apple devices for fools with money who confuse substance with style, so it will be interesting to see what Samsung does on the materials front.

Last month, Apple revealed the prices for the Apple Watch, starting at US$349 for the smallest Sport version, and rising to US$10,000 for the Apple Watch Edition. The new watch will be available from 10 April in two sizes (38mm and 42mm) and across three editions: Apple Watch Sport (US$349 to US$399); Apple Watch (US$599 to US$1,099, and from US$10,000 for the Apple Watch Edition.

Samsung is re-entering the smartwatch fray at a dangerous time. While the Korean tech giant has managed to slow down its decline in operating profits, it is now competing in a market against ruthless players like Xiaomi and Huawei. Its Gear A will also be battling the Huawei Watch and the LG Watch Urbane.

Samsung smartwatch image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years