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Wearable Tech

Samsung Gear Sport is swim-ready with Spotify

Samsung looks to make strides to beat the Apple Watch 2.

Now playing: Watch this: Samsung's new sport watches tackle the sea with ease
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Fitness sells smartwatches. So say most players in wearables, Samsung included. The new Samsung Gear Sport pushes further into fitness, adding some features that were overdue. It's not the same set of upgrades that last year's Gear S3 smartwatch received, but they're important.

The Sport adds 5 ATM water resistance for swimming, something that's rapidly becoming standard-issue for wearables like the Fitbit Ionic and the Apple Watch Series 2. Samsung says it's salt- and freshwater-ready.

samsung-gear-sport-ifa-21

Sharp band designs, and sportier colors this time.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The "S3" name is completely gone from Gear Sport, but it's designed to fit somewhere between the Gear S3 and LTE-equipped S3 from last year. It's smaller this time, down to the S2's 42mm instead of the hulking 46mm of the S3. Heart rate tracking, GPS and a rotating control bezel are all still in place.

It also looks like offline Spotify music is finally ready. The Gear S3 promised offline-playable music playlists on-watch a year ago, but it never happened. The Gear Sport will be able to store 500 Spotify songs on the watch.

A handful of new fitness apps will be available alongside the Gear Sport, which will also work with the same apps that other Gear S2 and S3 watches can. A new Speedo app tracks swimming, while an improved Under Armour app tracks calorie intake and adds on-watch input tools.

The watch has connected tricks for Samsung ecosystem things: it's able to hook into Samsung Connect to control IoT devices, and it can be a wrist remote for Samsung Gear VR, which is something I've thought about for years.

The Gear Sport costs $300 in the US and £299 in the UK, which converts to about AU$500. There's no specific release date either, but the watch will be available this fall.

  • 1.2-inch circular AMOLED
  • Tizen OS
  • 20mm watch straps
  • 4GB storage
  • Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, NFC
  • GPS/GLONASS/Beidou
  • 300 mAh battery
  • 5 ATM water resistance, MIL-STD-810G dust and shock resistance
  • Works with Android 4.4, iOS 9.0 or later

Update, Oct. 23: Added US and UK pricing.

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